November 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

Facilitated by ENA Interim President Brad & Leigh Archbold’s home
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Meeting started at 6:30 at Brad Archbold’s home

Attendance

  • Board Members:  Sherry Chilcutt, Mitch Dennis, Brad Archbold, Nathan Allan, Sandia Slaby, Pat Bayle, Katy & Andrew Beattie, Whitney Bowerman

Community Garden at New Bridge Church

Sandia reported on the meeting that took place on September 29th at New Bridge Community Church with two members of the church, Doug Danville & Rhonda Davis (grounds care coordinator) to explore the possibilities of a community garden being established on the church property. The aim of this meeting was to tour potential sites on their property for a community garden. The gist of that meeting is a follows:

  • Two places two places were identified by Rhonda & Doug where some garden boxes could be placed where there is or could be water accessibility for irrigation, the one with easier access & seemingly more favored by the reps the church is on the ‘bench’ on top of the west facing slope along Central out front of the building.
  • We discussed things like the number of beds that would fit in that area (over 15), the need to fence it in (and that the church may be willing to put up $$ for such fencing), chemicals that the grounds maintenance company has used on the grass there in the last few years, access for bringing in the supplies to build such beds, and that the church thinks there are probably some members that would participate in work parties to create such beds. I stated that we know little yet about the actual numbers of people in the neighborhood who are interested enough to actually fully participating in a community garden project on any level.
  • We ended the meeting with Doug & Rhonda agreeing to find out more info from the church about the commitments they as an institution can make to this project,and about the specific herbicides that have been used since New Bridge has been on the property. Meta & I agreed to evaluate if there is energy from ENA members to spearhead this project. Sandia said she’d been awaiting further info from New Bridge before beginning that evaluation. (But after the meeting she has said that since that info from the church is being slow to manifest, she will put a question out on the ENA website and Nextdoor to inquire generally about interest from ENA residents in participating in a community garden project there.)

Trails Update

Brad gave an update on the trail proposals that the ENA had submitted to the City of Olympia’s neighborhood trail program..  The proposal we submitted involving a trail between 13th & Eastside St. is now on hold, and the proposal for the McCormick to Central trail is to be withdrawn due to wetland issues (Indian Creek).  This could possibly be made if  a bridge were built over the wetland, but the building of such a structure is beyond the scope of the city trail program to begin with.

Membership & Dues

Our treasurer, Sherry Chilcutt, reported that there are 30 paying member households in our ENA, which is out of over one thousand (1000) households in our entire ENA region.

We discussed the value of there being this existing (ENA) organization, with one person stating how “we don’t know how valuable it is until we need it”, until we really need one another, and then being connected already can really be helpful; that if we weren’t already organized, it could be much more difficult to communicate or work together, especially promptly or efficiently. It was pointed out that it was the city of Olympia that identified & organized these existing neighborhoods as they are, & then associations were formed to represent the residents therein. It is through these associations & their members/ boards that the city communicates with it’s residents. If we as residents want to be informed of specifically of city business, events, or decisions that effect the southeast neighborhood without each one of us calling or going to City Hall frequently & inquiring, an ENA needs to exist, since the City relays such information to elected neighborhood association Boards, when there is one.

We then discussed 1) the need to explore both what we want this organization to be & do for us beyond being the conduit for the dissemination of information from the City, and 2) how we might involve our residents in exploring that last idea, and how to inform & educate the average resident also about the above mentioned value/need for a neighborhood association.

We discussed writing up some of these ideas about the value of neighborhood association, and including it in an ENA newsletter to reach more people with these points. But in discussing that idea, the treasurer confirmed that we would use about all we currently have in our general fund (which comes from the paying household memberships) plus the credit we have with our printer to print one newsletter. So, it was unanimous that we should increase our paying membership before we can afford to publish an actual newsletter size publication.

We discussed the online payment capability, and the need to get that established on the ENA website (we approved that & it was close to happening last year, but didn’t get accomplished). There was unanimous support for that to happen.

Our supporting membership dues has been $10/year for over a decade.

Treasurer’s Report

Checking balance $150.56
Savings account $528.40
Neighborhood Signs $1295.73
Legion Way Trees $150.99
Community Beautification $504.53
Long term Savings CD $1027.76

Newsletter Distribution

Sandia reported that she’d gotten the list of our past newsletter distributors & their routes from Ruth Middlebrook, and this info is available, as needed.  Sandia agreed to call (or email) the people on the list to assess their interest & availability to continue with the task of hand distributing written ENA correspondence to EN residents, which was in the form of newsletters until early in 2012.

It was unanimously agreed  that we would print up a postcard size notice following our January Board meeting, which will be distributed by hand to EN residents to notify & invite folks to the Annual General Membership meeting in February. At that meeting we have Board elections & we already know that we will at least have an opening position for a new President (as Luke Bowerman stepped down last Aug. & Brad Archbold, who is serving as Interim President, will not be a candidate for the next term as Board President).

Neighborhood Boundaries

The question of the region between Plum Street & Eastside,  and 4th Ave &  the freeway was discussed,  as it was raised months back that we consider asking the city to annex that region into the ENA’s.  This is being considered, because that region, though officially within the Downtown Neighborhood Association, isn’t accurately represented many residents & business owners there say (they do not associate themselves as being part of  downtown). What occurs in that region affects our neighborhood more than it does downtown. Brad will contact a city rep to inquire about what the  process would be to request annexation into the ENA.

Neighborhood Boundaries

A new homeless shelter for young adults 18-24 years of age is being built near our neighborhood by Community Youth Services, who purchased a building at Legion & Pear. CYS has requested a change in zoning, and there is not a conditional use permit process in the plan, thus it was discussed that it would be good if we had a rep. attending those planning meetings. No one volunteered, though the importance of us having someone there for the city to see there is ENA interest in this project & proposals related.

Is there anyone in the neighborhood interested & available to attend planning meetings for this Community Youth Services shelter project, to keep the ENA apprised of issues that clearly are of interest or/and will effect us, & to represent the ENA?

Problem Properties

We had a discussion on problem properties that code and law enforcement have been requested to evaluate.

Next Meeting

Pat Bayle will host our January Board meeting on January 15, 2014 from 6:30-7:30. He lives at 1402 13th Ave SE, west of Central, across from the community gardens on 13th. His phone number is (360) 561-3143.

Meeting adjourned at 7:33 pm.

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