West Broadway residents form neighborhood association

Thursday, May 15, 2008 | 6:11 p.m. CDT; updated 11:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — A group of 22 West Broadway residents established a neighborhood association for those along the road between Garth Avenue and West Boulevard during a meeting at Columbia Montessori School on Wednesday night.

The residents hope that forming the Historic West Broadway Neighborhood Association will improve communication with city officials and among neighbors, resident Rick Hocks said.

Meeting attendees elected officers and finished writing by-laws for the association. The group would become an official city-recognized organization after it files paperwork with the city and receives approval.

Discussion of forming a neighborhood association began in October and residents recently felt the need to speed up their efforts to officially form after the establishment of the Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association in late April, Hocks said.

Originally, the proposed Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association included West Broadway within its boundaries. At an April 30 meeting to finalize boundaries, by-laws and officers for that association, about eight West Broadway residents adamantly protested being included in the group, saying they had been working on an organization of their own. By the end of the night, the Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association resolved not to include West Broadway in its formal boundaries but decided it would allow residents of West Broadway to become voting members of the Old Southwest group upon request.

“The challenges that we face are different from any surrounding neighborhoods, but I want to add that we are making a concerted effort to work with the new association, the Historic Old Southwest,” said Hocks, who will serve as co-chair for the South side of West Broadway. “We are going to make an effort to work with them. First, we encouraged others to join the group who wanted to.”

The Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association has yet to file paperwork to be recognized officially, according to Bill Cantin, neighborhood resource specialist for the City of Columbia.

According to Hocks, Broadway residents have been functioning as a neighborhood association for years in dealing with the city’s decisions on how to handle the changes to West Broadway and all they did Wednesday night was to formalize it.

Hocks said the group will be headed by two co-chairs, one each for the North and South sides of the street. A secretary and treasurer also were elected, and the group appointed someone to be in charge of communications.

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