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City of Palm Springs Gains its 13th Official Neighborhood Organization

Post Date:08/13/2007

Contact: Cindy Uken
Public Information Coordinator
City of Palm Springs

August 13, 2007

A small group of Palm Springs residents were able to solve some of the issues facing the neighborhood, but after investing a significant amount of time and energy, they came to the conclusion that there is strength in speaking with a collective voice -- and value in formally organizing. And that's just what they did, taking advantage of a City of Palm Springs program.

On Thursday, the Baristo Neighborhood Organization became official, bringing to 13 the total number of officially recognized groups associated with the City's Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI). Established by City Ordinance in April 2005, the ONI is a vehicle for encouraging citizen involvement in service delivery and improving communication among citizens, City staff and elected officials.

"We realized that if we organized and were formally recognized as part of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement that we would have a much bigger voice, more clout and more input to help address some issues in our neighborhood," said David Carden Jr., chairman of the Baristo Neighborhood Organization.

Although the ONI is a City office, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Committee (PSNIC) works with the City Manager and staff to address matters of concern to citizens and other neighborhood interests. The PSNIC is comprised of elected representatives of Neighborhood Organizations that have become officially recognized by the City through an application process.

"We are so pleased," said Carden, a Realtor who bought his home in the neighborhood in 1998. "The history behind our neighborhood is that property owners have tried to get something done four or five years. We wanted to get signs installed on vacant lots on Baristo Road that would give law enforcement officers the authority and flexibility to keep them clear of intruders and trespassers."

Carden said he and about a half dozen other residents met with City officials and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to accomplish the task. It was then, Carden said, that they realized it was time to formally organize.

"We had a really nice success to build on," Carden said.

Carden said neighbors are so excited about the formal organization that they are already planning two fund-raisers to help pay for "fun activities" in the neighborhood and donate to "worthy causes."

"We're going to become real active participants in the NIC and we're looking forward to that," Carden said.

The benefits of a Neighborhood Organization include:

  • A community of people who know and look out for one another
  • A place for bringing people together to socialize and address common concerns
  • A collective voice to advocate for neighborhood interests and concerns
  • A recognized entity that works with city government to access resources and resolve issues affecting neighborhood character and quality of life
  • A communication conduit that exchanges information and knowledge

Palm Springs residents who are interested in organizing their neighborhoods should call Lee Husfeldt, Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations, at 323-8255.

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