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The room at the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center was once again packed last night for the fourth meeting since December as business owners, residents and organizational leaders shared ideas on how to come together in a mutually satisfactory manner for the good of the whole of Pollock Pines.
One gentleman who had not been at the other three meetings asked the question that had been asked at all of the other meetings, “I moved here because I like it the way it is. Why are you trying to change it?”
Before Supervisor Norma Santiago could respond, another business owner replied, “Change is happening every day. Pollock Pines is no longer what it was 10 years ago (many people chimed in their assent) and if we do nothing to keep it maintained and ‘glorious,’ it will become a ghost town.”
Another business owner replied, “I’m afraid that in a few more years, our schools will not be able to remain open. When my daughter was in Pinewood Elementary, there were 1,300 students in the district; now I think there are only around 700.”
And yet another young mom who had lived in Pollock Pines as a kid, but who had moved away and has recently returned with a husband and a baby clearly stated how much the town has changed since she was a kid growing up here. She said she painted the community to her husband from her wonderful memories and he is seeing the community in an entirely different way; her concern is for the numbers of people (young and old) that she sees using drugs and that definitely needs to be changed. And so the comments continued as Supervisor Santiago continued to invite the audience to share their thoughts and feelings about the community we all love. The “need for change” became one of ways to keep our community the way we love it as opposed to changing it into something we don’t want.
When it was clear that change can mean good things happen, it came time to decide how and who to help make those things happen. The how is through the creation of a Community Advisory Council (CAC) that will be an information-gathering group of self-selected community people from various interest groups (community-selected) within the community. The CAC will report directly to the Board of Supervisors. It will not be a “policing” agency; it will not have enforcement capabilities, but it will have the ears of all of the supervisors. The critical piece is that it will be a broad-based group of people representing specific areas as outlined last night by the community, i.e. seniors, schools and youth, businesses, residents (homeowner associations and mobile home parks included), safety, etc.
Supervisor Santiago will be sending out notifications to the entire community via press releases and e-mails to attendees to ensure that every avenue of communication has been used. Service organizations will also distribute e-mails, and information for applications to the CAC will be on the Safeway Marquee. Interested businesses will keep notifications in their shops, as well. Word of mouth will be an important factor as the special interest groups self-select their representative on Wednesday, May 15 at 6 p.m. at the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center.
Pollock Pines is postured for success.