Neighborhood Meeting Minutes July 2019

7/17/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Jim Sweeney, Amy Hill, Jim Rioux, Roger Horn, Sheena Pietzold

Treasurer’s Report

  • Checking: $473
  • Savings: $1059
  • Signs: $1302
  • Legion Way Trees: $152
  • Community beautification: $408

Neighborhood picnic – There was a miscommunication when trying to reserve the shelter at Lions Park and we didn’t get it reserved for 8/17 from 4-7 like we’d planned. Brian booked it for the only available day, 8/25 from 4-7. Jim R. will follow up with the City tomorrow to see if any other times are available for 8/17 or earlier times available on 8/25. We still have to pay for reservation but won’t have to pay for insurance this year.

Block Parties – We discussed how the marketing wasn’t on point this year, and will try to improve it in the future. We talked about some pros and cons of having the block parties on multiple nights/weekends, and agreed that we liked doing it this way because it allows for more people to host because it’s more convenient for them and people can go to several of the block parties easier. The block party on 5th between Fairview and Edison had 60 or so people attend (two hosts combined). The block party on Lybarger between 10th and Union only had 10-15 attendees on the same day. More block parties are coming up on 7/19, so it’ll be interesting to see how those go. Perhaps we can invite block party hosts to the board meeting prior to the block parties (either May or June) to organize/coordinate efforts next year. Perhaps some could combine with neighborhood garage sales in the future. 

Neighborhood policing seems to be working well – we had a brief discussion on how it seems they’ve had good response times and are focussing on and addressing problem houses very well.

Cider press event – Not really considering doing it again this year unless we can find a volunteer to run it.

Plum street village – The first Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Plum Street Village happened. Nathan and Brad attended and plan to attend the future monthly meetings. They are scheduled for  an hour, but perhaps could benefit from being longer. There are 30 or so houses and 29 residents. While they didn’t have stats on how many have been kicked out, we do know that 6 people have already successfully transitioned out. According to the surrounding businesses, people who live at the village are doing just fine, but periphery people are more of a nuisance. In general, the village seems to be doing really well. They’re providing more social services to the folks who transition out. One discussion point was regarding how the advisory committee can help interface between the village and the community/neighborhood? They’re trying to figure that out still. We discussed how we think It should be two-way street, if we see problems, we can say something and if they need help with something specific, they can let us know. We want them to feel like they’re part of the community because that’s going to help them be more successful. One of the first things the village does for the residents is help them get identification, jobs, and healthcare. Someone pointed out that the city has a weekly newsletter related to homelessness but we’re not sure it gets out very well.

Candidate forum – Roger reserved Wednesday, Oct. 9th from 6:30 or 7 for an hour and a half at the Elks Lodge. We will be partnering with 3 other neighborhoods and will finalize who to invite after the primary on 8/6. There may be another forum getting organized for the westside.

Variety show follow-up – Merging with Bigelow Highlands really helped and it was a really good show. We’re planning on doing it again next year, possibly in March instead of June. The Salvation Army welcomes it back again. Some of the performers said they’re interested again too.

CNA update: Jim R – it was a very packed agenda and had good neighborhood repsresenation.

  • A number of things are going before Land Use and Environment Committee in Aug/Sept, including the airbnb/short term rentals issue, and affordable low income and market rate housing issues.
  • There was an overview of the water rates.
  • Lydia Morehead filled a position for supporting neighborhoods generally and staffing the CNA. She is the new main contact for sub area plans.
  • The city said the multi-unit tax incentive has been helping downtown, but was not seen favorably by folks in the room. They also spoke on a few items related to housing including the old Bailey’s hotel, the next village on Martin, and low income housing. There is a meeting at the VFW hall (on Martin) on July 22nd at 6pm for community outreach.
  • They discussed waste resources and how Olympia is one of few communities that collects its own wastes.  The recyclables, which get sold, have subsidized the program in the past, but now we are paying people to take it away. There has been a lot of market shake up and no one is sure where it’s going to end up. We will probably see changes in what is accepted sometime soon.

Sub-area plan – We went over the details of a timeline with Lydia (the new City staff and point of contact) at the last core team meeting. We are trying to pull it all together and make time for lots of reviews from many different groups including the ENA board, City Committees, etc. The timeline is looking like October now, but there will be a draft for the board to reveiw next month hopefully. We narrowed it down to about 10 action items for each of 4 topic areas, but we don’t want to lose all the ideas that came up. We talked about potential ways to keep that information somehow, like in an excel table, etc.

Neighborhood Meeting Minutes May 2019

5/15/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Jim Sweeney, Amy Hill, Jim Rioux, Roger Horn, Brian Brannies, Sheena Pietzold

  1. Treasurer’s Report:
    • Checking: $444.11
    • Savings: $1059.24
    • Neighborhood Signs: $1301.84
    • Legion Way Trees: $152.37
    • Community Beautification: $407.85
    • Expenditures coming up – picnic (about $150), block parties (none expected), variety show ($150), survey monkey 6/13 is the start of the next billing cycle
  2. CNA update: Jim S. –
    • Presentation from Evergreen Students for their capstone project – what would improve the CNA website and make it more dynamic, timely, and get more interest from folks?
    • Olympia Planning Commission’s public notice process: Before public hearings they send 2 emails to recognized neighborhood associations (RNAs). They are looking at this process and how to keep it up to date and maybe come up with a better system. They have been hearing concerns from constituents about the lack of notice ahead of time.
    • Candidate forums – they like the idea and are supportive of one happening on the Eastside. They would like to see one on the Westside too.
    • Jim S. will be gone later this summer, Jim R. will act as a backup for CNA.
  3. Variety show update: Roger – Roger got the vinyl sign updated for the correct dates. Right now we have seven performers confirmed, maybe eight. There will be a rehearsal night to bring them to the space and see what their needs are, etc. Roger posted a Nextdoor event, and will do a follow up post next Wednesday. Nathan will put it up on the ENA website and Facebook after Roger sends him the info. We are looking for volunteers/refreshment providers. Angie from Bigelow Highlands is making half-sheet fliers to hand out and will probably provide most of the food. We’ll bring the plates/cups/napkins, etc. Still looking for emcee, but might have someone interested from Bigelow Highlands.
  4. Charlie from SWONA wants to come to our next Board meeting to talk about a climate change letter pushing Council to do something.
  5. Sub-area plan update – On 6/8 we are hosting a Town Hall meeting from 9:30-12 at FUMCO. MaryGrace Goddu (from the City) and the Core Team will facilitate. We’ll have easels set up to take notes and help with the demonstration to help folks talk about the plan. We’d like to see public participation in going over each main item (almost item by item) basically following the surveys, but prioritizing all the actions with a short, mid, and long-term focus. We would like to have refreshments, coffee etc. Jim R. has a big coffee maker, board voted to spend $50 on refreshments. The 4th survey still out, this Sunday is the deadline but we could extend it. We’ll just want to cancel Survey Monkey by June 12th to save the next month’s fee.
  6. Block parties – Not everyone who is volunteering to host is available on 7/12. If moved to 7/19, not better for other volunteers. We agreed that we could do them on different weekends and maybe we could even add one or two other volunteers. Amy is interested in hosting as well.
  7. Armory Letter – Jim S. sent the letter about preserving/reusing the armory to everyone it was addressed to. Denny Heck’s office said he would follow up. Jim also had a discussion with Chris Woods, (new) President of the Boys and Girls Club of Thurston County who said he would take it to his board to reconsider using the building.
  8. We have a neighbor trying to make a garden in one of the empty lots on Union. Perhaps if they can provide a vision to the Board and it sounds reasonable, we might be able to support her in some way. Maybe we could invite her to a meeting to discuss.
  9. Meeting minutes from April were approved

Neighborhood Meeting Minutes April 2019

4/17/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Sheena Pietzold, Brad Archbold, Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Brian Brannies, Jim Sweeney, Roger Horn, Jim Rioux.

Others: Amy Hill

  1. Minutes from last month approved
  2. Website updates needed – calendar, board members/officers
  3. CNA update: Jim Sweeney –
    • The Growth Management Hearings Board had a hearing on the merits of the Missing Middle zoning ordinance and found the SEPA process wasn’t done correctly.
    • There was an overview of development projects completed downtown in the last few years due to the downtown building ordinance. 1600 dwelling units have been added downtown. The issue of property tax exemptions for these developments that now have some units being used for Airbnbs is going to the Land Use Hearings Committee.
    • Capital City Marathon is coming up on May 19th. The route goes down Eastside over the freeway, so it may impact the neighborhood.
    • Jim will share the letter the ENA wrote regarding the armory with the CNA now that it’s signed and official. Perhaps the new head/president of the boys and girls club might be interested in reconsidering if they want to use the building.
  4. Treasurer’s report from Sherry:
    • Checking: $300.59
    • Savings: $1059.07
    • Neighborhood Signs: $1301.63
    • Legion Way Trees: $152.32
    • Community Beautification: $407.76
    • The credit/debit card is definitely active now (to pay for survey monkey)
    • It’s hard to tell who is paying dues because of how it’s set up on the website, we only get email addresses.
  5. Mural update – The City’s original plan for the spraygound at Lions Park had the pump house located by the street but neighbors didn’t want to have the possible noise, so it will now be right behind the tennis court wall. The matching grant we applied for was denied because any mural on the back side of the tennis court wall would be blocked by the pump house. Perhaps we could put a mural on the pump house in the future.
  6. Variety Show update: Roger – This year it will be held on June 1st from 3-5pm at the Salvation Army Worship Center (we can use the space from 2-6 for setting up/taking down). We are partnering with the Bigelow Highlands neighborhood. Roger sent an email to those who participated last year to see if they would be interested again this year. 3 responded with yes, and one more for sure from Bigelow Highlands. Roger might put a notice on Nextdoor to see if we can get more performers. We could use 7-8 people to volunteer. It sounds like several folks that helped last year will be willing to help again this year. Roger will see if a sign company can update the vinyl sign that was made last year.
  7. Block Parties and Picnic updates – Brian reached out to the City about reserving the shelter for the picnic date, but hasn’t heard back. All 4 of the block party hosts from last year said they’d host again this year.
  8. Sub-area plan update: We are getting started on the community connections section, and planning to have a town hall meeting on June 8th from 9:30am to 12pm at the First United Methodist Church. We’re asking if Stacey from the City will be the facilitator. We have 1 survey remaining. The 3rd survey is out right now (related to crime and safety) and we may extend the deadline to April 28th.
  9. Other business:
    1. Charlie Stevens from SWONA wants a letter signed that talks about climate change. When Roger gets it from Charlie, he will distribute it to the board to review and consider.
    2. Brad and Nathan will look into possibly applying for a City Pathway Grant for a path from Central onto Madison Elementary School grounds.
    3. Discussed having a candidate forum again this year, perhaps at the Elks again in early October.
    4. Amy Hill was voted on as a new member to the ENA board.

Neighborhood Meeting Minutes March 2019

3/20/2019 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Sheena Pietzold, Brian Brannies, Jim Sweeney, Roger Horn, Nathan Allan

Others – Cheryl Bayle

1. Variety show update: Roger hasn’t heard back from Salvation Army about the date availability yet. Bigelow Highlands neighborhood wants to partner. We are looking at May 18th or June 1st but prefer June 1st. Roger will meet with Angie Warner-Rein from Bigelow Highlands to talk about getting performers, logistics, etc. We think partnering will help get more people, more performers, and more volunteers.

2. Sub-area update: Roger provided some background on what has happened so far. On the first survey (of four to get feedback on what’s been done so far), some of the comments were somewhat discouraging. There were 29 responses (the survey was 44 questions). We still think doing this kind of outreach is a good thing and the right thing to do. A tentative schedule for the rest of the planning process was discussed. We’ve gotten 11 responses so far on the second survey (the survey is 27 questions). The Core team is looking at the Vancouver subarea plans for examples and ideas. City staff have not been as helpful as we’d like, but no one person is currently devoted to helping with the subarea planning process right now. The next really big date for the subarea plan process is June 8th when we’ll hold a town hall. We’ll ask Paul Horton if he’ll facilitate and look at the Elks Lodge similar to the first town hall we had.

3. Mural update – Brad submitted the Neighborhood Matching Grant for the mural.

4. CNA report: Jim Sweeney – Dave Marty on the CNA suggested putting in a grant to the RNA (recognized neighborhood association) for facilitated training to make the CNA run more effectively/smoothly. There was an update/debrief on the snow storm from Public works and PSE. From what folks heard, positive take-a-way included people getting to know their neighbors, getting outside and walking around, etc. The more negative take-a-ways were mostly related access (like the kids couldn’t go to school because they couldn’t walk without going in the roads). There was also an update on the Homeless response plan (9-month timeline) that’s just getting started.

5. Picnic and block parties: Discussed dates for these events – picnic will be August 17th, 4-7pm, block parties will be July 12th, 5-7pm. Brian will work on securing the shelter and insurance for the picnic as well as donations from the Co-op and Ralph’s, Nathan will talk to Big Tom’s. Roger will coordinate with past block party hosts.

6. Treasurer report: Sherry unable to attend. Brian needs to get login info and can then fill in for Sherry.

7. Other business

– Any place we can archive past ENA-related docs? Example, past newsletters, etc. particularly hard copies. Perhaps a volunteer would be interested in helping scan and catalog these. Maybe we can check with city to see if we can use their facilities for scanning.

– Letter about armory – Jim S. will move on finalizing the letter, Brian as new president will sign.

– Plum Street village – we do have a seat on the advisory board, but things are moving a little slower than expected. The village is only about half-full right now and is taking a little longer than expected to fill the spots.

– Need to update the website with new board members and send the city the updated info, Sheena will be Secretary (voted in tonight). If we don’t get 2 more board members by next month, then we may need to update bylaws. Discussed doing a post on Nextdoor, website post, and email to the mail chimp account list to recruit more board members. It’s also a possibility to update the neighborhood boundaries to include the area from Eastside to Plum as well.

– County Courthouse Location special election is supposed to be in August, so if we wanted to host a forum, we would need to do it in July. City Council Candidate forum would need to be in late September or early October to be ready for the for the vote in November.