Saturday, July 10, 2010

questions from a new resident about the Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA)

See this message from a new-ish Bloomingdale resident:

When is the next BCA meeting? I haven't heard a word in months. The last organized meeting was in April, and the May meeting was cancelled last minute, possibly because of the disasterous outcome of the April meeting. Is the BCA still organizing these meetings, does the BCA even still exist?

This leads to a few other questions, I heard elections for the BCA haven't been head in quite sometime. Why is that? Shouldn't elections be held on some sort of annual basis?

It is appearant that the current BCA representatives lack organization and motivation to lead the community. In turn, I fear that residents of the community are:

1) Unaware of the existance of the BCA. Lack of effective communication to the neighborhood (e.g. poorly managed website/lack of posted information).

2) Unaware of funding availability - Missing out on district funds available to benefit the neighborhood for
community enhancement purposes. I believe it was in a February meeting, the "elected" Treasurer was unable to give clear communication on the status of funds available through community grants. When she was reminded of an approximate $ amount, she noted that they were going to expire soon anyway.
Shouldn't the community have access to this sort of information, or at the bare minimum, made aware of the availability of funds to better the community at large. I had no idea the BCA received district grants. Not to mention my BCA Memebership Payment that I paid by check has yet to be cashed 4-5 months later.

3) Unfairly represented - No elections = the community's inability to elect effective leadership that represents the neighborhood and involves all residents.

The BCA doesn't even have to hold "hot topic" conversations to warrant a gathering (i.e. liquor license discussions). It is also a good way to share positive community news, highlight community events, brainstorm initiatives to continue to improve the neighborhood, monitor community grant money, allow a forum for local businesses to meet the community, allow potential investors to meet and greet, allow the various community elected officials an opportunity to address the neighborhood at large, etc...

The purpose of these BCA meetings is for Knowledge Sharing!!! Maybe the BCA can develop a Mission
Statement so that the neighborhood clearly understands its purpose.

2 comments:

  1. Let me provide a response: As a former officer of the Bloomingdale Civic Association, I can comment from first-hand experience -- the success of an all-volunteer organization relies upon just that -- volunteers! Looking for a way to volunteer in your Bloomingdale community? Becoming active with the civic association is one of many ways to do so.

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  2. If there isn't interest in the Bloomingdale Civic Association, then there shouldn't be much of a problem: it can be considered disbanded and the local ANC can be your go-to place for neighborhood issues. The danger is that the moribund BCA might try to falsely represent itself as a "voice of the community," rather than the voice of a few gladflies who get together on a semi-regular basis.

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