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June 2010 BVNA Meeting Minutes

BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, June 29, 2010 At the Home of John and Marisol Leyba at 323 Mayellen Avenue

Meeting called to order at 7:08 PM

PRESENT: [14 people present] Members: Robert Solis (President) Brian Ward (Vice President) Loui Tucker (Secretary)

Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) L. Caballero John Leyba Marisol Leyba

Marcos Montes Carlos Ramirez

Steve Rogers Ruth White Michael White

Guests: Lara Tran, representing City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio's office

James Reber, Executive Director of San Jose Parks Foundation

MINUTES - Approved of prior meeting presented and approved as posted.

TREASURER’S REPORT Sabine reported that the bank balance is $905.27. There are two bills that will need to be paid: (1) United Neighborhoods $200, and (2) P.O. Box renewal $60, which will leave the BVNA with a balance of $645.27. These are all BVNA discretionary funds as we have no grant money at this time.


  1. Lara Tran from Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio’s office reported that the Council is on

recess for July. She acknowledged receipt of John Leyba’s letter regarding questions for the Parks Department to answer regarding the expansion of the current Buena Vista park at Scott and Menker. Michael LaRoccas of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Association also sent a letter on the same subject. Councilmember Oliverio has talked with the Parks Department. Everything is under discussion, but moving very slowly.

  1. City budget is seriously in the red despite the fact that all the unions except police and fire have agreed to a 10% cut in total compensation to help balance the City’s budget, and cleaning staff will be subcontracted, saving an additional $2 million. There is basically a freeze on any new projects that will cost the City money. In particular, maintenance for any new park must zero or the park will not be developed.

  2. James Reber talked about the his position as Executive Director of San Jose Parks Foundation and the mission and goal of the Foundation. He founded San Jose Rep. the After School All-Stars and has a good history of starting non-profit foundations. The City’s Parks Department contacted him about the coming cuts to the budget and asked him to create a non-profit to pick up the slack in the City’s budget with respect to parks. The Parks Dept. saw the cuts coming, but they were worse than expected.

James stressed that his goal is to start foundations, get them going, and then turn them over to the people who will benefit from them. “The San Jose Parks Foundation is your foundation.” The best possible scenario would be where the local residents care for the parks instead of relying on the City (“They aren’t cleaning up the park....”).

The parks are not wrecked now, but something must be done quickly or they will deteriorate. Right now James is the only employee of the San Jose Parks Foundation and he “works cheap.” He believes the San Jose Parks Foundation will always have a

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 6/29/2010

small staff but the Foundation board is all volunteers. His motto: “Do it yourself; don’t wait for other.”

The San Jose Parks Foundation has a 5-member independent board and they have non- profit (501c3) status. They have some base funding from the City to cover start-up costs (temporary website, for example); all future funds will go back out in the form of support for the parks. Funds raised will go to City parks only, not County parks. Guadalupe River Park and Happy Hollow Park already have their own foundations.

October 1 of 2009 they were supposed to begin funding, but the money didn’t start coming in until April 1. You can become a member by donating. They are hoping to achieve 10,000 members at $100 each, and they are seeking funding from corporations and businesses ($150 from any organization that uses the parks) as well as individuals and grants.

They have a temporary website and he passed out some inexpensive “business card.” He will send an email to the BVNA and he hopes everyone will forward that email to everyone they know. He wants speaking engagements so he can get the word out. All are encouraged to sign up on the website for email blasts.

It was moved (R. Solis) and seconded (B. Ward) that the BVNA pay $150 to the San Jose Parks Foundation for a “organizational membership.”


  1. The BVNA Home Tour was discussed. A brief history of the Tour was provided by members present. It has traditionally been held in June but it could be held at any time. The first priority it to get residents to offer their homes for the Tour.

  2. The BVNA is coordinating a “park clean-up day” with the City’s Park Department on Saturday, July 17 8:00 AM until noon. The City will supply a dumpster and the BVNA is to provide the labor to tear down the ratty old wood fence, pull weeds, pick up trash, trim or cut down bushes, etc. in the lot next to Buena Vista Park which is slated for the park expansion. Residents are encouraged to bring their own tools. The City has pledged to put in a chain link fence to protect the property from encroachment, vandalism, etc. The BVNA will get a key to the lock on the gate. The BVNA will pay for pizza and sodas for workers after the cleanup.

  3. The Neighborhood Action Council is also working on the “artificial turn versus natural grass” issue for the park expansion lot because many other neighborhoods are facijng the same issue in their parks. The City wants artificial turf because of the low maintenance (a priority in the budget) while residents generally want traditional grass. The current goal of the C-NAC (Coalition of Neighborhood Action Councils) is to remove the red tape that prevents residents from taking on jobs themselves.

  4. Saturday, July 3 beginning at 11:00 AM will be the Menker Block Party. Hot dogs will be provided. Everyone else is encouraged to bring a side dish.

  5. Page Street was paved but WHAT A MESS! It was reported that the slurry was splashed everywhere, up onto the sidewalks, into driveways. The crews filled in areas that had been opened up to provide better drainage.

  6. The “Yellow House on Menker” is continuing to be a problem. The police have been called and have been responsive. They are “problem kids” with parents who are absent (working) most of the time.

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 6/29/2010

  1. McVay’s lot on Willard is in need of weeding again. It continues to be the neighborhood eyesore and dumping ground.

  2. The Toyota catering truck is back cruising the area around Willard, Douglas and Page streets. Code Enforcement has been notified.

  3. There continues to be a problem with drinking in Buena Vista Park. It was suggested that the Gang Task Force be contacted. Setting up a dummy camera with signage saying the parks was under surveillance was discussed.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 1. There will be no BVNA meeting in July. The next meeting will be on Saturday, August 28

and will be an update on the Buena Vista Park situation and a potluck at the home of Marcos and Carlos at 463 Menker Avenue.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.


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