Executive Board meeting May 25, 2014

05/26/2014 15:38

Notes from the SWONA Board meeting May 25, 2014

Present:  Bethany, Phil, Ann.  Janis in spirit.  [3 pages]


1.  SWONA Website – Phil explained how to make changes or enter new information by on the website www.swonaonline.com. PHIL will make sure that there is a prominent place for people who visit the website to leave comments; and will add a “new member” sign-up form that can be downloaded from the website (BETHANY has one in her files) and add the SWONA possum logo to the site (done already!).  BETHANY will send Phil some SWONA history from her electronic files and PHIL will post whatever he thinks on the website.  We decided to include the site address on a postcard to be sent by ANN when someone renews or pays a membership.  BETHANY will get Ann a set of postcards with the web address plus:  the possum logo, thanks for annual membership dues,  that regular meetings are quarterly on the 3rd Thursday at Gloria Dei, and a line from our mission statement.


2.  Yahoo email/members.  ANN will update the swona2007 yahoo contact list with new and renewing membership information so we have a current paid member list for 2014.  Bethany will check swona2007 and make changes to the contact list as appropriate. (We did this after the meeting.)


3.  Walking Park Issues.  All 4 Walking Park spots need attention.  We focused on the Welcome Spot at 9th and Fern – it is so visible and the members have done a lot of good work there.  As we have about $1000 in our treasury, we decided we would propose to hire a responsible teen from the neighborhood as a “Landscape Engineer”(TLE!)  to bring the site up to snuff so we can make native plant replacements this fall.  We will recruit a SWONA member to develop the tasks with the TLE  and consult as the summer wears on. ANN will draw up a job description based on $10/hour, for 5-10 hours’ work per week up to 60 hours total, between June 20 and Aug 20.  We assume that there would be more hours at the beginning and taper off as things get better under control.  We said we would schedule a work party to spread mulch.  (We should try to get some mulch for free!  Maybe Ann could contact Western  Supply, as we’ve bought from them before, and they also gave us a half-discount when we set up the site, but not since then.)  We will present this plan at the June 19 SWONA meeting and post it on the Nextdoor site and at CHS.  We talked about the officers interviewing applicants, and having them on board the third week in June. 


4.  Pathways application for the Decatur Bike Path at the Poetry Post.  PHIL will update the members on the grant request for lighting on the pathway.  The Bike-Ped Committee will review requests and recommend 4 for funding, on June 25.  We talked about the fact that the Poetry Post is in dire need of a Steward – BETHANY will check in with some folks in the Olympia Poetry Society??? to see if they are interested in helping maintain it.  Phil suggested that we really need some plantings to define the area.  We decided that we will schedule a major Native Plant Work Day in October where the neighborhood can establish native plants at both the Welcome Spot and the Poetry Post.  [Flag this for decisions at the Sept. meeting.]


5.  Inviting new families with children to join SWONA.  There are lots of new families with children in the neighborhood, often seen walking in the street pushing strollers, with babies in backpacks, elementary school kids on bikes, etc.  We decided that we would replace the regular Sept SWONA meeting with a BBQ at Decatur Woods on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 pm.  We will put this on the June meeting – ask for organizers plus someone to create specific activities for children.


6.  Development issues.  The City has named 19 issues on the new Draft Comprehensive Plan that they think neighborhoods might want to address.  The ones I know about are a) policy on connecting streets; b) making it easier for staff to change a zoning designation (a kind of spot zoning) and c) changing High Density Corridor zone into “Urban Corridor” zone.  SWONA has sent a LOT of comments to the city about connectivity policy in general and not connecting Decatur or 16th specifically.  They of course just continue to ask for more comments and more or less ignore them.  BETHANY will send out a note about this to the swona2007 list so if anyone has a comment, they could reply to the City or to the email site – and maybe post the note on the website as “news”?  (I only thought this might be a good idea after we met, Ann and Phil….)


Sidewalk on Fern St  to 9thPHIL will find out what kind of sidewalk the developer of the new “Fern St. Apartments” is supposed to install along Fern St.  Starting with Cathy McCoy – we need to find out whether or how much of the berm the new sidewalk might involve along the Welcome Spot.


7.  Other Neighborhood Associations.  The Neighborhood Coalition is supposed to be a place where neighborhood assn people can learn from one another, but a lot of the time is spent with people from the City talking.   Our Westside sister NWONA has become more active and we want to have better communication with them…The NE Neighborhood Assn has a really active bunch of people, and they have been able to leverage a lot of support from the city for pathways, murals, etc.  BETHANY will contact them and invite them to send someone to our June meeting to talk about how their successes.


8.  SWONA quarterly meeting, June 19, 7:00 to 8:30.  We decided on a regular format for all the meetings:  I. Introductions (18 seconds/person (thks Janis for the “What color is my door?” theme); II. Regular Reports (Treasurer, minutes, members present, webpages update); III. Old Business; IV. New Business; V. Announcements (events we know about, deaths?? Etc.).  VI.  Good of the Order – people talking for whatever time is left prior to adjournment at 8:30. 


We also decided the following: a) we will look for another person to join the Board – a Member-at-Large.  One thing they can take on is attending the Neighborhood Coalition meetings, but it would be good to have more neighbors participating as board members. b) we will offer childcare at our meetings -- $10 for showing up at 6:45 and staying til 7:30 regardless of whether any children come; and $20 for the evening if kids show up.  We will encourage tipping.  BETHANY will see if Salima ben Khalti wants to do this.  We need some kid entertainment items…BETHANY will check w Gloria Dei and add a request for coloring books, crayons and such like to the meeting notice that goes out.   c) We aren’t going to have “refreshments.” 


9.  Notices for the June 19 meeting.  BETHANY will make up a flyer for the meeting (date, time, place, agenda items), send out a notice via swona2007 to all contacts and put one up at 9th and Fern.  She will find out from Brad if he has the red & white signs and whether he will put them out.  PHIL will put the flyer up at Decatur Woods bulletin board. BETHANY will write a newsletter to be copied at the City and distributed by DAN before the meeting – (unless she falls into a stupor instead!)






10.  Agenda for June 19. meeting. 


I.  Introductions – what’s the most distinctive plant in your front yard?

             (ask for theme idea for next meeting?)

II.  Regular reports


III.  Old Business

       Pathways Project update

       Final Fern St. Apts sidewalk decision


IV. New Business


  Walking Park Review

       9th & Fern – Hiring the Teen Landscape Engineer + someone to oversee him/her

       Poetry Post – refurbishment


  Speaker from NE Neighborhood Assn

      Projects they’ve been able to accomplish

      Increasing active participation by neighbors


V.  Announcements & Good of the Order


     Sept 14 BBQ organizer needed (event + kid focus)

     June Jubilee at West Central Park – June 21



Adjourn – 8:30      Leave building at 8:45