Letter from the Chair

by Noam Livnat

I didn’t know what to expect when I joined OMVNA’s Steering Committee three years ago, I was still relatively new to the neighborhood and had never taken part in a similar volunteering activity. I discovered a group of individuals, many of whom have been involved with the organization for years, who cared deeply about our neighborhood. It’s not just about the Steering Committee, of course. Many others, like Julie Lovins, who for 15 years has been organizing the army of volunteers who bring this newsletter to your doorstep, Hugh Donagher who helps whether he’s on the Steering Committee or not, Jamil Shaikh, and too many others to name are instrumental in everything we do.

I also learned that OMVNA’s ongoing success stems from its ability to maintain continuity. OMVNA’s lore – our history, what we need to do and how to get things done – is passed from experienced members to the new ones by example, and I was lucky to learn the ropes from a seasoned group. A number of those veterans won’t be returning to the Steering Committee next year: Ken Rosenberg, former Chair and recently our Community Liaison; Bruce Karney, a long-time Steering Committee member who has been a treasure trove of knowledge and advice in addition to editing the newsletter; and Aaron Grossman, our treasurer since 1999 and the driving force behind CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team. Our neighborhood owes much to them. Many thanks to other dedicated members of this year’s Steering Committee: Kim Copher, John Emery, Joan Karlin, and Shelly King.

A few days ago we completed our yearly ritual of entrusting a new Steering Committee with maintaining OMVNA’s tradition of pragmatism, inclusiveness, and improving the welfare of our community. The amazing turnout at OMVNA’s elections was a testament to the strong feelings we have for our neighborhood. I was relieved to see that, with a few shameful exceptions, we can still be a pleasant lot even when we disagree on certain issues. After all, disagreements originate from diversity of background, philosophy, and outlook, and it is this diversity that makes Mountain View such a great place to live.

OMVNA has evolved into something unique and precious since its inception in 1992; it is also delicate and requires careful handling. My best wishes to the new Steering Committee as it prepares for next year’s challenges. I am looking forward to meeting more of you in person next year.

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