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Kenton block watch coordinator Kimberly Shope addressed City Council Monday night as to her intentions for helping the program expand and grow stronger within the community.
Volunteer coordination is something Shope has been doing for six years and has grown accustomed to.
“This is my area of expertise and I’m really honored to be able to be given the opportunity to do this in our community because I think it’s such a valid and true cause,” she said.
Shope said she believes communication within the group was one of the previous block watch program’s downfalls and is something the new program is going to have to strive for. The new block watch will have a regular meeting place thanks to Andy Tudor, who offered his downtown office as a place for the group to meet and collaborate.
“(Tudor) has offered to allow us to use his office day or night, anytime, to be able to do our meetings for each quadrant and also for meetings with the chief of police or the sheriff’s office so we can all get together and collaborate, which was one of the downfalls of the prior block watch program; there just wasn’t enough communication,” Shope said. “So the idea would be to expand on that communication significantly so we can make this a successful program.”
Shope also said Mayor Randy Manns has offered his office as a “flow-through” for those wishing to get in touch with her regarding information about the block watch.
Shope is currently in the process of scheduling meetings with Mayor Manns, Sheriff Keith Everhart and Police Chief John Vermillion so they are able to get on-target as to the specifics of what the block watch can do to assist them.
Four new captains have recently been acquired, one for each quadrant, which will also be assigned a co-captain.
Traditionally, Shope said, the town has been divided into four quadrants. Her program’s plan will keep the four quadrants, but also add on to it.
“Our plan is to get areas such as Forest Court Apartments their own captain and co-captain within those areas so they can get the attention they deserve and need so much,” Shope said.
A kickoff event for the block watch is currently in the works for Aug. 11. The event will help raise awareness about the program within the community, according to Shope.
“What this will do is it will allow the community members to come out to Boy Scout (Veterans Memorial) Park and get some information, not only from block watch, but also some non-profit programs within the community,” Shope said. “I’d like to make it a joint venture within our community so we can get some information out to the public not only about block watch, but about other services that are available.”
Two DJs have already volunteered their services for the event. A hog and hog roaster have also been donated for the cause. She also hopes to set up a 5k, three-on-three basketball tournament and fishing tournament as fundraisers for the program.
Shope has high hopes for the program, hoping it will reach 501 status as a non-profit organization so the community can be well vested in it.
“I think within the next 12 months, I’d like to see this very productive mission that’s making an impact in our community; that’s my goal,” she said.
Manns was also very impressed with what Shope has been able to accomplish thus far with the program.
“She has done just an excellent job in two weeks time; in a matter of just two weeks time, she’s got this all coordinated,” he said. “I’m really impressed and really excited about the program.”
In other council action:
– Approved the third reading of an ordinance authorizing a one-time payment for certain part-time non-bargaining employees of the city of Kenton, and declaring an emergency.
– Approved the third reading of an ordinance prohibiting the owning , keeping or harboring of wild, dangerous, poisonous or exotic animals within the city of Kenton.
– Approved the third reading of an ordinance clarifying and expanding upon the regulations of dangerous and vicious dogs within the city of Kenton.
– Passed a resolution authorizing the sale of personal property not needed for municipal purposes, and declaring an emergency to its third reading.
– Waived the three-reading rule and approved an ordinance providing for the additional appropriations and transferring funds for the year 2012 for the city of Kenton, and declaring an emergency.
– Passed two ordinances authorizing the city of Kenton to enter into a highway improvement project with the Ohio Department of Transportation and declaring an emergency to their second readings.
– Waived the three-reading rule and approved a resolution in support of the fundraiser “Cruise-in for a Cure — Third family fun day and car show” and declaring an emergency.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer