Minutes for June 11th

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Dean Gisvold, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Barb Christopher, Aaron Stuckey, Nathan Corser, Bev Burn, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Jeff Jones, Jim Barta, Michela McMahon, William Archer, Peter O’Neil, Steve Cole, Pamela Lindholm-Levy and Nathan Christensen. 

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Jason Messer, Brian Schaeperkoetter and Thomas Mertes.

VISITORS: Susan Gisvold, Donna Wax, Anne Williamson, Woody Mosby, Gillian Carson, Ryan Carson, Colin Burn, Jon Eaton, Kay Mosby, Lynsey Stuckey, Peggy O’Neil, Linda Dodds, Harley Grovenor, Meryl Logue, Ted Wolfe, Johnston Mitchell, Jessie Bonham, Mark Bello, James S. Heuer, Coralie Stevens, Jennifer Burns, Dan Smith

President Steven Cole called the meeting to order at 7:05. There was no police officer present. Most board members present confirmed that they believe an officer is supposed to attend every scheduled meeting, baring police emergencies, of course. Susan reported that, according to the minutes, a police officer has not been present at an ICA meeting since October 2014.

MEETING MINUTES: Minutes for April and May have been distributed by email. Steven believes they need some revision and asks that they be scheduled for approval at the September meeting.

Jessie Bonham, Community Relations Manager of Clean Energy Works (CEW), gave a presentation about new services the non-profit local organization is promoting for homeowners: specifically, solar energy, seismic protection and radon detection programs. He took names from people wishing to subscribe to the organization’s newsletter and he reported that CEW has funding partners to make some low-cost loans available for their programs. He was questioned about rebates available for seismic work and window replacement. It was noted that Clean Energy Works is helping to sponsor the Summer Movies at Irving Park this year. 

BROADWAY/WEIDLER ALLIANCE UPDATE: Steve described the members’ interest in work projects for NE Broadway is greatly improved. The group has by-laws and officers now. He described interest in going after a TIGER GRANT, a highly competitive and big City program featuring investment in transportation improvement to promote economic recovery. 

Mark Bello, a long-time Irvington resident at NE 9th and Tillamook and a volunteer for the Urban Forestry Commission gave a presentation about the City’s new tree code. Its purpose is to provide protection for street trees and trees on private property. He said there is appointed member of the Commission from NE Portland. The Commission provides oversight of the new tree code. There is plenty of conflict between sidewalks and trees. Trees are generally not respected when it comes to sidewalk construction or repairs, and the expense of dealing with sidewalks often leaves trees without adequate protection. 

He explained that there is no finesse in the pruning when utility companies or their contractors prune street trees. There is very little notice when they schedule tree pruning, and there are usually no inspectors around when work is done. The City acts only on complaints. Barb offered that the ICA would post Mark’s information on our web site so that neighbors can become better informed about what’s going on. 

Peter O’Neil offered that the Irvington Tree Inventory Project work...to count all street trees...is progressing and will go on through the summer. Our neighborhood is one of 20 doing an inventory this year. 

LAND USE: Dean reported on two pending applications: One is a Type III, the Marquis Apartments at NE 11th and Schuyler. The owner is proposing 12 new units there; the ten now existing apartments will stay, but there will be no parking. The existing parking lot is the site of the 12 new units. The design has been challenged on compatibility issues. The matter will be heard at the June 29 meeting of the Landmarks Commission. 

The second pending application concerns the house at 2602 NE 13th. The house is considered non-contributory and a permit has been issued to demolish it. At the pre- application meeting, ICA reps and City staffers urged the owner’s representative to consider a smaller and better house design. At this point, we don’t know what decision the owner and her advisors will make. 

When it comes to ADU planning, the City is working on code update provisions. Dean expects that neighborhoods will see more applications for these and we will support them if they are well designed. The ICA Land Use Committee has approved two of them in the last two months. 

Dean also reported that the brewpub at the corner of NE 9th and Broadway is thought to be vacant, but they have applied for a sign to be installed on the building. 

COMPLAINT: In response to neighbor concerns, a letter has been drafted to Michelle Seward of the Bureau of Development Services about Housing Case #12-141531 HS. It is proposed that Steven sign the letter and submit it. It concerns a well-known nuisance in the neighborhood, specifically at the 2526 NE 20th. It is felt that the person living there may be at risk because of trash, rodents and the structural distress of the house. Dean Moved that the ICA send the letter, Nathan seconded it. Bev Burn expressed concern about what would happen to the resident. Nathan said that the City would probably do a soft clean up if the person’s family did not respond. The motion was approved by all but Bev Burn, who abstained. 

TREASURER’S REPORT: Jeff distributed a Financial Update for the period October 2014 to September 2015. Dated June 11, 2015, it shows the total account balances to be $99,522.00, including $67,042.00 held in restricted/dedicated funds. It also shows income and expenses from the 2015 Home Tour. The Home Tour reported income of $36,758 and expenses of $7,315, for a net income of $29,443.00. Jeff said the income was lower than expected. Barb commented that there is no line item in the budget for operations and this is needed. Work on the website and other Board activities should be reflected in the budget. 

SUMMER ACTIVITIES: Jeff said that Movies in the Park will occur again this year: “The Imitation Game” on July 17 and “Captain America” on August 14. There will be free popcorn and accomplished jazz and rock musicians will perform. Whole Foods has signed on to sponsor at a cost of $650.00. 

HOME TOUR: Pam reported that the Home Tour grossed $36,758.00. Attendance was down by about 200 people. The weather was good, but the Rock N Roll Marathon held in the morning caused traffic issues and apparently angered several drivers. The ICA and the Home Tour Committee need to talk with the City about not having scheduling conflicting events on the Home Tour date. The Home Tour in 2016 will be on May 15. 

HISTORIC DISTRICT UPDATE/MATTERS: The keeper of the Register at the National Parks Service is expected to issue the organization’s final decision on the appeal to change the district’s boundary in late July. 

New Century House signs are out, ten more have just been given to owners. 

Jim Heuer talked about the Irvington Walking Tours that he and Robert Mercer would be giving this summer. The tours are sponsored by the ICA, they are about two hours long and cover about a mile and a half. Point is to learn about the development, history and architecture of Irvington and meet Northeast area neighbors. The first one on June 18 is already fully booked up. There are three Saturday tour dates in all, the last one in September. There is a recommended donation of $10.00, which will go to the Historic Preservation Committee. 

Barb talked about new Type I reviews. There is new language in the Historic District code language concerning historic resources. She will be working with the City on this during the summer. 

CHARITABLE GIVING: Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Chair of the Charitable Giving Committee, reviewed the recommendations of the Committee. It met on June 8 and carefully considered twelve applications for the $20,000 that was earmarked for this purpose in the approved 2014-15 ICA budget. In addition to giving money to the 12 organizations that submitted applications, the Committee also recommended that Beverly Cleary School – Fernwood Campus, Sabin School and Grant High School also receive money from the ICA this year. It was explained that a caveat of giving to these three schools would be that the money was to be earmarked and spent to support each school’s arts programs. Dean Gisvold moved that the amount of $20,354 be spent on Charitable Giving and Christine Coors-Mitchell seconded the motion. All directors approved the motion. 

ANNUAL ELECTIONS: Peter O’Neil, Chair of the Nominating Committee, distributed ballots and conducted an election according to the ICA by-laws. Terms end in June of each year. 

The following individuals were elected to officer positions on the ICA Board: 

  • President: Steven Cole
  • Vice-President: WilliamArcher
  • Secretary: Beverley Burn
  • Treasurer: Jeff Jones 

Members elected to two year terms: Meryl Logue, Thomas Mertes, Sally McPherson, Aaron Stuckey, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Susan Hathaway- Marxer, and Jim Barta. 

Members elected to one-year terms: Jon Eaton, Ryan Carson and Colin Burn. 

NEW OFFICER POSITION: Steve distributed a paragraph about establishing a new officer position: The Director of Communications and Website. This person, if approved, will oversee the ICA’s web presence, digital media and computing device technologies. In addition to account management, the Director of Communications and Website will assist in evaluating new technologies and creating new accounts as requested by Board Members to help stay involved in the neighborhood or for conducting ICA business. The Director of Communications and Website will work in conjunction with the Treasurer for billing, as needed, the Secretary to ensure minutes are made public and the President to publish important messages and bulletins to the neighborhood. At the end of the one year term, the current Director of Communications and Website will hand over all access and information pertaining to anything online to the subsequent elected officer. 

The term shall last for one year and will be subject to reelection at each yearly board election. 

There was discussion about the position and Dean Gisvold moved it be approved, Christine Coors-Mitchell seconded it and all directors present approved it. Tiffanie Shakespeare graciously agreed to accept the position and her offer was accepted. 

NEW BUSINESS: Steve reported that the Newsletter needs an advertising manager; Nathan Christensen has stepped down. He said it could also use a new editor. He welcomes all help with the ICA newsletter. 

Steve also said that he would be convening a committee to discuss changes in the ICA by-laws. The by-laws need to include language addressing Capital Improvement Committee and the Charitable Giving Committee and the new Director of Communications and Website officer position. Christine Coors-Mitchell, Jeff Jones, Susan Hathaway-Marxer and Barb Christopher all agreed to serve on the committee. 

He mentioned National Night Out in August and working on an ice-cream oriented event in Irving Park with neighboring Sabin Neighborhood. 

SIDEWALKS: There was discussion about sidewalks and where we are in our talks with the City about our issue with the administration and other elements of its sidewalk improvement/maintenance program. Letters, not emails, should be sent to Commissioner Novick with copies to Mayor Hales. It was discussed that a citizen assault of letters be sent. The City needs to understand that Irvington residents don’t believe that sidewalk permits are supposed to be a fundraiser for the City’s general fund. Nathan said that letters should push back on curb cuts and reinforce our neighborhood’s intention to emphasize the opportunity to have tree cutouts rather than damaging our sidewalk trees. 

Steve reported that a letter has been sent to the City Transportation Bureau asking about the status of suggestions we made (in writing, in May) concerning the dangerous situation for pedestrians, including school kids, crossing NE Fremont. Apparently, there is little hope that money will be available for the suggested improvements. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Submitted by Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Secretary for approval on September 10, 2015

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