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HNA Meeting Minutes for March 20, 2019

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting

March 20, 2019

Hillsdale Library


16 Attending, including 9 Board Members

Don Baack

Barbara Bowers

Glenn Bridger

Joan Hamilton

Robert Hamilton

Tatiana Lifshitz

Rick Meigs

Leslie Pohl-Kosbau

William Reese


Action Item 2019-3-20-1Rick Meigs moved to add an Agenda item to the current meeting about introducing several new items to the upcoming April 3rd Meeting, including filling the HNA Vice President role, and “important pedestrian items” Glenn Bridger wished to discuss. The Motion was seconded and approved without objection by voice vote.


Action Item 2019-3-20-2Don Baack moved to appoint Tatiana Lifshitz to work with Adam on the Bylaws Committee to help develop HNA Policies and Bylaws. The Motion was seconded and passed by the Board 8-0-1.


Action Item 2019-3-20-3Rick Seifert made an Advisory Motion to ask the Board to designate as litter illegal signs as defined in City Code 14A.50.070 and to ask neighbors to remove such signs when they appear. The Motion to advance the request for consideration was approved by a vote of General Membership 8-4.


Action Item 2019-3-20-4Glenn Bridger moved to include three items in the upcoming April 3 HNA Meeting Agenda, in addition to a discussion of filling the role of Vice President.

  • A SWIM Project for bike lanes between Capitol Highway and Terwilliger Place.
  • An ongoing project on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway regarding crosswalks for new bus stop locations.
  • The PedPDX Plan and its treatment of Southwest Portland.

The Motion to include these items along with the discussion of the Vice President position was seconded and passed by the Board 9-0.


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The meeting began at 6:30 pm. Robert Hamilton chaired.


Members introduced themselves. The Board approved the Minutes from both the HNA Meeting of February 6, 2019, as well as the Board Meeting of February 9, 2019.


There were requests for revisions to the Agenda for the current meeting and additions to the upcoming April meeting. Glenn wished to add a discussion of filling the HNA Vice President role, as well as a discussion of “important pedestrian items.” Rick made a Motion to this effect, which Glenn seconded.  The Motion was approved by voice vote, with no objections.


HNA Bylaws Committee Update

Adam Light took the floor to deliver a presentation on work to date by the Bylaws Committee.  (See attached document: HNA Bylaws Committee - 2018-03-20.pdf). Adam is currently the only person serving on the Committee, since Jose Gamero and Rupert Ayton recently left. Key points were as follows.


2015 template. In 2015, an attorney consulting with the City determined that significant changes needed to be made in the structure of neighborhood associations. The attorney found that the associations needed to be board-governed, to provide accountability for following laws. A new bylaws template was issued, and that template is the one the HNA Bylaws Committee has been using.


Changes to city codes will bring new changes to bylaws. Suk Rhee, Director of the Office of Community and Civic Life (formerly ONI) would like to do more to improve the neighborhood association system. But to do so, she will need to re-write relevant parts of city codes. A city task force is doing this now, and future bylaws templates will need to reference those changes (completion date TBD). For now, the HNA is using the most recent template available from 2015. The HNA Bylaws Committee compared this template against HNA’s current bylaws to produce its findings and recommendations.


Opportunities exist to streamline the bylaws for clarity. These may include the elimination of:

  • Parenthetical or explanatory notes
  • Procedural details, which might better be framed as policies
  • Specific meeting content recommendations
  • Rules that have proven incapable of being followed as written


A separate manual of policies is needed. The policies would include, for example:

  • Deliberation and decision-making policies (code of conduct, meeting ground rules)
  • Conflict of interest/loyalty disclosure form for Board candidates
  • Privacy guidelines
  • Committee structure, processes, and authority
  • Membership
  • Election and nomination
  • Responsibilities of HNA representatives sitting on SWNI committees


Specific policy improvements should be considered:

  • Clarification of meeting types
  • Position of “Immediate Past President” created, for continuity
  • Position of “Neighborhood Association Delegate” made subject to policy
  • Name of the organization
  • Stated purpose of the organization


Discussion of next steps for the Bylaws Committee

Adam asked for volunteers to help on the Committee. Leslie mentioned that the Committee to include at least one Board Member. Rick said the president should be involved.


Tatiana said she would be willing to help.


Natalia Bronner said that it could be important for the Board to adopt certain policy changes immediately, such as the policies governing HNA representation on SWNI committees, since SWNI meetings are already happening monthly. She said she would be willing to help craft policy relating to SWNI representatives.


Chris Griffin added that nobody showed up to a recent Land Use Committee Meeting he attended, and also that the HNA representative of the Transportation Committee could do a better job representing Hillsdale more broadly.


Don moved to appoint Tatiana to work with Adam on the Bylaws Committee to help develop HNA Policies while also working on the Bylaws. The Motion was seconded and passed 8-0, with 1 abstention.


Presentation: Illegal Sign Postings

Rick Seifert asked the HNA to take a position on illegal signs in Hillsdale. He introduced an Advisory Motion requesting the HNA to designate signs placed in public right-of-ways as litter, and to recommend that neighbors remove them from public areas as soon as they appear (see attached file: Seifert Motion 3-20-19 Illegal Signs).


The Motion was seconded and put up for discussion. In support, Rick displayed a roomful of signs he had gathered in the community. Despite that City Code prohibits such signs (14A.50.070), various public entities, schools, and private organizations all routinely violate the Code, according to Rick.


Public right-of-ways are not the place for such signs, he argued. They are a “blight,” tending to remain for long periods. Police officers, whose responsibility it is to remove the signs, have better things to do.


Tatiana said she thought the sign-removal endeavor silly, that advertisers need to get word out about their causes, and people are at any rate free to ignore the signs.


Adam said that he should be permitted to place a Black Lives Matter sign at the edge of his yard near the curb, or on his mailbox, and that he would fight somebody who tried to remove it. Discussion grew heated. The Chair cautioned Adam to not to be threatening.


Leslie said she appreciated Rick’s work, and that it was important to know that the city regards such signs as pollution. But she was unsure whether citizens should be encouraged to “take matters into their own hands” to remove such signs.


The Chair put the Advisory Motion to a vote, to advance it for further consideration and action by the Board. The Motion to advance was passed by General Membership vote, 8-4.


New Habitat for Humanity Project

Rick announced that the Greater Portland Bible Church has been working with Habitat for Humanity on a new, multi-year project to build low-income housing. The housing location is adjacent to the previous Habitat project at Trillium Court on Capitol Hill Road and will involve a minimum of 50 units.   


Transportation Items for April 3 Agenda

Glenn said he wished to add several items to the Agenda to discuss at the upcoming HNA Meeting:

  • A SWIM Project for bike lanes between Capitol Highway and Terwilliger Place.
  • An ongoing project on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway regarding crosswalks for new bus stop locations.
  • The PedPDX Plan and its treatment of Southwest Portland.


Don added that PedPDX is the “roadmap for city spending for the next 20 years” on community walkways. 


Vice President Position

Don asked that electing a Vice President be placed on the Agenda for the April Meeting. He then moved that the three transportation items, as well as the nominating of a Vice President, be placed on the Agenda for the next meeting. The motion to add these four items was seconded and passed by the Board 9-0. 


The Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.


Respectfully submitted, William Reese