WNA Board Meeting 9/3/14
Once approved, these minutes will also be posted at http://necoalition.org/programs/woodlawn/.
Attendees: Lisa Gladstone, Anjala Ehelebe, Christy Splitt, Luke Groser, Byron Tennant, Maija Spencer, Shirley Minor, Thelma Diggs, Deb Hartmann, Patricia, Rosalind Scott, Stephanie, Misty Doornek (Lombard Animal Hospital), Jason
Meeting called to order at 7:05pm.
MINUTES AND AGENDA
MOTION: Thelma motions that the agenda be approved as amended to include a visit from Commissioner Amanda Fritz and a sponsorship request to be made by Thelma, Lisa seconds, motion carries without objection
MOTION: Anjala motions that the July 2 minutes be approved as posted online, Lisa seconds, motion carries without objection
MOTION: Christy motion that the July 31 minutes be approved as posted online, Luke seconds, motion carries without objection
Closing out 2014 and looking ahead, updates from our chair
Lisa is not running for Chair again, wanted to say thank you for our patience and our contributions to our neighborhood. She felt like a real highlight was the Dog Forum in January – reviewed the issue about offleash versus not offleash, we had a facilitated conversation about the problem and solutions, no decision to move forward with an offleash area, but it did diffuse some of the tensions. It was really important work. Lisa has a proposal – NW Resolutions has a great program to teach neighborhoods to have productive conversations and involve varied perspectives. Lisa proposes that the new board participate in a 2-hour training with NW Resolutions, and that the organization would be stronger with such training. She proposes using this as a 2nd Wednesday sort of deal.
Anjala – is there a limit to number of people who attend? No, Lisa thinks board members should attend, but the more the better most likely. Anjala – would there be a cost? Lisa – No. Thelma – if we do this, then it should be advertised more than just our standard meetings. Postcards and flyers, perhaps. Lisa thought maybe we could make it a holiday event, share flyers when we do the holiday lights? Deb – is the new board selected? Lisa – next meeting is the nominating meeting, and then the 3rd Wednesday of October will be the elections of new board members. Maija – points out that there will be space on the board and people should join. Thelma – asked to review when we meet again – generally, first Wednesdays, but sometimes, like for the annual meeting, on the third Wednesday (which is happening in October). Christy asked if it was copacetic to prescribe a meeting for the new board, folks think it’s fine.
MOTION: Christy motions that we slate a NW Resolution training for Third Wednesday in November (November 19th), Anjala seconds, motion carries.
HOT TOPICS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD:
Anjala – this has been a busy year! We had the I Heart Woodlawn event, in addition to the Dog Forum, and she reviewed some of the great ideas from that event and in other venues lately that we could pursue in Woodlawn in the next year…
- Get together with Oregon Humanities and PSU to do a meaningful discussion about history, gentrification, sustainability, health, and other topics
- New principal wants to engage neighbors
- Kickball league
- More block parties
- Neighborhood yard sales and parties
- Annual Clean-Up – see if we can help more folks who can’t do yard work to do that
- Find care for neighbors who cannot get out of the house
- Should we have a neighborhood promenade on Durham?
- Add railroad art as a feature in Woodlawn, to draw folks in like Peacock Lane
- Can we get the symphony back?
- Lisa brought up the pollinator habitat garden tour that another neighborhood does and talked about raising awareness about toxics and she wants to work on that next year – it’s a seed waiting to sprout. She also raised her concerns about Portland being too restrictive about keeping hives – have to reach out to neighbors to get okay, cumbersome. Anjala shared her own experience with having a pollinator-attractive yard and how fun it is to watch the birds and bees.
- Parking is a growing concern in the neighborhood, with the new building – The Dekum – nearing completion and then other new construction. Folks raised questions and concerns about this, Anjala raised that buildings with less than 40 units can be built without parking, talking about developers being able to circumvent it, will be a topic for neighborhood in next year – charging for parking, having permits, etc.
- Shirley – also wants to raise continued train issues
- Jason mentioned the military jets taking off from the airport – Anjala briefed on this issue, future plans for the airport, ability to get involved with Noise Advisory Group, and plugged involvement in comprehensive planning process (this year is the public testimony stage)… Gave example of Concordia neighborhood doing work on school issues in that process. Byron mentioned that there is an office hours on the comp plan at NECN tomorrow night, 9/4. Byron and/or Maija will send details and Christy will post online.
All it takes is one neighbor taking on a project that they are passionate about and real change/cool projects can happen… The more active we are together and individually, the more impact we can have.
LAND USE and TRANSPORTATION UPDATE
Anjala gave an overview of the NE Coalition and the subcommittees that Woodlawn is involved with – Land Use and Transportation, Safety and Livability, Schools, Economic Development – as well as how we all engage together in coalition.
Current issues at the NECN level – infill development and demolition, increased development moving us toward – as Lisa puts it – a more San Francisco style density and economy. Neighbors also concerned about tree removal. Maija raised that there will be a stronger tree code to maintain canopy coming next year. She also raised that our land use system means that we will be more dense in the city, but there is good with that – no sprawl, better transit, more walkability, more natural areas outside the city.
SALT – SAFETY AND LIVABILITY – UPDATE
Good month for coal, bad month for oil
Anjala and Byron shared the backstory with Rick and his efforts to create a quiet zone to decrease train noise… We were reminded of the costs – like $1 million to add four gates (see past minutes)… Discussed the closure of NE 11th at a past meeting, with a lot of concern raised by neighbors at that past meeting. Byron wants to keep this issue open – sleep is important and with more trains, we are getting more noise.
For the past several years, this school has been a low-achieving school according to the state. Scored in bottom ten in the whole state, which meant that we were able to apply for federal grant funding to increase student achievement. State and school got the grant – $400,000 per year for next three years, including the hiring of staff – teacher training, community connections, and family connections. As part of the grant, they had to make some changes – including a new principal, coming from Reike, one of the best schools in the City, to lead the turnaround.
School also high on the list to get remodeling and retrofitting done under the new bond – that work happened over the summer, adding a science lab, seismic upgrades, etc. School was closed all summer, with the new principal had to work all over the place and teachers and principal all had to move back in within just a few days of school starting. School would appreciate our support!
Also talked about the catchment rate – 58% of Woodlawn catchment area kids are transferring out and since money follows kids, it is a huge problem.
SMART – need more volunteers to read with students at Woodlawn during the school year to preschool through 3rd grade students. SMART program liaison will be here in October at our meeting, an hour a week if you max out, but you can do even less…
PORTLAND COMMISSIONER AMANDA FRITZ
Commissioner Fritz talked about her positive experience with volunteering at schools in Portland.
Parks Bond is on November ballot – we have paid for our parks via bonds and levies, last one passed in 1994, 192 shiny new projects all over Oregon and we have been paying that back at $13 per average household. We will pay that off this year, and with $13 per average household, we could raise $68 million to devote to maintenance. Right now, we only put $1.5 million into maintenance and we need about $365 million over next 10 years in expected maintenance. Our regular fees and taxes go toward staffing… The bond would NOT RAISE TAXES, but instead just keep things at the current level. Commissioner Fritz also shared some of the details on the successful Summer Free for All events, including Movies in the Park.
Fixourparks.org for more information… Individuals and organizations, including our association, can endorse the ballot measure and she hopes that we will take that step.
She also talked about the list of projects that have to be addressed in the next three years – the pools in NE, for example, are on that list – including the Dishman hot tub, which Thelma cares about quite a bit. Then, the City will have a public process to list the next round of projects.
Anjala said that we will continue to talk about this issue on our Facebook page and spread the word.
Commissioner Fritz mentioned that since it is so modest and uncontroversial, the bond is not getting a ton of campaign donation attention – so relying on grassroots support.
Shirley – vandalism – have park rangers improved that? 14 rangers are on duty at any one time – unarmed – and they have really helped with the vandalism issue. Mayor declined to support more funding in the past budget and asked Commissioner Fritz to do a report on the effectiveness of rangers, which she is working. She also mentioned that we have 2100 workers that are seasonal employees that do not make more than $15 per hour and have subpar benefits – so a priority of hers is to convert more of the seasonal positions to regular full-time staff, and she moved 23 people over in the past budget.
Commissioner Fritz also mentioned that Parks, Housing, Transportation, Emergency Management get just a small share of the general fund (if any) – over 50% go to Fire and Police.
Shirley reminded the Commissioner that we love our Woodlawn Park and are grateful for fun summer events like Movies in the Park and SundayParkways.
MOTION: Luke motions that the Association supports the Parks Bond (26-159), Anjala seconds, motion carries without objection (straw poll – support unanimous from audience, with one abstention)
FINANCIAL UPDATES FROM OUR TREASURER
Still have about $300-400 to spend from Communications budget last year after we pay for new lawn signs – don’t want to return it and if we can spend it soon, we should be able to
Board members to think about what we want to spend that money on…
Communications budget after we are done with the $622 will have to be handled differently. We have to share a plan and then get reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.
Account Balance 9/3/14 – $7949.96
Fiscal Year = July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Clean Up 5/14 – $845
NECN Communications – $1000
Summer Sponsorships – $750 (Corrected to include $400 from Firehouse)
NNO Food Sales 8/2 – $184
TOTAL Revenue = $3179
Unfinished Initiatives from 2013-2014:
Communications – $1000
Website – $140
Neighborhood Announcements – $77
Facebook Announcements – $85
Facebook Announcements – $75
TOTAL 2013-2014 Communications – $377 (left to spend: $622)
TriMet Bus Layover Designated Donation – $600 (none spent)
Expenditure Initiatives 2014-2015
#1 – Summer 2014 National Night Out and Movies in the Park
Food Sales: $184
TOTAL Summer Revenue: $1334
Food/Supplies – $291
Equipment Rental – $360
Music – $75
Music/Dancing – $50
Announcements – $91
Swap and Play – $34
Facepainting – $130
Canopies and Tables (NECN) – $53
Total Summer Expenses: $964*
(*still awaiting Parks invoice for Movies in the Park)
#2 – TriMet Bus Issue – Donation – $600
#3 – Communications Plan (NECN) – $1000
#4 – Others to be Determined – $850
Thelma – Jambalaya event raises money for Meals on Wheels, we usually give $100 to support that effort.
MOTION: Anjala motions that we sponsor the Meals on Wheels event at $100, Shirley seconds, motion carries without objection.
Classic Foods has their open house coming up – and we are the beneficiaries this year! Open House – afternoon of September 20th. Liquor license guru wants to come to talk Good Neighbor Agreements and such at October monthly meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm