Minutes of the ICA Meeting on November 12, 2009
Officers: Vice-President William Archer, Treasurer Rupert Prince, Secretary Mary Piper
Directors: Barb Christopher, Susan Dunn, Dean Gisvold, Nikki Johnston, Jeff Jones, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Pam Lindholm Levy, Michela McMahon, Jason Messer, Brad Perkins, Josh Plager, Charlotte Uris
Absent: Chris Allen, Jim Barta, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Nathan Corser
Guests: Dana Griggs, Tarah Reed, Erik Hovmiller, Cynthia Huntington, Bruce Kaplan, Brian Schaeperkoetter (ICA newsletter editor)
Vice-President William Archer called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm, at Irvington Elementary School. Introductions were made.
The October 8 meeting minutes as posted to the ICA web site were approved with two additions: proposed budget to be attached to minutes; insertion of Charlotte Uris’ question concerning the legality of asking an ICA Board member to leave the meeting when the Board is discussing his/her request for funds.
NECN Leadership Workshop
Mary Piper reported on her attendance at a two-day workshop presented by the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods. The workshop dealt with the history of the neighborhood development and provided training in how to organize for specific efforts and how to bring neighbors together. She requested reimbursement of $35 for the workshop fee. Approved by voice vote.
Related to the workshop was discussion with the staff of NECN about the possibility of storing Irvington’s historical records at NECN. At this time, these records are scattered among individuals, many of whom are no longer involved with the ICA. Mary will meet with NECN staff to determine what kind of storage they could provide and how it would be accessed. Susan suggested that the City’s Archives should be contacted about the proposal and an understanding gained about their retention schedule and purging of documents held by and at NECN. A suggestion was made to further investigate the various possibilities for storage of permanent ICA records. Any storage arrangement should be by detailed agreement will be prepared and presented to the Board at a future meeting. In the meanwhile, Board members are encouraged to gather the materials they now have and pass them on to Mary Piper for cataloging. Barb Christopher will assist in this project.
Treasurer Rupert Prince reported that some inadvertent errors were made in past filings to the Internal Revenue Service and a $1,900 penalty has been levied. The penalty is on hold for 90 days and it is hoped that they will accept a letter of explanation and cancel the fine. Rupert felt he might need to pay for legal/financial advice in preparing the letter. It was suggested that he contact Neil Kimmelfield who served in the past as ICA Treasurer and is a tax attorney.
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED that $200 be allocated for any fees incurred in pursuing resolution of the IRS penalty. Motion carried.
Regarding the 2009-2010 Budget, Treasurer Rupert Prince noted that two Board members had responded to his request for opinions, questions and suggestions. Dean Gisvold drafted a similar budget with a $6,000 “contingency fund” (attached to Treasurer Report) without specific item amounts. The new Treasurer report also included a restatement of the Finance Committee’s allocations. (attached to minutes) Further discussion led to an understanding that a contingency fund of $10,000 was possible.
Susan Hathaway-Marxer questioned the rationale for reducing the Charitable Giving allocation for 2009-10 from the typical recent annual budgeted amount of $10,000. She also asked why the proposed $6,000 allocation was split into two separate categories: school support and general. Rupert and Mary acknowledged that the split was unintentional and would be corrected. Mary pointed out that annual allocations and disbursement were much higher than $10,000; that the average amount given over the past ten years was $12,768. It was discussed that the budget for Charitable Giving was always tied to the success o the previous year’s Historic Home Tour. Dean stated that the ICA Board only authorized spending for Charitable Giving in June of each year, a full 13 months after the revenue was earned. May responded that she believed the allocation was made in September of each year; five months after the revenue was earned..
There followed a discussion of the allocation methods used by the Finance Committee as it was expressed that the budget seriously altered the historical philosophy of the ICA’s disbursement of funds and its impact on the community.
The advisability of setting up accounts for Parks, Neighborhood Capital projects and Legal Fees (Land Use) was questioned. Does the ICA want to accumulate funds and self-restrict its funding? It was stated that this would be at the expense of Ad Hoc projects coming up in the fiscal years that couldn’t be addressed because funds were already committee. Others spoke to the importance of establishing these accounts as a start to building funds that would eventually accumulate to an amount that could meet a need.
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED that the Proposed Budget for 2009-2010 as proposed by the Finance Committee be adopted by the Board. In favor 9, opposed 4, abstaining 2. Motion carried.
The Finance Committee’s key recommendations were not considered for adoption.
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED that the Proposed Budget be further discussed as to changes in funding philosophy and methodology. The Budget will be opened for Amendments at the December 10 meeting of the ICA. Motion carried.
The Treasurer was asked to restate the budget but with footnotes explaining the purpose and any other unusual aspects of each line item.
Dean Gisvold reported for the Land Use Committee.
1) Regarding the Conditional Use Permit for the Bed & Breakfast on 15th, he has drafted a Good Neighbor Agreement for the owner and adjacent property owners but the owner’s consultant has responded with a different version. This will need to be negotiated with the neighbors and owner. The City has approved the conditional use application but with 16 conditions. The final agreement has to be between the ICA and the applicant.
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED that the “Rapid Response Team” be authorized to speak on behalf of the Board because the final document is due shortly. Motion approved.
2) Regarding Westminster Presbyterian Church’s request to add a new accessibility ramp, roofed trash enclosure, elevator tower, etc, the City’s Landmark Commission has approved the building modifications. They also made three suggestions to the church: 1) Remove three conifers on the south side; 2) Replace or remove the opaque covers on the stained glass windows; 3) When exterior lighting is changed, replace with historically appropriate fixtures.
3) Dean noted three important opportunities for neighborhood input: the Portland Plan, Memorial Coliseum uses, and the Bicycle Master Plan. Information is available on-line.
Mary Piper asked about a house recently demolished on 22nd and wanted to know if the Land Use Committee has been informed. Dean responded that the City did not notify Land Use and Jeff felt that the City is not notifying Irvington as it should. Dean said the neighborhood will have more control over land use issues with the establishment of the Historic District.
Historic Preservation Committee
Mary Piper reported on her meeting with the Grant Park Neighborhood Association concerning four early Irvington plats that extended into what now is the Grant Park neighborhood. Their Board agreed that it is necessary and appropriate to include these residences in Irvington’s National District boundary. They requested that the property owners be notified by letter from the ICA. Mary has prepared an article for the Grant Park newsletter.
Nikki Johnston reported that there are still two open positions on the Board
The Sabin Community Association has a committee led by Trent Thelan, a landscape architect from ZGF. They applied for and received a grant from the Bureau of Environmental Services for a "Green Street" project to improve and enhance the crossing at NE 9th & Fremont entering Irving Park. [Trent and his group had presented to our Board in May seeking our approval going forward.] They were funded $70,000 for curb-extensions, bio-swales, infiltration planters and crosswalks and will shortly seek bids for the work. Trent has expressed desire to meet with the ICA Parks Committee to consider how this may "transition" into Irving Park and if some additional planning and work will be needed to further the aesthetic goals of this project.
Pam Levy reported the Home Tour Committee is currently selecting homes.
Concerning a possible partnership with the 2010 US Census effort, the president is concerned about the contracts that we would like to sign. She was asked to scan and distribute these contracts to the Board for their review. A decision will be tabled until the January 2010 meeting.
Dick Levy Memorial
The City has received ICA funds for installation of a bench to be installed at the edge of the off-leash area in Irving Park. However, Irvington residents who live on NE 10th and were friends of Dick Levy have offered to upgrade the quality of the bench. This will be a Victor Stanley bronze bench installed by the city.
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED that the ICA accept the donation of the Victor Stanley bench. Motion carried.
Central Lutheran Church
The installation of the tower has been completed and is identical to the original. The ICA received publicity for its contribution to the historic preservation of the building. There will be an article in the November newsletter.
The holiday potluck will be held on December 3 at Holladay Church of God. No alcohol will be served.
The newsletter will be out before Thanksgiving to let neighbors know about the Holiday Potluck.
Dana Griggs from the Irvington PTA spoke about the May 8, 2010 Irvington Auction. She hoped members of the community will help with sponsorships and donations. A notice will be placed online at Irvingtonpdx.com.
Brad Perkins announced the final Irvington Farmer’s Market will be November 22, 11-3, and urged everyone to come.
Meeting adjourned 9:00 pm
Attachment: Treasurer’s Report for November 12, 2009
ICA Treasurers Report 2008 – 2009 Summary
ICA meeting November 12th, 2009
Account Balances (As of October 30, 2009)
Checking : $ 5,513.60
Money Market : $ 16,851.89
Total $ 22,365.49
IRS has levied a late filing fee of $1,900 for delinquent filing last year.
Background of this penalty is that last year I filed the taxes after the due date as I noticed that the bank ledger and 990EZ forms going back 4 years could not be reconciled. The root cause of the issue was a number of expenses and incomes were not recorded in the tax filings of 2005. (This was related to the spray park and the control being passed back to the ICA. We open a special account for the spray park which was subsequently closed. I cashiers check was issued from this account for $15K to pay one of contractors for the spray park, this and several smaller transactions were not recorded in the tax filings. In trying to reconstruct the ledger I had to get the original documents from the banks archives, which took a while and then I had to prepare 4 years of tax returns for state and the feds.
I did not file for an extension whilst I was gathering this information.
I have contacted the IRS and they have put the penalty on hold for 90 days awaiting further communication from us. I have also contacted the Tax payer advocacy service, but did not connect with the group that handles EZ990 yet. I spoke with my accountant who advised writing a letter to the IRS explaining the background and explaining that we are entirely a volunteer organization and requesting a repeal of the penalty. If I pursue this option we may incur some professional fees.
Budget proposal for 2009 / 2010
Last meeting the following budget was proposed for the coming year and was left open for the board to comment on or request amendments to this budget. Dean sent a response that the net amount of money to allocate was approximately $35 K ( See appendix 1) . This is true as in Dean calculation the money at the end of the year would be reduced from $20 K to $6 K. ( This is the difference in the budgeted numbers shown below and Dean's calculation of the money available). Dean prudently avoided making any suggestions as to where this money might be spent .
There has been some email exchanges regarding this proposed budget and whether or not we would be better served maintaining the status quo with more emphasis on providing direct help to individuals and organization in the neighborhood (the status quo) or whether there should be a conscious effort to fund or seed infrastructure projects that would require an accumulation of funds over several years, and using the “capital projects” protocol that was developed 2 or 3 years ago to look at infrastructure projects in the neighborhood. This was the philosophy behind the proposed budget.
Appendix 1 Dean's notes