Oliver Kroner was elected the new president of the Northside Community Council (NCC) on January 27th. He has been a resident of Northside most of his life. He is an environmental scientist who works for TERA, Inc. and he is very excited about the future of Northside.
Q: Why did you want to be president of the Northside Community Council? What do you bring to the role?
A: I have had friends say to me in the past, that they don’t vote, because no matter which way they vote on an issue they never notice a change in their lives. One of my favorite things about NCC, is that when an issue is presented, we cast our votes—and then a week, or maybe a month later you are driving to work and you see the changes happening. It feels good to know you played a part in making Northside what it is.
Q: What is your vision for the community council and the community? Where do you see the community and NCC in five years?
A: I grew up in Northside, on Brookside. For three decades now, I have watched Northside’s ups and downs. This neighborhood has incredible momentum – young families buying their first homes, new businesses sprouting up, two brand new schools, a newly renovated rec center, and now a major new develoPMent in the heart of our neighborhood. We seem to be in the middle of the biggest develoPMent boon this place has seen in 100 years. This is an era of growth and change for Northside. NCC is here to guide this growth.
Q: What are your priorities for the NCC and the Northside community beginning with your tenure?
A: 1) Schools! With the surge of strollers seen through the streets of Northside, developing strong community schools will be a top priority. As a Dad, I hope to walk my son down the street to school, but we have some work to do at Parker Woods or Chase to meet my wife’s standards! Sue Wilke and our Education Committee are leading this effort on behalf of NCC.
2) Food! The restaurant scene is alive and well, but we need better grocery options in Northside. With the loss of Sav-a-lot, we suddenly find ourselves looking like a food desert.
3) Teenagers! If you were a teenager in Northside, where would you hang out? We need to augment the good work of Happen Inc., Wordplay, Northside Soccer, and others to provide more ways to engage teens in Northside.
Q: Do you expect to launch any new initiatives or relaunch existing ones?
A: We have so many initiatives in motion right now – sustaining The Northsider, building a skate park, growing the youth soccer program, upgrading recycling in the business district, cleaning up the bus stops…. There are so many people working really hard to make these successful.
I work as an environmental scientist for the local non-profit TERA, so you can expect a focus on green projects around town. For example, we will be working on a street tree planting initiative early this year.
Barry is a retired city planner and is currently on the Northside Community Council, the Northside COP team, and is heading up the Save-a-lot replacement committee.