From the Hill
Being a neighborhood group leader is a whole lot harder work than one thinks. You are constantly on the go, meetings, board meetings, setting things up, fighting battles for the neighborhood, and planning events like dinners. Having a hands-on commissioner is a blessing.
Commissioner Brian McKiernan is such a commissioner. Would that they were all like him. He is our district commissioner, and is always in the hunt.
You will find him at every meeting of his district, including some that are not in the area, but do concern our area. The commissioner is our spokesperson for City Hall, our voice to help get things done in our neighborhood to improve where we live. He always has us in mind when they are doing the budget, to figure out ways to find money for the people in his district. Plus, he is funny and friendly. Both pluses.
On May 11, he was planning a big cleanup for all of the groups in his district. We worked in unison in our own neighborhoods. The Operation Brightside supplied us with water and trash bags and pickup of the debris. He has been working on it for months, trying to get it to run smoothly. He even goes out on cleanups, rolls up his sleeves and gets right in the mess. People appreciate that.
Brian has an understanding of the old parts of town, because he lives here, too. He knows our problems, and works to help us solve them. He is unique, as he is a professor at Rockhurst University, but never acts like it. He is just one of the people . And he is full of laughter. This is important in his line of work. Laugh and the world laughs with you, they always say. And it is true. You could never get mad at Commissioner McKiernan, because he would make you laugh it off. I like him.
If you do not know your commissioner, take time to meet him or her, and work with them. You will find out they have a heavy load also, trying to please the people in their district. And it is hard work, because you cannot please everyone all the time. But they do the best they can. With our support, they can do a whole lot more, but the people need to be behind them, helping. So, take the time, find out who your commissioner is, and make an appointment to meet and greet them. You won’t be sorry.
City Hall was on 6th Street? Next to the fire station?
The candy and newspaper stand on the ground floor?
Utility bills were paid upstairs in the building?
And police walked the beat on Minnesota Avenue?
Carole Diehl is the president of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association.