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Neighborhood Watch meeting brings crowd

Posted: Thursday, Aug 7th, 2014


Police Chief James Grayson presented his PowerPoint on crime to those who attended the latest Neighborhood Watch meeting on Thursday, July 31. Photo by John McEvoy




MONTE VISTA – More than 50 people came to the latest Neighborhood Watch meeting at the information center in Monte Vista on Thursday, July 31. The program is picking up steam with more and more interested people coming to the meetings and signing up to participate.

Police Chief James Grayson presented a PowerPoint on crime and issues in the community, to very good effect. 

“Chief Grayson started off with some history and told the group that in 1994 the city had 18 police officers, but then the city filed bankruptcy and officers had to be cut. He also told the group that Monte Vista is still recovering from its financial hardships in the mid 90s,” said Mayor Debbie Garcia. “Currently, we have nine officers paid with city funds and three officers paid for with grant money.”

Town Manager Forrest Neuerburg spoke about the sales tax proposal that was brought up by some community members at the last meeting. 

“He told the group that he roughly figured .35 percent mils would generate $120,000 a year, which could pay for two additional officers’ salaries and benefits, said Garcia. “This would take Monte Vista sales tax to 2.35 percent.”

City Attorney Eugene Farish told the group that the last sales tax increase was about 40 years ago. 

There was also some discussion about money being used for treatment and prevention. 

“Community members that are interested in pursuing the tax issue were asked to sign up to be on a committee,” said Neuerburg. “This committee would formulate use, cost and a plan for petitioning the community.” 

Neuerburg told the group that this must be a community effort and that five percent of all registered voters would need to sign a petition in order to get the proposal on the ballot.

The National Night Out Tuesday, Aug. 5, was also discussed. 

According to the website “National Night Out,” America’s Night Out Against Crime, began in 1984 in an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Grayson said the community is in the process of rebuilding and he would like the block captains to get out and go for a walk and knock on everyone’s door as they go and invite everyone to come out and walk together as a neighborhood and recruit new members. 

“Block captains can do a ‘block party’ in their neighborhood or at the closest playground or park,” said Grayson. “If the community can get the Neighborhood Watch Program up and thriving again, then next year the city will host a cookout and ice cream party for a 1,000 people.”

Officer Wil Pena presented information to the block captains, urging them to bring out their neighbors and go celebrate the neighborhoods that evening. 

“It was a very constructive and positive meeting,” said Garcia.

For the complete article see the 08-06-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-06-2014 paper.











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