From earlier meetings to childcare, community council seeks ways to grow

The Mountain View Community Council is making moves to boost membership.

On Monday, the council agreed to begin its meetings earlier in the evening and explore the possibility of providing childcare for families attending the regular monthly gatherings.

“The goal is to get as many people as possible to our meetings,” said MVCC President Jasmin Smith, speaking to attendees at a Feb. 12 council meeting. “We have a very large and diverse community with a lot of families with kids, and I know that there are some families who would like to come, but the idea of getting a babysitter or paying for somebody to watch their kids to come to a free volunteer event on a school night is not always feasible.”

Council meetings take place in the basement of the Mountain View Community Center on the second Monday of each month, and the council voted unanimously to move meeting times from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning in March.

The meetings are open to the public, and Mountain View business and property owners, nonprofits and residents 16 and older all have voting rights. Though council meetings regularly draw more than two dozen attendees, often fewer than half of them are residents. Council leaders hoped the earlier meeting start time would be more accessible for both parents and teenagers living in the neighborhood.

The Mountain View Boys & Girls Club closes at 6:30 p.m., and starting the meetings while the club is still open might help introduce teens to council participation, said MVCC Vice President Tasha Hotch.

“I think it would be nice if we started while there were still members here, so we could try to be more inclusive of some of our young people,” she said. “A lot of the decisions we’re making do impact them.”

The question of providing childcare at the community center during meetings is an ongoing discussion. After seeking council member support for the idea at the Feb. 12 meeting, Smith said she would continue researching the options and requirements — insurance needs, budget details and possible providers — and present more information for a possible council vote in March.

At the end of the day, she said, the ideas were a means to growing neighborhood participation in the community council — a neighborhood-run body with real power to make change.

“We have a big community, and I think we could really tap into seeing more people come,” she said.

The next Mountain View Community Council meeting is scheduled to take place March 12 at 6 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center, 315 Price St.

Categories: News

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