By Cliff Hutchison

 

Richmond Neighborhood Association held its annual board retreat last month to review the successes of the past year, discuss possible improvements to conducting meetings and to set goals for 2014.

Projects like annual tree planting, movies in the park, clean up, and the new emergency preparedness seminars were cited as successes in 2013. People appreciated the RNA’s ability to disseminate information from city bureaus, to notify neighbors about land use issues near them, and facilitate/mediate discussions between neighbors and building developers.

Suggestions for improvements included communicating with and getting information from developers sooner before they design their projects, improving communication between board members and with the public at meetings, revising the website, and making the monthly meetings more enjoyable and time efficient.

Goals set for 2014 are to revamp the website; make meetings more welcoming; proceed with Design on Division Initiative; help facilitate the process to update Sewallcrest Park’s dog off-leash hours; improve process to inform board members of land use adjustment requests; to improve notification process for development project; more attention to and participation in planning processes throughout Richmond, including SE Powell Blvd.; to apply for SE Uplift engagement grant as well as other funding; continue discussions about issues related to neighborhood parking; review progress on these goals each quarter at a monthly meeting.

Since the board voted in December to work on a Design on Division Initiative, this month they discussed outlines of forming a committee with stakeholders in the original Division Main St. Advisory Committee. They discussed the makeup of the working group as:  2 board members plus 1 alternate from each affected neighborhood association (Richmond, HAND, Mt Tabor and South Tabor). 1 representative from each of Division-Clinton Business Association, Hawthorne Area Civic Ecology group, and SE Uplift. 1 community member (renter, homeowner or business-owner) from each of the neighborhoods; and 2 representatives from the city, from different bureaus.

RNA will vote in its representatives at the February meeting; renters, homeowners and business-owners are encouraged to attend and participate.  The other neighborhood associations will be requested to join this project over the next month. The goal is to have the first group meeting in March and perhaps submissions for grants by April.

The next RNA meeting is Monday, February 10. Meetings are held in the basement; use NE side door.  The website is www.richmondpdx.org . To be added to the monthly email list to receive agendas, email richmondna@yahoo.com.