Role of Neighborhood Improvement Specialists (NIS)

Neighborhood Improvement Specialists serve as advocate for community betterment and have a broad range of duties and responsibilities.

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The primary purpose of Neighborhood Improvement Specialists (NIS) is to identify and address issues and provide follow up on these with Aldermen, citizens, neighborhood groups, block unit, police and City operating departments.  The primary objective of the NIS is to utilize problem solving skills, in partnership with the aforementioned persons and groups, to aggressively and proactively address physical and behavioral issues in their assigned area and to work as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Team to share proper problem solving tools and mechanisms with citizens.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Address issues discussed in block unit, neighborhood and ward meetings, as well as those reported through the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB); enter service requests and monitor the issues to successful resolution.
  2. Attend neighborhood meetings deemed necessary by the Director of Neighborhood Stabilization, Director of Public Safety and the Alderman of the assigned area, providing information and feedback at all meetings.
  3. Maintain a positive working relationship with the Alderman of the assigned area.
  4. Physically survey the assigned area in an organized fashion and on a regular basis, focusing on overdue service requests, vacant building, loitering, litter, illegal dumping and zoning issues as well as specific service requests under the scope of NST influence.
  5. Respond to Aldermanic and resident complaints made through CSB or as given directly to the NSO.
  6. Monitor and evaluate specifically identified block, neighborhood or ward problems and issues.
  7. Keep track of all vacant buildings in assigned area and regularly update information on file.
  8. Report unsecured vacant buildings and monitor all until secured.
  9. Submit service requests, with required information and photos, for all vacant buildings that qualify for the vacant building initiative inspection.
  10. Monitor all buildings condemned for occupancy.
  11. Cite derelict vehicles on private property and in the right of way and submit access warrant requests for the judge to sign if private property vehicles are public safety hazards.
  12. Issue litter violation warnings and follow up with citations when needed.
  13. Monitor key predetermined sites for illegal dumping and trash in conjunctions with Forestry and the Environmental investigators.
  14. Prepare weekly reports of activity to be shared with the NST Director, NST Secretary, and the Alderman of the assigned area, including Cityworks, Problem Properties, and weekly time sheet/work schedule.
  15. Monitor hearing notices, such as those regarding the Board of Adjustment, Building Appeals and Conditional Use.
  16. Monitor housing court dockets and research pedigree information using REJIS access and internet resources, submitting documentation for bench warrant activation on priority cases.
  17. Monitor demo permits and conduct site visits to determine adherence to city ordinances.
  18. Monitor daily building permit activity.
  19. Share pertinent information with neighborhood groups and block units.
  20. Participate in special projects as assigned.
  21. Remove illegal signs in right of way per current NST procedure.
  22. Post Redevelopment hearing notices.
  23. Recruit new block captains/contacts
  24. Recruit block party participants for the annual National Night Out.
  25. In cooperation with other members of the problem properties team, identify and introduce potential nuisance properties, as found through research, personal observance, Aldermanic or citizen referral, or through routine research of police calls for service.
  26. Attend and update the NST problem property database with all information that may be needed in the event of a public hearing, resolving expired and inactive cases on a regular monthly basis.
  27. Monitor active public nuisance cases in assigned area by reviewing the monthly nuisance monitoring agenda (this is produced by the NST).
  28. Post Public Nuisance letters, consent agreements, and hearing notices as defined in the ordinance, taking photographs for NST records and inclusion in the problem properties database.
  29. Promote the City's initiatives related to neighborhood stabilization and quality of life.



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