Gail Baker, president of Hyatt Park/Keenan Terrace Neighborhood Association likes being involved
Hyatt Park/ Keenan Terrace Neighborhood Association President Gail Baker has been a resident of the neighborhood since 1978. For the last four years she has served as the neighborhood association president and before that served as treasurer for two years. Baker said, “ I’ve always wanted to be involved simply because I wanted to have some sort of input or see what was going to happen to the neighborhood. Also, for a while we had a problem with crime, and I wanted to see what stance the city was taking or how they were addressing that.”
Baker said, “ We’ve been able to stop a couple of businesses from moving in that were not things we desired to have in the neighborhood. We’ve been able to work with existing businesses and the city to form a relationship as to what’s going on. We’ve got the community garden started and have been able to do some planting on several corners in the neighborhood.” Baker credits the residents of the neighborhood who are involved with the association for the improvements to the neighborhood.
Along with her involvement with the Hyatt Park/Keenan Terrace Neighborhood Association, Baker served as the secretary of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods ( CCN) for three years before her term ended in July. “I saw the benefit of having the neighborhood association see what was going on at CCN. It was kind of a resource.”
While she isn’t sure of what all she still wants to accomplish, one goal is to see better communication between the neighborhood and the Columbia Police Department. “ It gives us an actual person to go to when there is a problem with law enforcement. It’s a give and take; we give them information, they give us information, and we both benefit from what each side brings to the table.”
The neighborhood association under the guidance of Baker is involved with organizations such as the North Columbia Business Association and the Eau Claire Development Corporation.