Mayor Invites Brain Power To Mill Hill Think Tank

From Mayor Bill Finch:

Mayor Bill Finch invites interested citizens and stakeholders in the Mill Hill Neighborhood Revitalization Zone to participate in the Charrette process for the NRZ’s Strategic Plan, Saturday, October 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Harding High School Cafeteria, 1734 Central Avenue.

This Neighborhood Revitalization Zone encompasses the Mill Hill Neighborhood as delineated by the 139th City Council district.

This program, as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Strategic Plan process, will involve neighborhood leaders, architects and landscape architects working with the community for the purpose of building on ideas developed from the Neighborhood Workshop held on June 30 and subsequent committee meetings.

Mill Hill residents, members of the business community, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and youth are encouraged to attend.

The goal of the Charrette is to finalize and prioritize previously proposed physical and cultural quality of life enhancements to the community. The concepts and findings of the Charrette will then be developed into the Mill Hill Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Strategic Plan.

Please confirm your attendance with Beverly Hoppie at (203) 650-9549 or or Samuel Shaw at (203) 576-7139 or by October 25 if possible.

WHERE: Harding High School Cafeteria, 1734 Central Ave., Bridgeport

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, October 27



  1. Neighborhood Revitalization Zones are creations of State Law brought to the City during the Fabrizi administration. They feature a planning stage (with funds from the City/HUD-CDBG depending on the Census tracks involved) and then an implementation phase. John Fabrizi was an enthusiastic supporter at the top, but City guidance was woefully short during the Finch administration with its own BLIGHT HANDLING history.
    Nevertheless, a neigborhood going through the charette process and then deciding to implement, could become organized as a business entity with a tax status, and apply for funds from the City or elsewhere, and participate in the granting of City spending too, although that money goes to projects that may be a lower NRZ priority.
    Finally, the City has made a City Attorney available for advice and answering questions who is credible in recent times. And the several ongoing NRZs have created a “leadership forum” for discussion of problems and opportunities. The Mayor and key staff members were present at election time one year ago to show their interest, and monthly meetings are still held, but they seem to be more a showcase of what the City is doing than an NRZ leadership discussion group. And it appears “conflicts of interest” are not absent (in certain instances) from neighborhood leadership. Instead of growing aware, interested and talented neighbors to participate in volunteer governance, certain leaders seem more interested in being a functioning mouthpiece for City administration. Mutual respect should be present and discussion and listening should take place. It seems too often decisions are made by the City without critical input in the ‘hood, because someone who has the funds made the decision. Lost opportunity, for sure. Do not count on City Council persons to sponsor the entities necessarily, for fear of “competition?” Yet as I have often stated, our CC reps. are overtasked, undersupported in their Council duties with staffing, and only looked at as equals in governance when there is a vote. I will guess there would be those who may disagree with my experience and analysis, but I have sound experience that has informed my viewpoint. Time will tell.

  2. What is JML talking about:
    “And apply for funds from the City or elsewhere, and participate in the granting of City spending too, although that money goes to projects that may be a lower NRZ priority.”
    Finch and Sherwood believe it is their money and not the taxpayers’ and it will be spent as they see fit. Period.

  3. Grin, you have it correctly.
    I stated the theoretical alternative Fabrizi touted every time he talked about NRZs. But the point is that, depending on entity status including tax status, it is possible to apply and spend as an NRZ rather than wait for whatever is left after Citizen’s Union makes their recommendations, then the City Council members change those results and do their own thing without feedback to the Citizen’s Union (of course that is not an obligation on their part, just courtesy around Federal funds), and we all move along with what the City wished to do with new sidewalks in the first place. Curious process for sure. But curiosity gets people to investigate decision processes. And sometimes when those results are posted, they are embarrassing to participants. Perhaps even more than embarrassing because they are conflicts, etc. Time will tell.

  4. *** NRZs are good for local neighborhoods if enough residents get involved. All the city NRZs are on the same page concerning rules & regulations and there’s support from city government. The need to know and be some part of the overall process of what’s happening in one’s local area is very important for success from beginning to end! ***


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