Minutes from the FAN Executive Board Meeting - February 11th, 2013

Present: Andrew, Carlos, Matt, Deb, Edward, Nancy Ellen, Christine, Bruce, Greg, Nancy C., Kristina

Absent: Bernie, Marv, Rex

Guests: Gary Spizizen (neighbor), Zoe Weiss (UO student), Randy Prince (Amazon Neighbors)

Check in: 

NLC: Deb emailed a detailed report to the board before the meeting. She also reminded us that the NUSA awards deadline is looming. 

ENI: Greg, ramping up volunteerism

FANSpeak: Bernie has been able to add a couple hundred

Newsletter: March 18th deadline

Website: Andrew built XML and HTML sitemaps, which should help search engines and residents find info in the website. He found and uploaded all available meeting minutes going back to May 2008. Greg said we should start thinking about budget cuts looming that could effect Neighborhood Services.

Forum: Edward reported that there are now 769 members, about 24% of the Friendly households. Dog poo tops the list of most talked about topics.

Sidewalks: Bruce wants to set up some public outreach. He's seeking suggestions about the best way to reach neighbors. Perhaps write an article for the next newsletter? Carlos would like to wait until the first phase of sidewalk construction is done to serve as an example for neighbors. Christine is uncomfortable with how the project was presented as a done deal, as a FAN project. People like to be asked what they want, not told what they'll get. Edward agrees that more public process is better than less. We should look at it as a pilot project. Greg said the project has a long history. He suggested it as a topic for the April general meeting. Deb likes the idea of a pre-meeting with those most effected. Bruce thinks it would go a long way toward diffusing the tensions related to the project. Nancy Ellen reminded us that this sidewalk is going in on public right-of-way. Christine agreed but stressed that it's our land (the neighborhood's) and we should decide what is in the public good. What is the intent? What should the goals be? Carlos said that the money is only available for this route. Christine said that if that's the case, we need to be clear. Bruce agreed that more clarity is important. Andrew stated that it feels and looks like a FAN project, but it doesn't go through the FAN treasurer. Carlos shared the example of Madison Meadows which was sponsored by FAN but we were not involved in the finances.  Kristina said that there's a big difference with this project because it was started, designed, and championed by Carlos, the FAN board chair. There were no FAN board members involved in the inception of Madison Meadows. Bruce thinks we need to be more transparent with this project to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Edward suggested that we continue our discussion online.

New Business: The top three Areas of Focus identified at the FAN Winter General Meeting (01/24/13) were public safety, transportation, and neighborhood sustainability. Carlos thinks that we should encourage the expansion of neighborhood watch. He suggested that perhaps each board member could start one, which might expand to neighboring blocks. Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) is a complimentary program. He wants to encourage people to do both and thinks it could lead to walk buddies. Andrew asked what Neighborhood Watch entails. Christine reported that you just need to let everyone know there's a meeting, and invite a police officer. It's usually a one hour meeting, meet neighbors, and eat cookies. Edward said that the most important aspect of all this is that you meet your neighbors and demonstrate that you care about what happens to them. 

Randy Prince shared that MYN program has about 30 households per group. It's an easy sale for people's time because it's a one time meeting. It builds neighborliness. They want to recruit field coordinators and have money to reimburse them from a neighborhood matching grant but has a June deadline. They get a $3000 matching grant which allows for $100/group. Other money from State Farm, EWEB, and Oregon Country Fair.

Transportation: Andrew reminded us what issues were brought up at the meeting, such as; having sidewalks, active transportation, and the fact that the needs of the elderly might be different than those of other residents. Christine thinks we should add current projects (including S. Willamette) that are underway. She thinks that this would be a good topic for a committee.

Committees: Andrew asked for suggestions about how to start them. Deb suggested that a goal be that each committee meet at least once before the newsletter deadline, then report and recruit with an article about each. Kristina suggested that we find board members to head or begin populating the committees. Deb, Edward, and Carlos volunteered for the public safety/crime prevention committee. Christine and Bruce volunteered for a transportation committee. Matt and Kristina volunteered for a neighborhood sustainability committee. Greg also suggested that we need a picnic committee. Andrew will help. Edward volunteered to coordinate the booths again. Nancy Ellen is retiring from prize gathering/donation soliciting this year. We need someone to take that task over.

Agenda setting: Greg suggested that we send out a call for agenda items a week and a half before the meeting. By the first Monday of the month, have a tentative agenda set, which leaves the Thursday before for the call for agenda items. Deb added that we should send out reports and minutes with the agenda email so they're all together and we know what's important to review before the meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.

Submitted by Kristina Lang. 3/3/13

Meetings are held the second Monday of the month at the Washington Park Recreation Center, 2025 Washington Street, Eugene, OR. The public is invited to attend. For more information go to www.FriendlyAreaNeighbors.org


A Report on the Friendly Neighbors Forum (http://www.facebook.com/friendlyneighborsforum)
Prepared by Edward Goehring
February 10th, 2013

Current Forum membership: 762
(roughly 24% of Friendly's 3,195 households -- per last census)

Number of people who saw news about Friendly via Forum posts, public service announcements (PSAs) on their personal social media pages in past month: 4,627 (63% in Pacific NW, the rest mostly in US)

Number of FB friends of Forum members who can be reached via PSA: 11,280 in ZIP 97405
67,620 in Eugene
90,465 total (in US, mostly on West Coast)

Most read/commented topics:

1. Possible new City and Lane Co. taxes to support services
2. Rude dog owners and what their dogs leave behind  -- burning issue, I guess ;)
3. Notes from the Friendly Area Neighborhood dialogue meeting
4. Missing mother & daughter from 18th/Chambers
5. Mayor Piercy  meeting with citizens at Albertson’s
6. Artwalk - especially the poster, which got a lot of rave reviews
7. Crime reports
8. S Willamette repaving
9. A Safer Eugene & Lane Co. - Oregon
10. Neighborhood Groups Exonerated | eugeneweekly.com

Location of Forum members currently:

701 - Eugene, OR
10 - Springfield, OR
6 - Portland, OR
3 - Cottage Grove, OR
2 - Seattle, WA
1 - Chevy Chase, MD
1 - Tucson, AZ
1 - Johnson Creek, WI
1 - Philomath, OR
1 - Minneapolis, MN
1 - Brownsville, OR
1 - Birmingham, AL
1 - Hazen, ND
1 - Eureka, CA
1 - Exeter, England, United Kingdom
1 - New Orleans, LA
1 - Santa Fe, NM
1 - Pembroke, NH
1 - Freeport, The Bahamas
1 - Piestany, Trnava, Slovakia



Neighborhood Leadership Council – Notes of 1/22/12
Prepared by Deb Jones

  Most of this meeting focused on “talking shop.” Reps sought input/experience from the group on various issues of running their neighborhood associations.

1.     I was asked: How does FAN keep such a large board with high attendance?

I said: I’m not sure yet – ask me in another year.

2.     I asked: What experience do other NA’s have with surveying residents?

-Bethel -  got lots of surveys completed at summer social event. Had survey booth set up.

- Laurel Hill - small enough that board can deliver a survey to all households. Complainers have asked for surveys, then stated they are not swayed by survey results contrary to their opinions.

- City staff – you can never fully represent all of your neighborhood; can’t afford ($$$) to conduct a statistically representative poll. Rather, should allow for multiple ways for residents to have input: at meetings, by email, complete surveys, etc.

- Strategies for balancing out residents’ concern of not being represented:
- Bylaws prohibit board from taking any position outside of a membership meeting (maybe with exceptions).
- Bylaws let any board decision be reversed at next membership meeting.
- Report out any Board actions in e-news/printed news.

3.     News from other neighborhood associations:

- Bethel membership meeting will focus on issues of homelessness/transients

- Several NAs have successfully combined social events with membership meetings – with better attendance at the meeting. E.g. start with a potluck or a plant exchange.

- Laurel Hill – had another successful New Year’s Eve party and holiday sing along

- River Road – strongly recommends that all NAs send reps to any upcoming public forums on local gang activity.

- Northeast – tried a different approach to neighborhood response to the latest controversial land use/development application. Felt much better results and positive feedback from neighbors. Board established a committee that met consistently with distressed neighbors. Met 9 times – reviewed specific concerns, city code, requests for modifications, etc. By time of public hearing, a smaller (30-40) group of distressed neighbors had an organized and clear presentation for the hearing officer. (Versus the usual group of 200 distressed neighbors with unorganized, sometimes uninformed comments.)  The buzz after the hearing was exceptionally positive. Classic comment was: Regardless of the hearing outcome, we can live with the results more easily knowing that we gave it our best shot.

4.     Applications due for annual Neighborhood USA awards

In 2011, Jefferson Westside, West University and South University neighborhoods were selected as finalists for a Neighborhood of the Year Award and the Friendly Area Neighbors newsletter was recognized for its excellence. If your neighborhood is interested in submitting an application for one of the 2013 awards please contact Neighborhood Services. Entrants must submit a completed application with the appropriate application fee postmarked by February 15, 2013. Eligibility requirements and application guidelines can be downloaded from the NUSA website at http://www.nusa.org/awardapplications.aspx