Minutes April 7, 2010

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association
Meeting Minutes
April 7, 2010
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Action Items:

1. A “motion to reconsider” the motion passed on March 3 supporting the removal of the traffic island at the corner of SW Pendleton Street and SW Cheltenham Drive was made by Peter J. DeCrescenzo, a member who voted in favor of it on March 3.  The motion passed by a vote of 12 in favor and two opposed.

2. A motion was made and passed unanimously to postpone voting again upon the March 3 motion until May 5.

3. A motion was made by Don Baack and passed unanimously to support the installation of a third modular unit at Rieke Elementary School.

4. A motion was made by Don Baack, and passed, to write a letter to the City of Portland asking that they finish the renovation project at the north end of Wilson Pool.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Acting Co-Chair Robert Hamilton.  The agenda was amended by majority vote of the members to include “Old Business” and  items which will be discussed by Arnie Panitch and Don Baack.  The minutes of the March 3 meeting were not posted at the HNA Web site as the result of a communication problem and will be voted upon at the meeting of May 7.

New Business

Marlys Mock, facilities manager for Portland Public Schools, reported that a third modular unit may be installed at Rieke Elementary School.  The need results from a very successful marketing effort to expand student enrollment at Rieke from 267 to 350, with an anticipated enrollment of 425 in the near future.

Officer Webber, of Central Precinct, Bureau of Police, reported upon criminal activity in Hillsdale, consisting mainly of the burglaries of automobiles.  Don Baack recommended installing bars on entrances to four caves under the Capitol Highway viaduct.  Telephone: 503-823-0097.

Stefanie Adams, Office of Neighborhood Involvement crime prevention specialist for southwest Portland, stated that all the liquor license establishments south of West Burnside are scheduled for semi-annual review.  Those with concerns should contact her by May 10:  telephone 503-823-3131; email: Stefanie.Adams@ci.portland.or.us.  Members may also contact her regarding traffic safety issues or with requests for a crime prevention presentation.

James Uyeda of RideConnection provided an update on existing and new transportation services offered by this non-profit, which receives funding in part from Oregon Dept. of Transportation and Tri-Met.  Rides are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through volunteer drivers.  RideConnection can also help establish Riders’ Clubs and organize trips by groups to local activities.

Wilson High School teacher George Penk and his son Gabriel reported on plans to plant vegetable and flower gardens on the WHS campus.  Currently only club members work on the project but neighbors are invited to participate as gardeners and to provide continuity as students graduate and teachers move or retire.  The gardeners will consume some of the vegetables grown but will also share with the Food Bank and Neighborhood House.  

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman gave an overview of the city’s proposed budget, which will experience cuts almost uniformly of four percent, with other programs being reduced by two percent.  As police commissioner, Saltzman is pursuing a more diverse force, including a recruitment effort in Los Angeles.  Saltzman also noted the city’s need for more trees and he urged HNA members to write letters of support to the City Council and/or testify on behalf of his proposal to fund the effort.

Committee Reports

Hillsdale Foundation/Main Street Program
Rick Seifert reported on progress completing the 35-page application.  Hillsdale and Multnomah Village are two of 10 neighborhoods competing for one of four successful three-year grants.  The City/Portland Development Commission will give $72,000 annually to each of the four neighborhoods chosen, which must raise $30,000 annually themselves to fund an office, a manager, and a range of business development activities for three years.  Rick has received $20,000 in pledges to-date; applications are due May 7.  Many Hillsdale business owners have made pledges but none have been received to date from the property owners.  The Hillsdale Foundation and the Hillsdale Business and Property Owners’ Association have made pledges.

Michael Reunert reported that a large number of fund raising activities are underway for Rieke Elementary School, Robert Gray Middle School, and Wilson High School to close the gap in funding.  These include plant sales, lecture series, an auction, a musical, dining for dollars, a rummage sale, a world culture night, and a fun run.

Don Baack stated that if a gas tax increase takes effect on July 1, it will add $15 million for transportation projects.  There is a proposal to split the money between Southwest and Southeast Portland and spend it on sidewalk projects.  Don is coordinating the effort to solicit specific projects within Hillsdale, including physical descriptions and dimensions, and to find money for engineering studies to bring a short list to “shovel-ready” status.  Then, Hillsdale would be better positioned to lobby for these plans to be implemented in the future and sidewalks actually constructed.

Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc.
Carolyn Raz described the SWNI Board Retreat, which included an overview of accomplishments of the coalition as well as individual neighborhoods during the past year.  Two recommendations included forums on the coyote problem, and re-establishing Neighborhood Watch programs.

There is a monthly Neighborhood Emergency Training workshop sponsored by the Arnold Creek NA which is open to the public; held the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Antioch Christian Church, located across the street from Jackson Middle School.

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz spoke to the SWNI board on March 24 about the proposed city budget.

There is a proposal before the City to require a permit to cut a tree over 12 inches in diameter; the fee would be $35, more for multiple trees, and a higher fee for trees over 20 inches in diameter.

Old Business

Arnie Panitch reported on the latest Tri-Met service cuts.  He urged members to write letters specifically describing how the cuts would affect their personal, social, and business activities.

Wilson Pool
Don Baack made a motion, passed by the membership, to write a letter to the City of Portland asking that they finish the renovation project at the north end of Wilson Pool.

Motion to Reconsider
Peter J. DeCrescenzo moved that the membership reconsider the motion passed on March 3 calling for the Portland Bureau of Transportation to remove the traffic island at the corner of SW Pendleton Street and SW Cheltenham Drive and that SWNI urge the City to remove it.  The “motion to reconsider” passed by a vote of 12 in favor and two opposed.  However, rather than re-voting on the March 3 motion immediately, in the absence of many supporters of the original motion, members expressed their approval of postponing the vote until May 7 so that both supporters and opponents would have an opportunity again to discuss the motion.  A motion was made and unanimously passed to postpone the re-vote until May 7.

Minutes written by Carolyn Raz and Michael Reunert, compiled and edited by Robert Hamilton.

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