‘Partners’ plan nears city vote
“Citizen involvement is going to be the key to making this program a success,” City Manager Steve Williams said. “There will be plenty of opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in any of a number of the program’s aspects – Neighborhood Watch, youth programs, neighborhood houses, a neighborhood commission and a citizens academy.” Among the program’s components will be developing and expanding youth programs; establishing city-owned “neighborhood houses”; greatly expanding Neighborhood Watch; starting a citizen academy; expanding family education and mediation programs; establishing neighborhood commissions; providing grants and loans to fix up homes; and encouraging volunteerism. With just under 39 percent of the city’s population being under the age of 19, the effort will have a large youth focus, city officials said. The program will look to expand or add such programs as anger management, life-skills workshops, community service programs, drug and alcohol education, internships, and youth safety workshops. The plan calls for creating a new city position – and filling it in May – to coordinate those programs. The city is looking to get the program rolling fairly quickly. The tentative schedule calls for establishing the first neighborhood home. The home would serve as a base of operations for a wide range of programs and services, such as tutoring, hosting Neighborhood Watch meetings and meet-and-greet sessions with city officials and staffers. The city would look for donated properties to use for the homes or rent or purchase the homes for a period of three months to a year. In April, two crime prevention officers would be hired and the expansion of Neighborhood Watch programs would begin. Two additional crime prevention officers would be hired in July, according to the plan’s tentative schedule. A volunteer coordinator would be hired in May. The coordinator would recruit, screen, assess and assign volunteers to various city efforts. From July to October, other elements of the program would start to come into play, including the citizen academy to train people about how city government works and what programs and resources are available; the expansion of family-oriented programs, such as parenting classes; the neighborhood councils; and the expansion of city grants and loan programs that are used to spruce up neighborhoods. The council’s meeting is being held Monday instead of in its usual Wednesday slot to accommodate city officials traveling next week to Washington, D.C., for the annual National League of Cities conference. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – A proposed new anti-crime program with a heavy focus on grass-roots participation will cost Palmdale about $825,000 a year, according to city officials. The plan, Partners for a Better Palmdale, will have about $82,000 in one-time start-up costs in addition to the projected annual $825,000 cost. The plan goes Monday before the Palmdale City Council for approval. “We’re convinced we need to complement the efforts of our deputies,” Mayor Jim Ledford said. “This program is going to be a real dynamic one for us.” The plan will have a heavy citizen involvement component, including volunteer programs and expanded Neighborhood Watch programs.