Columbia residents gather, discuss community concerns

Oct 25, 2012

Sixth Ward City Councilmember Barbara Hoppe left Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Congress meeting with a to-do list.

Hoppe said residents talked with her about a range of community concerns, from homeless shelters to fire hydrants and trash bins.

“It’s the one time you have access to all the council members (or most of them), and the mayor, all in one place," Hoppe said. "So, you can talk to five or six people in just one hour."

Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Congress focused on affordable housing: what assistance is available through the city and how to expand housing options. Neighborhood Response Coordinator Bill Cantin said meeting topics are determined by citizen interest.

“We talked a lot about neighborhood involvement and capacity building and how you can make your neighborhood better," Cantin said. "One thing we kept hearing was improving home ownership and redevelopment neighborhoods.”

Meetings are scheduled semi-annually. A date has not been set for the next meeting, but is expected to take place next March.