Intro by Tasha Corson

Dear Neighbor,

As you may or may not know, an election was recently held to decide the future of the Official Westgate Blockwatch leadership. Tasha Corson is the newly elected Westgate Blockwatch Coordinator, and she’s very excited to create a new, inclusive program for our community. Today, we are writing to you in hopes that you will join us in our common goal of keeping Westgate a safe, united neighborhood, and to give you an idea of what’s to come.

The Election

First and foremost, about that election…For many of the most ardent crime & safety advocates in the neighborhood, the entire situation surrounding the need for an election, the workings of the past blockwatch, and even individual personalities within the blockwatch, became very contentious.

It is the intention of the new blockwatch leadership to create a bond amongst all of us neighbors, and we cannot begin to do that without expressing our gratitude and admiration for the years of service that Pam Weaver, our former blockwatch coordinator, has selflessly provided over the years. Pam had already been a tireless volunteer for many Hilltop organizations, including Camp Chase Blockwatch, Hilltop Kiwanis, the Greater Hilltop Area Commission, and the Hilltop Business Association, when the Westgate Blockwatch coordinator, Karen Lorenz, passed away. Pam took on the nearly impossible task of trying to coordinate both blockwatches, representing about 3,000 residents. Whether we know it or not, every resident of Westgate has benefitted in some way from Pam’s undying devotion to the community, and we should all express to her our gratitude for her time, energy, and personal investment in us, her neighbors. Thank you, Pam Weaver. Thank you for the many decades of care you’ve given to Westgate and the Greater Hilltop Area.

As part of the new blockwatch structure, we will be expanding the Official Westgate Blockwatch boundaries. From now on, we will be covering Wilson Rd to the neighbors on the west side of Hague Ave. and the neighbors on the south side of W. Broad St. to the neighbors on the north side of Sullivant Avenue. We would like to extend a personal invitation to the businesses within those boundaries to participate and join us in creating a more secure neighborhood.

New Structure

While Tasha has been elected our new blockwatch coordinator, the Westgate Blockwatch is now led by a group of neighbors with different talents and perspectives to serve the community. Because Westgate has evolved so much in the last few years, we are starting the blockwatch over from scratch, hoping to meet the needs and different levels of participation expressed to us by various neighbors over the last year. Are you more tuned in to online resources? We’re making an outlet for you. Are you completely disconnected from the internet or cell phones? We will keep in you the loop, and hopefully, strengthen communications with you. Do you want real-time updates about crimes in progress or are you more comfortable with keeping crime and safety information coming in periodically? We’ll have both options available.

One change that we are definitely making is steering away from the use of the Nextdoor website. After careful review by the new Blockwatch team, it has been discovered that too much control over fake accounts, neighbors who’ve moved, and bad actors lies with Nextdoor’s corporate offices, and neighbors need to feel free to share their crime info without fear of having their posts removed or seen by the perpetrators of the crimes. While we appreciate the intentions of the Nextdoor Westgate leads to make it a polite space, it’s simply too complicated for the average neighbor to navigate, and reaches too few neighbors to bother spending time and energy with updates. All official blockwatch communications will be funneled to the Westgate Blockwatch Forums, Facebook group, and direct snail mail/email communications.

The upcoming changes to the blockwatch are both exciting and multi-faceted. We’re working diligently to sort out how the new blockwatch will be structured, and it’s going to take some time to do it with care and thought. Please be patient with us as we work to figure out how to best serve you, our friends and neighbors.

Last, but certainly not least, we want to hear from you. If we’re going to meet the needs of our community, we need input from those who care most about the safety and security of the place they call home. How involved are you willing to be? Can you help us defray the costs of mailings or the website? What are your concerns about how we will operate in the future?

 Thank you so much for your time and consideration. We are excited to work with the entire neighborhood, well-established and new.

Sincerely,
Tasha Corson

 

Tasha Corson, Coordinator & Zone 1 – tasha@westgateblockwatch.org

Cassy Wadsworth, Zone 2 Captain – zone2@westgateblockwatch.org

David Jennings, Zone 3 Captain – zone3@westgateblockwatch.org

Elliott Sigman, Zone 4 Captain – zone4@westgateblockwatch.org

Heather Corson, Zone 5 Captain – zone5@westgateblockwatch.org

Kevin Campbell, Zone 6 Captain – zone6@westgateblockwatch.org

Josh Maddox, Zone 7 Captain – zone7@westgateblockwatch.org

Paige Ferriot, Zone 8 Captain – zone8@westgateblockwatch.org