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Guest column: New OWN ideas, and join us at the picnic June 25

       By Jim Thompson, President, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)

       The OWN board has recently gone through a few changes as some board members have stepped away and new officers have been elected. It is our opinion that the board is the strongest it has ever been and we are excited at
The OWN Board of Directors voted in Jim Thompson as its new president after the OWN Town Hall March 9. A board member since 2015, he had been serving as secretary. At the same meeting, former President Welling Clark, who had led the neighborhood advocacy group for 11 years, announced he was stepping down.
Courtesy photo
the future of our organization and the expansion of the efforts we want to extend to the community.
       We would like to encourage all residents to join us at one of our board meetings., held every odd month on the second Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westside Community Center. These meetings are a great opportunity for residents to discuss their concerns.
       One goal we are looking at is a Westside tree maintenance program. After the wind and snow storms this year, I think we can all agree that this is something that must be looked at with serious consideration. OWN is going to explore how a maintenance program can be implemented over the next 10 years to reduce costs to homeowners and increase support by the city. I encourage anyone with ideas on this subject - or any others - to please contact our organization.
       Annual picnic
       Our annual Westside Neighbors Picnic will be Sunday, June 25 at Bancroft Park from noon to 2 p.m.
       This is a great way for neighbors to meet neighbors. As many of you know, the Bancroft Park bandshell suffered a fire, and we are holding it there to show our support of this very important landmark on the Westside. We will be requiring a small donation at the door for that purpose.
       I thank Keith King for leading City Council in allocating money to rebuild the bandshell before his term ended in April. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Old Colorado City Foundation, Old Colorado City Associates and Avenue Merchants for their help in making the picnic possible.
       What OWN does
       - We're your neighborhood outreach board, putting forth the following efforts:
       - Land use review.
       - Neighborhood public safety oversight.
       - Code enforcement oversight.
       - Government/resident interaction.
       Contacting OWN
       I hope you are as excited to live on the Westside as OWN is to represent you. I believe it takes voices, concerns, leadership and execution to build a great neighborhood community.
       Come get involved and let's build the best side - the Westside.
       For more information, e-mail info@owncos.org.

(Posted 6/6/17; Opinion: Guest Columns)

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