Steering Committee Minutes, April 2010

OMVNA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes (Monday, April 12, 2010)

Attending: David Lewis, Laura Lewis, Jack Perkins, Carter Coleman, Robert Cox, Kim Copher, Deb Keller, Aaron Grossman.

Neighbors and Guests: Jana and Jess Anders, Chris Hynes, Ronnie Falcao, Julie Lovins, Anthony Intravaia, Max Hauser.

(1) Call to Order.

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

(2) Approval of Minutes from March 2010 meeting.

a. Robert Cox distributed copies of the minutes. Jack Perkins made a motion to adopt the minutes, David Lewis seconded. The minutes were adopted with a 7-0 vote. (Becky Reyna was absent.)

(3) Relay for Life of Mountain View. Jana and Jess Anders handed out fliers and spoke on behalf of “Relay for Life of Mountain View” an event that will be held May 22-23 from 10AM-10AM at Cuesta Park.

a. Presentation: This is a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. There are various opportunities for those who want to get involved: to form a team, register as a survivor, become a event sponsor, join the planning committee, and light a candle in honor of a loved one. Massages and meals will be available at the event. There will be an opportunity to remember those we have lost, and to find out more about cancer education. There will also be bands, movies, dancing, tai-chi, events for kids, and a plane simulator. The Anderses ask that if we know cancer survivors, we inform them of the event so that they can participate. Teams are formed of people, each of whom is willing to donate $100. Every team has a captain and the members of teams walk in shifts during the 24 hour period of the relay. For additional information, you can send e-mail to, call (408)-594-9955, or visit the web site at

b. Discussion: Carter Coleman suggested that the group write an article for the newsletter to help get the word out. Kim Copher said that she knew someone who was a cancer survivor and might be willing to write the article. The expected length of the article would be ½ page. The Anderses noted that teams are often sponsored by local businesses and asked if Old Mountain View would like to sponsor a team. A donation of $500 gets your name on the official T-shirts. The Anderses will need to know by next week if Old Mountain View wants to sponsor a team.

(4) “Do You Trust the Mountain View City Staff?”. Tony Intravaia gave a powerpoint presentation.

a. Presentation: Tony started by noting that there are time limits set by CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) for environmental reports. An MND (mitigated negative declaration) must be completed in 180 days and an EIR must be completed in 1 year. Given that Prometheus’s original gatekeeper proposal was adopted in January 2009, there is a question as to whether the time limit requirements were met. Tony wrote to the Chairman of the EPC (Environmental Planning Commission) about this issue and was surprised that he did not receive a response. He has also been in contact with the city attorney, city clerk, city manager, and police. He has also talked to Heather Baugh at the California State Clearinghouse of the “Office of Planning and Research” to learn more about the CEQA regulations. Tony encouraged neighbors to read the statutes and become informed. He noted that he could find nothing that indicated that the city had completed the required reports on the Prometheus project and sent them on to the county and state. He cited data indicating that other cities in the county had done so for their projects.

b. Discussion: Julie Lovins asked when the Prometheus application would be accepted as complete. David Lewis expressed concern that constant amendments to the application could allow the process to go on indefinitely. Jack Perkins asked what specific action should be taken based on this information. Tony responded that non-compliance with CEQA regulations could stop the project, although he noted that CEQA was set up to be self-regulating. Jack wondered whether the issue could be raised with the city council or with Randy Tsuda, director city planning. Carter suggested that a newsletter article might be an appropriate venue to raise discussion of the issue. Max Hauser suggested that Tony state the issue clearly to the people he is trying to contact and ask directly for some specific action. Laura Lewis suggested that Tony contact Deb Keller, newsletter editor, on how to communicate his concerns effectively. Max cautioned Tony that he might not have the full picture regarding this issue.

(5) OMVNAtalk Moderation Subcommittee Update

a. The moderator subcommittee was formed, but has not yet met in person. Much discussion has gone on through e-mail. Max Hauser and Kim Copher have been contributing to the discussion. There still is no consensus on whether OMVNAtalk should be moderated or unmoderated. A poll on the issue netted only 18 responses. Max suggested that a radical change in handling of the list would only be appropriate if a referendum on the issue were called. Laura Lewis noted that on April 1, Yahoo upgraded their servers and that this has lessened the delay between posting messages and message approvals. Max was confident that if the subcommittee members met in person that some consensus could be developed. Laura hoped that this could be done by the next steering committee meeting.

(6) CERT Report

a. Aaron Grossman reports that Carol and David Lewis had joined CERT, and that OMVNA CERT now has 52 members. Aaron noted that Los Altos has eliminated their CERT team. Aaron has asked that Ronnie Falcao go shopping for supplies. Aaron will submit a formal request for reimbursement to the steering committee.

(7) General Meeting Update

a. A vote on the bylaw amendments is planned for the general meeting. The issue was raised as to whether paper copies of the bylaws would be needed and whether paper ballots would be needed for the voting. Julie Lovins suggested that a hand vote could be taken if we were able to identify visitors. Jack Perkins volunteered to identify the visitors. Laura Lewis confirmed that a vote could be “yea”, “nay”, or “abstain”. Laura suggested that both she and Robert Cox count the votes. The meeting will be held at Landels Elementary School on April 19 at 7PM.

b. The group discussed whether Landels was the best place for general meetings. Laura noted that the cost was $45/hour, which meant that the total cost of a meeting was $135. City facilities will not be an option starting in July. For the moment, our insurance has been written assuming that the meetings will be at Landels. Laura suggested that we might be able to get a better deal at the Masonic Lodge next to Park Place, and that we should look into the possibility of moving general meetings there.

c. Note: The April 19 general meeting was cancelled. Our main speaker, Randy Tsuda, Director of City Planning, had a conflict with the High Speed Rail Subcommittee meeting. The meeting will be rescheduled so that a vote on the bylaws amendments can be taken.

(8) Downtown Grocery Store

a. Presentation: Julie Lovins spoke on the history and need for a grocery store in the downtown area. She noted that the city council was moving ahead with plans to study the issue, but that it was important to determine what are the needs and wants of neighborhood. Julie is organizing a subcommittee of neighbors to evaluate the situation and give their own input to the city. Julie noted the sunsetting of Downtown Revitalization network, and that $8.3 million is waiting to be spent. Council had suggested that a boutique grocery store be investigated, but Julie objected to the characterization. Julie noted that council was about to approve eight different studies, including a study of a grocery store, and said that studying the issue in this way was not the most effective way of addressing the issue. She said that we need a compact grocery store which is tailored to the needs of the community.

b. Discussion: Laura Lewis suggested that Julie write a newsletter article on this issue. David said that the Downtown Committee had discussed the idea of a grocery store, but the term “boutique” did not come up in the discussion. Chris Hynes noted that compact grocery stores do exist in the vicinity, and cited the examples of one in the Santa Cruz downtown area called “Food Bin”, and the “Safeway-Lite” in Morgan Hill. Chris sent a list of compact grocery stores to a city official when he first moved to Old Mountain View, and offered to send this list to Julie Lovins. The list included, not only grocery stores, but an enumeration of other businesses that would add to the quality of life in the downtown area. Some noted that CVS and Mountain View Market do have many every day items, and that the dairy items had become easier to find. Julie stated that there will always be people who prefer to drive to a supermarket once per week, and that a downtown grocery store will not meet their needs. She said she looks forward to the day when she will be able to buy plain yogurt in the downtown area. Max Hauser also commented that a full service grocery store should provide parsley as well as cilantro.

(9) High Speed Rail

a. Robert Cox gave an update on his conversation with Don Cecil, who is managing the outreach program for the alternatives analysis on the portion of the high speed rail line between San Jose and San Francisco. Don Cecil suggested that neighbors in the Old Mountain View area attend the outreach meeting at the Senior Center on Monday, May 3, and give their input there. After that meeting was done, an additional meeting could be scheduled with the Old Mountain View neighbors to discuss their specific concerns.

b. Robert asked whether the group would be interested in having the high speed rail commission members speak. He also wondered if we should include representatives from alternate groups like the PCC (Peninsula Coalition of Cities) and CARRD (Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design). Laura suggested that a joint meeting could be held with other neighborhood associations. It may be necessary to coordinate the schedules of various speakers and neighborhood associations to get such a meeting to happen. Robert offered to investigate and follow up on the potential for other speakers.

(10) General Plan Subcommittee and City Council Meeting

a. Presentation: A letter was written by the heads of three neighborhood associations (Old Mountain View, Monta Loma, and Wagon Wheel) to Randy Tsuda, Director of City Planning, asking for greater outreach to the neighborhoods on the subject of the new General Plan. The text of the letter was approved by an 8-0 vote of the OMVNA steering committee through e-mail, and was confirmed by a vote at this steering committee meeting. Board members from the three neighborhood associations attended a city council meeting where the General Plan schedule was discussed and gave their input. Special concerns were raised as to whether the revised Option B was representative of neighborhood input. The neighborhood associations asked for the city to provide visual depictions of how changes in the General Plan would affect their neighborhoods and to explain to the neighborhoods the reasoning behind the changes in the General Plan.

b. Discussion: Deb Keller noted that the revised Option B was not based on community input, and asked whether the revised option A was. Carter Coleman asked how much was spent on consulting fees for the General Plan outreach, and wondered if the money was well spent if the conclusions were not going to be adopted. Laura noted that changes in the General Plan schedule were likely. She stated that she and Wouter Suverkropp, President of the Monta Loma Neighborhood Association, would be meeting with Mr. Tsuda for a follow up discussion on the topic.

(11) Walk Around the Block

a. Presentation: Robert Cox said that he had been discussing the idea of a “Walk Around the Block” program with leaders of other neighborhood associations. The idea was to have a 2 hour Saturday morning meeting that would rotate between the different neighborhoods. Each meeting would feature a social hour at a local restaurant or someone’s home (donations would be collected to defray costs in the second case), followed by a neighborhood hike and tour. So far, five neighborhoods have expressed interest.

b. Discussion: Ronnie Falcao noted that the Historical Homes tour and Tree Walk were popular and could serve as a basis for a tour of Old Mountain View. Laura Lewis and Kim Copher expressed an interest in helping plan the Old Mountain View meeting. Carter Coleman wondered if we could combine this with the brunch at Zucca. Deb asked if plans would be solid enough for a newsletter article.

(12) Ice Cream Social

a. Laura Lewis mentioned that the date for the Ice Cream Social was approaching and that we needed to book a location. Although the social was often held at Mercy Bush Park, Laura suggested that it had been and could be held at the fire station.

(13) Newsletter Update

a. The newsletter will go to press on April 25th be published on April 28th. It will include ads for Sakoon, Alpha Graphics, and Dana Street Roasting Company. The newsletter will only be eight pages this time, and the revenue from the ads will cover the cost of printing.

(14) Community Liason Report

a. David Lewis reported that the high speed rail in the downtown was a major point of discussion among the Downtown Committee. He noted that if the train ran at grade level then four blocks of the downtown would need to be taken out. This makes the idea of an elevated rail line more likely. A survey of parking in the downtown, which also addresses the issue of whether paid parking should be instituted, is likely to be conducted. The current plan is to survey only the area between Franklin and Hope Streets, as the downtown revitalization district ended there. The issue of a grocery store was discussed. Additional signs indicating directions are likely.

(15) Treasurer Report

a. Carter Coleman reports that OMVNA’s financial documents are now available in Google docs. Over the last month, the major receivables were $600 in ad revenues, while the major expenditures were for postage, printing of the newsletter, and some tax payments. Carter encouraged all steering committee members to seek ad revenue for the newsletter. Kim Copher asked if we had something to give out to potential advertisers. Carter replied that our newsletter is the best handout to demonstrate the ads. A typical ad is $250. Laura Lewis suggested that we make up a price sheet.

(16) Adjournment

a. Kim Copher noted that the steering committee meetings were running over, and suggested that we target getting started promptly at 7:30PM and try to finish by 9:00PM. Presenters should be given an expectation of the amount of time that they have to present.

b. The meeting was adjourned at 9:55PM.

This entry was posted in Steering Committee. Bookmark the permalink.