Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Reiche Community Room
Board members present: Barbara DeSerres, Leana Good-Simpson, Rosanne Graef, Ian Jacob, Steve Mortimer, Liz Parsons, Pamela Shaw, Bryan Van Dussen, Gwynne Williams
Board members absent: none
Others present: Dick Anderson, Linda Atherton, Ann Brann, Joey Brunelle, Thomas Cole, Claire Cowan, Jen DeFilipp, Espahbad Dodd, Dominique Gabel, Mary Gouthro, Gail Dawson Gray, Peter Hall, Rose Marasco, Juliette Michaud, Peter Monro, Michael Pancook, Lin Parsons, Ed Rea, Penny Rich, Sonia Robertson, Greg Savage, Melissa Skahan, Ben Skillings, Melissa Smith, Cheryll Smith, Audrey Tanner, Spencer Thibodeau, Dave Thibodeau, Pam Torrey, Clifford Tremblay, Barbara Wood
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm and self-introductions followed.
Minutes from the April, 2018 meeting were accepted as read.
The Treasurer reported a total of $2536.00 in the checking account, with $647.59 available in general funds. WENA took in $41.60 in dues. There was $164 in the WECANAIP account, $30 in petty cash, $1550.21 in the Swim for Life account, and $144.20 in the Harbor View Edible Hillside account.
Dave Argitis and Sarah Colton were not present.
- Matt Hyde, Steve DiMuccio, and Ed Gardner spoke about the newly formed Friends of the Western Prom and their efforts to restore the Western Prom. They are seeking funding to create a master plan for the park that will build on its historical significance in Portland.
- Liz Parsons spoke briefly about the Cooperative Preschool on State St. and announced their annual parade on May 24th.
- Joe Brunelle announced the Pride Parade on June 16th.
- Clifford Tremblay invited members to join the Sidewalk Safety Committee which will be meeting soon.
Chris Branch, the Director of Portland Public Works, was unable to speak to the group as scheduled since he had been summoned to the City’s finance committee meeting. Liz read out a message from him responding to questions from WENA members. There followed a general discussion of the various topics moderated by Councilor Thibodeau:
- General DPW questions – Residents would like to be kept informed about how long DPW projects will take. What happened to Planning Dept map to help identify and track specific projects?
- Snow clearing & ordinances – DPW response was that the city is in the process of revising the snow clearing ordinance, shortening times for compliance and increasing fines. Councilor Thibodeau affirmed that the revision is in process. WENA members would like City to clearly communicate ordinances, enforce them, and comply with ordinances on City properties.
- Brick sidewalk repair – DPW is initiating a sidewalk inventory and priority list for City. Most current funds already committed, but will consider small areas in particularly bad condition.
- Trash (cigarette butts, dog poop, and seagull depredation) – DPW suggests an educational program to deal with cigarette butts and dog poop. City has added a solid waste code enforcement officer to better deal with bags set out too early and illegal dumping. Councilor Thibodeau noted 20 new garbage containers have been placed throughout the City, four in District 2. WENA: Specific request for trash can at bottom of Harbor View Park on Commercial St.
- Lighting (street lighting and crosswalks)
- LEDs: DPW: Once LED installation is complete City will check levels (probably June) dimming lighting in some areas, increasing in others and adding fixtures where necessary.
- Flashing Crosswalk: Chris Branch will forward request for a flashing crosswalk light at State and Gray to the Transportation Group. WENA: at least please repaint cross walk there. Also, need light at Bramhall, Vaughn and Brackett.
- Graffiti – Go to FixIt!Portland (formerly See.Click.Fix) on City website (or available as an app) which contacts Graffiti Busters who will come and remove graffiti.
- Salting and sanding – WENA members concerned about toxic impact of salt on vegetation and animals. Can City install more distribution points on peninsula where residents can pick up sand/salt mixes?
- Evacuation planning – Members would like to know more about the City’s planning.
Councilor Thibodeau noted that the next few years could be challenging for City budgets and residents due to continuing increases in school budgets and the coming property re-evaluation The re-evaluation is likely to impact many residents in the West End whose properties have increased in value, and decrease State contributions to the City’s budget.
Councilor Thibodeau also announced he will be standing for reelection this fall.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 pm.
Pamela Shaw, Secretary