first_imgThe stakeholder meetings will conclude with a meeting of representatives from the business community, chambers of commerce and government entities on Thursday. City staff members plan to present the program to the City Council at a meeting on March5. The plan will have eight pieces: youth engagement; establishing city-owned “neighborhood houses;” greatly expanding Neighborhood Watch; starting a “citizen academy;” conducting family education and mediation; establishing neighborhood commissions; providing grants and loans to fix up homes; and encouraging volunteerism. In the area of youth engagement, Palmdale officials said the city wants to go beyond just providing sports programs as an alternative to crime. That could mean providing such things as counseling, mentoring programs, or vocational programs. The idea of neighborhood houses is an extension of an old idea. In the past, as the city focused on redeveloping particular areas, officials used a home as a base to provide neighbors with information on city programs available to them – homes that would then be sold off as projects ended. PALMDALE – Palmdale officials will hold a series of meetings next week with a variety of community organizations to help craft a citizen-based crime-fighting plan. The goal of these “stakeholder” meetings is to help the city flesh out a new program dubbed Partners for a Better Palmdale. Details of the plan are being formulated, but city officials said the program will be neighborhood-based and will have a heavy volunteer component. “We hope to inform the stakeholders of what we’re doing, solicit their input and solicit them as partners as we move forward,” Mayor Jim Ledford said. “For this program to be successful, they have to be on board.” On Tuesday, the city will meet with representatives from churches, schools and the Sheriff’s Department. That will be followed Wednesday with a meeting with representatives of nonprofit, service, faith-based and youth organizations. The city now wants to have such homes as permanent bases. The city also wants to expand its Neighborhood Watch program. There are about 200 Neighborhood Watch efforts in the city, and hundreds more are envisioned. The idea of a citizen academy is to provide training about how city government works and what programs and resources are available to its residents. The academy could be used to help train volunteers working on various elements of the plan or just to better educate residents who want to learn more about the city. The plan calls for creating neighborhood commissions composed of representatives of such interested parties as schools, churches, service organizations and law enforcement. The commissions could help get the word out about available programs and see what efforts need to be enacted to improve a neighborhood. The city also is looking to see what kinds of grants and loan programs could be made available to help residents spruce up their homes and neighborhoods. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more