By JEN APOIAN
Last Tuesday evening, board members of the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association elected John Clark president.
“First of all, I’m going to make a two-hour speech,” he joked.
Instead of a two-hour speech, he told members of the association they need to work together “on a variety of avenues” to get goals accomplished.
“I’ve been involved in this stuff for 17 years,” Clark said. He felt his years of experience would help the association accomplish both short- and long-term goals.
Board members elected Clark by acclamation, meaning he had no formal opponents. He did face some debate, however, when association member Mike Martin expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of nominees. Association members cannot be elected because nominees must be part of the board of directors.
“I’m really sorry there’s no one else running for president,” Martin said. “I’m not sure (this election) doesn’t represent a bit of going backwards.”
He also criticized the president-focused agenda. “It’s got to be everyone,” he said. “Not this top-down leadership. I want to feel like this is a group effort.”
NCCNA elections are a matter for the association’s board of directors. Tuesday night there were 12 present who elected Clark.
There are 15 seats available for members. North Central resident Rosa Whittington filled one vacancy, leaving two open. The vote was unanimous.
The association also discussed:
- Forming committees of three to four people to work on projects
- Creating a Neighborhood Watch Program
- Working on community gardens
A few members suggested changing the format of discussions, eliminating time limits.
“Rethinking about shared goals and ambitions is what I got out of tonight,” Clark said.
This year was unusual since elections were postponed to fill a vacancy until Tuesday night. Former president Scott Dean resigned July 5 because he moved to the Benton-Stephens neighborhood. Presidents serve until May, when elections are typically held.
The next North Central Neighborhood Association meeting is Sept. 14. The location is still being decided.