June 2020 Meeting Minutes

06/27/2020 17:14

South Westside Olympia Neighborhood Association (SWONA) June 18, 2020 Virtual Meeting Minutes


Present (via Zoom): Tom Brignole, Ryan Hollander, Carri Leroy, Teresa Madsen, Angela Rush, Rosemary Gilman, Bob Delastrada, Karen Janowitz, Steven Kant, Mark Toy



7:00 pm     Introductions (with question: What should SWONA be doing now during pandemic?)

Tom: Support group to help neighbors who need help with errands

Ryan: Credit to Dan Leahy for monthly phone calls, clearinghouse for community information

Teresa: Roundabout island beautification (previous discussion) – neighbors adopt an island?

Angela: Alternatives to summer picnic.  (Mark – would be Phase III by then, gatherings up to 50, would need more logistical planning for social distancing, etc.)

Karen: Phase III get-together possible?

Steven: How RNAs fit into wider discussion on things like BLM (Mark – RNA reps go to CNA, talk about issues, input communicated to City, City also communites information to RNAs who inform members)

Carri:  Neighborhood walking map for kids of animals in neighborhood (pigs, chickens, etc.)

Bob: Support for Juneteenth event on bridge.  Lots to do – Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, etc.

Rosemary: Appreciates opportunity to connect and touch base


7:10 pm     Approval of December minutes/Financial Report

            Minutes approved without amendment. 

Treasurer Report:

o   October - City Grant reimbursed our 2019-20 insurance payment

o   November - We reimbursed individuals for BBQ expenses

o   December - We renewed our website costs for 5 years (Webnode)

o   January - 10 new members at our meeting (new $10 membership dues were paid)

o   May - Our 2020-21 insurance payment posted ($250)

o   June - Our June balance = $556.64


Discussion of annual SWONA membership dues and recent history (approved at December meeting to increase to $10/year/person.  Membership entitles you to vote in SWONA elections.


7:15 pm     Updates


·      2020 Neighborhood Matching Grant update 

We did not get new members at cancelled March Annual Membership Meeting, but in better financial situation than Treasurer’s report since Neighborhood Matching Grant (NMG) approved to cover insurance and Gloria Dei rental fees.  NMG limited as Mark did not get any fleshed out proposals from other SWONA members for specific projects prior to application date.  City is willing to consider reformatting of NMG with pandemic limitations on social gatherings, etc.  Olympia Council of Neighborhood Associations (CAN) has separate NMG grant for administration, including Zoom, Survey Monkey and CNA website accounts.  We are using CNA Zoom account for this meeting.


·      Covid-19 Q&A

Question about reopening.  Thurston County has applied for Phase III but no approval yet.  Key metric is less than 25 new cases per 100,000 county population in last 14 days.  Two dashboards – one on https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus  on epidemiology, one on https://coronavirus.wa.gov/ for reopening criteria metric.  Ryan asked about Department of Health projection, Mark responded that DOH workers plan to be working from home for foreseeable future.  Tom expressed skepticism on pace of vaccine development, discussed unknowns about disease.  Mark mentioned NY Times graphic showing excess mortality in NYC from this pandemic greater than for 1918 Spanish Flu


·      Council of Neighborhood Association (CNA) update

CNA meets monthly on 2nd Monday of month.  Earlier in year (March, April) most of the discussions was on progress with stimulus funding through Department of Commerce (small business loans, food support).  Food bank has acute need for volunteers with National Guard being called back from service.  Legislative updates – lockdown happened at bill cutoff.  $200 million approved for pandemic response, other funds for school construction.  Growth Management Act (GMA) revisions approved which could allow a doubling of housing densities in neighborhoods.  3 year property tax exemption for ADU construction, relaxed square feet limits, off street parking requirements.  Tax exemption for market rate housing discussed at City Council meeting early in day. 


As far as homeless housing – 2828 Martin Way scheduled for construction as housing for homeless by fall 2021.  May meeting reports 19% revenue decline for year, City transit did >10,000 rides since lockdown, Woodruff Park rebuilding two tennis courts, adding two pickleball courts, new West Bay development of >400 units in discussion.  Question on how this will impact West Bay trail plans (will ask at next CNA meeting).  Link to agendas and meeting minutes at CNA website: https://www.olympianeighborhoods.org


Feels like we have less of a voice in land use decisions.  One application for tax exemption with affordable dropped out.  In 2019 5 developments with market rate housing finished and 5 in development.


Discussion circled back to potential for late summer picnic.  Consensus was people did not feel comfortable with planning for picnic with current pandemic keeping social distancing.  Discussed alternative event planning.  In general, we do a better job of outreach for community information – posting on website, Welcome Spot, other venues.  Maybe schedule a weekend time for front porch arts walks – music and art.  Three suggestions made on website: clearing house on website, pocket park maintenance, cleaning up graffiti.


Teresa moderates Next Door page, Mark updates SWONA website, Ryan maintains SWONA Facebook page. 


7:45 pm     SWONA elections in March for President, Treasurer


SWONA secretary sends notices to members but he relocated to Minnesota in May so position is vacant.  Angela agreed to be acting Secretary until we could get a permanent replacement.  Election for President and Treasurer was supposed to be done in March but lockdown happened.  No one volunteered at meeting to stand for either of these positions so we will get word out again and try again in future.


Further discussion on Arts Walk – like event (timing, organization).  Ryan suggested name – ‘SW x SW’.  Discussed work parties for pocket parks.  Charlie has been doing park upkeep by himself at Welcome Spot.   Discussion on roundabout beautification – plan for work in fall.  Ryan volunteered to develop list of roundabouts that need work, and we can put notice out for neighbors to adopt.   Suggestion for planning for music event on June 26th or maybe in August.  After further discussion, June event seemed unrealistic.  Carri, Ryan and Angela agreed to form committee to start organizing this event.  Discussion of involving kids in playing instruments.  Question on West Central Park status, Mark will follow up.



8:00 pm     Adjourn