South University Neighborhood Association
Executive Board — Meeting December 8, 2014
Attending: Bill Aspegren, Tim Shinabarger, Kari Parsons, Pamela Miller, Laura Illig, Marsha Shankman; guests: Karen Hyatt, University of Oregon Government & Community Relations; Lindsey Cullums, community outreach coordinator, City of Eugene Risk Services. Absent: Malcolm Wilson, Rebekah Hanley, Tammy Young, Mike Russo, Carolyn Jacobs
SUNA Web site: Pamela: No response yet from the invitation for volunteer(s) to maintain the Web site. Requests a progress report in January on site issues to include renewing the domain name, transferring the Historic District Web site contents, maintaining site.
University of Oregon Report: Karen: –January 31st will be a winter day of service for student volunteers to do projects in close-in neighborhoods. –UO President?s Task Force on Sexual Violence will issue its report Tuesday, December 9th. –Siting of a new residence hall at the corner of 17th and Moss has to fit with agreements with the Longhouse and continued solar access.
Kari said the SUNA board previously discussed having a board statement encouraging the UO to grow northward. Karen said the UO will have public hearings in January on campus density changes and the potential residence hall in the East Campus Area.
Curb Painting for Interim Street Identification (when existing street signs are stolen): Bill: In West University, they painted street names on the curb in the yellow-painted portion. Pamela: this time of year, paint doesn?t stick. Kari: on Potter and East 21st Avenue, someone put numerals on the stop sign posts to identify the streets. Bill: concerned that if SUNA puts some kind of street identification in place while we wait for the city to replace all the stolen street signs, the city might discontinue the street sign project. Karen: if the neighborhood does curb painting of street names, students would want to participate on the day of service. Pamela: We should discuss whether to do this at all. It?s the city?s responsibility to replace the stolen signs.
Emergency Preparedness: Lindsey: Because of our location in the region of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, it is only a matter of time until the next earthquake. Eugene Risk Services seeks to plan a response. The City is contacting neighborhoods with information about a program from Washington State called Mapping Your Neighborhood. Amazon and Friendly Neighborhoods have done some of the steps in MYN. She said it?s a great way to get a sense of what resources are in the neighborhood, what houses have residents with mobility issues that would affect emergency response, and what language barriers there are in a neighborhood. Pamela asked for board input on having Mapping Your Neighborhood as the topic for a general membership meeting. Lindsey said citizen facilitators from several neighborhoods are interested in talking about it. She recommended Carlos Barrera from Friendly Area Neighborhoods.
Marsha asked if the main thing Mapping Your Neighborhood does is tell you who in your neighborhood needs help and who can provide skills. Lindsey said there are a lot of templates for the program; for example, it can help family members make plans for where they would meet up if there were an emergency — not just within the neighborhood but also setting a meeting place outside the neighborhood depending on the severity of the earthquake.
Pamela said it might be useful to communicate with University of Oregon. Lindsey recommended Emma Stocker in the UO Office of Risk Management.
Laura asked what the city provides to neighborhoods in an emergency like an earthquake. Lindsey said the city emergency program brings organizations together to provide emergency support functions such as medical care, but does not provide direct services to neighborhoods. She said that depends on neighborhoods to work internally. She said in a major event, the city would not be able to get food and water out to neighborhoods. Cell phones would probably not work unless pinging off a satellite; fire stations might have collapsed; emergency service providers would need to triage to respond to ongoing events.
Lindsey said she would be glad to speak at a neighborhood general meeting. Pamela said it?s important for SUNA to dovetail with Edison School to get families involved — ideally, to get the topic of emergency preparedness included in the curriculum — so it will be a strengthening thing rather than fear-based, and to get interest from Edison families in organizing around it. Lindsey said schools are a common organizing network for emergency preparedness. She provided copies of a Mapping Your Neighborhood DVD to board members who requested them.
Pamela recommended the board form a subcommittee on this topic. Tim said he would be on the subcommittee and would contact Carlos Barrera to request he speak on Mapping Your Neighborhood at the general meeting. Laura said she wants Carlos to speak to the board first on how they generated interest at Friendly Area Neighbors. Tim said he would ask Carlos to attend the January board meeting.
Livability: Marsha said she had to call in a noise complaint to Eugene Police Department on a recent weekend. EPD came to her door in the middle of the night to have her sign a complaint. Kari said she has been it that situation where at 2 a.m. a police officer comes to get her to sign the complaint. She said it?s hard to want to be a willing complainant after that. Bill said his neighbor experienced retaliation that included a broken living-room window after filing a noise complaint. He said when the police officer comes straight over to the complainant?s house after warning a party house, the party house residents know who called in the complaint and are going to hold a grudge. He suggested the board file a request with EPD to change their pattern. Marsha said a lot of people are not willing to be complainants on party noise issues for these reasons.
Kari recommended Malcolm work with his ongoing EPD contacts on this. Pamela said we should emphasize our concern about the risk of retaliation. Kari said she acknowledges that the responding police officer is working the night shift and that may be the only time when the officer is available to get the complainant?s signature. Mike said EPD could use Docusign — an electronic signature format on which people could sign the complaint using their iphone — and that would remove any reason for contacting complainants in the middle of the night.
Future meeting topics: January board meeting: board elections (who is running again, vacancies, people to nominate); emergency preparedness/Mapping Your Neighborhood; report on the willing complainant issue; SUNA Web site status; curb painting/street-sign painting; encouraging future UO expansion north toward the Willamette River rather than south and east into neighborhoods.
MUPTE (Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption): Bill: The City?s MUPTE review committee will include two at-large neighborhood people. The city manager or mayor will appoint them. He said those people should be appointed by the neighborhoods. He said neighborhood association recommendations to city council on MUPTE were ignored. Laura said neighborhood leaders asked the council to consider how a large apartment building affects a neighborhood and whether it can help make the neighborhood successful– for example, does it include a mix of housing including affordable units– emphasizing that density alone is not a value for a neighborhood. She said the MUPTE program lacks a claw-back provision to compel developers to refund exempted money if the developer does not deliver what it promised. Bill said he would discuss with Laura and Carolyn possibly communicating with Ward Councilor Alan Zelenka or with the entire city council about changing the MUPTE program. Pamela said it?s important to raise the issue at Neighborhood Leaders Council as to whether neighborhoods work together to try to change the city program.
Next board meeting: 7 p.m. Monday, January 12th, 2015