Denver neighborhood groups send out plea for leadership

One organization in Virginia Village dissolved, Rosedale seeking new members

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Two south Denver neighborhood organization alerted residents of the need for more community participation through email campaigns.

On the southwest side of Denver, the Rosedale Harvard Gulch Neighborhood Association (RHGNA) sent out an email alerting residents about possibly having to dissolve the Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). Four of the seven board members in the organization have announced their resignation, the email said.

RHGNA is holding a recruiting event on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canna Wine Bar, 2554 S. Broadway. Elections will be held next February.

On the other side of Denver, the Virginia Village Ellis Community Association (VVECA) informed members in an email that the RNO has been dissovled. The neighbohood is located in southeast Denver, just south of Glendale.

Attached to the email was an explanation on the decision written by VVECA’s vice president Mike Cerbo. At the beginning of the year, all officers with the organization resigned. Cerbo wrote that he was elected vice president at the time, and he was able to get the treasurer to stay on, leaving VVECA with two board members. Two officers are required to hold general meetings, but RNOs need four members to run an official board, according to city rules. A special election was held to elect a full board in June.

But, Cerbo wrote that concerns arose from the community about the legitimacy of the election as one of the officers was absent from the election process. Cerbo added that the VVECA bylaws are vague on situations where a board has barely enough members to function.

“In my opinion,” he wrote, “given the need for additional board members leading up to the special election and the vague language of the bylaws that does not specifically address proxies, the vast majority of our members believe that formally recognizing those willing to volunteer their time as officers, so the VVECA could conduct official business, is vastly more important than the technicality of two officers being present. Especially when only two officers exist.”

Cerbo continued by saying that the RNO is upholding the concerns of the community, and the special election in June is now null and void. This means that the organization no longer has enough members to hold meetings, which was the reason it has since dissolved.

“On a personal note, I want to apologize to anyone who feels let down, but I walk away proud of the collective effort to keep the organization alive,” Cerbo wrote. “There is no doubt that those who participated in the VVECA leadership have done so out of the goodness of their hearts and with concern for their community.”

The email was sent out to subscribers to the RNO’s website on Nov. 19. The email said that VVECA had $144.18 left in its account that has since been donated to Food for Thought, a local nonprofit that provides shelf stable items to food banks.

The email stated that the organization hopes neighbors will “rally” together to form a new RNO. Links and information on how to form an official group with the city of Denver were provided in the email.

“Despite the dissolution, we know we live in a neighborhood with many passionate, engaged citizens and that this ending in no way represents an uninterested or disengaged community,” the email read.

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