Minutes from September 2022 WNA General Meeting


Minutes from September 2022 WNA General Meeting

Woodlawn Neighborhood Association General Meeting Minutes

September 6, 2022

(Minutes are in draft until approved at the next meeting.)

View the meeting recording here: https://www.facebook.com/woodlawnpdx/videos/403734215225992

Our diverse community is strongest when we work together. Your voice matters here.

7:00 – 7:10 Welcome and Introductions

-Please share name, pronouns, & something you’re looking forward to this month

  • Board members present: Melody Randolph (Chair), Anjala Ehelebe (land use chair & neighborhood historian), Dennis Kennedy (treasurer), Liz Kennedy, Shirley Minor (member-at-large & NECN member-at-large), Keith Baich (Farmers Market representative), Thelma Diggs (member-at-large), Barbara English, Nancy Flynn (member-at-large), Krista Reynolds (secretary)
  • Guests and neighbors present: Anthony Castaneda, Stephen Kafoury, Doris, Rick Reynolds, John Laurence (Farmers Market board member)
  • Board members absent: Chida Chaemchaeng (Vice chair)
  • Anjala had to reschedule the last neighborhood walking tour and will be doing it on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11AM

7:10 – 7:15 Approve July meeting notes and September agenda

  • The July minutes and Sept. agenda were approved by the board – all in favor.
  • Monthly reminder of meeting/voting rules 😉
    • A friendly reminder that anyone present can vote on actions that do not involve money; only board members may vote on actions related to WNA funds

7:15 – 7:25 Guest Speaker: Robert Bowles, founding member Northeast Portland Tool Library (NEPTL)

  • Unfortunately, guest speaker Robert Bowles did not join the meeting.
  • Overview of Tool Library
    • You may check out tool like you would check out books from the library.
  • Learn more here: https://www.neptl.org/

7:25 -7:35 Portland Charter Reform Measure on Structure of City Government

-PRO discussion, invited rep from Portland United for Change

  • Anthony Castaneda (he/him) is a policy analyst in Salem and resident of NE Portland.
  • Background about proposed changes: The City appoints a Charter Review Commission every 10 years to review the charter and make recommendations for changes. The commission has engaged 5,000+ Portlanders in discussion over last 18 months to find out what’s not working in city governance. Voters will decide on the structure of governance and how city officials are elected through a ballot measure.
  • Some of the proposed changes: Establish a mayoral-council form of government with a city administrator (who reports to the mayor) who handles the day-to-day business of the city. Amendments would establish four city council geographic districts with three elected councilmembers per district. This would be a change from five members of council to twelve members – to account for population growth. City council members would no longer manage city services. Anthony suggested current councilors lack knowledge of the bureaus they manage, there is siloing, and problems with long-term planning. Supporters of this model believe all Portlanders would be represented more equitably. Changes would allow voters to rank candidates by preference.
    • Liz: Why the change to four districts with three reps? It makes more sense to have 12 districts with one rep each.
      • Anthony: Gerrymandering could happen the way districts are, and there’s a siloing effect between current city bureaus. Creating small geographic districts would also result in siloing.
      • Rebuttal from Stephen Kafoury: Cities around the country are moving away from the model of multiple members per district. Portlanders’ input was not listened to when the City sought their opinions.
    • Anjala: East Portland has a large population. If East County got the number of voices proportionate to its population, it would have more representation. Why don’t we have districts according to population? Is there a way of seeing Mingus Mapps’ proposal before he makes it official in October?
      • Anthony: Districts are currently drawn according to population size. Mapps’ plan hasn’t been fully developed yet so is not publicly available.
    • Rick: What does Anthony expect the costs of the new plan to be? Why $43 million?
      • Anthony: The transition would cost 0.5% to 2% of the city’s discretionary funds. But there may be some cost savings. Councilors have 10-15 staff. Anthony expects a reduction in staff which would reduce costs.

-CON discussion, Invited rep from Partnership for Commonsense Government

  • Stephen Kafoury (former Oregon House Rep) – The Partnership is a group of mostly former elected officials in Portland and former city staff.
  • Background: The Charter is like the constitution for the City. A charter review commission has reviewed the charter and made proposed changes.
  • Current city commissioners have legislative and administrative (bureau) functions. The review commission thinks this is a bad idea. The Partnership also believes there should be a separation of legislative and administrative functions. They agree with the commission there should be a city manager. The Partnership likes rank choice voting, just not the method the commission proposed. He also thinks dividing the city into districts is good idea. The battle between the two groups is not about status quo v. reform. Vote no on the measure and then take a look at Mingus Mapps’ proposal (due Oct. 3rd). It is not about ideology. This is a matter of practicality. This is not about inclusion. The Partnership objects to the cost of implementing the changes. They are also concerned about the accountability of three commissioners for each district, as proposed. The Partnership would prefer one commissioner per district.
    • From the Partnership’s website (link above): “The Commission states that its proposal will add $8.7 million annually to the city budget. In addition, the Commission reports annual implementation costs of $5.9 million per year for three years. That amounts to a total of $43,800,000 spent over three years solely for the budget of councilor offices, staffing and election expenses.”

7:35-7:50 Woodlawn Night Out in the Park recap

  • What went well?
    • Liz: Thanks to all of the volunteers, grill master Tony Coleman, Jerome Smith, Melody, Barbara, Maija, Beth, and Erin
    • The event ran smoothly and attendance seemed high compared with previous years.
    • Dennis: The event came in just under budget. Attendees donated $276 onsite and $89 via Paypal.
    • Liz is making a list of all supplies needed and notes about planning.
  • What can we learn/improve for next year?
    • We need better search engine optimization. People had trouble finding the Woodlawn website gowoodlawn.com.
    • The cost was more due to extra permitting costs and supplies costs because we did not hold the event on the traditional National Night Out date.
    • The parachute that Maija brought was popular. Let’s have more games next time that bring neighbors together. The WNA can purchase some materials instead of relying on personal items.
    • Next time let’s try to get Johnny Ballard’s whole band.
    • Let’s contact Peyton Smith to schedule the bouncy houses for next year. This year Bounce and Play brought the bouncy houses free of charge. For future events WNA should pay them.
    • Liz made a motion to hold next year’s event on the official National Night Out date (which is August 1, 2023). The motion carried – all voted in favor.

7:50 – 8:00 Grants! They help us put on events and keep money in our community.

  • How Clean-up was funded with grant money and that event funded Night Out
  • Applying for upcoming grants
    • Melody: would like to keep as much money as possible in the Woodlawn neighborhood. We need to support our local businesses.
    • Liz: There is a Metro Community Placemaking grant deadline coming up Oct. 7th (at noon). Funding is from $5,000 – $25,000.
      • Barbara and Liz volunteered to start the application process. There are information sessions; the last session is Sept. 7th 12 – 1. Melody thought she could attend.
    • Rick: Is happy to review any draft grant applications. It is important to write exactly what the application asks for.

8:00-8:20 Board Business

  • Treasurer’s Report – Dennis Kennedy
    • PTA has cashed their check from the cleanup. Hasn’t posted all NNO expenses. $7857.68 in our account. Shelley has charged $90 per year to host our website. She forgot to charge for last year so doubled up this year.
  • NE Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) – Dennis Kennedy
    • There is no NECN news.
    • Dennis would like to step down from NECN. Nancy volunteered to be the NECN rep. Melody can just send a letter to NECN telling them Nancy is the new Woodlawn rep. Nancy is a former chair of WNA and has good knowledge of Woodlawn.
    • Anjala gave some background about the NECN. They are there to give some continuity to neighborhood governance when association board members may change from year to year. They have paid staff. They have resources to support neighborhood associations and get grant funds and offer funds to the associations. Each neighborhood is supposed to provide one volunteer rep to NECN. Shirley has been an “at-large” member of NECN due to her historical knowledge of Woodlawn. Anyone can attend the NECN’s monthly meetings.
  • Land Use and Transportation – Anjala Ehelebe
    • Anjala would like to offer a training session for new folks interested in helping with the committee.
    • There are no new actions we need to discuss.
  • Farmer’s Market Update – Keith Baich
    • Things are going well at the market. It is well-staffed with volunteers and board members. There is $16,000+ in the account, about half due to a USDA grant. There are not a lot of restrictions on the grant which is helpful for staffing.
      • The market will have to return any money that’s not used up for SNAP benefits.
    • Some tents need to be replaced so the market could use some additional funding.
    • Rick: How can we promote the SNAP match more? Consider moving the information table to the front of the market.
      • Keith will prioritize this for the next season. We need to update signs.
    • Thanks to John Laurence for all of his expertise and help with the market.
  • Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) – no rep present
  • Other board business
    • Krista suggested Rick could serve as co-Secretary. The board elected Rick as a member at large.
    • Website updates are needed
      • Shelly only does the hosting and not updating of site content. The website is traditionally updated by the secretary.
      • Dennis also volunteered to help with website updates. If anyone else wants to help, they are welcome!
      • Search engine optimization. Rick volunteered to take care of it and do some testing.
      • Board photos – Melody will send a photo; board members are invited to send a photo to Krista or Rick for the website.

8:20 – 8:30 Final thoughts, announcements, upcoming events, and tell us what you would like to see!

  • Liz: Let’s do a series of concerts to be held in the amphitheater. We can seek a grant for this.
  • Melody: Wed. Sept. 7th John Primer concert at Soul Restoration Center, 14 NE Killingsworth.

8:30 Meeting adjourned

Thank you for coming!

Hope to see you Tuesday, October 4th at 7pm for our next meeting.

We will be both Online and In Person: Oregon Public House 700 NE Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211