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City of Spokane

Community Assembly

January 8, 2010

Facilitator Al French opened the meeting at 4:00 p.m. with introductions around the table and in the audience.  Al stated that suggestions of changes to the agenda or regarding the procedures of this meeting are welcome.  A motion was made to accept the present agenda was voted on and approved unanimously.  The December, 2009 Community Assembly minutes were also approved by unanimous vote.

Legislative Agenda

    * Administrative Committee – Bob Lawrence

      Bob said that the Admin Committee did not vote on the new members of that committee due to absences.

    * Neighborhood Services/Code Enforcement – Jonathan Mallahan/Rod Minarik

      Rod spoke about the Parks Department Strategic Plan and its upcoming meetings that will address resource allocation.  He strongly encouraged neighborhood participation.  This is an opportunity for the Community Assembly to give input. Two other groups, users and staff, are also providing input regarding resource allocation.  There will be two meetings; one is January 19th at City Hall in Room 5A from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The second meeting is scheduled for the week of February 15th.  A consultant from Denver will come to the meeting and give background information the first meeting.  The second meeting will include allocation exercises.  All citizens are welcome.  Secondly, Rod handed out a Stormwater Survey that should be taken back to each neighborhood council and asked for input.  Rod was not sure of a deadline for returning the survey, but said to assume two months.  Please return your surveys by the March 5, 2010 Community Assembly meeting.

      Jonathan Mallahan announced that the Building Stronger Neighborhoods Committee is working on arranging a training session for neighborhood leaders.  The Clean-Up Kickoff Meeting is scheduled for February 18th, and is a mandatory meeting for all neighborhood councils. There will be no dump passes issued until after the kickoff meeting.  There was great cleanup success in West Central Neighborhood Council recently, when 33 Code complaints were settled in 18 days.  If more neighborhood councils are interested in doing a large scale cleanup event similar to this, please contact Jonathan.  An annual calendar of ONS meetings is included in the packet today.  Sandy is in the process of confirming each of the neighborhood council meetings for the entire year and also getting missing meeting minutes turned into our office for historical records.

    * Public Safety – Healther Trautman
    * Heather said that this committee met in December to discuss clean alleys.  A complaint that she submitted was discussed.  One of the committee members works for SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Program), and has an intern that is researching how other similar sized cities handle alley cleanups.  Gene Eberts asked about parking recreational vehicles in residential yards.  The next Public Safety meeting will have this item on the agenda.  Block Watch is also a topic to be discussed at the next meeting.  The discussion will also include considering having an elected chairperson.  The Public Safety Meeting is held on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:45 p.m. in ONS/Code at City Hall.  The Graffiti Committee is not presently meeting.
    * CA Retreat – Jonathan Mallahan

      Jonathan stated that there is a report in today’s packet, which is a compilation of all items discussed during the Community Assembly Retreat.  Now the process of adopting those priorities and goals for this year must be accomplished.  Immediate action items include formation of a Neighborhood Council Cleanup Resolution Committee or wait until Luke Tolley is able to be present at our meeting.  He is absent today.  Jeanette Harras suggested crossing out the second to last line in the Draft CA Clean Up Program Resolution that says” a final recommendation to be ratified by the Community Assembly (at the Community Assembly Retreat).  The reason this should be crossed out is that there is no venue at the CA Retreat to hold a business meeting, so the final approval should be determined by the committee when it begins meeting.  This is an Ad Hoc Committee whose members are Luke Tolley, Jeanette Harras, Rosalie French, and Gene Klozar.  The Interim Chair will be Luke Tolley.  March 11, 2010  Leadership Training will be established.  Tina Luerssen moved to establish this committee and the vote was unanimous to adopt it.  The adoption of these subcommittees that are being voted on today should be sent to the Admin Committee.  The meeting minutes should reflect that the reporting for each committee is completed.  The Liaison Review Committee only meets when there is a need.  A motion was made to establish this committee, the vote to adopt this committee was unanimous.  The three volunteers for this committee are Jim Bakke, Geno Eberts, and Bob Lawrence.  The Interim Chair is Jim Bakke.  Jonathan said that the deadline of June 1, 2010 for cleanup will be strictly enforced and emphasized at the Cleanup Kickoff meeting on February 18th.  There has been some discussion about changing the name of the PeTT Committee to Complete Streets.  Jeanette Harras suggested keeping the working group focused on Complete Streets and still maintaining the name “PeTT Committee.”  A motion was made to have two committees.  The result of the vote was:  Yea = 9, Opposed = 12.  There was also a motion to change the name, and the opposed won.  This discussion will be continued at the February Community Assembly meeting.

          o Policies & Procedures – Jeanette Harras

            Jeanette suggested language to state grievances of the Community Assembly.  She asked everyone to take this sheet home and study it.  The debate will come later, so that the grievance process is adopted to provide accountability.  This is a procedure to deal with violations, real or perceived, and then a ruling is made.  Grievances may address only P&P procedures, and does not affect any other type of violations.  The grievance must contain a description of the violation, the rules broken, what the remedy is.  .  People are ineligible to serve on the Grievance Committee if they are the party that actually submitted the grievance issue, or if you are named in that grievance.  The honor system will be in place, and this all needs to be discussed with each neighborhood council and their input brought back to the Community Assembly.

          o Building Stronger Neighborhoods – Tina Luerssen

            Training for neighborhood leaders will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2010 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Road to Utopia Room at Crosby Center at Gonzaga University (501 E. Boone Avenue).  Please email or call Sandy at the ONS Office to reserve a spot.  The second training session will be Saturday, February 6, 2010.  Wishes for topics for later training sessions can be sent to Rod Minarik.  These meetings are open to everyone.

          o Plan Commission Liaison – Kaye Straight

            Kaye announced that there are still two vacancies on the Plan Commission to be filled by the end of January.  There is a time commitment necessary for those interested in applying.  The January 13th meeting of the Plan Commission has been cancelled.

Presentation/Special Issues

          o Planning Services Update – Joanne Wright

            Joanne said that the first meeting of the Neighborhood Action Committee (NAC) was recently held.  All City departments that were asked to be present did attend.  Five Mile Prairie Neighborhood Council presented their issues for planning, and now the City representatives will bring back their opinions at a later date.  The Infill Housing Task Force is meeting, and Cottage Housing is being examined.  This group will meet through spring.  The Downtown Code and Design Guidelines were adopted December 14th, 2009.  Stand alone surface parking was adopted.  Kendall Yards has submitted an application to the Hearing Examiner.  There have been dramatic changes that have scaled the project down.  The Hearing Examiner will look at the application and determine if there should be a hearing on it.  Interlocal agreements are being processed for the City and County. A memorandum of understanding is being discussed that will potentially be signed in March.

          o Business Development Services – Teri Stripes

            The City is looking for an economic vitalization that follows a national mainstream model and encourages small businesses.  Business centers need an Advisory Board.  Logan and West Central are two neighborhoods that are learning from each other as well as from Teri and other City departments.  Over this year the Advisory Board will be created.  Teri stated that she will be looking for input from the Community Assembly and neighborhood councils as they form and review draft bylaws.  This will be done nationally, and a procedures manual will be created. This Advisory Board will deal with business issues.  Meetings will begin in February on Friday mornings 7:30 a.m. in the Council Briefing Center.

          o Parks Department Update – Leroy Eadie

            Leroy encouraged everyone to take some of the new green brochures printed by the Parks Department and distribute them to their neighborhood council.  A letter has been sent out inviting citizens to attend meetings geared toward constructing a roadmap for the future direction of the Parks Department.  This focus group will decide on visions and values.  The next step is finance resource allocation – how to spend Parks funds in the future.  The first meeting of this focus group will be at Finch Arboretum on January 19th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  There is a vacancy on the Urban Forestry Tree Committee.  Leroy said that he will send information on this position to Neighborhood Services. Carrie Anderson encouraged someone from the North Side of Spokane to apply for this position.

          o Spokane Cares – Erv Williams

            Erv Williams stated that the Spokane Fire Department has teamed up with social work students from Eastern Washington University in order to assist people who need more help than firefighters can provide and who may fall through the cracks in getting their needs met.  Firefighters notify the students when they have a referral.  This is the only program like this in the State of Washington.  The purpose of this partnership is to link citizens with services that meet their needs.  People may be in crisis and cannot cope with their present situation.75% of those needing help are senior citizens.  They do not want to leave their homes and they need help to stay where they are.  Written permission to provide help is given by the citizen to the students.  These students work with SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Program) for housing needs.  They log and track the calls they respond to in order to determine how effective they are in saving Fire Department resources.  These students apply for grants and track everything they do.  Citizens can call the Fire Department and ask for a welfare check on people they are concerned about.  211 is a good number to call when there are concerns.  Call Erv Williams at the Fire Department 625-7035 to schedule presentations like this one for neighborhood council meetings.

          o Chase Youth Commission – Joanne Benham

            Joanne asked representatives if they would like more youth involvement in their neighborhood councils.  The response was very positive.  Joanne presented a Youth Empowerment Tool Kit folder that provides many helpful ways to attract and keep youth involved in their neighborhood councils.  There is a youth-adult partnership that shows how to make decisions together.  There are pointers on youth leadership development for those young people who have potential.  Part of the group dynamics involved with youth is to show them that their ideas are valued as much as adults are.  There should be ice-breaker activities to help youth get to know adults better.  A comfort zone is then created where each can share their ideas.  Youth can be great community researchers and mapping workers for your neighborhood council.  It is suggested that a project for youth is determined by the neighborhood so that they are engaged in activity.  These young people are “doers” and love “hands on” projects.

Open Forum:

   1. Marilyn Lloyd:  Marilyn said that she is a Liaison for the Urban Forestry Committee.  She stated that she is very proud that the Spokane Heritage Tree Ordinance was just passed this fall by the City Council.
   2. Steve Corker: Steve announced that the newly selected Council members assigned to the Neighborhood Council Program are Jon Snyder, Amber Waldref, and Steve Corker.  Steve also stated that there has been a consideration made by the City Council to devote more of a time allotment to neighborhood council issues that are brought to the City Council meetings.  There will be a dedicated section of the City Council agenda each week for those neighborhood council issues.  Thanks goes to Council President Joe Shogan for advocating this.
   3. Rod Minarik:  Rod announced that the PeTT Committee meets at West Central Community Center on Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00 p.m.
   4. Jonathan Mallahan: Jonathan made a motion to adopt the Community Assembly Report from November of 2009.  The Report was adopted by a unanimous vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m.