March 19, 2015 Meeting Minutes

03/20/2015 18:41

March 19, 2015

SWONA Annual Meeting at Gloria Dei

Bethany W. President, opened meeting at 7pm

Approximately 35-40 folks in attendance

Open with introductions, name, where you live and where you were born.   Members were born all over the country and one person from Ontario, Canada.  The list included the mid-west states of Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan.  Others haled from Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Alaska and of course Washington State, from Seattle to Centralia.

Bethany thanked everyone that has participated in the good works around the neighborhood, particularly the walking path.  The neighborhood is 50 Years old now so a little background was given about the “walking park” and the participants in creating the “park”. 

May 15th is “Bike to Work” day.  The Poetry Post at the end of Decatur will be a station for the bikers.  NWONA and SPSCC are working together with SWONA to staff the station.  Anyone can volunteer to be a greeter at the station.  Contact Bethany for more information.

Our neighborhood is great because we have walkability, we are close to downtown, we have friendly neighbors and each time you participate in an event or group project you get to meet your neighbors and establish bonds.

Order of business:  Election of officers, Vice-President and Secretary

Phil Cornell is willing to continue as VP and Angela Rush has volunteered to be the new secretary.  A motion to add the candidate’s names was entered by Bethany; the motions were seconded and confirmed by unanimous voice vote by the members.  Both motions passed.  Welcome Angela and thank you Phil for continuing as VP.

April 19th there will be an informal “Bike to the Farmers Market” ride.  Interested bikers can meet at Garfield at 10:30am.

SWONA officers strongly encourage new participation by new neighbors and members.  There is a shifting of the “old guard” moving out and new, younger families with children are moving in.  We can expand the number of board members also.  Currently, there are only the officers and we could really use a larger group of people to contribute time.  Meet with Bethany after the meeting to discuss how to get involved.  For example, two neighbors, Delores and Whitney, got together for the “Stone Soup” event at the Westside Park (or the not the 7-11 Park).  The event was very successful and fun.  Another example of something to contribute might be to create a brochure for the neighborhood showing the “Walking Park” or the art at the sites.

There is a drawing for a nice SWONA tote bag at the end of the meeting.  Free tote bags were also brought by city representatives for the members. 

Treasurer’s report by Ann Vandeman:  There are a number of renewals and new memberships tonight.  There is $518.89 in the bank before the addition of tonight’s funds.

Brent was mentioned as a continuing ad-hoc board member.

Phil presented a power point slide show on the progress of the Decatur Pathways project located at the end of Decatur St SW and Caton Way.  The proposal has been approved by the city and there were two representatives there for questions.   

Phil mentioned that SWONA turns 25 this year.  The board would like to throw a party and is looking for a party coordinator.  The event will take place at Decatur Woods Park on August 1st.  Any takers?  Please contact Phil and/or Bethany.  There is funding in the pathways project for the party. 

There are new signs at the end of Decatur advising of the pathway project.  Phil will put the PPT on the SWONA website and/or Facebook Page to view.  The majority of the work will be adding lights (City to install) and plantings that the neighborhood will create.  Rich Bakala is the Volunteer Coordinator for the project; you can contact him directly or sign up tonight.  Sign-up sheets were passed around during the meeting.

Starting in April, we do need volunteers to create the planting beds.   The city will be adding lights to the west side of the project this project.  Bev Taylor is heading up the Poetry Post upgrade. 

The plantings will be native species.  The approximate cost is $2,500 for the plants.  Volunteers are welcome to donate to the project as well.  We also have equipment needs; we will be installing stone benches and rock walls.  See PPT for details.    The total grant is for $120,000 with approximately $80,000 used this year.  The “unused” funds will carry over to year two of the project. 

Question from the audience:  What is the city’s responsibility when they are adding lights at the end of a pathway but to get there, there are dark areas on the same street?  Basically, there is a lack of connection between lit sections of road and poses a safety risk because many people walk in the middle of the unlit section of the street.  Member was thrilled with the upgrade but concerned about this issue.  Michelle from the city advised it was a good question, did not have an answer tonight.  She will find the answer and get back to Phil on this question.

Question from the audience:  What animal is the mascot on the SWONA signs?  Bethany advised that the creature is a ‘possum or Opossum.  The reason behind that choice was that years ago, we had a lot of ‘possums in the neighborhood and they seemed to survive just about anything civilization threw at them (besides cars) and SWONA felt the same way, that we are survivors.  Bethany’s son created the logo we use today.

Statement/Question from the audience:  there is a concern about the dumping that goes on at the end of Decatur.  What is the recourse we have when that happens?  Michelle from the city advised to contact Waste Resources.  Much of the dumping is on private property.  The lots on the eastside of Decatur are now for sale.  Will there be waste receptacles on the pathway?  Probably not as they tend to overflow before they are emptied out in many locations. 

The city provided copies of the landscaping plans at tonight’s meeting. 

The winner of the drawing was Michael B.

Bethany adjourned the official meeting at 8pm.

This is my last night as secretary and the last time I type up the official minutes.  Thank you for the opportunity to tell the story of our meetings four times a year.  It has been great meeting new people and seeing old friends and neighbors each time we get together.  Keep on telling your stories.  I look forward to reading Angela’s minutes in the future.  It has been a great tenure.  See you in the neighborhood!

Minutes recorded by Secretary:

Janis Rich

Next Meeting:  third Thursday in June