OMVNA Steering Committee Minutes, June 14, 2010

Attending: Kim Copher, David Lewis, Laura Lewis, Becky Reyna, Jack Perkins, Carter Coleman, Deb Keller, Robert Cox, Aaron Grossman, Max Hauser

(1) Call to order

a.        Chair Laura Lewis called the meeting to order  at 7:39PM.

(2) Approval of minutes from May 2010 meeting

a.       David Lewis moved to approved the minutes, Becky Reyna seconded.  The motion to approve passed unanimously.

(3) Voting on bylaw amendments

a.       Robert Cox raised the issue of when OMVNA would vote on the proposed amendments to the bylaws.  Deb Keller asked if the picnic would be an appropriate forum.  Laura Lewis noted that people could come and go, and so would not all be available at the same time to vote. David Lewis suggested that a ballot box could be used,  but that someone would need to monitor the ballot box. Aaron Grossman added that people montoring the ballot box could be given “Ask me” buttons to direct voters to those who could help them understand the process. The actual ballot could be placed in the newsletter or printable from the website.

b.      Rather than have voting at the picnic, others raised the possibility of having the voting at the neighborhood city council forum or having a special meeting just for voting.  Deb Keller suggested that it might be useful to have the voting meeting one half hour before the picnic starts.  Kim Copher noted that there would be a lot to do before the ice cream social starts.  Robert Cox added that he would like the voting to take place in a setting where those attending would take it seriously. Jack Perkins agreed, and Kim Copher added that a professional setting would be best.  Laura Lewis wondered whether offering additional ice cream would encourage more to attend the voting.  Kim Copher said that having the voting at the candidate forum would be most appropriate and suggested having the candidate forum near the end of July or the beginning of August. Aaron Grossman commented that he thought this made the voting process more complicated than necessary, but was willing to support the decision.

c.       Jack Perkins moved that a general meeting be called on a Monday at which the candidates would be invited for a forum, and at which voting on the proposed bylaws amendments would take place.  Deb Keller seconded.  The motion was passed unanimously.

(4) Ice Cream Social

a.       The event is being planned for Sunday, August 29t, at Eagle Park, with the theme being “ An Old-fashioned Picnic”.  Carter Coleman spoke enthusiastically about having a dunk tank.  Laura Lewis and Kim Copher asked if our insurance would cover any problems.  John McAlister has been lined up to provide the ice cream.  Kim Copher suggested a water balloon toss and a three legged race, and bringing in bales of hay.  Laura Lewis asked if we wanted to bring in the guy who twists balloons into animal shapes and if we wanted a face painter.  She noted that face painting is quite popular, but that parents and children can get impatient at the long wait.

b.       Kim Copher suggested that bales of hay could be brought in, and afterward they could be donated to the Palo Alto Community Garden.  Laura Lewis volunteered to get up early on the morning of the picnic and put out signs.  The actual area of Eagle Park where the event is being held will be taped out.  Kim noted that bales of hay could be used to delimit the event site.  Carter suggested recruiting city council members, as well as members of the current and past steering committees for the dunk tank.  There was some discussion about which potential recruits would be most likely to participate in the dunk tank.

c.       Laura Lewis stated that the entire $1500 which OMVNA requested would be available to spend on the event.  This was because we are a large neighborhood and many people were expected to attend the event.  Laura has already talked to the fire chief, and he has approved the use of Eagle Park for the event.  Kim Copher noted that there are event calendars for the use of the facilities, an we should make sure that we are on the calendar first.

d.      Aaron Grossman asked whether non-profits would be setting up tables and attending the event.  Laura Lewis cited Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail, Heritage Oak, and CERT as groups that have had tables in the past.  The Senior Center was also suggested, and others wondered if the  promoters of Crunchfuls cereal would like to be there to give out free samples.  Carter Coleman said that a representative from Chez TJ would be there to give out a certificate.  Organized groups promoting biking are also likely to want to attend.  Laura Lewis suggested that we should consider sending invitations to groups, rather than just making a general invitation.  Aaron Grossman offered to contact the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail to invite them.

e.      Laura noted that the balloon twisting guy will cost us $150 and that he will need to be driven to the event.  Elvis the singing mailman was given a $50 gratuity for performing.  He usually gets dressed up for the event.  Deb Keller asked if additional music could be provided. Kim Copher noted that Paul Goldstein is involved in a barbershop group, and offered to call him to see if his group would volunteer to perform.  Aaron Grossman noted the importance of keeping all of the receipts.  Jack Perkins asked what the full cost of the ice cream social would be.  Laura Lewis responded that it would be $1500 and paid for entirely by the neighborhood grant.

(5) Movies in the Park

a.       Jack Perkins asked whether we could have an outdoor movie night at Mercy Bush Park. Laura Lewis mentioned that the city is already planning this for Eagle Park.  One obstacle is that the owner of the movie rights would expect to be paid per head.  It was suggested to check with other neighborhood associations on how they handle this.

(6) Moderation subcommittee

a.       Max Hauser has met privately with Laura Lewis to follow up on some of the issues of greatest concern. Max said that he expects some consensus is  being established, but there is still a need to make the guidelines more explicit, and to determine precisely what will happen if people violate the guidelines. Max believes that most of the details can be worked out if one more meeting is held. Laura has not heard any outcries for immediate action.  In fact, she has not received any e-mails in the last three weeks complaining about moderation.

(7) Steering committee elections

a.       Several current steering committee members indicated that they might not seek re-election.  Laura Lewis suggested that a nominating committee be organized to recruit replacements.  Several people were suggested as possible recruits for the nominating committee.  Laura Lewis said it would be best if members of the nominating committee not be up for election themselves.  Robert Cox noted that, according to the bylaws, only the chair of the nominating committee is required not to seek election.  It was suggested that it might be better to have the elections earlier rather than later.  One suggestion was to have them in October in conjunction with a Halloween event.

(8) CERT

a.       Carter Coleman has given Aaron Grossman a check for $96 to pay for hand held radios. Aaron stressed the importance of having fresh batteries. Aaron indicated that there is a need to re-energize the CERT  membership.  Laura Lewis asked to borrow the CERT radios so they could be used for a demonstration for the kids.  Aaron said that he has six radios that he could loan out.

(9) Treasurer’s report

a.       Aaron Grossman said that a recent article in the newsletter “No more taxes for OMVNA”, might lead people to believe that OMVNA had been paying taxes in the past that could have been avoided.  Carter Coleman responded by saying that OMVNA did pay a $19 non-filing penalty, and what would happen with OMVNA’s 2008 taxes was still to be determined.  Aaron said that the organization had never paid federal taxes and had only paid state taxes once.  Carter and Aaron agreed to work out a precise joint statement on our tax situation, and Deb Keller noted that a clarification could be posted in the newsletter.

b.      Aaron Grossman asked if OMVNA would like to financially support the Save the Bay organization.  Aaron noted that he is in favor of OMVNA being a member of this organization.

(10)Chair’s report

a.       Laura Lewis reported that we have renewed our membership in United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County, and that our insurance coverage renewal is taken care of with this.

b.      Laura reminded the attendees that council’s meeting concerning neighborhood association grants would be held on Thursday, June 17 at 6:00PM in the Plaza Conference Room at City Hall. Laura Lewis, Becky Reyna, Robert Cox, Carter Coleman, and Deb Keller expressed an interest in attending the event.

(11)Newsletter report

a.       Deb Keller asked who had watched the video on the web site about hunting snails. Laura Lewis mentioned that she had an idea for the video that involved the breeding of tortoises.  Jack Perkins noted that he found a tortoise at the corner of Mercy and Bush Streets and that it is important to know where to relocate tortoises when you find them.

b.      Deb Keller said that she enjoys doing the web site for OMVNA, but would welcome additional help with the newsletter.  Deb also encouraged more people to get involved in selling ads for the newsletter.  The deadline for registering as a candidate in the city council election is approaching, and if the positions are not contested, candidates may  be less inclined to run ads. Kim Copher noted that she knew of a dermatology clinic that might be interested in running an ad, agreed to follow up on this.

(12)Downtown liason report

a.       David Lewis reported that a study of parking in the downtown area will begin soon.  Paying for parking and other concepts will be studied.  David noted that $150,000 has been allocated in the city budget for capital improvements to the downtown area.  The money needs to be spent by next spring.  Garbage bins and kiosks have been suggested as possible improvements.  Jack Perkins suggested drinking fountains.  Laura Lewis suggested improving our ability to recycle.  David noted that the money must be spent on capital improvements.  Several other suggestions were offered, including: art work, electronic kiosks, solar powered lights, and safety cameras for the garages.


a.       Jack Perkins moved to adjourn the meeting.  Becky Reyna seconded.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:10PM.

Minutes recorded by Robert Cox, OMVNA Secretary

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