Fort McCoy News June 14, 2013

South Post residents encouraged to offer input

Residents of the South Post Family Housing Area can help improve things for themselves and future residents by providing input to help update the South Post Housing policy, said the South Post mayor.

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Zuehlsdorf said the policy could set the stage to having a successful housing area for the next 20 to 30 years.

"This will help set us up for success for future Families," Zuehlsdorf said. "We're looking for ways to encourage more community involvement and setting up more community events."

The expected fall completion of the South Post Family Housing community center also will play a big role, he said. The facility will house the Housing Division staff, which will make it easier for residents to report any concerns or get items they need to maintain their housing.

Zuehlsdorf said he also hoped to hold the fall South Post town hall/open house meeting in the community center if it's completed in time.

Zuehlsdorf made his comments after the spring South Post Family Housing town hall/open house meeting May 22. The event featured a short presentation about current and future housing issues/plans (see related story). Following the presentation, attendees could visit many breakout tables to get information from and ask questions about various installation organizations.

Lt. Col. Tony Campbell, the battalion commander for the 1st Battalion, 310th Infantry at Fort McCoy, said he attended to help foster communications between the South Post Family Housing Area and the garrison.

"We tell them issues and they listen," Campbell said. "I also went to represent the approximately eight to 10 Soldiers from the 1st, 310th who live in South Post Family Housing. I took enough copies of the updated housing policy draft that they can look at it and offer their input and recommendations."

The new format — a presentation followed by organizations staffing breakout tables — was incredible, he said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Randy Wright of the 1st, 310th agreed the new format was awesome, especially being able to meet separately with representatives of the various post organizations.

"It was a lot easier to get information without feeling you were taking up the time of other people by asking questions during a presentation," Wright said. "I liked having the chance to get more information about SKIESUnlimited and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program."

Sgt. Tonielle Langford helped staff a table for the installation's Religious Support Office and also attended her first South Post town hall/open house as a newer member of the Fort McCoy community.

"The format and the smaller size of this community compared to where I last served helped people come together here," Langford said.

Master Sgt. Matthew Fitzgibbons, the Equal Opportunity adviser, said he shared information about his program with other attendees. He also had time to check out the other breakout tables.

"I liked the new format," Fitzgibbons said. "If they can keep it, I think it's good."

Zuehlsdorf said the hope is to keep the format in place for the next town hall/open house event.

Several attendees expressed concern about some people not being able to attend the event because they couldn't make alternate plans to care for Family members, take time off, etc., during working hours.

The starting time will be discussed for the next meeting in the fall, he said.

   (See related story.)