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Councilman has plans to revitalize neighborhoods

May 22, 2004|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

A Waynesboro borough councilman has an idea to revitalize borough neighborhoods, make them safer and improve the quality of life for those who live in them, but the key to success of his plan rests with residents' efforts to get involved.

Jahnathan Cain, who represents the borough's second ward, said Friday that he wants to fashion his proposal after the federal Operation Weed and Seed, which establishes partnerships between police, local government and school officials and citizens to create safer, more livable communities.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice Web site, Operation Weed and Seed is an innovative multiagency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention and community revitalization. It's a strategy aimed at preventing, controlling and reducing crime, drug abuse and other social and economic problems.

Law enforcement and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out" crime. "Seeding" involves bringing in human services for prevention and neighborhood revitalization.

"I'm not looking for another government agency," Cain said. "What I want is to get as many people involved in some way, people who care enough to get up and do something to help the community."

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Waynesboro's problems fall into several categories, he said.

Public safety would deal with crime, drugs, loitering, excessive noise, speeding and other issues.

Economic revitalization would include the issues of downtown revitalization, blight and poverty, among others.

Services for the youth and elderly also would be considered, he said.

"As a councilman, if I am to recommend an ordinance, I'd want to know how it might affect people," Cain said. "This way, we can all help each other."

Cain envisions a steering committee representing police, school and local government officials, nonprofits, health agencies, emergency services and private citizens.

"The idea is to get a map of the borough, mark off problem areas and try to correct them," he said.

Cain is asking anyone who is interested in his proposal to call him at 717-404-3335.

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