Downtown residents and business owners interested in establishing a neighborhood organization to gain increased political influence are invited to attend a downtown community public meeting Tuesday evening.
Scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 36 S. Figueroa St., the meeting is intended to launch the formation of the Downtown/Beach Community Council, which would join three existing neighborhood councils in Ventura.
Joe Ryba, owner of the Joseph Reardon Funeral Home in downtown Ventura, has attended a few organizational meetings and said the rationale for forming such an organization is simple.
"We are the only ones in Ventura who don't have" a community council, he said. "I think it should have a lot more clout with the City Council."
Many downtown merchants already belong to the Downtown Ventura Assn. But some business people, like Ryba, believe downtown needs an organization with broader concerns.
Denise Sindelar, who works at Natalie's Fine Threads on Main Street, agrees.
"I think the DVA is very merchant-oriented," she said. "This will be more community-oriented. People who live downtown need to have a say as well."
The Downtown/Beachfront Community Council would represent those living and working in the area stretching from Ventura Avenue to Ash Street and from the foothill area of Poli Street to the beachfront.
Among the topics to be discussed at the first meeting: social issues affecting the area's business climate and quality of life, tourism and promotion, revitalization and development, safety and beachfront concerns.
For more information, call the Downtown/Beach Police Storefront at 648-8140.