05/13/07 — Neighborhood meeting Tuesday at Harding St. YMCA field

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Neighborhood meeting Tuesday at Harding St. YMCA field

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 13, 2007 2:01 AM

Residents of Teakwood and Mimosa Park will have an opportunity to voice concerns, raise questions and offer praise to Goldsboro officials Tuesday, as the first in a series of city-sponsored neighborhood meetings is scheduled for 6 p.m. on the Harding Street YMCA soccer field.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said she and other city staff are anxious to get back into the community -- having held several similar meetings in other neighborhoods last year.

"This is what we're here for," she said.

Mayor Al King is expected to attend the event, as are City Council members, City Manager Joe Huffman and representatives from each city department.

Ms. Logan said residents would have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with particular individuals -- including members of the city police and fire departments -- or speak to the crowd via microphone and direct questions to officials when need be..

"I think the key to all this is the relationship building," she said. "Sometimes you feel like there is some distance."

And when residents and community leaders fail to communicate, what is in the best interest of the city can sometimes be left unsaid.

"I think the other key is for people to understand what we do and work on ways to work together," Ms. Logan said. "Sometimes residents of a particular area might express concerns and have a way of dealing with them better than we can."

It is difficult to predict how many will attend or what concerns will be voiced at Tuesday's meeting, she added.

"I would imagine we're going to hear some issues about drainage," she said. "Other than that, I really don't know."

The format of the meeting will be much the same as those held last year, Ms. Logan said.

After the mayor welcomes the crowd and introduces key city staff and council members, refreshments will be served. Then residents will be asked to comment.

Tuesday's gathering will be the first of four meetings scheduled through the summer and into early fall. Residents along William, Ash and those living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will all get their opportunity during the remaining schedule.