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May 31, 2006 Meeting Notes for BIP #9: Public Involvement

1.  Greetings/Review of the Agenda/Handouts

Members Present: Eileen Argentina, JoAnn Bowman, Megan Callahan, Lynne Coward,  Cameron Vaughan-Tyler.

Members Not Present:  Art Alexander, Laurel Butman, Sue Diciple, Christine Egan, Gay Greger, Tim Hall, Barbara Hart, Brian Hockaday, Brian Hoop, Beth Kaye, Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong, Sandra LeFrancois, Marsha Palmer, Rick Williams, Karen Withrow.

Staff: Maija Spencer                                                  Guests:  John Ryan, Kate Warren

It was decided, due to low attendance, to move the toolbox discussion (the main part of the agenda) to the June meeting.   

It was asked what the timeline for BIP #9 is.  At the beginning, members were asked for a year commitment, which means through August this year.  The team needs to evaluate what we can finish between now and then.

2.  Public Comments

John asked about other resources regarding psychological and community aspects of different tools.  The group shared various models that the group looked at earlier, such as the Warringah model.

3.  Notes from April 26th 

Notes will be approved at the June meeting, when more members are in attendance.

4.  Outreach/Feedback Plan

Eileen gave an update on the coordination of BIP’s #1 visonPDX, #8 Restructuring of Neighborhood System, #9 (this group) & #20 Charter Review.  The leads of all these groups are working to coordinate efforts, especially regarding public outreach, and ensure all four final products relate in some way.

The group discussed how to get our products reviewed, including:


  • visionPDX’s subcommittee on engagement
  • internal review with City staff
  • PBA’s committees – government affairs, downtown retail council, transportation, etc., but they don’t meet in July or August.  Cameron can look into June agendas.
  • a public event open to all, such as a forum
  • a forum within another event – perhaps a visionPDX or BIP #8 event
  • employee brown bags
  • cable access, Powerpoint
  • case studies/role playing
  • neighborhood coalitions directors –monthly meeting or meet with one-on-one
  • Metro committee on citizen involvement (interested in creating sub-committee with BIP #9).
  • JoAnn & Eileen will meet with all the Comissioners

Let Maija know if you’re interested in representing BIP #9 at a future vision PDX’s engagement subcommittee meeting or other committee meetings. 

5.  Reporting to BIP Implementation Meeting

In August, JoAnn and Eileen will give a status update on BIP #9 to the BIP Implementation Team, which is made up of City Council and all Bureau Directors.

6.  Public Comments

Kate Warren, who is now chair of Metro’s Citizen Involvement Committee, will double check our list of tools with the list their committee brainstormed.  She shared Metro’s template for a public involvement plan, and also brought an example of a plan that was recently done.  There are certain threshold questions that lead to the need for a plan, such as funding, affect on public, etc.  The public involvement plans all get reviewed by her committee, both at the beginning and at various points during the project.  The plan provides an easy tool for check-ins, as it has a calendar section with milestones for the project. 

Metro’s oversight committee exists all the time and can’t be dissolved.  It’s attached to Goal 1 (public involvement) for Metro.  Committee members are sometimes appointed by Metro council, and others are volunteers who actively apply.  Metro requires a screening and application that is reviewed by the public involvement office at Metro.  It also goes through the Metro councilors, and applicants usually are interviewed by a Metro official (such as David Bragdon).  There is a staff person for the committee. 

BIP #9 could recommend a similar process – requiring public involvement plans along with a central oversight committee, such as Metro has.  Would that committee be appointed by city council?  How can BIP #9 institutionalize what we want but not overdo it with too many citywide committees or bureaucratic structures?  It needs to be a citizen committee – not just internal committee – to get the proper scrutiny of plan.  The idea of a citywide public involvement committee is interesting, but there would be obvious challenges such as the membership make-up, who staffs it, and who pays for it.  Evaluation of projects once they are over should also occur.

It was also mentioned that at most levels of government, there is a check off list of things to do before submitting any legislation.  Perhaps a public involvement plan could be one of these items. 

Eileen also shared that visionPDX will be collecting surveys between now and August.  There are many ways to give your input – you can do the survey online or participate in a group visioning exercise.  Contact visionPDX if you would like to host an event.