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HNA Meeting Minutes for June 6, 2018

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

 

Action Item 2018-6-6-1:  Board Member Rick Meigs moved that the June 6 election be postponed until July 11 and that the terms of the present Board members expire on August 1 rather than July 1.  The motion was seconded.  The motion was defeated 4-3.

 

Action Item 2018-6-6-2:  Board Alternate Wes Risher to the absent Leslie Pohl-Kosbau made a motion to expand Board Membership from 11 to 13 positions.  The motion was seconded.  The motion was passed 6-0 with one Board Member voting to abstain.

 

Action Item 2018-6-6-3:  Leann Knapp, citing Bylaw requirements, entertained a General Member motion to approve the Board’s decision to expand the Board to 13 with General Members voting tonight for eight (8) rather than six (6) Board members.  The motion was made and seconded and passed 23-0 with an additional 13 General Members abstaining.

 

Action Item 2018-6-6-4:  Board Member Matt DeRosa moved that the Board approve the language drafted May 21 as a Grievance response and that the response be released according to HNA grievance procedures by June 8.  The motion was seconded and passed 7-0.

 

Action Item 2018-6-6-5:  Board Member Tatiana Lifshitz moved that the Board approve donating HNA’s Park Event Permit to Smile Oregon.  The motion was seconded and passed 7-0.

 

The meeting opened at 7:05 p.m. and was chaired by Leann Knapp, Vice President.  The Minutes of the May 2, 2018, meeting were approved.  The Treasurer later reported to the Secretary an On Point Credit Union account of $953.95.  Members introduced themselves and responded to the Chair’s question: “For what are you grateful?” 

 

Following self-introductions, Chair Leann introduced and thanked Sylvia Bogert, Executive Director of SWNI, and the SWNI staff at the Multnomah Arts Center, for their assistance in organizing the logistics relating to tonight’s election, in collaboration with the HNA Nominating Committee.  New registration forms were introduced tonight, Sylvia oversaw the secret ballot election procedures and the checking of member attendance at meetings.  While all Board Member and General Member voting associated with “straw ballots” and “Action  Items” (see above) was accomplished as usual by a show of hands and counting by the Chair and the Secretary, neither Board nor General Members oversaw or managed the voting for candidates or the counting of election ballots.

 

The agenda noted that regarding this annual General Membership Meeting, that the Bylaws stipulate various categories of individuals who potentially are qualified to be voting members and include the requirement that an individual must have attended at least one meeting during the past 24 months in addition to the present meeting of June 6, 2018.

 

Chair Leann explained that the current Board Membership includes a provision for 11 positions.  Ten Board Members currently serve and one position is vacant.  Tonight six positions will be voted upon--unless the Board passes a motion to expand Board Membership to 13, the maximum allowed under the Bylaws.  As of 7:05 p.m., 10 people are candidates to fill the six positions, though General Members will be given an opportunity to either nominate an additional General Member or nominate oneself. 

 

The Chair of the Nominating Committee, Matthew DeRosa, introduced the other committee members:  Adam Light, Don Baack, Tatiana Lifshitz, Chris Griffin, and Samina Reese and explained the process used to recruit individuals interested in being a candidate.  Although she is listed as a candidate Chair Leann Knapp withdrew her name, leaving nine candidates.

 

Leann then briefly described the spirited debate which has taken place within Hillsdale through electronic email, personal discussions, and at an Emergency Meeting of the Board on Monday, June 4, about whether the HNA Bylaws should be changed within a month to allow potential General Members to attend only a single meeting in order to vote for Board Members, and, consequently, whether the June 6 election should be postponed to July 11. 

 

Board Member Rick Meigs moved that the June 6 election be postponed until July 11 and that the terms of the present Board members expire on August 1 rather than July 1.  The motion was seconded.  Leann then opened the floor to discussion among the General Membership (including Board Members) relating to the Motion.  Fourteen people contributed facts and opinions relating to various characteristics of Hillsdale’s population, the upside and downside of voting tonight or July 11, whether Bylaw changes are “easy and can be accomplished quickly” or whether six months or more will be required because Bylaw revisions should be comprehensive and not piece-meal.  Some advocated a more liberal approach to membership and voting, while others advocated requiring attendance of at least three meetings (including the meeting of the General Election) and possibly more.  The Board was both criticized as being “dismissive” and constituting an “exclusive club,” while others credited the current and previous Board Members with initiating and supporting a number of projects and programs which serve the general interests of the approximately 8,000 Hillsdale residents. 

 

Leann asked those in attendance--not including Board Members--to vote in a “straw poll” to express, in a non-binding way, Member preference:  18 voted to postpone the election to July 11; 10 voted in favor of voting tonight, June 6.  The Board Members then voted 4-3 to hold the election tonight.

 

Board Alternate Wes Risher to the absent Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, made a motion to expand Board Membership from 11 to 13 positions.  The motion was seconded.  Following discussion among all present, Leann invited attendees, again in a non-binding “straw poll,” to indicate their preference:  13 voted in favor of expanding the Board to 13; six (6) opposed the expansion; and 11 abstained.  The motion was passed 6-0 by Board Members with one Board Member voting to abstain.

 

Leann, citing Bylaw requirements, then entertained a General Member motion to approve the Board’s decision to expand the Board to 13 with General Members voting tonight for eight (8) rather than six (6) Board members.  The motion was made and seconded and passed 23-0 with an additional 13 General Members abstaining.

 

Leann then invited nominations from the floor, to be followed by candidate statements.  Member William Reese was nominated by Member Samina Reese.  Jose Gamero nominated himself.  Some candidates present spoke on their own behalf.  Mike Roach spoke on behalf of the absent Don Baack.  Sheila Fink spoke on behalf of the absent Barbara Bowers.  Tatiana Lifshitz spoke on behalf of the absent Jonas Nordwall.  And, the absent Adam Light spoke via a computer monitor.

 

Matt DeRosa explained that to be elected to the Board, a candidate must have at least 50% plus one (1) more vote of the ballots cast.

 

General Members (including Board Members) voted.  The results included:

 

  1. The election of Jose Gamero, Rick Meigs, and Andrea Wall to two-year terms as Board Members; expiring in the Spring of 2020.
  2. The election of William Reese, Don Baack, Glenn Bridger, and Barbara Bowers, each having the same number of votes.  The Board will need to determine which two will serve a one-year term (expiring in the Spring of 2019), and which two will serve a two-year term (expiring in the Spring of 2020).
  3. The election of seven (7) new members means that one seat remains open and the Board taking office on July 1 will need to determine when and how to fill it.  The Board now has 12 members, not 13.

 

Board Member Matt DeRosa moved that the Board approve the language drafted May 21 as a Grievance response and that the response be released according to HNA grievance procedures by June 8.  The motion was seconded and passed 7-0.

 

Board Member Tatiana Lifshitz moved that the Board approve donating HNA’s Park Event Permit to Smile Oregon.  The motion was seconded and passed 7-0.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:49 p.m.

 

Submitted by Robert Hamilton, Secretary