Today a few members of College Station Association of Neighborhoods (CSAN) met with a few members of College Station Citizens Advisory Committee (CSCAC.) These groups have amazingly similar missions. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how we can facilitate each other’s mission without depleting the scarce resource of volunteer energy. While I am a member of CSAN, these comments are my own. I am not speaking on behalf of the group.
The discussion was open ended free flowing and, from my perspective, very productive. While the groups have very similar missions they have very different approaches that will complement well. There will also be opportunities to amplify volunteer efforts by working together on shared goals.
Both groups are still in a development stage and both groups have some great leadership.
CSAN is a registered Political Action Committee and we intend to take aim at issues that fall under the large umbrella of neighborhood integrity and work strategically toward these issues.
One of the most resonate issues currently is that of stealth dorms that are piling students into investment properties that are not congruous with single-family neighborhoods. People who don’t live in our neighborhoods are telling us that our cherished neighborhoods must change to adapt to their investment strategies. CSAN is well positioned to quickly take decisive measures to address this issue.
CSCAC, on the other hand, is headed by a group of former mayors. This brain trust is a huge and previously untapped resource for College Station. They are developing a process to bring concerns up from neighborhoods and get them addressed. This is a slower and more deliberate process that is intended to reach a broader cross section of concerns.
While we came away from the meeting with a better understanding of where our spheres are and how we will compliment each other, there is still a good deal of work to be done along these lines.
One of the goals that we share is to increase the level of citizen engagement in the community of College Station. Level of citizen engagement is one of the better predictors of quality of life in a community. What ideas do you have for these groups?