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ONI Guidelines

ONI Guidelines

Guidelines for Neighborhood Associations, District Coalitions, Neighborhood Business Associations, Communities Beyond Boundaries, Alternative Service Delivery Structures and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement

Click on the following to see the ONI Guidelines PDF version.
I. DEFINITIONS :
Neighborhood Association (NA)
A "neighborhood association" is a group of people organized for the purpose of considering and acting upon any of a broad range of issues affecting the livability and quality of their neighborhood. A neighborhood association normally functions as a non-profit organization or is incorporated as a non-profit.
Recognized Neighborhood Association
A "recognized neighborhood association" is one which meets the minimum standards of the City of Portland Code (Chapter 3.96) and applicable guidelines adopted by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and is currently recognized by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. ONI formally recognizes the neighborhood associations with a "Letter of Recognition" which remains in effect unless a neighborhood association fails to meet the minimum standards and guidelines, at which point the association may be "derecognized" by ONI.
District Coalition/District Coalition Board (DCB)
A "district coalition" is an independent non-profit corporation which contracts with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to facilitate citizen participation services and related neighborhood crime prevention activities for neighborhood associations and citizens within a geographically defined area. The board of a district coalition (DCB) is primarily composed of representatives from its member neighborhood associations.
Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI)
ONI is an agency of the City of Portland the purpose of which is to facilitate citizen participation and improve communication among citizens, neighborhood associations, district coalitions/neighborhood offices and other entities.
Neighborhood Business Association (NBA)
A "neighborhood business association" is an organization within a specific geographic area, often along a commercial strip or in an industrial area, which promotes the general well-being of the business community and neighborhoods in that area.
Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries (CBNB)
"Communities beyond neighborhood boundaries" are ethnically-based community organizations whose members face unique differences, particularly in the areas of language and cultural adjustment.
Alternative Service Delivery Structures
An "alternative service delivery structure" is a mechanism for delivering neighborhood services on a model other than the standard neighborhood district coalition. A "neighborhood office," as is the North Portland Neighborhood Office, is one example of an alternative service delivery structure.
II. REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING RECOGNIZED AS A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION OF THE CITY OF PORTLAND TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES FROM ONI
A. Basic Requirements
Neighborhood associations that meet the following requirements will, upon request, be officially recognized by the City of Portland, and be eligible for the range of services provided by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and/or district coalition/neighborhood offices:
  1. Membership: Maintain membership, which is open to any person who lives and/or owns any real property within the recognized boundaries of the neighborhood association. Other individuals or organizations may be members as further set forth in each neighborhood association's bylaws.
  2. Boundaries: Have clearly stated boundaries in its bylaws. The boundaries should not overlap those of any other neighborhood association, except to the extent that each neighborhood association affected agrees in writing. (See also Section VI)
  3. Non-Discrimination: Not discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, income, or political affiliation in any of its policies, recommendations or actions.
  4. Dues: Collect membership contributions on a voluntary basis only.
  5. Bylaws: Maintain and file with ONI an up-to-date set of bylaws, which provide for meeting the above criteria and include provisions for adopting and amending bylaws, establishing a quorum, and setting the agenda.
  6. Grievances: Bylaws shall include provisions relating to the resolution of grievances concerning the activities, policies, or recommendations of the neighborhood association including: who is eligible to grieve, a process for the receipt of complaints, and a procedure for final resolution. (Also, see Section VII.)
  7. Meeting Requirements: Set forth meeting requirements for the membership in the neighborhood association bylaws.
  8. Public Meetings/Public Records Law/Minutes/Dissent: Abide by the open meetings/open records policy governing the neighborhood system as set forth in the operating ordinance. Official action(s) taken by a neighborhood association must be on record as a part of the minutes of each meeting. The minutes shall include a record of attendance and the results of any vote(s) taken. A summary of dissenting views should be transmitted along with any recommendation made by the neighborhood association to the City. (For further information, see Appendix on Public Records and Public Meetings Law.)
B. Liaison to District Coalition Board:
To have a voice in setting goals and priorities for a district coalition and in determining the allocation of the coalition's resources, a neighborhood association must participate as a member of its district coalition board or approved alternative service delivery structure.
  1. Each neighborhood association that elects to participate should have a written procedure for selecting a delegate(s) to the district coalition board.
  2. To become affiliated with a district coalition, a recognized neighborhood association shall obtain a written agreement with the appropriate district coalition board and inform ONI no later than the end of the current calendar year. Affiliation shall become effective at a time agreed to by the district coalition board and the neighborhood association.
C. Recognition as a Neighborhood Association by the City of Portland
A neighborhood association meeting the requirements in Section II-A will, upon request, be recognized by the City of Portland. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will send a "Letter of Recognition" to the neighborhood association. Recognized neighborhood associations are entitled to receive services including, but not limited to:
  1. Placement on the ONI contact sheet which lists the names, addresses and phone numbers of the neighborhood association, its president and a designated contact person. This contact sheet is widely used throughout the City government for informational mailings relating to a variety of topics;
  2. Notification by all appropriate City bureaus as required in the City Code on all matters that fall within its boundaries;
  3. Placement on official neighborhood association maps, in brochures and handbooks relating to neighborhood affairs; and,
  4. Support services when affiliated with a district coalition or alternative service delivery structure may include assistance with general communications, crime prevention activities, newsletters, grant writing, activity-planning, public relations, and general information and referral.
D. Communication
NAs are encouraged to maintain open communication with neighborhood business associations and communities beyond neighborhood boundaries on pertinent matters and issues of mutual interest and to seek opportunities for discussion prior to taking action on such issues.
E. Mediation
NAs are encouraged to seek mediation with NBAs and/or among themselves or other organizations and entities, including communities beyond neighborhood boundaries, if disagreements arise over issues.
III. ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF DISTRICT COALITION(S)
A. Except as otherwise stated, the working and procedural relationship(s) among neighborhood associations, district coalitions and district coalition staff shall be determined by the groups involved, and these relationships shall be respected by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
B. District Coalition Boards
Each district coalition is represented by a district coalition board (DCB) which is composed of delegates duly selected by member neighborhood associations and any at-large members provided for in the coalition bylaws. District coalitions represented by DCBs are the neighborhood-based contracting agents with the City, which support citizen participation services and provide crime prevention linkages. As the contracting agent for the coalition, each board must ensure that the coalition meets the following requirements:
  1. Incorporation: Be a not-for-profit corporation in good standing and registered with the Oregon Corporation Commissioner.
  2. Tax-exempt Status: Qualify for exemption from corporate taxation under either 26 USC 501(c)(3) or 26 USC 501 (c)(4).
  3. Bylaws: Maintain a current copy of the district coalition's bylaws with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
  4. Personnel Policies: Develop a set of personnel policies, which include hiring procedures, internal grievance procedures, and procedures for annual performance review of the district coalition's staff.
  5. Affirmative Action: Have an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Policy approved by the City.
  6. Public Meeting/Public Records Law: Abide by the open meetings/open records policy governing the neighborhood system as set forth in the operating ordinance. (For further information, see Appendix on Oregon Public Meetings and Public Records Law.)
  7. Non-Discrimination: Not discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, income, or political affiliation in any of its policies, recommendations or actions.
  8. Grievances: Bylaws shall include provisions relating to the resolution of grievances concerning the activities, policies, or recommendations of the district coalition including who is eligible to grieve, a process for the receipt of complaints, and a procedure for final resolution. (Also, see Section VII.)
  9. Meeting Minutes: Record in the minutes of each meeting all official action(s) taken by the district coalition board. Minutes shall include a record of attendance and the results of any vote(s) taken. A copy of the minutes with dissenting views highlighted should be transmitted along with any recommendation made by the district coalition to the City.
  10. City Contract: Administer all City contractual funds, develop district coalition budget, and negotiate contracts in accordance with the procedures established by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and in line with standard accounting and business practices.
  11. Annual Work Program: Develop an annual work program with objectives set by the district coalition and submit same to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
  12. Reports to ONI: File a written progress report at mid-year and an "annual accomplishments" report at the end of the contract year with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
  13. Allocations to Neighborhood Associations: Establish written policies and procedures for the allocation of contractual funds for printing and mailing to affiliated neighborhood associations.
  14. Newsletter Policies: Agree to uphold ONI newsletter policies. Ensure compliance with federal postal service regulations for bulk mailings and 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) regulations for not-for-profit organizations. (See: "Newsletter Policies," Section VIII.)
  15. Staff Salaries: Compensate staff paid for by ONI funds based on their own salary policies while keeping equity among similar positions throughout the neighborhood structure in mind.
  16. Orientation: Provide for the orientation of neighborhood association members and district coalition board members on the operations and procedures of the DCB and the district office. Orientation topics or materials may include materials related to the activities of the district coalition such as:
  17. Important dates (e.g. district coalition board meetings, neighborhood associations meetings, upcoming workshops and special events)
    --District coalition board policies and procedures
    --ONI and district coalition office resources
    --Outreach and advocacy techniques.
  18. Staff Evaluation: Evaluate the performance of district coalition staff annually.
  19. Communication: District coalitions are encouraged to maintain open communication with neighborhood business associations and communities beyond neighborhood boundaries on pertinent matters and issues of mutual interest and to seek opportunities for discussion prior to taking action on such issues.
  20. Mediation: DCBs are encouraged to seek mediation with NBAs and/or among themselves or other organizations and entities, including communities beyond neighborhood boundaries, if disagreements arise over issues.
IV. ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF DISTRICT COALITION STAFF
The staff hired by each district coalition board (DCB) is primarily funded with monies from the district coalition contract with the City. The staff serves the district coalition and is accountable to it. The district coalition is the employer--not the City. The staff is subject to the district coalition personnel policies, and staff performance should be measured in light of these policies and in furthering the activities set out in each district coalition annual work plan.
All personnel issues relating to these employees are the responsibility of the district coalition board. It is recommended that each board clearly establish the supervisory relationship between the board and staff and among staff members themselves in order to have positive communication in both directions.
A primary role of a district office is to increase the effective communication and flow of information between citizens and government by providing support to citizens who are involved in neighborhood activities, particularly activities of recognized neighborhood associations.
Staff should provide training, orientation, information and consultation to neighborhood associations and other citizens according to the policies and directives of the district board. It is the role of the staff to be a resource to citizens who in turn advocate a particular position on an issue, rather than for staff to become advocates themselves. In short, the staff role is to work to increase citizen participation and to provide technical support on pertinent issues. Advocacy of neighborhood concerns is and should be left to the citizens, except when staff is specifically directed to do otherwise by the board.

V. ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CITY OF PORTLAND OFFICE OF NEIGHBORHOOD INVOLVEMENT
A. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will meet the following requirements:
  1. Negotiate contracts and maintain fiscal and program accountability for the funds routed to each district coalition/neighborhood office through its board or as appropriate;
  2. Monitor for compliance and enforce the contracts entered into between the City and the district coalitions through their boards;
  3. Act as an information clearinghouse and resource to neighborhood associations and other citizens or groups;
  4. Provide for orientation on ONI/City structure and procedures to neighborhood association boards, district coalition boards/neighborhood offices, staff, and other interested citizens;
  5. Facilitate open communication among City bureaus, other government agencies, neighborhood associations, district coalition boards/neighborhood offices, NBAs, CBNBs, other entities, and other citizens;
  6. Assist neighborhood associations and district coalition/neighborhood offices in planning, developing and coordinating programs for citywide citizen participation and crime prevention activities;
  7. Process requests from neighborhood associations seeking recognition from the City;
  8. Maintain a current listing of all neighborhood associations and contact persons for each group;
  9. Assist district coalitions/neighborhood offices and neighborhood associations in identifying and submitting proposals for alternative funding sources for expanding citizen participation services;
  10. Manage the various citizen involvement programs as are assigned by Council to the office, including the Metropolitan Human Rights Center, an Information and Referral phone line to link citizens to City bureaus and neighborhood associations and coalitions/neighborhood offices and other entities, and fulfill other responsibilities as developed;
  11. Publicize the citizen participation activities and meetings of the neighborhood association network in print and electronic media and other forums;
  12. Respond to complaints about neighborhood associations or district coalitions/neighborhood offices pertaining to their activities, policies or actions;
  13. Encourage City bureaus to increase their outreach as well as their timely and appropriate notification of citizens about matters affecting their neighborhoods. Coordinate City bureau outreach activities that specifically involve neighborhoods and citizens. Act (in conjunction with MHRC) as a clearinghouse for facilitation and coordination of efforts to engage diverse individuals and neighborhoods in discussions with and feedback to City bureaus and other agencies. Encourage City bureaus to adhere to the Principles of Citizen Involvement, adopted February 7, 1996;
  14. Report to the Commissioner-in-charge on activities and concerns relating to citizen participation, crime prevention, and other programs funded through the office;
  15. Make provisions for assisting newly forming neighborhood associations;
  16. Within budget and program limits, provide minimum services to recognized neighborhood associations not affiliated with a district coalition/neighborhood office, including printing and mailing support, appropriate notification to citizens on matters affecting their neighborhoods, and general assistance;
  17. Develop an annual work plan with the ONI Bureau Advisory Committee and in communication with the district coalitions/neighborhood offices;
  18. Make supplemental training and technical assistance available to neighborhood associations, coalitions/neighborhood offices, citizens, and other citizen participation groups;
  19. Promote communication and collaboration among neighborhood associations, neighborhood business associations, ethnic and civic community organizations, and institutions. While neighborhood associations continue to be the primary City-supported structure for neighborhood involvement, ONI shall assist--within budget and program limits--neighborhood business associations, ethnic and other civic and community-based groups in their efforts to communicate effectively with neighbors and with the City and to participate in their appropriate neighborhood association.
VI. NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION AND DISTRICT COALITION BOUNDARIES
A. Designating Neighborhood Boundaries
  1. Recognized neighborhood associations are responsible for establishing their own boundaries and describing them accurately in their bylaws.
  2. Recognized neighborhood associations desiring to change their boundaries shall do so in cooperation with adjoining associations.
  3. All changes in boundaries must have the written consent of all the recognized neighborhood associations affected.
  4. The district coalition board/neighborhood office and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement should be promptly notified in writing of all boundary changes so that notification processes, maps and brochures can be kept current and accurate.
B. Resolution of Boundary Disputes
Boundary disputes should be resolved at the neighborhood association or district coalition board/neighborhood office level. If two or more neighborhood associations are unable to agree to a proposed boundary change the district coalition board shall assist in resolving the dispute through the following process:
  1. The district coalition board and the neighborhood associations shall meet together to review the proposed boundary changes and attempt to reach a compromise solution. Mediation services are available as a helpful resource if requested.
  2. If a solution to the boundary dispute cannot be reached by the affected neighborhood associations, they may select an alternate process, such as requesting a decision from the district coalition board, or a survey or vote of the residents in all affected neighborhood associations. Before any such process is undertaken to resolve a boundary dispute, it shall be clearly described and agreed to in writing by all affected neighborhood associations. The results of any such process shall be final.
  3. If the conflicting boundary dispute is not resolved within six months of the time it is formally brought to the attention of the appropriate coalition board(s), ONI, in conjunction with the coalition(s), may withhold services and/or funds to the neighborhood associations involved. Where no coalition exists, ONI will facilitate a process to develop and maintain a map, with no overlapping boundaries, of the recognized neighborhood associations. This will be done in conjunction with the boards and/or general membership of the neighborhood associations involved and will be based on the boundaries as stated in the formally adopted bylaws of the respective associations.
C. Neighborhood Boundaries Falling Outside the Portland City Limits
Boundaries of recognized neighborhood associations may extend beyond the Portland City Limits at the discretion of the respective neighborhood association. However, services to non-city residents may be limited by the district coalition or the City.
D. Overlapping Boundaries
Overlapping boundaries confuse identification, create duplication in both service delivery and in the notification process and are discouraged.
E. Size of Recognized Neighborhood Association
A boundary change resulting in a neighborhood association with less than 200 households should be discouraged.
F. Changes in District Coalition Boundaries
District coalitions/neighborhood offices are allocated resources to provide services to a specified geographic area. Proposed changes in district coalition/neighborhood office boundaries will be negotiated during the contracting process between the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and the affected district coalition board(s) or similar group.
VII. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Any major grievance or complaint against a neighborhood association, district coalition, or neighborhood business association must be filed in writing with the appropriate neighborhood association, district coalition, or business association.
Resolving the grievance is the responsibility of the neighborhood association or the district coalition or neighborhood business association involved. Each affected board is responsible for following the grievance procedure set forth in its bylaws.
A. Mediation Services
If necessary or desirable, the parties involved may request the assistance of mediation services. However, it is the responsibility of the parties involved to achieve a fair resolution of the grievance. If not otherwise provided for in the association or coalition bylaws and in cases where the parties cannot reach an agreement, a decision by the majority of the neighborhood association board or district coalition board will be final.

B. Grievances Regarding These Guidelines
In the event that a grievance is made against a neighborhood association, district coalition or neighborhood business association concerning compliance with these Guidelines, and after all of the review procedures of the neighborhood association or district coalition have been exhausted, a determination may be sought from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director will review the grievance and make a determination after discussing the grievance with the parties involved, and after reviewing any material in support of or in opposition to the grievance. A request for corrective action, if required, will be made to the neighborhood association's board or district coalition or neighborhood business association's board. The neighborhood association board, district coalition or business association board will be asked to respond in writing with a corrective action plan.

C. Grievances Against the Office of Neighborhood Involvement
Any major grievance against the Office of Neighborhood Involvement must be filed in writing with ONI. ONI shall respond to the written grievance within ten (10) working days. A subsequent meeting(s) shall be scheduled by request and at the convenience of both parties. If necessary or desirable, the parties involved may request a mediation process acceptable to both parties. Resolution of the grievance should be the sole responsibility of ONI and the other party.
VIII. NEIGHBORHOOD AND DISTRICT COALITION NEWSLETTER POLICIES
The following are newsletter policies for newsletters funded with City dollars:
A. Neighborhood associations and district coalitions/neighborhood offices are responsible for the content of their newsletter. Neighborhood associations using district coalition/neighborhood office funds for printing and/or distribution of newsletters and the like will be expected to familiarize themselves with and comply with all applicable U.S. Postal Service and Internal Revenue Service regulations that affect a district coalition's not-for-profit status. If, upon review, the content is not in compliance with these regulations, the matter will be resolved cooperatively with the neighborhood association newsletter editor and the district office/neighborhood office.
B. A copy of each newsletter should be on file at the district coalition or neighborhood office.
C.Articles presenting personal opinions of a citizen must be identified as such and the name of the author must be included.
D. Newsletters should not include statements that could be considered libelous or defamatory.
E. Statements in support of or in opposition to any political candidate or ballot measure cannot be printed.
F. Other than the above referenced statements, which may not be made by neighborhood associations, positions taken or recommendations voted on are matters of record and may be reported in newsletters. Efforts should be made to report positions taken by neighborhood boards and, if possible, to include principle topics to be discussed at board, committee or general membership meetings.

IX. REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ACKNOWLEDGED AS A NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION SYSTEM
A. Basic Requirements
Neighborhood business associations which have status, in good standing, as non-profit corporations of the State of Oregon and meet the following will, upon request, be officially acknowledged by the City of Portland and be eligible for services and/or support (if available) provided by ONI:
  1. Membership: Maintain membership, which is open to any business licensee or owner of property zoned for, or used for, a business purpose within the boundaries of the business association. Other individuals or organizations (such as neighborhood associations) may be members as set forth in each NBA's bylaws.
  2. Boundaries: Have clearly stated geographic boundaries in its bylaws, be comprised of a minimum of 40 members, and meet the same standards as required by the Guidelines that apply to neighborhood association boundaries.
  3. Non-discrimination: Not discriminate against individuals or groups based on race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, income, or political affiliation in any of its policies, recommendations or actions.
  4. Dues: Membership and participation in a NBA shall not be conditional upon the payment of dues or other mandatory fees. Such dues or fees may be collected on a voluntary basis only.
  5. Bylaws: Maintain and file with ONI an up-to-date set of bylaws, which provide for meeting the above criteria and include provisions for adopting and amending bylaws, establishing a quorum, and setting the agenda.
  6. Grievances: Bylaws shall include provisions relating to the resolution of grievances concerning the activities, policies, or recommendations of the NBA, including who is eligible to grieve, a process for the receipt of complaints, and a procedure for final resolution. (Also, see Section VII.)
  7. Meeting Requirements: Bylaws must provide for regular meetings.
  8. Open Meetings/Open Records: Abide by the open meetings/open records policy governing the neighborhood system as set forth in the operating ordinance. Official action(s) taken by a neighborhood business association must be on record as a part of the minutes of each meeting. The minutes shall include a record of attendance and the results of any vote(s) taken. A summary of dissenting views should be transmitted along with any recommendation made by the neighborhood association to the City. (For further information, see Appendix on Public Records and Public Meetings Law.)
B. Affiliation with Coordinating Body and Communication with Neighborhood Associations
  1. NBAs are encouraged to participate in a citywide or in an area-wide coalition(s) through which the City coordinates its activities with the associations.
  2. In addition to individual members, NBAs are encouraged to attend and participate in appropriate neighborhood associations, and are encouraged to maintain open communication with neighborhood associations, district coalitions, and communities beyond neighborhood boundaries on pertinent matters and issues of mutual interest and to seek opportunities for discussion prior to taking action on such issues.
  3. NBAs are encouraged to seek mediation with NAs, DCBs, and/or among themselves or other organizations and entities, including communities beyond neighborhood boundaries, if disagreements arise over issues.
C. Acknowledgment as a Neighborhood Business Association of the City of Portland
  1. Any NBA meeting the requirements in Section IX will, upon request, be acknowledged by the City of Portland. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will send a "Letter of Acknowledgment" to the NBA. Acknowledged NBAs are entitled to receive services and/or support including but not limited to:
  2. Neighborhood business associations shall receive placement on the ONI "contact list/directory" which lists the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the NBA, its president and a designated contact person. This contact list is widely used to send mailings from the bureaus of the City on livability issues, decision-making processes, policy development and public notices. NBAs will also receive newsletters and neighborhood information from ONI, the district coalitions/neighborhood offices, and appropriate neighborhood associations;
  3. To the extent possible neighborhood business associations shall also receive notification by appropriate City bureaus on pertinent matters that fall within its boundaries;
  4. Support services from ONI--if resources are available-- may include assistance with general communications, newsletter production and distribution, activity planning, public relations, and general information and referral. Acknowledgment does not automatically entitle a NBA to receive support services.
X. REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ACKNOWLEDGED AS A "COMMUNITY BEYOND NEIGHBORHOOD BOUNDARIES" BY THE CITY OF PORTLAND AND FOR BEING ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES AND/OR SUPPORT THROUGH ONI
A. Basic Requirements
In the interests of addressing the need for inclusiveness in neighborhood associations and increasing diversity in citizen involvement, "Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries" which meet the following requirements will, upon request, be officially acknowledged by the City of Portland and be eligible for support services as available from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement:
  1. The organization must maintain status in good standing as a non-profit corporation of the State of Oregon;
  2. The by-laws of the organization must stipulate that membership shall not be conditioned on mandatory payment of dues or other contributions or fees;
  3. The organization must be included on the data/mailing list maintained by the Metropolitan Human Rights Center (MHRC) in coordination with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Refugee Coordinator. Responsibility for ensuring that the information is accurate and current should be shared by the organization and MHRC.
B. Acknowledgment as a "Community Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries" by the City of Portland
An ethnic organization designated as a community beyond neighborhood boundaries, which meets the above requirements will, upon request, be sent a "Letter of Acknowledgment" by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
C. Assistance and Support Services for Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries
ONI will assist in coordinating the increased dissemination of public notices and mailings from the bureaus of the City of Portland on livability issues, decision-making processes, and policy development to CBNBs. Further, CBNBs will receive newsletters and neighborhood information from ONI, the district coalitions/neighborhood offices, and from neighborhood associations upon request. ONI will make every attempt to ensure that an eligible organization which specifically requests land use notices in a specific geographic area or areas of the city will receive them.
Delivery of these services and any others that CBNBs may receive are dependent upon the resources available to ONI, the district coalitions, and neighborhood associations.
D. Communication
CBNBs are encouraged to maintain open communication with neighborhood associations, district coalitions, alternative service structures and neighborhood business associations on pertinent matters and issues of mutual interest and to seek opportunities for discussion prior to taking action on such issues.
Organizations acknowledged as CBNBs shall encourage their members to participate directly in appropriate neighborhood business associations and shall work with neighborhood associations to facilitate such participation.
E. Mediation
CBNBs are encouraged to seek mediation with NAs, DCBs, and/or among themselves or other organizations and entities, including neighborhood business associations, if disagreements arise over issues.
XI. POLICY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE SERVICE DELIVERY STRUCTURES
A. Alternative structures developed for the delivery of neighborhood association services must meet the following criteria:
  1. Shall be proposed in writing to ONI at the request of a minimum of 3/4 of the recognized neighborhood associations within the same coalition area at the time of the request.
  2. To join such a request, any NA shall have previously ratified its approval by a vote at a duly scheduled, publicized, and conducted general membership meeting. Unless the bylaws of a NA state differently, the vote shall require a simple majority;
  3. Shall have the concurrence of the ONI Director or her/his designee to ensure compliance with City policies and procedures;
  4. Shall be capable of delivering comparable or better services--in kind, quantity, and quality--to those being delivered at the time of the request and/or contracted for at the time of the request;
  5. Shall assure the neighborhood associations' continued and on-going compliance with the "Guidelines";
  6. Shall be cost-neutral, unless additional funds are specifically provided by City Council or other sources;
  7. Neighborhood associations participating in an alternative structure must:
    • maintain liability insurance comparable to that of those involved in the standard structure;
    • acquire a federal tax ID number as necessary for the transfer of funds;
    • incorporate under the laws of the State of Oregon if necessary for legal or financial reasons;
    • develop and sign a letter of agreement for operations with ONI, including an annual work plan; and
    • meet all requirements of neighborhood associations participating in the standard service delivery model as set forth in these Guidelines, except those specifically referring to service delivery structural issues.
  8. Shall be reaffirmed by vote, at a general membership meeting, of each of 3/4 of the individual participating neighborhood associations and be re-approved by the ONI director one year after its original approval.
    If reaffirmed following a one-year period, the new alternative structure may not be substantially altered for a minimum of three years unless "unusual circumstances" (as decided by ONI with advice from the Bureau Advisory Committee) arise. Any such subsequent change(s) must meet the criteria of the original change, with the exception of changes due to reductions in funds or other emergencies.
  9. Under extreme and/or unforeseen conditions ONI may, at the request of a substantial number of neighborhood associations or citizens within an area, with advice from the ONI Bureau Advisory Committee, and with the approval of the Commissioner-in-charge make exceptions to this policy.
XII. AMENDMENTS TO OFFICE OF NEIGHBORHOOD INVOLVEMENT GUIDELINES
Any party wishing to propose amendment(s) to the Guidelines may do so by submitting the proposed amendment(s) in writing to ONI.
The Office of Neighborhood Involvement, in cooperation with neighborhood groups, will review the Guidelines at least every four years. A committee composed of:
  • a representative of each district coalition/neighborhood office,
  • at least one representative of district coalition or neighborhood office staff,
  • at least one of ONI staff, a citizen representing the unaffiliated neighborhoods,
  • at least one member representing neighborhood business associations and (e.) one member representing communities beyond neighborhood boundaries will receive and review proposed changes and revisions to the Guidelines.
Proposed amendments will be developed and distributed to each neighborhood association, district coalition, or affected entity for review and comment during a 60-day period. A public hearing will be scheduled to receive oral and written testimony from all interested parties.
The committee will then review the citizen comments and develop and distribute amendments to refer to the Commissioner-in-charge for approval.
 
ADDENDUM- OREGON PUBLIC RECORDS AND PUBLIC MEETINGS LAW, (ORS 192)
 
PUBLIC MEETINGS LAW
The State of Oregon requires that decisions and deliberations of 'governing bodies' be open to the public. Further, groups which are deliberative, require a quorum, take votes and advise or make recommendations to a public body are subject to the Public Meetings Law. The Code of the City of Portland requires that District Coalitions and their respective committees (including ad hoc committees) and recognized Neighborhood Associations and their respective committees (including ad hoc committees) shall comply with this State law.
For most Neighborhood Associations and Coalitions and their committees, these requirements enhance, rather than restrict, the decision-making process. Generally Neighborhood Associations and Coalition meetings will be more effective if efforts are made to include all interested parties and to make them feel comfortable about participating.
It is recommended that the Chairs of Boards and committees be familiar with Public Records and Public Meetings Law (ORS 192) and Robert's Rules of Order. These important tools, "will help a Neighborhood Association maintain orderly meetings and processes. The District Coalition office staff can assist with orientation and training in these areas.
Neighborhood Association bylaws should include requirements for voting processes and quorums. Make sure these requirements continue to be met. For more information, see the Sample Bylaws in the ONI Citizen's Handbook.
Following is only a summary of Public Meetings Law. Please keep in mind that the summary includes only basic requirements to comply with the law.
MEETINGS MUST BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
All meetings must be open to the public, except for executive sessions.
DIRECT NOTICE MUST BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE REQUESTED IT, IN WRITING, INCLUDING ANY MEDIA
Actual (direct) notice must be provided to specifically interested persons, such as Board and committee members, and others who have requested notification in writing, including any media.
NOTICE MUST ALSO BE GIVEN TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE
Reasonable notice must also be provided to the public at large, although this does not need to be direct. To meet the requirement regarding notification of the public at large, the posting of a notice, as spelled out immediately below, will generally meet the minimum requirements of this part of the law. (The bulletin board where the notice is posted must be accessible to the public.) District Coalitions and Neighborhood Associations are encouraged, however, to provide public notice as broadly as practical.

NOTIFICATION MUST INCLUDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE AGENDA ISSUES, BUT ADDITIONAL ISSUES MAY BE ADDED AFTER THE NOTICE IS GIVEN
Notification to specifically interested persons and to the public must include date, time, place and a brief description of the nature of the principle subjects to be discussed. Issues which were unknown at the time of notice and therefore not listed may be discussed and voted on.
THE AMOUNT OF NOTICE GIVEN UNDER THE LAW MUST BE REASONABLE, BUT NO SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF TIME IS REQUIRED
For most meetings, adequate notice can be provided to the public at large through press releases to the local media. District Coalition staff and ONI staff can help with notifying the press, but if that help is wanted, an organization must request it ten days before the scheduled meeting date. (The law does not require a certain amount of notice which must be given; the ten days is the lead time which ONI and the Coalitions need to get the information published in The Oregonian. The law also does not require an organization to guarantee publication of a news release; it does encourage sending them out and it does require notification to any news media requesting it.) For more information, see the section on "Getting the Word Out' in the ONI Citizen's Handbook.'

PARTIES WITH SPECIAL INTEREST SHOULD BE NOTIFIED DIRECTLY IF IT CAN BE DONE REASONABLY
Newsletters, flyers, notices and mailings sent to interested parties, including agenda information, also help get the word out. 'The law also encourages organizations to directly notify those parties which it knows have a special interest in a meeting. It does not, however, require that this be done in order to minimally comply.
"SPECIAL" MEETINGS MAY BE CALLED WITH A MINIMUM OF 24-HOUR NOTICE
Although Coalitions and Neighborhood Associations are encouraged to set meetings and provide notice as far in advance as possible, this is not always feasible. The law allows meetings to be called with a minimum of 24-hour notice. In these cases, it says press releases or phone calls should be issued to the media (and must be issued to any media requesting notification) and, subject to what is reasonable, interested members of the public should be notified by phone. Coalitions and Neighborhood Associations are encouraged to comply with these suggestions of the law, but are not required to in order to meet minimal compliance.
ORGANIZATIONS MAY HOLD "EMERGENCY" MEETINGS WITH LESS THAN 24-HOUR NOTICE
In the case of an actual emergency an organization may hold a meeting With less than 24-hour notice. It must, however, describe the emergency in the minutes 6f the meeting and state why the meeting could not be delayed to allow at least 24-hour notice. As in the case of special meetings, a good faith effort should be made to notify the public at large and those members of the public With a special interest in the issue at hand. An attempt must be made to provide such notification. It is good practice to document this attempt.
Only the emergency issue(s) may be dealt with at an emergency meeting.

MEETINGS MUST BE HELD IN THE AREA WHERE THE ORGANIZATION WORKS
Meetings must be held within the geographic boundaries of the area over which that the public body has jurisdiction. Meetings may be held in restaurants, private residences or businesses but adequate notice and arrangements for convenient attendance should be made.
PUBLIC MEETINGS MUST BE ACCESSIBLE
A good faith effort must be made to make meetings accessible to people with hearing impairment or other disabilities. If an activity or meeting is publicized, there should be a statement attached to the effect, 'if an individual is in need of special accommodation, contact _______________one week in advance.' If someone indicates the need for a special accommodation, it should be provided. The Metropolitan Human Relations Center can assist with accessibility information.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD DELIBERATIONS IS NOT REQUIRED
Meetings must be open to the public, but do not have to be open to public participation. The Chair controls the extent of public participation at a meeting. Organizations may m-ant to adopt guidelines for public participation to aid Chairs in being fair and consistent at meetings.
IN SOME CASES, VOTES MUST BE RECORDED BY THE NAME OF THE VOTER
All official actions (recommendations, decisions and the like) must be taken by open vote. The vote of each member must be recorded by name, except for meetings of general membership or Boards or committees of more than 25 members. If an organization (or meeting) of more than 25 voting members does not normally record votes by name, it must do so if requested by a member. Written ballots are OK if each ballot identifies the member voting and if the final tally is announced. Results of all votes must be made public and kept in the minutes of the meeting.
TELEPHONE CONFERENCE MEETINGS MAY ONLY BE CONDUCTED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
Conducting a meeting through electronic conferencing means such as by telephone or computer is allowable under the law if notice is given and the public is provided at least one place to 'listen" to the meeting by speakers or other devices.
SMOKING IS BANNED
Smoking is banned at public meetings.
MEMBERS MAY GATHER AFTER A MEETING TO DISCUSS AGENDA ITEMS IF THE INTENT IS NOT TO DELIBERATE A DECISION AND NO DECISIONS ARE MADE
Although informal gatherings following meetings are permissible under the law, the intent of such a gathering may not be to deliberate issues and no decision may be made. Members constituting a quorum must avoid any group discussion of the business of their Board or committee during private social gatherings.
BOARDS, PUBLIC BODIES, OR COMMITTEES MAY MEET PRIVATELY TO DISCUSS CERTAIN ISSUES IN EXECUTIVE SESSIONS
Boards, public bodies, or committees of Boards may meet privately to discuss certain issues without including the general public in "executive sessions.' An executive session may be part of a regular meeting or be a separate meeting, but public notice must be given in either case and the statutory authority for calling the session (i.e., Public Meeting Law ORS 192.660) must be identified.
Personnel issues such as salary negotiations or disciplinary action, labor negotiations and legal advice regarding litigation are among the items that may be discussed during an executive session. Representatives of the press must be allowed to attend an executive session but may not publish information from that meeting. Final decisions may not be made at executive session although members may reach a consensus; votes or final actions must take place during a public meeting.

The City's Code requires District Coalitions and recognized Neighborhood Associations to follow Public Records Law. ONI's contracts with the District Coalitions further obligate District Coalitions to comply because most records produced by the District Coalitions are contractually owned by the City.
District Coalitions and recognized Neighborhood Associations are required to keep certain records regarding the public decision-making process and to make those records available to the public.
For District Coalitions and recognized Neighborhood Associations, the Public Records Law means that:
MINUTES MUST BE TAKEN AT ALL MEETINGS AND MUST BE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST TO THE PUBLIC
Minutes must be taken at all meetings and those minutes must be available to the public, upon request, within a week or so following the meeting. Even though the minutes will not be approved by the Board until the next meeting, they must be available for public review within the week or so time frame.
MINUTES DO NOT HAVE BE A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT OF THE MEETING
Minutes should be taken by the officer of the Board designated by the bylaws to do so.
Minutes do not have be a verbatim transcript of the meeting, but should at a minimum summarize discussions and actions. Minutes of executive sessions may be taped rather than written.
MINUTES MUST INCLUDE CERTAIN ITEMS
Minutes must include the following:
  • Members present;
  • Motions, proposals, and resolutions discussed and their disposition;
  • Results of all votes taken and -- unless the Board has more than 25 members-- the vote of each member by name (if anyone on the Board requests that the vote be taken by name, that must be done even if the Board does have more than 25 members);
  • The substance of any topic and any discussion; and
  • A reference to any public document which may be discussed.
NONEXEMPT PUBLIC RECORDS MAY BE INSPECTED BY ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC
The State statute requires that public records which are not exempt from the law ma), be inspected by any member of the public. The law does, however, give the custodian of the records the right to adopt rules to protect the records and to maintain office efficiency and order.
PUBLIC BODIES MAY CHARGE REASONABLE FEES AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF MAKING RECORDS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
Amendments to the Public Records Law which are not adopted in 1989 specify that public bodies may establish fees "reasonably calculated to reimburse [the public body] for its actual cost in making such records available." District Coalitions and Neighborhood Associations should adopt policies and procedures for dealing with requests for access to public records and for copies of public records, including the establishment of a reasonable fee based on staff time involved and other costs of reproduction. Remember, the fee may not exceed the actual cost.
SOME RECORDS ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND THEREFORE EXEMPT FROM THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAW
Some records are confidential and therefore exempt from public review. For example, personnel information, litigation information, or confidential disclosures from citizens may be exempt from public disclosure unless it is determined that such disclosure is in the public interest. The City Attorney may be contacted through Office of Neighborhood Involvement for assistance in defining which records are considered confidential.
For assistance in maintaining proper files and records, contact the Neighborhood's District Coalition. For more information consult the State Attorney General's Public Records and Meetings Manual. A copy of this is available at your District Coalition Office, or a Neighborhood Association may purchase one from the Department of Justice: Publications Center, 16 Justice Building, Salem, OR 97310, (503) 378-2992. A reference copy of the manual is also available in the Government Documents- Room at the main branch of the Multnomah County Library, 801 SW Tenth in Portland.
Although the current Public Records and Meetings statute (ORS 192) is printed in the back of the Attorney General's manual, subsequent charges may occur. To check on the most recent version of the statute itself, contact the Legislature Counsel, S1O1 State Capitol, Salem, OR 97310, (503) 378-8148.