The neighborhood residents and their respective Neighborhood Association are two totally different things. Most NAs have their own agenda, set by their (usually self-appointed and unelected) board members. It's also no secret that they are very hostile to things a modern functioning city should have, like local retail and bike lanes. All in the name of protecting their free parking and restricting development to prop up their own home values.
Agreed 100%. I don't really care one way or the other about Prato Bakery but having lived in two different neighborhoods of Jersey City, I didn't feel that either NA represented my or even the majority of the neighborhood's interest. They were largely led by loudmouths who couldn't get elected on the city council to save their lives. Instead, they would become leaders of these NAs to get the attention they so desperately craved, showing up at every council meeting and grilling the council members with question after stupid question, making the meetings go four hours or longer when those of us who only want to hear about a few things or ask one question have to go to work tomorrow. They never spoke for me, or the neighborhood, just for themselves and what they thought was good for the neighborhood by virtue of having living in it so long.
In fairness, the NA in one neighborhood did organize social events from time to time and they did a good job of that. That's what NAs should do to help improve the area, but instead they just take up time at city council meetings and think they represent everyone in their neighborhood, when they don't - not legally or in any other way.
VVPA does do many social events, which they do a good job with and I'm glad that they do.
Look at their agendas and meeting minutes though - it's almost entirely centered around either a) fighting some development/variance b) parking c) going after businesses for whatever reason or another.
A good many of the trees in our neighborhood were just butchered and cut down (on Barrow St.) with no replacements, completely ruining the look of the block. There are a good deal of empty tree pits and lots of opportunities to create many more. The VV neighborhood has much better architecture than Paulus Hook, IMO, but PH just looks better because of the tree density. Why is the VVPA not raising hell with the city over this? This is a big quality of life issue and affects property values via curb appeal.
Also - there's a good chunk of sidewalk on Montgomery between Grove and Barrow (in front of an abandoned looking building, though a sign on the door says its not) that's literally crumbled away and is a health hazard. Where is the VVPA in getting the city to go after these deadbeat property owners? Someone could literally trip and get injured because of this.
Not to mention allllll the issues with litter/trash in the area. I've had to go after the city myself to get more of those public receptacles put in place to reduce this. VVPA didn't lift a finger to help. No, they spend their energy bitching about parking and trying to run out new developments they don't like.
This is definitely off topic and not related to Prato, but this is one of the many problems I have with these groups.