Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Open Committee Chairs in OSHNA

OSHNA needs volunteers for the following committee chairs. These committees play a significant role in influencing the quality of life in Seminole Heights. It was the Highways and Byways Committee that led the battle when FDOT wanted to widen Hillsborough Avenue. The work of this committee led to both the brick wall, the linear park and the period street lights. The Historic Preservation Committee has had a key role in the formation of both Historic Districts, the district design standards, and the residential overlay district. Code Enforcement Committee has been consistantly brought issues to the city that needed to be addressed to help control nusiance properties that hurt the quality of life in the neighborhood. These volunteer positions help enhance the desirability of our neighborhood. If you have been looking for a way to be involved in promoting your neighborhood (and protecting the investment you have made in living in Old Seminole Heights) here are three opportunities.

If, after reading the following job descriptions, you feel that you would like to be considered for one of these chairmanships, please email OSHNA's President, Susan Long, to express your interest. Also, if you know of someone who you feel would be interested in any of the described positions, please approach them and ask that they contact Susan Long.

Code Enforcement Committee: The basic purpose of this committee is to encourage the proper care and maintenance of commercial and residential properties in the Seminole Heights area through the enforcement of applicable building, zoning and minimum housing codes.Pridefully promoting Seminole Heights because of its beauty, would be an important qualification for serving as chairperson of this committee. A willingness to speak in person with code violators, encouraging them through your positive suggestions to achieve compliance. Taking time to assess the true reason for their failure to maintain their property to an acceptable standard. This could be due to illness, finances or feeling overwhelmed by too much responsibility. Become familiar with neighborhood organizations or City government resources that you could suggest as possible help for them. When necessary, offer to contact these resources on the resident's behalf. Always encourage rather than threaten. However, if "friendly persuasion" is not successful, your committee will have no choice but to report the resident/owner as being unwilling to comply with City Codes, and report them as violators.A positive approach can make chairing this committee both challenging and deeply rewarding. You will need several dedicated OSHNA members to serve on your committee.

Historic Preservation Committee: The primary purpose of this committee is to protect Seminole Heights as an area of historic significance. It will be helpful to have knowledge, or to gain knowledge, of the history of Seminole Heights. Your primary focus will be to appreciate the architecture and greenspaces preserved for us by our early residents. You will need to have the dedicated commitment to publicly protest the willingness of our State and local governments to allow the destruction of our historic areas in order to replace or modernize them for financial gain. This is an extremely important committee which requires its members to fearlessly fight to preserve the history of our long-revered neighborhood.

Highways and Byways Committee: This committee purpose is to identify the transportation needs and problems of the Seminole Heights area. This committee needs to work hand-in-glove cooperatively with the City, County and State road departments. We need to insist on being notified of any plans that will impact, positively or negatively, our neighborhood roads. As the City continues to grow and many new plans are being presented pertaining to transportation and roadway changes, the Highways and Byways Committee is of critical importance for the future of our neighborhood.

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