Several civic association leaders already are working on putting a Northeast coalition together.
John Kradzinski thinks the Northeast’s civic groups should pull together to get more pull.
Kradzinksi, president of the Millbrook Civic Association, told a small gathering of his members at the Calvary Athletic Association on April 30 that some sort of umbrella organization that met quarterly would help the more than 20 Northeast civic organizations share information and also increase their sway with public officials.
Numbers, he said, would give Northeast residents a bigger voice.
It might be an idea whose time has come. Several civic association leaders already are working on putting a Northeast coalition together.
Board members of Mayfair’s, Holmesburg’s, Upper Holmesburg’s, Wissinoming’s, Frankford’s and Tacony’s civic associations already have met with other Northeast group leaders three times since February. Some meetings were attended by 40 people, said Mary Benussi, president of the Tacony Civic Association.
The Northeast’s roughly two dozen civic organizations have memberships large and small that are interested in different areas, but, said Upper Holmesburg present Stan Cynwinksi, they have a lot of common concerns.
Among the, Cynwinski said on May 9, are zoning decisions and the impact of the city’s Actual Value Initiative on real estate taxes
Zoning plays big on many civic groups’ agendas. Many organizations’ members support or oppose zoning changes as a method of preserving neighborhood character.
Of late, civics have seen Zoning Board of Adjustment decisions going more against neighborhood wishes, said Rich Frizell, president of the Holmesburg Civic Association. Pete Specos, president of the Frankford Civic Association, agreed.
Attempts to allow drug-treatment facilities in the Northeast also spike residents’ interest throughout the area.
Residents recently lost a bid to stop a drug-treatment center on the 7500 block of State Road. Opening a methadone distribution center required a zoning variance, which the zoning board granted.
Getting civics together has been tried before Cynwinksi said.
“We worked together on common issues,” he said, but added that once those issues were addressed, interest in maintaining some sort of Northeast umbrella group would fade.
This latest bid to form a Northeast coalition is well past the talking stage said Peter McDermott, the Mayfair civic’s zoning officer.
This local civic umbrella group already has a name: Northeast Civics Advisory Council. What the interested parties are doing now is working out how they will act together and how they’ll be organized.
And, they want more civic groups to get involved. But Benussi stressed that the organization is a coalition of civic association leaders, not rank-and-file members.
“It’s for board members,” Benussi said.
The advisory council meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Disston Recreation Facility, 4423 Longshore Ave.
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