August 2013 Special Board Meeting Minutes

Facilitated by ENA Vice President Brad Archbold
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Meeting started at 12:00 pm at Sandia Slaby’s home

Attendance

  • Board Members:  Andrew & Katy Beattie, Brad Archibold, Roberta Golden, Whitney Bowerman, Bev Kooi, Pat Bayle Nathan Allan, Sandia Slaby
  • ENA Residents: Stan Butler

ENA President

Luke Bowerman resigned the ENA Presidency effective Friday August 15. The Board met to discuss this issue and clarify current expectations of the ENA President.

There were no nominations for the replacement President. The ENA Vice President, Brad Archbold, expressed willingness to serve as Interim President, and his offer was accepted unanimously. He will serve as Interim President until the next Board elections in February 2014. Brad can be reached at president@eastside-olympia.org.

Since the issue of the “People’s House” low-barrier shelter arose, Luke was spending vastly more time on ENA President duties, including actively reaching out to Interfaith Works, the City and other project stakeholders. The Board agreed that it would be difficult for any one person (in light of other responsibilities – work, family, etc) to continue to spend this much time on this volunteer role. It was unanimously agreed upon that an acting/interim ENA president, at this juncture, would fulfill the following minimum responsibilities (these responsibilities were already being fulfilled, in addition to many more):

  • Act as the communications liaison between the City & the ENA, keeping the Board apprised promptly of all correspondence to the ENA from the City and from other parties, and forwarding information necessary for residents to Whitney for posting on the ENA website. Residents can sign up for digest emails on the ENA website – eastside-olympia.org.
  • Attend Olympia Coalition of Neighborhoods Association meetings monthly, or ensure our Board is represented at them by another ENA Board member.

Low-Barrier Shelter

The Board takes no position on the “People’s House” (Interfaith Works) proposed “low-barrier” shelter. Information received by the ENA regarding the shelter will be posted on the ENA website.

ENA Annual Picnic

The ENA annual picnic that was held on Saturday August 17 was reportedly successful, with about 45 people attending, although it ended with an altercation. This occurred between a few attendees (~6) that had never been seen at any ENA activities before, who arrived toward the end, and who were speaking quite aggressively, loudly & verbally assaultively, about the “low-barrier” shelter & some opposition to the proposed shelter that this group had heard from ENA residents. The group made many verbally assaultive accusations towards ENA residents as a whole, and specific attacks towards a certain household.

Thank You

The Board of Directors expresses much appreciation of & thanks to Luke Bowerman for the extensive service he contributed as our Board President over the last 6+ months & accepts, with regret & understanding, his resignation as President due to the reasons he explained in his August 15th resignation letter.

Other Topics

It was noted that the delivery systems we’ve used this year for disseminating information to residents (postcards or new letters) both have plusses & minuses, as does the portion of the neighborhood who is on the the social network, Nextdoor.com. Bev noted that the success in reaching residents & getting residents to engage with one another & in ENA activities is currently the greatest she has seen over the 27 years she has lived here. Sandia advocated that we continue outreach via either news letters or postcards to continue reaching out to include/invite those without computer/internet access; to not assume that even most of our residents have internet access. Sandia agreed to get together with Ruth Middlebrook to get info about the system that the ENA has used to distribute our newsletters over the years, so the Board understands it, including the list of distributors & areas/mapped. Whitney advocated that the newsletter routes be looked at and revised if needed, and that the route and volunteer information be more widely understood so delivery can occur even if Ruth is out of town.

Bev showed us examples of ENA Business cards for Board members that she is willing to make for us on the computer, telling us that if we want some, each of us needs to get her our contact info to put on them.

Bev also mentioned a topic for a later meeting: outreach, generally, and specifically to seniors.

Sandia requested that our meetings be managed according to Robert’s rules of order, as they have been in the past, to ensure all voting members have a chance to discuss understand & decide on each decision made.

Meeting adjourned at ~ 1:10 pm

2 Responses to “August 2013 Special Board Meeting Minutes”

  1. Mark Foutch

    Thanks to Brad for stepping up. We’re very reassured to see in the minutes the very organized way the Board is responding to the current hot issue and Luke’s resignation.

    Ref. newsletter distribution routes, this might not be an issue any more but “in my day” it was hard to deliver to individual units in apartment complexes. It’s really great to have NextDoorENA which can help to make up for that.

    While I wish our last minute visitors at the picnic had been less obstreperous, at least they came and at least we know our communications are getting out. I also wish I’d been able to organize my thoughts better to try to respond but I did not recover quickly enough from their verbal assault. It’s clear they have had a lot of problems in their lives and are very angry. We did not do a good job of clarifying that ENA as an organization had taken no position on the low barrier shelter. They complained that “you don’t represent us,” assuming ENA had taken a position. If I saw them again I’d be better able to explain some things like how our neighborhood has helped with homeless issues over the years.

    Mark

    Reply
  2. Whitney Bowerman

    Mark,

    You did an excellent job of trying to explain things to these folks. They simply weren’t present to listen, only to be angry. It was a no-win situation for all involved. And as attacked I felt, there is purpose in stepping back and knowing this outburst wasn’t about me but rather about them being unhappy and lacking the appropriate skills to effectively talk or do something about where they are at and what they are feeling. Hopefully anyone concerned about the ENA has read the numerous recent posts that reflect the neutral stance the ENA has taken, and/or attended the Monday August 19 forum where I had the opportunity to clarify for attendees that the ENA has remained neutral on the issue of the shelter.

    Reply

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