BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Nathan Christensen, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Barb Christopher, Bev Burn, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Jeff Jones, Jim Barta, Michela McMahon, William Archer, Peter O’Neil, Steve Cole and Dean Gisvold.
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Nathan Corser, Pam Lindholm-Levy, Jason Messer, Thomas Mertes, Brian Schaeperkoetter, Aaron Stuckey, Kysa Kelleher.
VISITORS: Antoine Dean, Melanni Rosales, Sandy Polishuk, Reyna Lopez (from A Better Oregon)
President Steven Cole called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. No police officer was present. There was discussion about why we haven’t seen an officer at a board meeting in several months. Jeff Jones asked that we find out what their obligation is to attend neighborhood meetings.
Reyna Lopez from A Better Oregon gave a presentation about the plight of working families in the State of Oregon. Her remarks focused on the high cost to the State and all Oregonians from the low wages being earned to support many working families. She said that 25% of all Oregonians are on food stamps and that one in 12 Oregonians make less than minimum wage. She also talked about the ongoing increase in corporate profits and the reduction in taxes paid by corporations. She is not necessarily advocating a sales tax, but is advocating that corporations pay appropriate taxes. The organization has filed seven initiatives with the Secretary of State’s Office and is circulating information on them prior to the next election cycle.
Steve introduced Sandy Polishuk, who is circulating a “Resolution in Opposition to Proposed Environmental Overlay Zoning Code Amendment at Terminal 6 to Accommodate the Proposed Pembina Propane Export Facility”. Sandy asked that the ICA vote to approve this resolution and the plan to submit it, with others, to Portland City Council. Michela moved to pass the Resolution and Peter and Jim seconded it. Jeff asked why there was nothing in it about fracking and there was more conversation about why Pembina wanted the facility in Portland and what the siting might eventually cost the City. A vote was taken. Seven people voted in favor, four abstained, two did not vote. The Resolution, as presented, was approved. The officers of the ICA Board were authorized to sign the Resolution, which was given to Ms. Polishuk, who will present it to City Council on June 24.
FREMONT STREET TRAFFIC: Peter O’Neil has drafted a letter to the City expressing serious concern about the unsafe traffic situation on NE Fremont. The letter recommends that the City reduce the speed limit to 25 mph, that it install a pedestrian hybrid beacon (HAWK) signal at NE 18th and Fremont and that it repaint crosswalks at several locations. The primary driver of this is the safety of children who must cross Fremont to get to and from Sabin School and Irving Park. Apparently, Alameda NA has sent a similar request and Sabin NA is expected to do the same. It was mentioned that NE 13th and 14th are also heavily used crossing sites. Several people said that the HAWK signal at NE 15th and Brazee for the Irvington School kids seems very effective. The situation on Fremont is dangerous; there is also no appropriate signage at NE 15th and Fremont. Dean moved that the letter be signed by Steven and sent to Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick. Jeff seconded it. All voted in favor, the letter will be sent and the ICA Board advised of any further communication about it.
NEXTDOOR, the website: Peter mentioned that NextDoor Irvington has an unfortunate policy that does not allow an individual to determine his or her own neighborhood affiliation. This has left Steven Cole out of the Irvington group as NextDoor automatically identified his address as being in Alameda. Steven has identified it as a problem he has to work around. Tiffanie reported that she is the Irvington “neighborhood lead” for NextDoor and she expects to be able to influence changes.
LAND USE: Dean reported on several situations. One is that the City’s criteria for ADU (accessory dwelling units) is not very clear. If the Board wants to participate in dealing with these, the City has asked for our matrix. Jeff said that he has experience dealing with this type of development. Jim Heuer will be presenting testimony to the City that an ADU should be subordinate to the structure to which it’s attached.
The house at 2602 NE 13th on a 50 by 100 foot lot is the subject of much conversation. The house is owned by a former Irvington School teacher who now lives elsewhere in the City, but has hired a team of development professionals with a plan to demolish the house and construct a new, very large, 3-story house in its place. City staff says it needs more drawings and blueprints. The land use permitting will be, at least, a two-part process. The garage on site is non-contributing and could be demolished but the house cannot be demolished under Historic District code. Dean has invited the owner and her advisors to the Land Use Committee meeting on June 4 to discuss the various options.
Dean also reported that an ICA neighbor who owns and rents a four-plex on NE 11th and Tillamook has been called out by the City for replacing windows with no permits. The new windows are vinyl. She has contacted Dean seeking advice.
CENTURY LINK ON UTILITY POLES: Steve has had complaints about this happening. No notice given to neighbors. Apparently on hold now after gas company guy complained.
BUBBLER ACTIVITY – Nikki was not at the meeting but it was reported that Commissioner Saltzman has no problems with installation of a four-bowl bubbler fountain at the corner of NE 15th and Broadway. Commissioner Fritz is, however, opposed. What’s needed next is to schedule meetings with Mayor Hales and Commissioners Fish and Novick to determine their likelihood of support. Dean offers that he believes there is a 25% chance of getting a bubbler.
SIDEWALK ISSUES: Sidewalk complaints and issues continue to generate conversation and raise concerns. Jeff Jones reminded all that it is the City’s responsibility to keep the sidewalks safe for not only pedestrians but also wheel chair bound individuals. Many people talked about how Irvington seems to be targeted by one particular individual. Many, many more complaints about sidewalks here than in any other neighborhood. And that the City’s complaint process can be driven by only one individual seems unfair, when the individual is not required to provide identification and could (possibly) be a contractor out to generate business. The situation is ripe for abuse and people who have big trees with big roots can get cited several times because of the tree roots penetrating the sidewalks over time. Sandy Polishuk suggested that residents go before City Council when they have their pre-meeting opportunity for citizens to make statements prior to Wednesday Council meetings.
Dean suggested that the City Attorney should be asked to visit changing the City Code where it makes policy regarding the sidewalk repairs. This could include getting real identification from people making complaints, not allowing anonymous complaints, and lengthening the time for completing repairs. Tiffanie and Bev agreed and stated their concerns about the short period of time to respond and secure a contractor.
BROADWAY/WEIDLER ALLIANCE: Steve and Peter talked about the current situation. The group is writing by-laws and a vote on them and election of officers is expected on May 18. The business entities were largely absent from the last meeting. Murray Koodish, President of the NEBBA, has expressed concern about construction if there are changes to Broadway.
NEW BUSINESS: Steve explained that Tiffanie has suggested that the ICA create a new officer position on the ICA Board. The person would be responsible for technical matters. We need someone to keep track of things, including possessions. We need a more stable way of organizing ourselves, developing and documenting procedures, and someone who has access to technology and the ability to share it. We need information continuity. Creating a new officer position could only be established by a change in the by-laws. William talked about having individuals “shadow” a person with a board position so that important knowledge can be shared, considering all work is done by volunteers. Jeff says no to this, all we need is backup people for the critical jobs. He explained that his backup person is Stephen Doubleday, a former Board member/president and member of the Home Tour Committee. Barb talked about the importance of becoming involved with social media. Peter moved to add the position of Chief Technical Officer to the ICA Board and Bev seconded it. A vote was taken and all approved revising the by-laws to create the position.
ELECTIONS IN JUNE: Peter talked about needing new board members. He plans to advertise for them on NextDoor and he asked Tiffanie to post the need there for new board members.
SHAKESPEARE IN IRVING PARK: Christine reminded everyone that Original Practice Shakespeare will be performing in Irving Park in July. On Sunday, July 11 at 2:00 pm it will be Comedie of Errors; on the same day at 7:00 pm, it will be Richard III; and on Sunday, July 12that 2:00 pm, it will be Merry Wives of Windsor. She reminds us that this particular theatre company thinks that “Shakespeare should be a little dangerous” and we should all go to at least one performance.
Barb reminded everyone that we need photos on the website. Steve said his goals are to get the ICA out in the community, to generate interest in the organization. There was no additional business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:46 pm.
Submitted by Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Secretary for approval on September 10, 2015.