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: 58 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 church, community, 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 8 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 strength of the NRP program is derived from the tremendous volunteer citizen participation 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 major weaknesses. Policy and procedural changes implemented during the past three years have streamlined the NRP process. This action 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 Chairman of the East Calhoun NRP Steering Committee for three 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. This process adequately provides each neighborhood with up to date current information. Nonetheless, I would always be available to attend neighborhood meetings when requested to provide information, counsel, guidance and any assistance when needed.
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
The tax revenue changes enacted by the State Legislature in 2001 drastically reduced the total funding available to NRP. Passage of the Lane Ordinance by the City Council in 2003 provided a limited basic source of funding for NRP, however, the ordinance has many contingencies and the funding stream is uncertain. Because of my financial experience and knowledge of NRP's intricate financial structure, I would continue to research other possible sources of funding to assure the continuance of the NRP program, not only through 2009, but beyond. NRP should be a permanent program.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
My 8 years on the NRP Policy Board, including service as Vice-Chairman of the Board, have taught me that the financial structure of NRP is not simple, but complex with many intermingling financial, legal and governmental jurisdictional requirements. With the financial cutbacks created by the State Legislature, our current funding threatens the viability of NRP. My financial knowledge of NRP, experience in analyzing the options available to NRP should be beneficial to the Policy Board in making decision to assure the permanent future funding and continuation of an independent, community driven NRP program on a sound, fair and equitable 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, Board of Directors
- St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, Insurance & Risk Director
- Voiture 45, 40+9 Veterans Society, Legislative Chairman
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
Affiliation with all community-based organizations is on a voluntary non-compensated basis.