Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 7, 2014

Coalition: Gaining traction

Last fall a group of representatives from local businesses and organizations began meeting to discuss ways to address some of the challenges facing the community. As the meetings evolved, the group recognized that there are many organizations and individuals that are invested in community betterment. What was needed was a hub to bring the groups together so that the organizations could work more efficiently and have improved communication.

The ad hoc group adopted the name “Community Improvement Coalition,” or CIC, and began meeting every Friday morning at the Chamber of Commerce office.

“We visualize a wheel with the Community Improvement Coalition as a hub and the vital community organizations as the spokes,” said CIC leader and Chamber President Dennis Peters.

One of the first projects of the group was starting the Positively CommUNITY feature which appears in the Daily Iowegian.

“We have tremendous volunteers here and they usually do not want recognition, but it’s important that we thank people for bettering our community and helping others. The goal is to inspire others to get involved in something they care about,” Peters said.

The CIC hopes to bring together local organizations to work together on projects that share common goals. According CIC member Neil MacArthur, the group has been compiling a list of organizations with contact names and information as well a mission statements.

“This will give us a better understanding of the purpose of each organization. Our hope is that we can create an effective network to share resources, ideas, eliminate duplication of efforts and promote unity through enhanced communication,” MacArthur said.

Brad Dittmer, a member of the CIC who is a local pastor and business owner, went on to say that the CIC also wants to identify organizations with projects that need volunteer assistance.

“If you use the wheel analogy, with the local organizations making the wheel turn, you can take it one step further and recognize that, with community involvement, there will be more traction,” Dittmer said.

Organizations with volunteer project ideas are asked to contact the Chamber of Commerce.

The CIC is planning a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall for organizations to share ideas for working together. The public is invited to attend. The CIC also meets every Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. All interested persons are invited.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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