Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Planning/Board Meeting
September 26, 2018
Greater Portland Bible Church
Action Item 2018-9-26-1: Don Baack moved to table a Motion to refer a new Bylaws revision that would loosen the HNA Membership requirements. The Motion to table was denied 2-8.
Action Item 2018-9-26-2: Matt DeRosa moved to refer a new Bylaws change to the next HNA Meeting, for a vote to occur on October 3, 2010. The change, if approved, would enable any Hillsdale resident or business owner to become a voting Member in the HNA five days after making a request in writing. The Motion to refer was seconded and passed 10-0.
Action Item 2018-9-26-3: Don Baack moved that the HNA authorize
SWNI to assist in printing 60-100 copies of an informational brochure on neighborhood lighting options to permit neighbors to vote on the kinds of lights the city will provide. The Motion was seconded and passed without objection.
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Vice President Jose Gamero chaired the meeting, which began at 7pm.
The purpose of this meeting, he said, was to plan for the coming year, and review progress on initiatives laid out in January 2018.
Jose also announced that family circumstances may force him to leave Hillsdale in the coming months and step down from his position. But he does not yet know what will happen. He will keep the Association updated as the situation evolves.
Introductions: What We Want to See this Year
Members introduced themselves. Each was asked to mention one thing they would like to see HNA achieve in the coming year.
Will Reese: “Double the size of attendance at meetings.”
Wes Risher (shares a Board position with Leslie Pohl-Kosbau): “Engage actively and consistently in the Southwest Corridor conversation.”
Andrea Wall: “To see more Members attending meetings than Board Members.”
Barbara Bowers: “To broaden our thinking to include more of Hillsdale than just the commercial center, and to include more people from the outskirts.”
Matt DeRosa: “Reaching out to more people that haven't been involved before, including people without families, younger people—by improving the web site and our presence on social media, and by live-streaming meetings.”
Eric Wilhelm: “To bring people out from behind the windshield and put them in contact with their neighbors—possibly through a Sunday Parkways or a car-free Terwilliger.”
Don Baack: “To see the Red Electric Trail get into the Southwest Corridor, and to get SWIM going (Southwest in Motion).”
Samina Reese: “To see more engagement from neighbors.”
Natalia Bronner: “To become a more open organization where decisions are driven by residents, and to include a discussion of livability at every meeting.”
Robert Hamilton: “To see a successful Bylaws revision,” regarding which the current Bylaws Committee's work “looks very encouraging.”
Adam Light: “To see the HNA become relevant and serve its purpose by representing and serving all of the residents of Hillsdale.”
Jose Gamero: “To see the HNA become more accessible, not just in terms of physical access but also in the ability of people to engage online, download and listen to the meetings, to participate in the meetings whether or not they are able to attend in person.”
Review of Plans from January 2018
Jose announced line items from the January meeting and asked for an update on accomplishments. Some items had been addressed previously through written comments. Verbal discussion in the meetings went as follows:
Request that Oregon Health & Science University meet with us to describe and explain their future physical expansion plans.
(Wes): Brian Newman had delivered a presentation that seemed out of date. It would be helpful to have him present, in the future, about not only OHSU’s plans on the Hill, but at the South Waterfront, the Knight Cancer Center, and the Southwest Corridor “Marquam Connector” between Barbur Boulevard and the OHSU campus on Campus Drive.
Investigate the potential impacts of SW Corridor construction (Tatiana Lifshitz).
(Jose): HNA has addressed this in recent months and will continue to do so in the months ahead.
Explore ways to expand civic engagement in Hillsdale (Leann Knapp, Matt DeRosa, and Rick Seifert).
(Matt): Attempts have been made to identify people not registered to vote by their DMV automatic registration, and also to obtain registration forms to make available at National Night Out. Forms did not arrive in time to make them available. Starting in October, speakers will discuss various ballot measures.
Report on Red Electric Trail and Bridge construction plans (Don Baack).
(Don): SW Trails requested a traffic study on Bertha West, which experiences a great deal of cut-through traffic. PBOT may take action for traffic calming. Secondly, neighbors on Bertha would like to see a direct connection to the Red Electric trail, so SW Trails will continue to push for this. In addition, regarding the bridge on Barbur Boulevard, SW Trails would like to seek a pedestrian and bicycle route, which will require an agreement for a State right-of-way between Barbur and the freeway to build on what used to be a city street, Slavin Road, for 700 feet.
(Andrea): The drainage ditch on SW Bertha, which runs along the Red Electric Trail, has (after three years) been cleared of obstructions. Becky Tilson from PBOT was the person most responsible and is one of many who have been supportive of the SW 25th Ave Trail Restoration. In addition, Andrea is working to obtain a Tree of Merit designation and signage for a huge Western Red Cedar located adjacent to the Red Electric Trail that is over 17’ in circumference and possibly over 600 years old. She will be continuing to attempt to find someone, perhaps at OSU, who can verify the actual age of the tree.
Develop ideas for “How to change the image of the HNA” (Don, Glenn Bridger, and Rick Meigs).
(Jose): The Bylaws Committee will be tackling issues that will have an impact on the nature of the HNA. Other Committees will also likely take on aspects of the same this year.
Investigate “Why HNA?” as a leader of community conversation and action. This will include posing the complementary question: “What, Where, Who is Hillsdale?” (Leann Knapp).
(Robert): The Board addressed this, to some extent, in the context of Hillsdale’s Values Statement crafted as a part of the HNA’s position taken on the Southwest Corridor.
Expand outreach efforts to the Hillsdale Farmers Market.
(Jose): Glenn Bridger reported that the Farmers’ Market makes space available for community groups to do promotional booths at their market and that HNA has not taken advantage of this opportunity recently.
Develop a new map of the Town Center.
(Eric): A map is located on Google drive, as addressed some months ago via email list. Eric will share the link with Jose, who will make the location available to Members through an upcoming Minutes.
(Jose): Surveys in the past have been too long (to foster good participation).
Create Welcome Wagon & other introductions to new neighbors.
(Matt): New neighbor outreach has not been done yet. The idea was to create materials and a program to welcome and orient new residents to their neighborhood, and to introduce the HNA.
(Jose): After we create new committee assignments, the committees can see if it makes sense to take up this idea again and make somebody accountable for it.
Conduct Meet & Greet for OHSU Employees.
(Robert): An idea that was explored several years ago, to help OHSU employees living in Hillsdale feel valued and welcomed by the community, in part to attract them to Hillsdale’s shopping opportunities. It has not been further pursued this past year.
Explore Growth / Infill Issues / Opportunities for Hillsdale.
(Jose): We haven't handled this very well the past few months but will strive to keep on top of it.
Conduct Westside Property Tax Reform forum in collaboration with SWNI.
(Robert): The tax forum was to discuss ways to equalize property taxes on east and west sides of the river. We’ve been looking at a SWNI sponsored event, and there has been some provisional outreach.
(Jose): Definitely seems to be an area of interest, and likely will attract broader Member interest. Worth pursuing further.
(Don): But “east” and “west” are by no mean uniform, so the subject is tricky.
Participate in SWIM (SW in Motion) / Active Transportation.
(Wes): Need to have a list of SWIM projects that involves the neighborhood. It should be on HNA’s web site, so that the community knows generally what’s being tracked and initiatives that the HNA is engaged with.
(Adam): Hillsdale residents should be able to see what the HNA is telling the city what Hillsdale wants done.
(Eric): Many of the projects are very small, like creating a crosswalk, or a bike lane for half a block, put into a larger SWIM framework for prioritizing them. Anyone is free to subscribe to City mailing lists to get more informed.
(Wes): HNA has to stay vocal and engaged, or we won't be able to get any money or attention.
(Jose): We would look to Transportation Committee (Eric as current Chair) and Land Use Committee (Glenn as current Chair) to help keep HNA up to date on SWIM project priorities.
Organize National Night Out.
(Matt): Done. Thanks to everyone who helped out.
Community Building 101.
(Jose): Lots of ideas for community building have been proposed, but none have acted upon. In the future, we’ll encourage people to pick one or two, and find a champion to do something about them.
Membership Requirements Referred to a Vote
Jose announced the Bylaws Committee has been working on a short-term solution to loosen Membership requirements, so that more people who wish to submit Advisory Motions or vote on issues requiring Membership will be able to do so. (See document below).
The new revision of Bylaws would allow the applicant, if they are a Hillsdale resident or business owner, to apply in writing and become a voting Member in 5 days. This would be done through an online form.
The “five days” scenario, Jose said, accommodates a scenario where a prospective Member reads a posted Agenda item, becomes interested, signs up to become a Member, and is able to vote at the next the HNA meeting.
Jose went on to say that there are two ways to proceed with the current proposal for revising the related Bylaw. One is to ask the Board to “refer” the proposal for a Member vote at the next meeting (in seven days, or October 3). The other way is to force the vote through a petition signed by 20% of Members; such a petition has already garnered sufficient support to force the vote if needed.
Adam Light said that approving the revision is a matter of some urgency. Approving on October 3 would help the Bylaws Committee conduct the upcoming community listening event on October 14: people could sign up immediately to vote on shaping the Bylaws. The proposed revision change, he noted, would not preclude further changes in the future regarding the HNA’s structure or voting practices.
Matt DeRosa, sitting as Board Member, moved to refer the issue for a vote at the upcoming meeting on October 3, at which point there will be time for further discussion. The Motion was seconded.
Don Baack stated he wished to take more time to study and understand the issue and preferred to table the Motion to refer the vote. He moved to do so. The Motion to table was denied 2-8.
Matt and Jose responded that Members will still have seven days to study the matter before the issue is brought to a general vote in one week. The Motion to refer was then put to a vote and passed by the Board, 10-0.
Adam arranged with Matt to publicize the upcoming vote forthwith. Adam was to send Matt the proposed Revision, and Matt agreed to send it to the Members List at the end of the day, and to NextDoor.com within the next two days.
[Don Baack has asked that these Minutes include his observation that the issue of Bylaws revision discussed above had not been placed on the published Agenda for the 9/26 meeting seven days prior.]
Committee Planning Discussion
Jose said the next part of the meeting would focus on building committees.
Don stated his general view of the importance of committees: to create efficiencies in HNA Meetings. Members working on committees can do the research on various initiatives, write brief reports with recommendations, and put those recommendations on a Consent agenda, so that after the Board reads these reports, they can say whether they wish to discuss them, or not, at upcoming meetings. Such a process saves valuable time at meetings—so that the entire Association does not have to worry about matters that are easily resolved outside of the meetings.
Matt added that the committees reflect the priorities of the HNA. They express what Members believe to be important matters for the HNA to pursue. He himself wants to help the HNA become more involved in Houselessness—to speak with the Mayor’s office, and SWNI if they wish to become involved, and to generate action on issues connected with this important problem.
Matt emphasized that anybody volunteering on a committee should be ready to be held accountable for doing what they set out to do. “If you don't do it, you can't expect others to do it, and it won't get done.”
Natalia said that outreach and communications will be especially crucial, “to find out what our neighbors need: what are their issues, what are their problems,” so that they can see HNA as a way to address them and will keep participating.
Matt wrote committee names on a whiteboard and, together with Jose, asked who wished to participate in them. The results were as follows.
Barbara, Will, Leslie, Joan, Andrea
Natalia, Matt, Jose, Rick
Public Safety / NET
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted by William Reese