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Neighborhood group doesn't split

RCONA approves neighborhood association's membership into organization; internal disagreements continue
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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A Roseville neighborhood association won’t be splitting up after all, as some residents had feared. The WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Alliance received membership into the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (RCONA), an umbrella group that provides assistance with crime prevention and social gatherings for neighborhood groups around the city. The RCONA board — comprised of representatives from each neighborhood association — unanimously approved the resolution to accept the group, said Jack Wallace, who acted as secretary pro tempore for the Oct. 28 meeting. This came as welcome news for a handful of residents who spent the past few months attempting to rebuild a group with a slightly different name, WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Association, which went defunct after the resignation of several board members earlier this year. “I’m thrilled we’re back in RCONA,” said Rich Fabbre, who helped start both versions of the group. “We’re hoping to get back to doing the things we did initially, like National Night Out, Movies in the Park, Neighborhood Watch in addition to watching development issues and trying to protect property values.” But this decision wasn’t good news for the WestPark Neighborhood Association formed in September by Don Brown, RCONA president and president of the inactive WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Association. His new group was not approved for membership. “I don’t understand,” said Brown, who plans to file a grievance. “We filled all the requirements.” The approval of his group would have meant the official split of the WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Association, which formed in 2008 to address, in part, development issues in west Roseville. While WestPark resident Amy Aufdemberge is pleased with the acceptance of the WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Alliance, she’s reticent to see what becomes of RCONA, an organization recently plagued by infighting and disagreements among a handful of residents over the potential spilt of one neighborhood association. “I think it’s a step forward,” Aufdemberge said. “If RCONA becomes the kind of organization it should be and stays out of the internal politics of individual neighborhood associations, acts as a conduit between the city and helps us with our issues, I’m happy to see this next step.” Last month, RCONA Vice President Larry Bergeron requested the resignation of Brown as president of the umbrella organization. “On what grounds?” Brown said. “What did I do? RCONA has rules they have to follow and I just want to get them figured out. I’m trying to go by the rules and get back on track.” The City of Roseville arranged to have a conflict-resolution specialist run a meeting Tuesday for the RCONA board and neighborhood association representatives, as a first step on the path toward resolving the internal conflicts, said Jamie Carlson, of the city’s public affairs and communications department. A counselor for the Roseville Joint Unified High School District will facilitate the meeting as the conflict-resolution specialist at no cost to the city. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.