"I absolutely have faith in this area. There are tremendous people in this neighborhood. It's just that it's so big it's hard for everyone to connect. We have the largest population and the largest area. Initially, this was eight smaller neighborhoods, and then it was kind of more manageable. But it's hard to figure out how to engage people."
"Has one neighborhood just bled into the next?"
"Yeah, they all have. They were all named after the grade school that was in them and that was the center for that neighborhood and all the kids went to that grade school. Once those small neighborhood schools went out and were torn down, it really changed the way the neighborhoods worked."
"Is part of the answer trying to get those neighborhoods back?"
"I think some people still feel they have that neighborhood. You know, Easton Heights folks, which is up by the cemetery, they've always kind of kept their name. Dutch Town kind of kept its name: this is all Dutch Town over there. So those two neighborhoods kept their names, but the others don't really have a real identity. But they're all very similar neighborhoods."
"So, when you think about the West Ward and you smile, what are you thinking about?"
"I think about all the people that are here. We have amazing people trying to raise families who are struggling with hard times but still are positive and giving, and we have our amazing community gardens, and all that we have done. We are really proud of all that we have done in the West Ward over the past ten years. Seven hundred trees have been planted; I don; know how many facades have been redone, the sidewalk replacements. And this year I did a new program, trying to help the elderly stay in their homes a little longer by going in and checking for safety hazards. We want to keep the home owners."