Each registered neighborhood association has a representative and an alternate on the NAC. It was established in 2013 to facilitate communications between Springfield’s City Council, City staff, and the now 22 registered neighborhood associations.
What do the reps do?
They discuss issues pertinent to neighborhoods – crime, nuisance properties, health, parks, streets and sidewalks, neighbors in need, planning and development, community engagement, need for jobs and so on. As a group, they identify concerns that cut across multiple neighborhoods and seek solutions.
How do they operate?
Through engagement with appropriate City staff and other stakeholders, NAC delves into the challenges faced in making improvements. For example, several years ago, the City’s ordinances were written in such a manner that it was very difficult and time consuming for City inspectors to address properties that were overgrown with weeds, falling apart and dangerous – so-called nuisance properties. NAC encouraged City staff and City Council to address the issue and as a result, the City Code was revised and now the ability for City staff to address such properties has significantly improved. As there is still more to be done in this area, NAC continues to keep nuisance properties front of mind.