Neighborhood Stories

Dale Nesmith- Windjammer HOA

-President of HOA board for 3 years

-Dave Munger helped him learn about the association and being president

“CONO has been pivotal in understanding what an HOA is supposed to be like: develop a concept, but really need to follow rules like the NP Act, CCIOA, covenants, etc. To be an effective leader, you have to know some of that stuff. The board needs to learn this too to be effective and efficient. Just because we’re volunteers doesn't excuse us for being effective. Make your community better and sustain. Houses are here longer than the people. CONO is a vital asset to help communities grow”

Grant Smith- Cragmor Neighborhood

-Cragmor board member.

”CONO helped with the Bates school issue and helped coach us through the appeal process with city council. CONO has great contacts and works for a common good”

Chuck Martin- ONEN

“Thanks to CONO, I now serve on the historic preservation board for the city.”

Dirk Draper, President & CEO, Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance

“The economic vitality and business climate of a community is closely intertwined with the vitality of its neighborhoods. A healthy economy requires an effective and efficient transportation infrastructure, a skilled and educated workforce for a competitive business environment, adequate public safety, and a strong voice for our community with regard to legislative initiatives that impact our region. The mission of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is to develop a strong, economically viable business environment for our region. We look to CONO for the data and analysis necessary to make sure we are keeping in touch with the needs of citizens and neighborhoods with regard to each of these factors. CONO is our touchpoint for knowing where we have community challenges that need to be addressed. Our citizens/ neighborhoods, working together with our business community, will drive our economy to reach a higher level of performance resulting in a better quality of life for all who live, work and play in the Pikes Peak region.”

Sheena Pasko- Ivywild Improvement Society President

Sheena Pasko, President of the Ivywild Improvement Society, can hardly contain her enthusiasm about CONO, the Council of Neighbors and Organizations, the nonprofit in Colorado Springs that assists neighborhoods and HOA’s on virtually every subject imaginable. “Without CONO, our neighborhood would never have developed the way it did. They have the tools, the experience, and the programs to help communities become the best that they can be.”

 Sheena explains that four years ago she went to her first Ivywild Improvement Society meeting.  She had not even known that the society existed, and she had lived in the community for eight years!  She knew she wanted to become involved in neighborhood development, but had no idea how to go about it!  Then she met Dave Munger, Jan Doran, and Liz Rockwell, of CONO.  She says they gave her the tools she needed and ”shortened the learning curve” immensely. Within a short time, the society was revitalized, and thanks to CONO’s help, a number of initiatives had begun.

 Their first projects were neighborhood cleanups and fire mitigation. Sheena personally distributed brochures and was in charge of the meeting about this project.  Friends predicted that she would have less than 30 people attend, but in fact, 96 citizens showed up! 

 Sheena has  found that business leaders and residents alike are deeply interested in their mutual neighborhood, which goes from the west side of Nevada to the East side of 8th Street, and from Cheyenne Road to Motor City. There are about 950 residents in Ivywild, which includes such landmarks as the Blue Star Restaurant, Spencer’s Nursery, and the Ivywild School.  Carl Tanner, who manages Dominoes Pizza on 8th St, has donated pizzas for all the neighborhood cleanups, and local celebrities like Jimmy Dixon and Joe Uveges have provided music for neighborhood picnics and plant exchanges through the “mobile music project,” at which power is generated through people riding bikes!

 CONO has helped Sheena learn about how to get things done in the city of Colorado Springs, and she notes that everyone at the city has been “fabulous” to work with!  “We are all in this together,” she says. “Great community development begins with developing great relationships.”

 Sheena bubbles with excitement as she remarks that “working in my neighborhood has been the most positive experience in my life. There is no way, ever, that I could have accomplished what I did without CONO!”

Doug Jones- Deerfield Hills President

I have lived in the Deerfield Hills Community since 1979 and became involved in many community activities in the early 1990’s. Crime had overridden our community. Our neighborhood was unsafe and I felt I had to do something. Deerfield Hills was number one on the list of the top ten worst crime areas in Colorado Springs at the time. We dealt with graffiti, gun shots at night, home invasions, auto theft, and loud music and parties. Gang members intimidated us and drug dealers kept us in our homes.

When I requested help, i was told that I had to submit paperwork for someone to hear my case. Members of the community who took pictures documenting place and time of issues varied very little weight. Instigators were taken to court for their actions. People of the community were degraded, stalked and verbally intimidated.

The neighborhood put up fences to discourage passage through private property. Sidewalks and easements were shut down and reconstructed to redirect the flow of epople through the community with help from Colorado Springs Utilities. As a veteran, I was frustrated when I was told there is nothing I could do about the crime in my neighborhood. I was not satisfied with that answer. I knew there was something I could do and someone had to help us.

Dave Munger of CONO was that someone. With strategy and the help of Code Enforcement, we came up with a plan.

Deerfield Hills created a Neighborhood Watch and our Colorado Springs City Council Member Margaret Radford believed in the neighborhood by setting the standards.

Today, we no longer have the reputation we once had. This success story would not have been possible without the Citizen Advisory Committee at Sand Creek Police Department, CONO and Code Enforcement.

Today, our community is thriving. Jody Derrington, the Facility Director at Deerfield Hills Community Center has mastered the programs that fit the needs of our growing community. The center represents a strong sense of commitment. Our neighborhood continues to work closely with CONO.

I am reminded, “It takes years to build something and only seconds to have it destroyed.Let’s stay strong and united as a team, pledging involvement with CONO.

watch the video about Eagle Rock Neighborhood and UCCS-Success Story

2016-05-15 14.35.09                                                2016-05-15 14.34.21




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