Thursday, December 11, 2008

NCNA December Newsletter Article

“Weida’s Lose Appeal”.“Homes Win Approving Nod for Historic Preservation”. “Open House at Historic Rehab”.
These three articles from the 12/3/08 Journal & Courier demonstrate both the promise and the problem in our neighborhood.

First, the promise. Here in West Lafayette, we have no lakes, no mountains. “Indiana Ranks Low in Higher Ed.”, the J&C also reported in its 12/3 edition. What we do have is Purdue University. What we do have is a good school system. What we do have is an affordable, stable, multi-cultural, multi-generational, multi-class near campus neighborhood.

The problem? As I wrote on my blog earlier this year, the era of “mom and pop” landlords is long gone. The point of this substantial business is to make money through rent and appreciation, then perhaps zoning change, in a large and vaguely regulated portion of the real estate industry.

No new over-occupancy cases have been filed in the past year. There has yet to be a rollout of Ordinance #26-08; nuisance violations were to be addressed by an escalating series of tickets to be issued through an expanded Ordinance Violations Bureau.

Which is why C.H.A.U.N.C. PAC (“Community Homeowners And University Neighbors Committee” PAC.) is the story of the fall. Inspired in part by Sarah Mustillo’s rejection by the school board, and following the model of New Chauncey Housing’s evolution from within the New Chauncey Neighborhood Association, CHAUNC PAC hopes to take advantage of the political interest generated by the presidential election and channel some of that energy into local politics.

This neighborhood is remarkable! What a fascinating experiment!

Boiler BLAST (our “Clean Sweep”) will take place April 4th. Job request forms are due by January 31st. Questions? Email Phone 496-2454. Check Boiler BLAST demonstrates both “Boiler Service” and “Boiler Gratitude”! Not just for the elderly, save up a couple of chores and meet our Purdue students.

“Project Move Out” takes place Sunday, May 10th. from 1:00 – 4:00pm. Volunteers are needed to set up the Armory and receive donations of usable “stuff” on May 8th. & 9th. from 10am – 4pm. Call the Boiler Volunteer Network (496-2450) or go to

Please note that the Purdue Student Security Patrol “Safe Walk” program (494-Safe) now extends into New Chauncey from across Northwestern and south of Meridian to Salisbury St. The PUPD will provide the service if students are unavailable.

Let me end with a word about taxes. I voted against Resolution #22-08, the Excessive Levy Appeal. (Want to learn why? Scroll down a bit.) I hope for an open and bipartisan budget process as we move into 2009. Any and all changes in the 2009 budget remain a secret. There has been no meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee since the Council vote on November 17th.

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