BY JAMES HARPER
Zone 6 City Commissioner Paula Reed is calling on the residents in her zone to get involved and become members of two Neighborhood Watch groups she is helping to get started.
“I can’t do this alone,” Reed said in an interview this week announcing the formation of the groups, as well as some things she hopes to accomplish during her first term in office.
Part of city’s growth
Reed said it is in her plans that residents of Zone 6 are not left behind as growth takes place in other areas of the city, particularly with the announcement of a Hard Rock Café that may be built on A1A, as well as expansion plans announced earlier this year by International Speedway Corporation.
Reed noted all these projects are taking place outside her zone, but she supports them because in the long run it could mean more jobs for the people she represents – especially construction jobs.
Beginning in June and continuing on the second Monday of every month, The Zone Neighborhood Watch South will have meetings for residents living south of International Speedway Boulevard. The meetings will take place at the Activity Building located in the John H. Dickerson Center Complex. Meetings will start 6 p.m.
Reed said she and several residents went to a Neighborhood Watch meeting Monday in Zone 5 to pick up pointers to start their own group.
Reed said when the South group kicks off, she hopes to start a second Neighborhood Watch group for residents of her zone who live north of ISB, but the decision will ultimately be up to the residents if they think the zone needs two group.
“It has to be citizen-driven. This will not be a time for residents to offer up gripes,” Reed said, adding that in order to accomplish some of the goals she hopes to achieve for her zone and the entire city, she will need the help of her residents.
Focus on Midtown
Reed recently toured the Midtown area of the city, which has a heavy Black population, with Daytona Beach Redevelopment Director Reed Berger and Charles Bryant. She called what she witnessed “deplorable.”
On her list of things to do is the repaving of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. She also wants abandoned and neglected buildings demolished.
Reed said the idea of forming a Neighborhood Watch group came after she met with residents of Russell and Willie Streets who were upset with a rash of break-ins that had occurred in their area. Reed said it is time for the residents to take back their neighborhood, some of which are still centers of crime.
Talk to the chief
During the upcoming Neighborhood Watch meetings, Reed said residents will have an opportunity to address their concerns to Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood. There will also be opportunities when other departments of the city will present them with information to improve their qualify of life in the city.
Elected last November to her first term as the Zone 6 commissioner, Reed says she wants to do more to help the area be successful and attract more businesses and residents.