Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman dropped into our Neighborhood Association meeting last night, and passed on some news of interest. Apparently they’ve shuffled a couple of jurisdictions at City Hall; used to be, Neighborhood Services could bust someone for high grass or weeds or debris in the front yard, but not for parking on the grass. This seemed like a dissipation of effort, so the Planning folks who were responsible for yard-parking complaints were moved over to Neighborhood Services, and now it’s a one-stop shop; citations for parking in the yard doubled from the same month last year. That wasn’t a major issue for me, but this is: NW 50th from Pennsylvania to May, one of the more wretched stretches of pavement in this town, will be scraped off and resurfaced in 2007.
One question that came up was the ongoing issue of city officials running for higher office while retaining their jobs. Mayor Cornett was mentioned, as was Ward 7’s Willa Johnson. Nobody had anything good to say about it, but it’s not illegal.
And I asked Bowman about Pete White’s idea for increasing the Council to ten wards. Bowman pointed out, as White had, that the existing arrangement was perhaps insufficiently diverse, and suggested that it might be possible to redraw the lines to produce something resembling a majority-Hispanic ward and take some of the sheer vastness out of Pete White’s Ward 4. There is, though, said Bowman, not much support for expanding the Council right now. If it’s going to happen, I suspect it will be in 2011, after the new Census figures come out and they have to redraw the boundaries anyway.