2 min read
Posted on 06.05.05
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 06.05.05

I strongly support efforts to improve the efficiency and focus of the Neighborhood Stabilization Team. As a former alderman myself, I know how frustrating it can be to have a bad or badly supervised NSO assigned to your ward. I also know how effective an energetic, smart, responsive NSO can be.

That’s why, in partnership with senior aldermen, I have proposed a restructuring of the NST. The proposal keeps the NSOs within the Department of Public Safety.

A letter outlining the proposed restructuring - which will have no impact on the budget - has been forwarded to Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury and members of the Board of Aldermen.

If a majority of aldermen concur, the Neighborhood Stabilization program will work like this:

  • The chief objective of the NST will remain the improvement of the quality of life in our neighborhoods, with a definitive focus on solving neighborhood problems.

  • All NSOs will report to a newly named Senior Neighborhood Stabilization Officer, who will be directly responsible for their performance. The Senior NSO will, in turn, report to the Neighborhood Development Executive in my office.

  • Job descriptions for all NSOs will clearly spell out their responsibilities, objectives, standards of performance, pace of work, required skill sets, and rating methodologies.

  • The work of a successful NSO will require a more explicit focus on neighborhood quality of life issues, including a strong understanding of property maintenance codes; a greater involvement with neighborhood groups and ward organizations; and a more formal consultation process with the aldermen representing the neighborhoods.

  • All NSOs will be required to keep detailed records of problems identified and their solutions, including dates and methodology.

  • The job performance ratings of all NSOs will include feedback from the aldermen, residents, and businesses in whose areas the NSOs work.

    Our goal with the Neighbor Stabilization program - like the successful Problem Properties program - is to attack the problems that threaten the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and eradicate these problems one by one.

    Achieving this goal will require a system; a focus; and a lot of accountability - to me, to the aldermen, and to all of our neighborhood residents and businesses.

    Neighborhood stabilization is one of the City’s highest priorities - and I am committed to taking the steps necessary for success.

    As usual, I welcome your suggestions - especially the ones that include your name and City address.