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NAC closed the week with two insightful discussions about ways to promote unity among those seeking similar goals for New Albany’s future.

Continuing the discussion: What prevents us from “joining hands,” and where to go from here?

UPDATED: A discussion: What is preventing us from joining hands?

Thinking along the same lines, the Tribune guest columnist John Alton puts the ball into play:

Alton: Take out the trash in New Albany … all of it; Use citizens to help police the problem, by John Alton, guest local columnist.

Laws and ordinances that improve a community’s quality of life are ineffective unless they’re enforced. Enforcement is not only the role of the police department. It is most effective when police work in partnership with the community and us — its citizens, local public agencies and the courts.

John writes about neighborhood watch groups, and as if on cue, the Tribune provides an example of such groups in action:

Neighborhood watch leads to two drug arrests; NAPD officer very proud of West Enders, by Jennifer Rigg (News-Tribune).

Calls and tips from residents of the West End Neighborhood Watch Program prompted investigations into two West End homes that resulted in three drug arrest.

The West End program eschews politics, but the latter remains very much with us:

New Albany budget debate starts; Wrangling likely over $3.3 million, by Ben Zion Hershberg (short shelf life for Courier-Journal links).

Coping with a large deficit in the Street Department, finding ways to trim a sewer-rate increase and funding a state-ordered early retirement program would make it difficult enough to write a 2007 budget for New Albany.

At the same time, the City Council must figure out during its budget discussions, which started this week, how to allocate a $3.3 million windfall among the city’s numerous financial needs.

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