NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance
Nicholas T. Kakos
Occupation: Certified Public Accountant
Address: 3240 Humboldt Ave. S. (55408)
Neighborhood of Residence: East Calhoun (ECCO)
Years in Neighborhood: 57 years
Years in Minneapolis: Life
E-Mail: None listed
- How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
Lifetime experience working as a volunteer leader, organizer or director in community, church, school or youth recreation programs has provided me a strong base of understanding the needs and capability to work effectively with neighborhood organizations. As a Protection Neighborhood Representative the past 7 years, I have learned to project and provide guidance and direction on an equitable basis to the NRP program on a citywide basis.
- What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
The strengths of the NRP program is derived from the tremendous volunteer citizen participation involvement enabling neighborhoods to determine their own needs and priorities and cooperatively develop and implement their own plans in attaining their community's long term visionary strategic objectives. From an overall viewpoint, there are no significant weaknesses in the NRP program. Policy and procedural changes implemented during the past three years have streamlined the NRP process, which has greatly reduced concerns of high citizen participation turnover and burn-out.
- How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
I was Chairperson of the East Calhoun NRP Steering Committee for 3 years directly responsible for development of the neighborhood's Action Plan. Served as active participant on East Calhoun Neighborhood Organization's Board of Directors which is responsible for implementation of the Phase I Action Plan. Currently serving as Chairman of ECCO's Zoning Committee.
- How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
Experience has shown it is very difficult to maintain direct communication and attend meetings of all 31 Protection Neighborhoods. Currently, all relevant information, issues, policy changes are effectively communicated to the neighborhoods by NRP staff under the direction of the Policy Board through its Executive Director which adequately provides each neighborhood with up to date information. Nonetheless, I would always make myself available when requested to attend meetings, provide information, counsel, guidance and any assistance to neighborhood when needed.
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
The Tax Revenue changes enacted by the State Legislature in 2001 created serious funding problems for the City of Minneapolis and NRP. The recent passage of the Lane Ordinance by the City Council provides some basic source for continued funding of NRP on a limited basis. Because of my financial experience and knowledge of NRP's intricate financial structure, I would concentrate on exploring other sources of obtaining additional funding for NRP. In addition, I would also endeavor to assure that distribution of the limited funding is allocated to the neighborhoods on a fair and equitable basis.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
My 7 years on the NRP Policy Board have taught me that the financial structure is not simple, but complex with many intermingling financial, legal and governmental jurisdictional requirements. With the financial cutbacks caused by the State Legislature, our current funding crisis threatens the future viability of NRP. My financial knowledge of NRP, experience and current participation in analyzing the options available to NRP should be of great assistance in making every effort possible to obtain adequate funding to assure the permanent future continuation of an independent, community driven NRP program on a sound financial basis.
- Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
- Vice Chairman, NRP Policy Board
- East Calhoun Community Organization, Zoning Chairman
- Hellenic Post 129, American Legion, Finance Officer
- Fifth District American Legion, Executive Board & Baseball Director
- Minnesota Department American Legion, State Baseball Committee
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
Affiliation with all community-based organizations is on a voluntary non-compensated basis.