Tuesday, February 26, 2002

SUMMARY NOTES: Guidelines Review, Empowerment & Assessment Team, GREAT

City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Involvement


Members Present:
Patricia Gardner, Co-Chair Pearl District Neighborhood Association
Moshe Lenske , Co-Chair Woodstock Neighborhood Association

Cathy Crawford University Park Neighborhood Association
Leonard Gard Southwest Neighborhood, Inc.
Raymond Hites Lents Neighborhood Association
Brian Hoop Office of Neighborhood Involvement
Joleen Jensen-Classen Office of Neighborhood Involvement
David Lane Office of Neighborhood Involvement
Stanley Lewis Downtown Community Association
Jerry Powell Goose Hollow Foothills League N.A.
Michael O'Malley Irvington Community Association
Charles Shi Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries
Mark Sieber Neighbors West/Northwest
Ruth Spetter City Attorney's Office
William Warren Central Northeast Neighbors

Nancy Chapin, excused Alliance of PDX Neighborhood Bus. Assocs.

Kathy Bambeck Bridlemile Neighborhood Association
Lee Perlman media

Decisions by this group are subject to change at future meetings.
Opportunities for public input at the end of meeting and future workshops.

These minutes have not been approved yet by the committee.

Approval of Meeting Minutes
· Minutes approved for 2-12-02 meeting. No changes.

Assistance to Neighborhood Associations
(Chapter 3.96.030, Section D according to the new numbering system.)

Proposed language as of last meeting:

D. Assistance to Neighborhood Associations.

1. Any neighborhood association meeting the minimum standards established by 3.96.030 is entitled to and may request assistance from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement in the performance of its functions.

2. If a neighborhood association violates or fails to continuously meet the minimum standards contained in
this Chapter, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement may suspend partial or all assistance to that
neighborhood association until such time as it achieves compliance.

3. Open and fair grievance procedures shall be established for handling complaints made against a
neighborhood association, district coalition board or the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

Issue of placing section 3 under "Responsibilities"

· Suggestion made that section 3 in Assistance to neighborhoods regarding grievances belongs under responsibilities of neighborhoods. But this may suggest neighborhoods are responsible to come up with a grievance procedure. It should be ONI's responsibility. Currently each neighborhood should set their own grievance procedures in their bylaws. What we need to deal with is what happens when there is an appeal that goes to the coalition and ONI. Suggestion made that grievances becomes its own section of the code to highlight its importance. Some feel grievances are a divisive issue that can be detrimental to the operation of the association if they are held accountable to deal with them on their own.

Issue of what services should unaffiliated neighborhood associations receive

· Are neighborhoods that are not part of a coalition entitled to services from ONI, such as Lloyd neighborhood? Some unaffiliated groups may feel ONI can better serve them instead of coalitions. How does the money from ONI go to neighborhoods? Neighborhoods may feel less inclined to be part of a coalition if they think they can get $1,000 directly from ONI. Currently only Old Town and Downtown get direct money. Some feel that neighborhoods should be required or strongly encouraged to join a coalition. Some feel it's not fair to be punitive on associations that are independent by taking away services while still requiring all the other responsibilities to be recognized as a neighborhood association. Neighborhoods that break away from coalitions should expect to receive services from ONI but at a lower level than what they should expect to receive from coalitions.

Issue of what is core role of coalitions

· Funding wise they are primarily the staff for a coalition of neighborhoods. Requesting assistance is a very broad option that covers many things that differs for each coalition. Coalitions pool their resources to build power and confront power. Associations that choose not to have less ability to flex their power. We need to be clear about expectations of what associations are getting for the $10,000 or so that is budgeted for each neighborhood that pays for staff at coalitions.

Issue of what services should groups be entitled to

· The word "entitled" in section one may be a red flag that should be softened down to a "may". But some feel that entitled is an expectation that City should be held accountable to provide the service. Perhaps the word should be "eligible". We are talking about the benefits of recognition, not services. We should be directing people to the standards to get details of what services they get. What happens when two neighborhood groups that have overlapping boundaries and have different opinions about what services they want for that shared geography?

· Suggestion to change #1 that what neighborhoods get is recognition and take out requests for services.
· Suggestion that there should be different sections separating services from coalitions and ONI. #1 ONI gives recognition, listing in directory, and notices of meetings to media. #2 would say neighborhood associations can request services from coalitions and offices.
· Suggestion to call this section "Assistance to "recognized" neighborhood associations."
· Some prefer section should be titled "Assistance" but most prefer "Benefits" which brings up more positive connotations.

Motion for section #1 language:
· "Any neighborhood association meeting the minimum requirements established by 3.96.030 is entitled upon request, formal recognition and benefits from ONI as per the adopted standards."
Seconded. Motion passed. One no vote. One abstention.

Issue of ONI's ability to hold associations accountable

· Section #1 giveth and #2 taketh away. Section #2 should specifically state that ONI can also de-recognize neighborhood associations. Problem raised that "continuously" is too strict and does not allow for some associations that may be struggling with low attendance but is trying to rebuild. We don't want to de-recognize just because there are several months they fail to hold elections, nor neither meets, nor completes minutes, for example. There needs to be leniency to allow time for inactive groups to rebuild. Perhaps it should be clear that coalitions have a responsibility to help rebuild leadership in associations. Purpose of this is to give authority to ONI to de-recognize but understand that many groups struggle with meeting all the requirements. There is not the ability to police all neighborhoods. The system is complaint driven to ensure accountability. Comment made that ONI should have to help associations that ask for help. These are volunteers who are struggling to figure out what their responsibilities are. Perhaps there should be a section that refers to a state of suspension for neighborhoods that are currently not active. What happens when they are trying to rebuild and need the communication dollars to send out a newsletter.

· "If a neighborhood association fails to meet the minimum requirements of 3.96.030, ONI may, pursuant to the adopted standards, suspend partial or all benefits to that neighborhood association and may ultimately revoke formal recognition of that neighborhood association."

· Seconded. Motion passed. One no vote. One abstention.

· Take out "Violates or" and use "fails to meet". Seconded. Passed.

Friendly amendment:
· Mediation services should be utilized before recognition is taken away. Group sense that mediation services should not be in here. Currently the mediation office is for neighbor-to-neighbor services and not group high-stakes mediation. Not accepted.

· Change title of section to "Benefits" instead of "Assistance." Seconded. Passed. Two nay votes.

The Meeting adjourned at 10:00 AM.

These minutes are not approved yet.

The information contained in this document is preliminary and informal in nature and does not necessarily reflect the views or adopted policies of the City of Portland or the final outcomes of this project; the reader should exercise caution in its interpretation.