Sioux Falls City government representatives are encouraging citizens to get together. Talk to each other, and city employees, about what is going on in our neighborhoods, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

City money and staff are being used to make phone calls and hold meetings to lead and guide the creation of neighborhood groups.(Contact information at the end of this article).

There are several areas of town with active and successful organizations. Whittier, Cathedral, All Saints, and Pettigrew Heights groups are involved in clean up, crime, safety, city construction projects, nuisance abatement, and building code violations, affecting those areas. You have probably heard of those neighborhoods and the work neighbors are doing, because they are making a difference.

In today's fast paced world, we rarely spend time with the people who live where we live. Waving and nodding at neighbors when the lawn is being mowed, snow shoveled, or coming and going to work, is about the only contact we have.

Personally, I wish more homes had front porches. There is something "connecting" about sitting on the porch, reading the paper, drinking coffee, as we watch the life and energy of our neighborhood before us. It is easier to stop and visit for a few minutes when the porch is occupied.

If you want to know what those rascals at city hall have planned for your area, if you want to improve the appearance and feel of your neighborhood, join a  group. You can have an impact. You don't have to spend money or create a "legal entity." Your investment would be some time, energy, and maybe a pot of coffee. Not much when you consider the benefits of a cleaner, safer, friendlier place to live and grow.

Contact the Sioux Falls Department of Community Development, 367-8888. Ask for Darrin Smith or Adam Roach. Tell them Rick sent you.