ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud neighborhood Coalition joined members of the St. Cloud City Council and Police Department at the 1st Good Neighbor Forum.

The forum was a chance for city officials and citizens to interact with one another and discuss neighborhood crime prevention, property maintenance, domestic animal regulations and rental regulations.

St. Cloud Neighborhood Coalition Executive Director is Joan Jaye. She says the coalition came together because people wanted to restore the feeling of a clean, safe and friendly neighborhood.

"These neighbors are here because they love their neighborhoods, and the St. Cloud neighborhood coalition exists because we love our neighborhoods. Each of these neighborhoods has their own unique identity and our goal is preserve their uniqueness, but also to create safe and clean environments for all the resident who live there."

The relationship between the coalition and city officials has grown over the years. What was once tense and critical has turned into a partnership that allows both sides to communicate their concerns with one another.

"When we started it was more of an adversarial role. It's like ok, why are you not doing anyhing about this, how can you not see this. But Matt Glaesman, the mayor and the St. Cloud Police Department are all working together to try and find solutions, how to empower residents and to really keep and maintain our healthy neighborhoods. "

Mayor Dave Kleis, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton, and St. Cloud Health Director Lisa Schreifels all spoke during and after the event with members of the forum.

Some of the hot topics at the forum were people concerned about rental properties, how many animals can a home have, and what you can do to help police crack down on neighborhood crime.

This was the 1st Good Neighbor Forum, but the St. Cloud Neighborhood Coalition hopes to hold a couple of these each year.

Justin LaBounty WJON