‘Neighborhood Commission’ project proposed to address Kingsport community concerns

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Everyone living in the city of Kingsport could soon have a way to take their urgent concerns straight to the city’s top officials.

The One Kingsport Advisory Commission presented five big ideas for projects they think could impact the city, including creating a brand new Neighborhood Commission.

Those top 5 ideas include upgrading Bays Mountain Park and building an outdoor entertainment venue downtown, but one of the ideas was also putting together a Neighborhood Commission to address the concerns of people living in every Kingsport neighborhood.

As a member on the Lynn Garden Community Cares Board, Rob Ferguson hears some of the things people living in the neighborhood have wanted to change.

“Lot of people were upset, unnerved and worried about where their community was going,” Ferguson said. “Lighting, extra lighting down the streets, extra lighting around the schools.”

Soon, they could share their concerns through a new outlet.

“It would give quick access for neighbors who live in those neighborhoods to the city folks,” Chair of the One Kingsport Summit Advisory Commission, Jane Henry, said.

The One Kingsport commission presented an idea to the Kingsport BMA proposing a brand new Neighborhood Commission.

“The idea would be to divide the city into divisions and have representatives from each of those areas,” Henry said. “I think one thing that we feel like is important is to have at least one BMA member serve as a liaison between the group and the BMA so they could share information back and forth.”

So, Henry says, each of the city’s nearly 100 neighborhoods could have their voices heard.

“A lot of times people are frustrated, they don’t know who to go to, they don’t feel they’re getting answers,” said Henry. “We’d like to streamline that process so that they get faster access to information and to share any concerns they have.”

Those concerns Henry says can range from something as simple as a new neighbor needing to know when garbage pick up is, to major safety issues, like those brought up a few months ago in the Lynn Garden community.

“That was certainly factored in in the discussions that if a group like this were in place that maybe quicker answers could be gotten or action taken,” said Henry.

The neighborhood commission would likely have 12-15 members, and the first step would be deciding guidelines and how to choose representation.

The program could be in place within the next few months.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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