Candy Spaulding, president of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, is encouraging the organization’s members to sign up their fellow residents in an effort to win a government grant that could be used for traffic-calming efforts.
During the organization’s Jan. 26 meeting, held at the Concordia Lutheran Church, Spaulding said the association needs to collect about 180 more signatures to achieve the required number of 240, or the funds will go to another neighborhood.
For the program, Sarasota Police Officer Ford Snodgrass and Detective Kim Laster reported on the neighborhood’s crime statistics: Four burglaries and 11 thefts occurred in the previous two months. Noting that petty theft has been the most common problem, Snodgrass offered tips on prevention.
“Theft is a crime of opportunity,” said Snodgrass. “If you make it easy for the criminals, it’s going to happen.”
He suggested residents examine their homes, to determine situations that would be enticing to criminals. Loose bricks or stones near windows, as well as ladders stored outside, make entry easier, he said, while grills and other personal items kept outdoors are ready targets.
During her remarks, Spaulding also stressed the importance of community involvement. With its elections coming up in March, she said the association is planning to appoint a nominating committee for new board members. Spaulding said she hopes to get more people interested in participation.
“Without an active board, we can’t have an association,” she said.
Because members have expressed dissatisfaction with the association’s bi-monthly meeting schedule, those attending the Jan. 26 session voted to hold monthly meetings for the rest of the year. They also voted to suspend the use of postcards to notify residents of the meetings, because of the expense and what some attendees called the relative ineffectiveness of the mailings.