Oxford neighborhood organizing meeting

Neighbors helping neighbors was the theme of a recent meeting of Oxford School district residents.

Quality of life issues and a recent uptick in illegal activity in their neighborhood spurred over 30 residents to gather on March 22 at the home of Peggy Van Buskirk of Montford Road. The group represented a large area of streets bordered by Quilliams, Northampton, Montford, and Monticello roads.

Cleveland Heights Police Commander Mark Lovequist told the group there has been an increase in criminal incidents only in the past month. "This is one of the quietest neighborhoods around," he said.

Lovequist said keeping porch lights on at night, locking doors, and keeping eyes and ears open were important citizen elements in keeping crime at bay.

Caring about and looking out for one another is key, he said. He told the group to organize themselves to be better heard at city hall. "There's strength in numbers," he said. "As citizens, you hold the answer. You know the composition of the neighborhood."

Other concerns were unruly youth, vacant homes, theft, and trash and debris. Lovequist said non police issues can best be resolved if people work directly together.

Kathy Soltis, who has lived in the neighborhood since the early 80's, is devoted to her neighbors. "We do look out for each other. Everybody knows everybody else. I feel blessed to be here."

The group will be meeting again on Monday, March 30, at 6:30 pm at the Oxford Elementary School Media Center.  

The meeting is open to the public.

Sarah Wean is a FutureHeights volunteer.

Read More on Neighborhoods
Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.27.2009