OMVNA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, November 8, 2010

OMVNA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, November 8, 2010

Attendees: Laura Lewis, Kim Copher, Robert Cox, David Lewis, Jack Perkins, Deb Keller, Carter Coleman, Aaron Grossman, Paul and Margaret Lansky, Bruce Karney, Susan and David Berwen, Ingrid Keseler, Max Hauser, Roger Burnell.

(1) Call to Order

a.       Chair Laura Lewis called the meeting to order at 7:33PM.

(2) Approval of Minutes of the October Meeting

a.       Robert Cox presented minutes from the October 2010 meeting for approval by the steering committee.  Laura Lewis asked that the minutes be emended to contain the text of Deb Keller’s proposed amendment to allow people to vote in elections by coming in and dropping off their ballots.  Robert moved to accept the minutes, subject to the provision that the language of the amendment be inserted.  David Lewis seconded.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote. (Deb Keller later sent a private communication that she would re-introduce this proposed amendment at a later general meeting, and that it was not necessary to include it in the minutes.)

(3) Newsletter Candidate

a.       Laura Lewis reported that there still were no takers for the position of 2011 newsletter editor.  Laura commended Deb Keller for the excellent job that she has done as newsletter editor this year.

b.      Several proposals were discussed about how the position could be scaled back to attract a candidate for the position.  Deb suggested that the newsletter contain “teasers” that would direct people over to the web site for more information. She also suggested that it might be cut back to quarterly.  Robert suggested that since the next year was not an election year and since there were no pending controversies in the neighborhood, that issuing the newsletter quarterly could be acceptable.  Kim Copher indicated that she would still advertise in the newsletter, even if it was distributed less frequently, and thought that other advertisers would also still be interested.  Jack Perkins noted that Carter Coleman sold a lot of ads for this year’s newsletter, and this enabled us to provide the expanded coverage for this year.

c.       Bruce Karney commented that the number of issues needed to be decided so that it could be properly planned for in the budget.  Bruce asked whether Mattie Scott had been approached to take the position.  Laura Lewis replied that Mattie had been approached, but did not have the time to take on the activity for next year.  For budgeting purposes, the group agreed that they would budget as if six issues of eight pages each would be printed next year.

(4) Steering Committee Elections

a.       Laura noted that the elections had been set for Monday, December 6, 7:00PM at Landels Elementary School.  Robert Cox noted that the form of ballots would need to be available for any interested party two weeks in advance of the election, due the passage of a new bylaws amendment.  Laura said that she had contacted Wouter Suverkropp and that he would be willing to serve as vote counter, if we needed one.  The plan was to use the same form of the ballot as was used last year.

b.      Bruce Karney noted that the budget would need to introduced and approved at the general meeting.  Carter Coleman responded, saying he would take care of that.  David Lewis stated that our first order of business at the meeting should be taking nominations from the floor.   Paul and Margaret Lansky and Kim Copher agreed to register the voters.

c.       Laura Lewis said the cost of renting Landels for the election would be $56 per hour, with a total rental time of 4 hours.

(5) Availability of Financials

a.       Carter Coleman began the discussion by noting that the financials had always been distributed at the steering committee meetings on paper. Aaron Grossman noted that while he was treasurer, he had made the financials available in electronic form, but only to board members.  Carter said that in general, the information in the financials is quite simple, and that we shouldn’t make a bigger deal of this than was warranted.

b.      Bruce Karney said what we was looking for was a list of expenditures, similar to what Aaron sent out on a monthly basis.  Carter responded by noting that the bylaws state that bylaws dictate that the financials need be provided only once a year.  David Lewis suggested that an end of the year report would be sufficient.  Deb Keller suggested that a better way to handle this is to make the financials available on request to whomever makes a formal request.  Laura Lewis voiced concern, saying that we should not put the treasurer in the position of being forced to do an unreasonable amount of work.  Deb suggested that an abbreviated summary of the financials could be placed in the minutes.  Carter asked that requests be made in an attitude of good faith.  He also added that information is sometimes confidential.  He cited pricing on items received by vendors as an example.

c.       Max Hauser suggested that financials be kept in a folder, and available to people on request. Laura Lewis stated that she thought there had been enough discussion and that the group should make a decision on what to do.  Jack Perkins objected, saying there was no need to come to a decision at the moment.  Carter pressed his point, saying there was no need to expand the work that the treasurer needed to do.

d.      Bruce Karney then received a copy of the financial information he was looking for from Carter Coleman.  He asked if there was another bill pending from Alpha Graphics for $1400 for the printing of the most recent newsletter.  He was told that there was.  He was also told that the city still needed to reimburse OMVNA for last summer’s ice cream social, and that that reimbursement was not yet reflected in the financials.

e.      In the end, Kim Copher made a motion that a summary of important financial information be placed in the minutes.  Robert Cox seconded.  The measure passed 5-2, with Jack Perkins and David Lewis dissenting.

(6) CERT

a.       Aaron Grossman reported that they had held a CERT drill with four CERT volunteers and a ham radio operator, and that the drill had gone well. CERT is currently staffed with 50 volunteers.  An additional 2 volunteers will be brought on.

b.      CERT has spent approximately $940 for the calendar year.  This is about $230 over the amount that was originally budgeted.  Aaron noted that with more money, CERT could be even more effective,  In particular, moving the CERT budget up to $1000 per year would allow CERT to get police band radios which could operate on the frequencies that CERT is currently using.  Aaron said that the budget request would be approximately half for medical supplies, and half for  radios.  The radios would cost about $800 a piece if they were new, but could be got for around $200 each if they were used. Aaron said that acquiring the radios would allow CERT to be more effective broadcasting over a larger range.  Police band radios can reach half of the way across Mountain View.

c.       Aaron added that it is important to strike a balance between what CERT wants and what we can afford.  He stated that the money for the radios doesn’t need to be there all at once, but could be budgeted for over a period of time. David Lewis noted that the purchase of the radios would not be an annual expense. Robert Cox asked if CERT had ever considered having a fund raiser to get the money for the radios.  Aaron said that CERT would be will to consider that.  He added that a formal request for funds from OMVNA could be broken into two parts, half for each half of the year.

d.      Aaron decided that he  would make a request of $800 for CERT for normal activities in 2011, with an additional special request of $200.  He noted that he did not want to request too much money from OMVNA for CERT, as it was customary to leave one years’ budget in the OMVNA coffers, so as to not burden a new steering committee when they came on board.

(7) Availability of Minutes

a.       Robert Cox noted that the minutes of the previous month’s steering committee needed to be approved by the steering committee and distributed at the following meeting where they could be read by other neighborhood residents before they could be put on the web site,

b.      Laura Lewis and Kim Copher agreed that it would be appropriate for anyone requesting the minutes to receive them from the secretary after they had been approved.

(8) Reports from Individual Steering Committee Members

a.       Chair. Laura Lewis stated that reimbursement from the city for the ice cream social was expected in three weeks.

b.      Secretary. Robert Cox noted that he had written letters of invitation and thanks to all of the participants in the candidate forum.

c.       Downtown Liaison. David Lewis stated that the Classic Communities project for the redevelopment of the property east of Minton’s was moving forward again.

(9) 445 Calderon Co-Housing Project

a.       Susan and David Berwen gave an update on their application to develop a co-housing project at 445 Calderon Ave.  The Berwens stated that they had agreed in principle with the city to retain 80% of the original Bakotich house on the property and move it to the front of the property, where it would serve as a caregiver and guest facility for the co-housing community.

b.      The Berwens continued, saying that the community members would live in a larger facility which would be placed in the back of the property.  Nineteen condos were planned for the property with a total of 40,000  square feet.

c.       Bruce Karney commented that Anne Bakotich, the previous owner of the 445 Calderon property, was once an OMVNA  steering committee member. David Berwen showed slides, illustrating what the co-housing community would look like.  He said that there were still units available for purchase, and that interested parties should look at their web site on

(10) Pearson House Redevelopment

a.       Roger Burnell introduced himself as the developer who would be redeveloping the property currently occupied by the Pearson House.  The Pearson house is the historic home located at 902 Villa St. on the northwest corner of Villa and Bryant Sts, next to Chez TJ.  It recently served as a children’s store.  It was built before 1888 and may be the second oldest house in Mountain View.

b.       Mr. Burnell noted that the home is currently in very bad condition and there were problems with unpaid back taxes and the mortgage on the property.  The Bay Are History House Museum was consulted in determining the historic value of the house.  It was noted that that the house was historically interesting, but was not qualified at the highest levels for historic preservation.  On the positive side, the Tuscan columns of the house were singled out as an interesting feature.

c.       Mr. Burnell also commented that studies show that visits to historical museums have been determined to be among the best ways of presenting historical data to people in a way that is memorable to them. It was this that motivated them to consider relocating the house to the Cuesta Park Annex.  While the annex is often cited as a location for one of two new Mountain View flood basins, one and one-half acres of the annex has been reserved for a historical, educational, and agricultural area.  An orchard will be present on the site, and there will be displays showing how people who worked in orchards lived.

d.      Mr. Burnell has offered to relocate the Pearson house to this site. Mr. Burnell stated that the relocation of the house would serve a dual purpose.  It will provide a positive addition to the historical learning area planned for the Cuesta Park Annex, while removing a old badly kept up home which is an embarrassment to the city and its goals for downtown revitalization.  In addition to providing the house, Mr. Burnell has offered $750,000 toward docent training and curator expenses for the annex.  The historic windmill from the Pumpkin Patch property will also be relocated to the annex nearby.

e.       The current site of the Pearson house will be replaced with a professional office building with retail on the first floor.  The developer will contribute $750,000 for new parking.  It will be a three story office plaza.  Mr. Burnell cited need for high quality office space in the downtown area.  The building will use recycled grey water. A plaza accessible to the public will be provided with a water sculpture. One level of underground parking is envisioned.

f.        Kim Copher asked what the design would be like.  Mr. Burnell responded that it would be an innovative,  modern and contemporary design that would incorporate tinted glass and would integrate well with trees in the area.  A landscape architect and arborist have been employed to design grounds that are both lovely and green.  There is no request for a variance from the Downtown Precise Plan.  Mr. Burnell has been negotiating with his neighbors, particularly Chez TJ, to offer them improved landscaping and a fence between their two properties. In response to the redevelopment of the property, Chez TJ will be moving their vegetable garden to the front of the property.  Mr. Burnell offered to help Chez TJ remove trees from their property, but Chez TJ did not want to do this.

g.       Mr. Burnell had some problems with his computer and was unable to show the steering committee all of the images he had for the design of his new property. He promised to follow up with the steering committee when he had images he could show them.

(11) Adjournment

a.       Robert Cox made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  David Lewis seconded.

b.      The meeting was adjourned at 9:48PM.

— Recorded by Robert Cox

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