|BG moves toward creating a 'town and gown' committee|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:11|
The Community Improvement Committee of Bowling Green City Council took the initial steps Monday night toward establishing a City-University Relations Committee.
A draft ordinance prepared by Committee Chairperson Daniel Gordon was extensively discussed and changed during an hour-long session. Gordon said the committee would hold another meeting and also share details of the proposal with Bowling Green State University officials.
Committee Member John Zanfardino said the idea is an outgrowth of a trip by about 20 BG officials and residents to Oxford, Ohio, home of a Miami University, in 2013. "After talking to people in Oxford it seems to me this could be a valuable commission," Zanfardino said. The Oxford commission was formed in the late 1980s.
"This has the potential to be helpful," Committee Member Robert McOmber said. "There is no silver bullet out there that will ever solve every issue. It is worth giving it a try."
Gordon said he views the effort as a long-term one aimed at improving town-gown relations.
The draft proposed a 17-member commission, which Mayor Richard Edwards said "seemed a little unwieldy to me."
Municipal Administrator John Fawcett also thought the number too large, citing a military study indicating more than 12 members on a committee was an "unwieldy instrument not leading to effective decision making."
The discussion led to a reduction to 12 members to be made up of four BGSU students, at least one being a graduate student; three community members; and ex-officio members representing the East Side Neighborhood Association, city council, city administration, BGSU and the local landlord association.
Edwards said he had told BGSU officials that such a group was being discussed. The committee indicated details need to shared with BGSU to help gauge interest there. Additional details need to be worked out regarding how the commission will report or make recommendations.
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