Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Lyell-Otis Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes of May 14th, 2007

Meeting Began: 7:06pm - Welcome from Mike

Lyell NET’s Director, Jose Cruz:- TOP 15 properties list discussed

- please call the NET regarding specific issues; lots of reports of HG&W, T&D, tires, illegal dumping

- Clean Sweep was very successful; approximately 1200 volunteers helped in our area; great catered lunch

- UPLIFT program began on Emerson St; enlists many departments/groups to address social/legal issues on targeted streets; two more are planned for June ‘07, one more planned for July ‘07

- NET’s new mobile computer system helps speed up inspectors’ impact

Lyell Branch Library’s Director, Shelly Matthews:

- nutrition classes for care-givers of young children will begin soon; please register ASAP

- needs more participants, as this is the pilot program

- gardening volunteers are needed to help plant flowers

March Minutes: accepted into the record

Announcement: a new Secretary is needed for LONA

Burglary/Robbery Report:

- GOOD NEWS! No robberies occurred, only some minor burglaries; time of day is not a factor to the burglars

- discussed the police officers walking the neighborhood in the targeted areas; there is a pattern of problems moving into other areas of our neighborhood

- discussed renewing S.T.O.P. (Security Team On Patrol)

LONA President, Mike Visconte:

- upset about the NBN sector president’s meeting; LONA’s neighborhood initiatives were not acknowledged and/or downplayed - as if neighborhood groups only hold meetings

- LONA has done it all! From starting the court watch program, helping with the prostitution details, overseeing the "johns" community service hours, etc. etc. etc...

- seemed like the city/sector wanted to "take over" everything, whereas we LIVE HERE and CARE about our neighborhood!

Volunteer request:

- J.P. Riley Park one day build; meet in the morning with coffee; hots and soda pop lunch after the work is completed in the afternoon

- two weeks later, you are welcome to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony

Special Guest Speaker - City of Rochester’s Deputy Chief of Police Shepard:

- discussed the neighborhood’s security cameras, and where things stand as of now; we don’t want to buy the wrong type, so research and comparisons are being made; Chicago’s system is excellent, we might like the same

- wants "microwave" system (wireless), but it is restrictive, as it must have a clear line of sight

- regardless of whatever system we select, it should be up and in use by August 2007!

- citizens of the Lyell-Otis neighborhood want to have input as to the cameras’ locations, as this point was promised to us by the mayor himself! Police will listen to input, and look at data to confirm.

- "shot-spotter" not as successful as expected; can pin-point within ten feet, but has gotten false readings too

- police department may need to combine 311 call center with the camera program, so as not to add a position

- discussed calls for service; area neighbors say it seems like there’s not enough personnel; Deputy Chief wants to see better response times as well

- discussed the level of need for police in our area, compared to other city neighborhoods; 14621 is the "neediest" of all on all counts, regarding social services and public safety

- discussed prostitution problem and drug problem, as they are linked together; jail won’t solve the problem, but drug court helps!

- discussed the lack of action taken on the county level to help lift up our quality of life as we pay county taxes as well; suggested the creation of a task force to look into the situation; lots of people have been constantly working on this problem, but many in the rest of the county want to "keep it in the city on Lyell Avenue", hence, if you’re a prostitute, you know where to go for work, and if you are a "john", you know where to find them

- discussed prostitutes’ actions i.e.: knocking on doors, asking residents for money; as they are on drugs; intervention is needed

- respect for city residents, especially here in Lyell-Otis, is lacking from the county officials, as there are prostitutes in Pittsford as well, yet the quality of life remains high there.

- discussed the decrease in prostitution police details, as the city ran out of funding to run them

- the "hooker hotline" worked well for 1 ½ years

- drugs bring the prostitutes here; discussed why it takes so long to shut down the drug houses

- if "busted", a new person is put in place to continue the sales

- discussed the ways to get drug dealers evicted, or build up nuisance points against the property

- discussed how to get the landlords involved; also discussed the problem of out-of-state owners buying multiple properties

- discussed the walking police officers, and why Interfaith seems to have more influence than area residents; program will be assessed after one year

Deputy Chief Shepard will return with updates for us on:

1. Walking beats - we want to see them moved around so the prostitutes/drug dealers won’t know where or when officers will show up

2. Attend our June 11th meeting

3. Look into TV Channel 12 showing booking photos of convicted "johns"

4. Prostitute Hotline

5. Commit to doing two details per month (for now), increase the frequency as soon as possible

City Councilman, Bob Stevenson:

- six court watchers have "watched", in total, 2400 per year

- explained that the judges want to clear the docket as fast as possible

- prostitutes are recidivistic due to their drug addiction

- watchers must follow case after case, but the program works, and parking is reimbursed

- trying to get penalty for prostitution increased to "class A misdemeanor"

- prostitutes can’t be sentenced to drug court, but we hope they take it, as we’d rather have them cured

- Susan John has sponsored this bill, but "downstate" does not back us up

- discussed the high number of people going through the court on a recent Saturday: each one spent less than 2 minutes talking to the A.D.A., the judge, and etc.

- discussed the upcoming city budget vote; lots of cuts and reduction of services

- city budget will be able to be seen online:

- 6/19 will be the public hearing at 7pm regarding the city budget, only one week before the council votes

Remember!!! Please sign up to help with the J.P. Riley Park build!

Meeting Adjourned: 8:35pm

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