Present: Glenn Bridger, Ken Love, Tye Steinbach, Janet Hawkins, Jan Weston, Mike Duffield, Nancy Hand, Kathy Bambeck, Wes McMullen, Don Baack, Will Fuller, Marcia Leslie, John Gibbon, Jim Gardner, Marianne Fitzgerald, Dorothy Gage
Staff: Sylvia Bogert
Guests: Keturah Pennington, Hillsdale; Lee Buhler, Temporary recorder; Lee Perlman, Southwest Portland Post; Cassandra Scallon, Launa Rae Mathews, Kelly Ridenour, Deanna Toyoshima, Danielle Gonzales, Julie Pfister, Dee Anne Bess (OSHU School of Nursing)
The meeting was called to order at 7:04 by Chair Glenn Bridger
Agenda: Wes McMullen made a motion to approve the agenda, Mike Duffield seconded the motion and it passed unanimously
Minutes: Wes McMullun made a motion to approve the March minutes. Tye Steinbach seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Introductions: Glenn asked everyone to introduce themselves and describe what would be their ideal home if they could live in any type of structure anywhere. The responses were very interesting including tree houses, a turtle shell, yachts, mansions and a monolithic dome.
Keturah Pennington from the Hillsdale neighborhood gave a presentation on monolithic domes. She passed around a brochure with color photos displaying different types of monolithic dome structures. Keturah explained the many advantages of this type of construction. A monolithic dome is a constructed as a single contiguous unit. Therefore, it is much stronger than other types of construction. Keturah said the Portland Public Schools have at least 10 schools that will need to be replaced including one or two in Southwest. Monolithic domes would be ideal for a school building especially in the event of an earthquake. Keturah pointed out that scientists have determined we could be in for a large earthquake sometime in the future. Monolithic domes would not only protect students better but also make good emergency shelters. The structures are inexpensive to build, cheaper to maintain, plus cheaper to heat and cool. More information is available at www.monolithic.com. Keturah urged people to go back to their neighborhoods and inform residents about monolithic domes. She is willing to talk to interested groups. Sylvia said the biggest hurdle is what people visualize when they hear the term “monolithic dome.” People really need to see examples so they know what is possible. There is one in Portland at the east end of the Fremont Bridge.
Executive committee report: Glenn gave the SWNI executive committee report. There was really good participation at the Halo LID meetings. Glenn reminded everyone to get their neighborhood action plans back to SWNI by May 15th. Volunteer of the year candidates are also due to SWNI by May 15th. Next Tuesday, April 29th at 7:00 PM there will be a candidates' forum at the Multnomah Center and Glenn encouraged people to attend.
Treasurer's report: Sylvia gave the treasurer's report for Tom Schaper. SWNI is on target for its contract with the city. She pointed out that although the balance was only $2,792 there were several chunks of money that would come in shortly. The board packet included a report on the fiscal year 08-09 small grants and they are on target as well.
Executive report: Sylvia reported there will be a final budget hearing on May 8th at King School in NE. The mayor accepted most of the budget from the recommendation committee. There will be no cuts but it may not be as big an increase as hoped. Volunteers are needed for the SWNI clean-up especially people with pick-up trucks. The Portland Plan would like SWNI to host an event in SW. John said they will discuss it in the land-use committee. Sylvia said it is not clear yet what decisions in the Portland Plan will be influenced by public involvement. Lee Perlman said there would be a kick-off of the program on June 6th. Marianne asked about what topics would be discussed and Sylvia said there are a number of documents available online that people can review.
Don Baack said there is a problem with funding for a program Cash Oregon that helps low income people with their taxes. Don would like the executive committee to approach the city to put it back in the budget. Janet said she is aware of the program and strongly agrees it is an important project and we should support it. Glenn asked if there was any objection to the executive committee taking this on. Will said he was worried about where the money would come from and the executive committee should take that into account when composing a letter. There were no objections to the executive committee following-up on this matter.
Crime Prevention: Nancy reported on the crime prevention committee. The last meeting was in conjunction with the schools committee and it went very well. They discussed some problems at schools and what could be done to resolve issues. She reminded people about the Ready Safe Go event April 26th. Will added that neighborhood adults can do much more towards juvenile crime. Nancy said people are calling the police when they can’t handle their kids and it might be good if SWNI host educational programs for parents. Glenn hoped we could talk about this idea more in order to build community. Don suggested we might be able to find a grant from the visioning process. Sylvia said there was a community and youth provision that might work.
Transportation: Marianne gave the transportation committee report. Over 500 people showed up at four different meetings on transportation improvements and HALO LIDs. There were some hecklers at some of the meetings. The presentations are on the SWNI website. The cost of these improvements is high but if the cost can be spread out more it would be much less per household. At the meetings there were maps with green and red dots that people could put near their house to indicate how they felt about the improvements. Marcia said wavers should be discussed and they were not. Glenn said the waiver details are yet to be worked out. Kathy said there was about a 50-50 split of opinion for and against the improvements in Bridlemile. Marianne will ask the city to do polling. People have to get the 50%+1 support for the Halo LID in order for it the process to start. Marianne wrote an email to Commissioner Sam Adams complaining about moving the Sauvies Island Bridge and she got a response informing her where the money would come from. Marianne said the city nominated the Vermont east project for ODOT funding. Marianne introduced the following motion from the transportation committee:
Approving a letter from SWNI to PDOT supporting PDOT's application to ODOT for a Transportation Enhancement grant to fund pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Vermont and Chestnut from 35th to Terwilliger.
Don asked if trails committee could be added to the letter. No objections were voiced. Glenn called for the vote and the motion passed unanimously.
Don and Marianne went to the streetcar plan committee and they suggested Barbur be added for future projects. Jim Gardner talked about Safe and Sound Streets program which is not in good shape. There are several other money measures on the November ballet so it may not be included. There are several projects for SW but not a lot. Don pointed out that Safe Sound Streets was not in the mayor's budget. Kathy said she asked Sam why we had streetcars in southeast Portland and yet ignore problems in SW. Sam told her the money for streetcars came from the federal government whereas street maintenance could not be included by law.
Glenn said there was a need of sidewalks in SW and the Halo LID was a good option to explore and the public input was very important.
Schools committee: Will gave the schools committee report and distributed a motion passed by the schools committee. They also heard a presentation regarding an initiative supporting health insurance funding for all students. The committee revised their action plan.
Motion: SWNI supports full funding of the Robert Gray Middle School SUN program.
Will said about 24% of kids at Robert Gray School need the free and reduced lunches. The way it works out Robert Gray disadvantaged kids do not benefit as much as disadvantaged kids in other schools due to the formula the schools district uses to allocate funds. Marianne suggested we should look into whether the Neighborhood House staff time could be listed as matching funds on the grant. Glenn called for a vote on the motion and it passed unanimously.
Will said he hoped there would be more neighborhood involvement in schools. He said it would be good to get people involved whether or not they had kids and no matter what their opinion of schools. Don said they have been working with schools in Hillsdale on several issues with positive results. The Schools representative said they are going to try to inform the neighborhoods on everything they are doing.
Parks: Ken gave the report for Kirky Doblie who was celebrating her birthday with her children. Ken said Astrid Dragoy has been named the new City Nature manager. The Gabriel skate park is in construction and on target to open in early July. Dickinson Park neighbors are working on the installation of playground equipment. There is committed funding for four concerts in Willamette Park this summer.
Trails: Don Baack said there will be a meeting on May 1st to discuss trail priorities. SW Trails will have April Burdison and Roger Geller to talk about the bike plan at the next meeting. Glenn and Don met with BES about the trail destruction below the Iowa I-5 overpass structure. Mark Lear of PDOT is working on adding trails to construction planning maps to avoid these problems in the future. Don also talked about a problem with a short segment of trail at 25th and Seymour. The Trails group removed some old stairs for a neighbor and built new stairs in the public right of way. The neighbor felt the stairs were too steep and need handrails so he complained to the city and the new stairs have now been removed. Therefore, the stairs will have to be put in after a permit is worked out with the city. Mark Lear with PDOT is helping resolve the situation.
Land-use: John said there were people from BES at the last land-use meeting to talk about stormwater improvement. The land use committee made a few changes to their action plan and adopted it.
Glenn said there will be a joint meeting on Wednesday, May 21st between the Transportation and Land-use committees to discuss growth issues.
Communications: Wes talked about a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” brochure included in the board packet. It is an example of a brochure that could be done for each neighborhood. He encouraged neighborhoods to work with Ginny, Ruthann and the Communications Committee to develop these brochures. He said the SWNI website is getting better and better and easier to use. He asked that people give them feedback on what works in terms of communications needs. He said they also need experts in website design especially using Drupal, a content management tool.
Wes said he has been using the SWNI web a lot and likes it. He also asked people to submit more pictures for the SWNI News.
Sylvia had sent out the bylaw changes to the board via email with the changes in red and strikeouts. She asked the board to review the changes as there will be a vote on it at the May SWNI board meeting.
Nominating Committee: Jim Gardner gave the nominating committee report. The committee has been working to contact every representative and neighborhood chair to ask if they were interested in a SWNI board positions or knew somebody that might like to serve. The committee recommendations are:
President: Brian Russell
First Vice President: Ken Love
Second Vice President: Tye Steinbach
Secretary: Susan Egnor
Treasurer: Tom Schaper
Glenn explained that he had told the committee he would not accept the president position. He has been president for 5 years and feels it is time for someone else. He said he has enjoyed the position and plans to stay involved.
Don Baack suggested a committee to review the small grant process to see what worked well and what didn’t work well to see if we can improve the process. Marianne suggested posting the final grant reports to the website.
Nancy said there will be a Ready Safe Go workshop on Saturday, April 26th from 8:30am-2:00pm. Dorothy Gage talked about the Sellwood Bridge. They are waiting for an environmental review before they work on the budget. Glenn reminded the board about the SWNI candidates fair on Tuesday, April 29th and the SWNI clean-up on May 10th
There were several nursing students from OHSU to observe the meeting and Glenn thanked them for their attendance.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:52pm