June 21, 2018 Meeting Minutes

09/19/2018 12:18

SWONA,  Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association

Quarterly Meeting of the Members

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Held at: Gloria Dei Church

Time: 7:00 pm

Approximately 35 people present.



Everyone in the room introduced themselves and noted where they live in the Southwest neighborhood.



Angela Rush, filling in for Carrie LeRoy, SWONA Treasurer, reported the SWONA bank account balance to be at $966.36.



New SWONA president Mark Toy provided updates and information on a variety of neighborhood and City of Olympia topics.

- The welcome sign at Fern and 9th Streets has been cleaned of graffiti and refurbished with a new coat of paint.

- News and information from recent meetings of Olympia's Coalition of Neighborhood Associations: extra police officers have been hired specifically for working with neighborhoods and the downtown area; homelessness and the possibility of creating City sanctioned camping areas.

- Information from a recent West Central Park meeting: upcoming events, including a westside farmers market. Suggestion was made to invite a West Central Park representative to speak at one of the next SWONA meetings.



For the past three years, the (now) annual SWONA picnic/bbq has been held either late in July or in August. A set of possible dates was presented to members present, and August 4 was chosen as the date for this year's neighborhood picnic/bbq.


A brief description of the picnic was provided for new members, along with a rundown of preparations prior to the event. Since the picnic is entirely volunteer created, members present were encouraged to participate, and a sign-up sheet was passed.


Question was raised as to whether political candidates should be invited this year and given time to speak and present. A decision was made by those present that one table is to be provided for all candidates to share, and a 2-minute limitation will be given for those candidates wishing to speak.



Bethany Weidner described the four pocket parks within the Southwest Neighborhood and their history - Welcome Spot at 9th and Fern Streets, Poetry Post at Decatur, Caton Way Garden, and Rainier Bench.


Charlie Stephens gave an update on the Welcome Spot at 9th and Fern Streets. A work day has been set for July 7, from 10 - 1pm. Look for an email announcement.


Bethany Weidner reported that neighbors have requested the Rainier Bench be dismantled, as it has been attracting homeless sleepers and along with amounts of scattered debris.


Mark Toy has cleaned up the Poetry Post area with help from the City of Olympia. He has spoken recently to City staffer Michelle Swanson, and she has stated that the City will be taking over maintenance of the site. However, that work will be limited. Various SWONA members offered to keep watch on the site and to occasionally do litter pick up and weeding.


A signup sheet was passed for volunteers who would be willing to commit to 1-1/2 hours or more a month of weeding and other work in any of the various neighborhood pocket parks.



Dan Leahy gave an update on the status of the proposed housing development and progress through City process. Organized resistance from the neighborhood has been very active and involved with the City. Dan described several of the dawbacks of the project and difficulties that are ongoing. A sign-up sheet was passed for those who wished to become a Party of Record to the development, and thereby receive required communications from the City regarding public meetings and changes in the project's status.


Pushback from the neighborhood seems to be making a definite difference. More people joining the effort would be effective, and very welcome.



Bunny Boid presented on the possibility of a block party to be held by the residents of Evergreen Vista Apartments and surrounding homes and apartments. He urged the support of those present, as a way of helping those residents feel included and a part of the neighborhood. Please contact him at asteroidbunny@gmail.com with interest and questions.



Aristides Pappidas reported on the proposed building of a 4-plex condominium and the problems presented with that.


Melissa Rasmussen, a master's degree student from Evergreen State College doing research on homelessness asked for input from the group regarding any helpful avenues for study.


Meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm. Next quarterly Membership meeting:  September 20, 2018

-submitted by Angela Rush, SWONA Secretary