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But Tom Maggio says that ...
But Tom Maggio says that Neighborhood Watch volunteers also need something else: lessons on policies and plans to keep neighborhoods intact and to rebuild those in decline.
As Tim Hahn reported on Nov. 28, Maggio
shared his knowledge with citizens who serve as Neighborhood Watch captains in a five-week course, "City Planning 101," at Mercyhurst College
Maggio, 45, is chairman of the Erie Neighborhood Watch Council, which helps Neighborhood Watch groups form and assists existing groups with grants and speakers.
The council's website lists 65 participating watch groups.
Some names telegraph the groups' intent: the Area 13 Snoops, the Hammermill Hounds and the Seewolves fit that description.
Other names, such as Baldwin Park
, Kellogg Street
and Perry School Area
, connote location.
The Sigsbee Street Reservoir Dogs Watch group has a name that incorporates geography and mission.
To be effective, such groups must deter crime, but also concentrate on making their neighborhoods attractive for residents and businesses.
According to Maggio, you need a plan to reach those goals, something he stressed when he worked as a project manager for the Erie Redevelopment Authority, which has worked to revitalize Parade Street and Little Italy, among other areas.
Now a freelance grant writer, Maggio has also explained some challenges that government faces in working on neighborhood revitalization, such as the fact that Erie doesn't "quite have a city planning department like other cities do," as he said in May when the City Planning class was announced.
Students in the first class learned about zoning, architecture, housing transportation, economics, retail businesses and urban policy and politics.
Students also talked about names for their neighborhoods, and Maggio
suggested they visit Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh where grass-roots efforts have sparked neighborhood revitalization.
"I call it 'City Planning 101,'" ...
"I call it 'City Planning 101,'" said Tom Maggio, a member of the Erie Neighborhood Watch Council and the course instructor.
said the idea for a Citizen's City Planning Academy
came in the wake of heated debate surrounding the proposed construction of a waste-tires-to-energy plant at the former International Paper Co.
site on East Lake Road.
People didn't understand zoning related to that development, Maggio
"I just thought that people needed a better understanding of those issues so they could form decisions about things," Maggio
"There might be a good project that comes along, and people might not have a good understanding.
We certainly wouldn't want people to oppose a project just because they don't understand some concepts."
said the goal of the academy is to give people the confidence that they can pull other people together to start a planning process for their own neighborhoods, ultimately improving the neighborhoods and the city as a whole.
"I'm hopeful we can get some additional funding to facilitate those meetings," he
For more information or to secure a place in Erie Citizen's City Planning Academy, contact Tom Maggio at email@example.com or call the Erie Neighborhood Watch Council office at 454-3808.
Course instructor Tom ...
Course instructor Tom Maggio, a member of Erie Neighborhood Watch, said the program covers zoning, redevelopment, historic preservation and other basics for urban planning.
"My goal is to teach people, and then they'll be the teachers in turn," he says.
Council has winnowed that list down ...
Council has winnowed that list down to two candidates, John Evans, a certified financial manager, and Tom Maggio, a city planning consultant.
The public deserves to know which council members supported Evans
, which ones supported Maggio
and which council members backed other applicants in the early voting.
Maggio, 46, is a former project manager for the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority and the Erie Redevelopment Authority and former program manager for the Rails to Trails Conservancy in Washington, D.C.
A certified city planner, he has experience with municipal budgets and public works projects, and he's also become known as a strong advocate for Erie neighborhoods.