Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes

This was such a major post I thought I would give it it’s own Update. Love/Fl!p 

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION (C.N.A.)

QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING MINUTES

NOVEMBER 19, 2020 Via Zoom Meeting, 7-8:30 PM

ATTENDANCE:  6 board members, and 13 community members and 2 guest speakers

AGENDA:

Welcome and CNA Announcements

Share Shack update by Aaron Silverberg: the white board for posting offers or requests is active, as are the bulletin board and the free library. The tarp cover has been retrofitted to allow people to lift the tarp and access the front shelves for sharing. Location: SW corner of W Connecticut St & Henry St. Donations of small items in good condition are welcome.

Report  by Jill MacIntyre Witt from the Mayor’s Neighborhood Action Commission (MNAC). Sept meeting: The city Planning Dept explored the definition of “family.” Oct meeting: Presentation on multifamily zoning issues; community can visit the Engage Bellingham website for input: https://engagebellingham.org/rmproject. Nov. meeting: Report from the Library about the remodeling which will be done in spring 2021. Jill thanked the mayor for public announcements about trick or treating risks before Halloween.

Treasurer’s Report from Aaron Ignac, Treasurer:  The bank balance at the beginning of Nov  was $973.46. Expenses this month: $126.74 for the Share Shack cover, and about $160 for a Zoom account for CNA, to be reimbursed by the City. Updated balance: $846.72.  CNA now has a debit card to facilitate purchases.

Activity: Get to Know Your Neighbors We went into groups of three to share about ourselves and current events.

COLUMBIA CONVERSATIONS

Hannah Stone, City Council Representative for Ward 1: The City budget and other city business so we can find out how best to engage for changes.

The challenge for the City Council is to bridge the connections and goals from the community and businesses into action.  There are several issues that are in the process of research, discussion, and cost analysis so they may not make it into the 2021-2022 budget. For example: the Equity Commission, Crisis Response, and Civilian Oversight. The mayor and council are committed to these concerns, and will be able to re-allocate funds toward these programs at a later date, if they are not included for Dec passage. While Nov 23 is the last public comment period, you can send messages by email to individual council members. Council Contacts: https://cob.org/gov/council/contacts-bios Hannah: hestone@cob.org   

Good news from the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) 2021-2026

The funding was approved by 82% passage in the Nov 3 election.

Project #12 W Illinois St from Meridian to Lynn St: bicycle lanes and sidewalks on one side of Illinois (parking on one side of street will go away). Work in 2022.

Project #16 Intersection at Meridian and Squalicum Pkwy and Birchwood: create a roundabout for autos, and update pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

TIP Storymap: https://cob.org/services/planning/transportation-planning

Questions from neighbors:

Q: Aaron Silverberg: Please include funding for driver education on how to use roundabouts (signalling intentions)

Q: Anya Gedrath: Is there a plan to improve sidewalk connection from Cornwall Park to Squalicum Trail  (Bay to Baker trail)

A: Hannah: there may be plans for that. She encouraged us to contact the city council and/ or transportation committee with our requests. 

Todd Donovan, County Council Representative, District 2: How do we address racism as a health crisis.The Whatcom County Council is the Health Board for county citizens. They have been at the forefront in the Covid crisis. The WC Public Health Advisory Board, made up of members from agencies, the healthcare system, and  community members, came to the Council with their findings that racism is a health crisis. 

Institutional inequality has led to many shortfalls and disparities in health care, policing issues, and access to education. The Council put forth a Council Resolution which includes efforts such as  recognizing the issue of racism, providing training, and reviewing current procedures, such as hiring practices, for change toward more diversity and equality.  The formation of an Equity Commission will be community driven; you can share stories of your experiences with council members to give them a full picture of quality of life in the county and city/towns. Email: council@co.whatcom.wa.us   

On the issue of housing/ winter shelter for those without homes. The county and city doubled the space for winter shelter, but it is still not enough. They are expanding use of the Motel 6 beyond a Covid shelter. “Pallet shelters” are being funded and the county is looking for places to put them.  The Drop-in center on Holly St may open for cold shelter, and Christ the King Church will open on Dec 1 for overnight stays. 

On the 210 Camp (tent encampment on City Hall grounds). During the meeting, a request was sent to the mayor’s office to allow access to electrical outlets for the camp. Portable toilets and garbage bins are on site. 

Q: Kim Adamson: Community members are concerned. How can we help? A: Todd: let the councils know that shelter funding is what you want.

Kim offered to take supplies to the camp: 801-803-9601 Residents need laundry help.

Other options from David C: (From the camp) Current needs:

“Tents, tent stakes, tarps, SHOES, socks, underwear, gloves, coats, waterproof pants

NO MORE CANNED FOOD PLEASE food donations should be premade and individually packaged. Due to inconsistent fuel sources, we don’t have a fully functional kitchen.” Meal train for 210 Camp residents:https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/nnmwke

From Deb V: Check Flipmail for Columbia neighborhood efforts to help.

Meeting Wrap-up

Thanks so much to  Hannah and Todd, for taking the time to share your work with us! You and the other Councilmembers, County Executive and Mayor have been  dealing with all the 2020 emergencies with dedication and grace.

Thank you also to Lisa Anderson, City Council, for attending and engaging resources.

*** Each year the Columbia Neighborhood Association Board conducts elections. If you are interested in serving on the board in any of the offices, please send an email to columbianeighborhoodassociation@protonmail, subject line “CNA Board 2021” ***

Membership 2021: the CNA Board will be working on an alternate method for neighbors to join CNA. We usually take membership applications in person at our Feb meeting, but that may not be possible, depending on Covid restrictions at that time. Membership costs: $10 for an individual, $15 for a family.

Look for more details about upcoming events on the Columbia Neighborhood Group Facebook page, and in Flip-mail. CNA welcomes all neighbors’ participation- just contact your CNA Board members via email: columbianeighborhoodassociation@protonmail.com 

President: Jill MacIntyre Witt           

Vice President: Aaron Silverberg

Treasurer: Aaron Ignac               

Secretary: Deborah Valentine

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission (MNAC) Rep:

  Jill MacIntyre Witt

MNAC Alternate Rep: Jennifer Moon

CNA Board Member-at-Large: David Crook

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