Edgemoor Neighborhood Meeting January 5, 2012
Following is an informal account of our meeting – the formal minutes will be available later.
We met in the library of Fairhaven Middle School…it was warm, bright and quiet. Three board members (Lauri Grove, John Erickson and I) and 5 general members were present. We covered a lot of ground, so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call John, Lauri or me…or reply to this post!
John reported that MNAC (Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee) is in transition. Linda Stewart, the former liaison, has moved and, of course, we have a new mayor. The one required function of MNAC is to review all proposed plans and developments, and provide an opinion on them to the planning commission. The review is primarily done by a sub-committee which currently has 3 members. It is a lot of work and time frames are fairly tight.
Through MNAC, the city currently provides us with notices of all scheduled city meetings, permit applications and progress, The Blockwatcher, insurance for our association and a platform for input. They are asking us to let them know if there are other things they can provide to help us. If you have ideas, contact John Erickson (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the next MNAC meeting on January 18th.
Communication within the ENA
Primary communication venues are still the website and the monthly newsletter, although readership of the blog appears to be growing. My personal goal for the year is to increase opportunities for communication from the membership to the board. Getting to monthly meetings isn’t always that easy…and they aren’t always that interesting…but the association is frequently asked to take positions on issues in the greater community. I am very uncomfortable doing that with input only from the few members who attend the meetings. Consequently, we will be encouraging use of the blog & email as well as investigating use of online surveys for very specific questions.
We are often approached by groups who want to present information on their particular cause to our group. We are now offering them the opportunity to provide information which will be posted to the blog. If the membership wants further information, a meeting can be held. This will provide greater exposure for them and allow us to focus our meetings on the issues important to the neighborhood.
Chuckanut Ridge: Bob Gibb has donated funds to a designated fund held by the WWU foundation. The goal is to raise money for the purchase of an interest in the Chuckanut Ridge property for Huxley College. Details are being discussed. At this point WWU and the foundation are not parties to these plans; the foundation is simply holding the funds.
Gateway Pacific Terminal: BNSF has agreed to attend a meeting to answer questions regarding train traffic. We may work with the CSN (Coalition of Southside Neighborhoods) to put together such a meeting. A new organization is forming to block coal train traffic via an initiative. Board members will be meeting with a representative mid-month to learn more.
Lummi Island Quarry Expansion: A group opposed to this has requested support. Refer to two prior blog posts. They would like to come and speak…this will be arranged if the neighborhood shows enough interest.
Lauri Grove, chair of the bylaws committee, reported that good progress has been made on revising them to more accurately conform to what the ENA currently is. The biggest change is to streamline the bylaws, using them to establish the basic structure of the organization, and add Rules of Procedure, which can be more easily changed to reflect changing conditions. The committee will meet at least once more prior to the next meeting. Watch the blog for a draft.
The board had agreed earlier that an Amendment to the membership approved plan stating concern about train impacts was appropriate. Language was approved for presentation to the membership, and we will be voting on it at the next meeting. The deadline for presentation of the plan to the city is April 1.
Goals & Budget
We looked at income and expenditures over the past year, and basic anticipated costs were listed. Further discussion will occur in conjunction with determination of our focus and goals for the year. Two items raised were improved neighborhood communication and public safety
There will be no meeting in August, and possibly in July. The annual meeting, with elections, will be held in June. Neighborhood associations are required to hold 4 meetings per year, but may hold more as needed. The timing and purpose of meetings will be discussed further as part of the bylaws.
Participation in Other Organizations
ABN (Association of Bellingham Neighborhoods) This group has been inactive for some time, although its website is still viable. We will ask Sandie to arrange for elimination of our information on that site, instead establishing a link to our website.
CSN (Coalition of Southside Neighborhoods) This group consists of presidents and representatives from the South, South Hill, Fairhaven and Edgemoor neighborhoods. There has been discussion about asking the Samish neighborhood to join. Few meetings of this group have been held over the past several years. The most recent joint activity was the Candidates Forum in which we participated in October. There is interest in revitalizing this group with the emergence of proposals such as the Fairhaven neighborhood plan, the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the Padden Creek Trails development. John & Lylene will be attending a meeting January 17th. We are going to be asked for input and the position of our neighborhood on these issues at this meeting and later. It is very important that your voice is heard, so please let us know what you think. A report of the meeting will be posted on the blog.
As I said at the beginning, it was a very full meeting, but we closed at 9:00. Please email or comment here, ask questions and give us direction.