https://activebethelcitizens.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Minutes-20-01-GM-rev2-Lin.pdf

Active Bethel Citizens

Bethel Town Hall – Peterson Barn

January 18, 2020

Welcome by Lin Woodrich, ABC Co-chair and introduction of Executive Board members.

Egan Warming Center Presentation (Tim Black, Winter Strategies Coordinator)

  • After the death of Major Thomas Egan who was found dead in December 2008, Egan Warning Center was started with the support of Saint Vincent DePaul, Kahoots, Food For Lane County and numerous volunteers.
  • Egan Warming Center is a low barrier emergency winter shelter system that is open when the forecasted low temperature is below 30 degrees.  There are 10 sites, 9 in Eugene and 1 in Springfield. 
  • It takes around 300 volunteers for every night that they are open so they can always use more help.  Shifts are typically evening (6-10 pm), overnight 1 (10 pm – 2 am), overnight 2 (2-6 am) and morning (starting at 7 am).  Check website (eganwarmingcenter.com) for the next training which will probably be in February.

Bethel Town Hall Meeting

Opening Statements

Julie Fahey (State Representative, Oregon House – District 14)

  • Business and Labor and Economic Development Committees working to increase small business capital resources.
  • Worked on Student Success Act to increase funding for schools (successful).
  • Housing and homeless, health care and mental health, and climate change.

Jay Bozievich (West Lane County Commissioner – District 1)

  • Intersection of housing, public safety and mental health.  (Working to eliminate the need for the Egan Warming Center.)
  • 64 new beds in a Dusk to Dawn program, broke ground on the MLK Commons Housing Project.

Lucy Vinis (Eugene Mayor)

  • Passed construction excise tax and city added $500,000 for low income housing.
  • Implemented the first 4 recommendations of the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC Report).  TAC report is part of a Public Shelter Feasibility study commissioned by Lane County.
  • Working on Climate Action Plan 2.0.
  • City and LTD working together on transit improvements (possibly Hwy 99).
  • Passed an increase in public safety funding.

Greg Evans (Eugene Councilor – Ward 6)

  • 2015 economic development plan (Better in Bethel).
  • Working with Chief Skinner because of the increase in crime in Bethel area.
  • Parks and Rec Bond allows for the renovation and improvements to Echo Hollow pool and a sports park at Golden Gardens Park.
  • Working with LTD Moving Ahead project.  The goal is 15-minute service throughout the LTD system.

Melanie Muenzer (Lane Community College Board) – added

  • There will be a bond issue on the ballot in May.
  • LCC needs 230M to maintain facilities.  They are committed to using local contractors who pay good wages and benefits as much as possible.
  • An event at LCC on January 21 to explain the bond measure
  •  

Questions from Audience and Responses (sorted by topic)

Housing and Homelessness

  • Increase in homeless (130 new individuals/month). 
  • LV – Because housing and mental health has been underfunded for years and we are now facing a crisis that will take time to resolve.
  • JB – A supply problem.  For the last many decades not enough homes have been built to house the number of people moving into the area.  (From 2000-2010 37 homes were built for every 100 increase in residents; for many decades before 2000 47 homes were built for every 100 increase in residents.)
  • JB – A lot of housing is inactive but because of the electronic mortgage registration system it is impossible to determine who owns the vacant homes.  This needs federal action.
  • JB – Response to using a short-term rental tax to fund low-income housing.  Short-term rentals are already taxed a transient room tax; additionally, short-term rentals have already maxed out in this area.

Taxes

  • Property taxes and new payroll tax on people who can least afford it while city gives MUPTI property tax exemptions for large investors. 
  • LV – The city has grown faster than the tax base and needs to create an infrastructure to increase the tax base.  MUPTE properties will pay property tax in the future.  (Note: MUPTE stands for Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption and allows a 10-year property tax exemption on construction of 5 units or more.  The land value, however, is taxed.)
  • JF – Property tax is an inequitable system; equivalent homes have drastically different tax values that are not based on the actual value of the home. 
  • JF – Working to make sure that corporations asking for tax breaks on the state level create good jobs.
  • Issue with Lane Transit District self-employment taxes.  Need for business advocacy. (Note: JF’s office is helping; part of her job is to help constituents.) 
  • Question raised if there was a program to help individuals who are trying to provide low income housing (such as the tax incentives for MUFTI for large inventors).  LV – Oregon was the first state to pass rent control.  Supports homeowners adding accessory dwelling units and single room occupancy.

Transportation and Transit

  • GE – Transit Tomorrow’s focus is on truck lines instead of local routes.  LTD is less good in outlying areas; there needs to be reliable service throughout.  Redesigning the system to increase “choice” riders (those that ride the bus by choice as opposed to by need).
  • Suggestion was made to make some of the lanes on 6th and 7th Avenues (through downtown) bike lanes only to slow down traffic, increase pedestrian and biking accessibility and encourage more people to use transit. 
  • JB – The city of Eugene future plan indicates downtown traffic will be F (gridlock).

Climate Change Issues

  • JF – Clean Energy and Jobs bill that failed last session.  Continuing to work on a compromise.  Will mitigate climate change and situate Oregon to take advantage of the new clean energy jobs.

Miscellaneous

  • Increase in government regulations hurts business owners who then can’t create new jobs.

Closing Remarks

Greg Evans (Eugene Councilor – Ward 6)

  • This meeting has been valuable in that it helps him know what people are thinking of.
  • Student Success Act brought $3-4M into the Bethel School District (one of the highest rated school districts especially as regards career and technical programs).

Lucy Vinis (Eugene Mayor)

  • Constantly thinking about and looking for idea for how to advance communication between the city and citizens.

Jay Bozievich (West Lane County Commissioner – District 1)

  • He is trying to create a healthy economy.  While controversial, in the past we used timber money from sale of timber on federal lands.

Julie Fahey (State Representative, Oregon House – District 14)

  • Her job is to target funding to our area.

Annoucement (Pennie Moblo)

  • The 2020 census is looking for help.  Pays $17-20/hour plus mileage.  Must apply online at 2020census.gov.job.  Training will be mid-March.

Active Bethel Citizens

General Meeting – Peterson Barn

January 18, 2020

Board members in attendance:  Lin Woodrich, Ethan Clevenger, Janice Kerber, Suzanne O’Shea, Douglas Barr, Jenelle Boyd, Pennie Moblo, Tai Pruce-Zimmerman, Bonnie Stone

Absent:  Heather Quaas-Annsa

Meeting was called to order at 7:55 by Lin.

Motion to approve agenda made by Tai, seconded by Suzanne and approved.

Open floor, public comment

  • Introduction of board members.
  • The Meadow View School area could use another dog park as there are a lot of dog owners using the Meadow View School outdoor facilities and leaving a mess.  A dog park in the area might alleviate the problem.
  • Question asking how to get speed bumps installed in the area of Mangan Park as the high school students are racing around that area making it unsafe for children.  Lin will check with Lee Shoemaker with the City of Eugene and Hilary with Safe Routes to School will also be able to facilitate that process.
  • Beyond Toxic is sponsoring a West Eugene Clean Air Community Meeting Saturday, January 25, 5:00-7:00 at Petersen Barn to share results of their environmental health survey.  They will be serving food.
  • Cliff Gray announced that he is running for City Council, Ward 7.  His concern is gentrification – pushing out poor and increasing homeless.  We should be building housing for those people who need it most instead of luxury building.

Old Business:

  • Motion to approve November Board Meeting minutes made by Lin, seconded by Suzanne and approved.
  • Eugene Neighbors, Inc (ENI) – Lin
    • Lin applied for membership and we have been approved.  The $25 fee has been waived since we joined before March.
    • ENI will serve as our 501(c)(3) sponsor so that we can receive donations such that they will be tax deductible for the donor.

New Business:

  • Regional Land Information Database (RLID) – Lin
    • The city of Eugene will share their access to home ownership information with us as long as that information is used for the benefit of ABC.
    • Motion made by Tai and seconded by Jenelle to allow us to access this database was approved.

Committee Reports

Finance (Suzanne O’Shea)

  • Treasurer’s Report distributed. 
  • The city funds covered the purchase of the yard signs to announce our meetings but did not cover the cost of the plastic cover to inserts and means of attachment.  Motion made to reimburse $57 to cover the cost of those materials was made by Robin, seconded by Jenelle and approved.

Events (Lin Woodrich)

  • We are planning an area scavenger hunt to promote our area.  Simon Kemp will chair this effort.
  • April General Meeting is scheduled for April 25, 6:00-8:00 at Petersen Barn.  It will focus on the Building a Better Bethel report and serve as a means to general ideas and action.
  • We Are Bethel celebration will be Saturday, June 6, 12:00-4:00 at Peterson Barn.  Plans are in place to make it even bigger than last year with school performances, community booths, entertainment and food trucks.

Public Safety (Lin Woodrich)

  • Next Public Safety meeting will be February 3 with meeting from 6:00-7:00 and questions and mingling from 7:00-8:00.
  • EPD Chief Skinner, Councilor Greg Evans and Officer Margaret Mazzotta, Bethel Crime Prevention Specialist, attended our January 6 meeting.  We had almost 30 in attendance!

Beautification (Douglas Barr)

  • 2021 the World is Coming to Eugene.  We need to make Hwy 99 and the Beltline a welcoming area.  There was a great deal of enthusiasm for this idea with suggestions such as a banner drop, mural, flowers/plants. 
  • Greg Evans spoke to the possibility to getting city and private funds and creating a public-private partnership for this effort.
  • Doug will set a time and place for a meeting post a notice on our Facebook page and website.

ABC Food Pantry (Douglas Barr)

  • Both Kalapuya and Willamette high schools are up and running.  Doug delivered over 500 pounds to Kalapuya High School last Thursday
  • This is an ABC project in partnership with Food For Lane County, Bethel Education Foundation and 15th Night.

Business Relations (Ethan Clevenger)

  • The goal of this committee is to cultivate partnerships with businesses and funding for ABC; to develop and promote local businesses, good jobs, short commutes within the Bethel area.
  • This committee needs another chairperson with time to commit to the effort and more help.  Greg Evans suggested contacting the Airport Rotary as they are already working toward this goal.

Communications (Ethan Clevenger)

  • Newsletters and postcards costs are paid by the city
  • email newsletter and announcements are by far the cheapest way to notify constituents.  In 2019 we added 90 subscribers, a 55% growth rate, for a total of 253 and a goal of 12,000!
  • The committee meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 5:45 Abby’s Pizza on Barger.

Civic Engagement (Tai Pruce-Zimmerman)

  • Committee purpose is to encourage more participation from Bethel citizens at city meetings.
  • Tai said he would be stepping back due to his upcoming fatherhood and Lin Woodrich said she could chair the meetings from now on.
  • City Council Meetings
    • Lin suggested that we get Willamette High School colored t-shirts and show up in mass.
    • Greg Evans indicated that it would help and he could use the support.
    • Council Meetings are Monday’s at 7:30 at the Lane County Courthouse (Harris Hall), 8th and 125 E. Oak.  2nd & 4th Mondays for Public Forum. Check the city website for dates.

Recycling (Bonnie Stone)

  • Last collection date we collected more than two times what we collected the time before.
  • Sani Pac indicated that we missed some items (labels and sorted incorrectly) so in the future items will need to be sorted by recycling drop-off volunteers instead of letting people put their own recyclables into bags.
  • Recyclables include:  #2 tubs, #2 bottles, #2 lids (each type of #2 needs to be separated), #4 lids, and all #5’s.
  • Goal is to have a collection once a quarter and we need more help.

Bylaws (Janice Kerber)

  • Committee purpose is to align the city model to existing bylaws.
  • The Executive Board as a body is reviewing each bylaw at board meetings as time permits. 
  • Bylaws that have been reviewed are Name, Geographic Boundaries, Purpose, Registered Office, Membership and Voting, Officers, Nominations and Elections.  Bylaws to be reviewed are Removal of Officers, Executive Board, Committees, Meetings, Newsletters, Finances and few others that are related to our tax status.
  • Reminder that our executive board meetings are open to all our constituents.  Meetings are usually the 3rd Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 at Asbury United Methodist Church.  Check website for schedule.

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