September 2011 BVNA Meeting Minutes
BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, September 27, 2011 At the Home of Jens Hansen at 458 Richmond Avenue
Meeting called to order at 7:17 PM
PRESENT: [13 people present] Members: Brian Habekoss (President) John Leyba (Vice President and NAC Representative) Loui Tucker (Secretary)
Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) Jose Gonzalez (Director) Shelby Palms (Director) [arrived near the end] Robert Solis (Director and NAC Representative)
Introductions of those present.
Jens Hansen Karen O’Mara Robin Phelps Dolores Rodriguez Brian Uhler
Frances Reyes representing Pierluigi Oliverio’s office
THE MINUTES - The minutes of the August 30 meeting were discussed and action items were reviewed. The minutes were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Current balance is $962.27 of which $534 is CAP Grant.
THE BANNER TO SOLICIT VOLUNTEERS FOR THE PARK
Brian and Jose presented some sample text for a banner which will be used to solicit volunteers for the park.. We will likely use two Google phone numbers, one for English and one for Spanish. These can be forwarded to the phones of volunteers who are willing to field the calls, and easily changed on request. Vinyl cut is desirable, but it is expensive. Printed at Kinko's would run about $100, but only would last about six months. Jose believes he can get a "super-super" deal on a vinyl cut banner at Sign-Jose. Also it was decided to simplify the banner so it is not specific to the park, more generic, so it can be used in the future to get volunteers.
Decision: John and Jose will work on the wording to make it more generic and include multiples ways to contact (phone and email) Then Jose can use his best judgment and discretion and get the banner made as soon as possible because we need to start getting volunteers lined up now.
John passed around maps and explained the changes that will be made to what is shown in the maps.
City Parks and Recreation staff does not want to set up a build schedule until the volunteers are in place to maintain the park. However, in recent months they had also asked us to take on maintenance of the park, before expanding the park and refurbishing the existing park, which is what we had offered in exchange for the park expansion not being delayed by several years. We are meeting them halfway with respect to the maintenance as on-site tool storage facilities and electrical outlets will not be available the park expansion is underway..
A shift captain calendar was handed around. Two-week shifts are available. Brian and John have the first two two-week shifts for most of October.
The City will provide us with a checklist to use for park oversight and maintenance. (Example: "See any broken glass? No? CHECK; See any broken equipment? No? CHECK."). We will alert CSJ PRNS when equipment is broken or needs replacement. Once a week we will need to take the trash to the curb on the trash pickup day.
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In the near term, we will manage the trash, remove graffiti, and report items that need repair. We will need to set up a training session for volunteers. The City will provide separate "sorting" trash receptacles for this purpose, i.e. a blue recyclable side and a black trash side. Currently the City removes, sorts, and hands off trash to appropriate waste services off site.
In the longer term as the park is expanded, we will be responsible for trash pickup, groundskeeping (mowing, weed removal), and graffiti removal, until the City can resume maintaining the park.
It was suggested that we need to do some education so that the park users know that their neighbors are now taking care of their park. There is a small sign for the Adopt a Park program on the light-post in the park. John will ask PRNS for the feasibility of a larger sign denoting the BVNA sponsorship and maintenance.
It was also suggested that the BVNA or Parks Foundation provide volunteers with a vest or hat to wear when volunteering in the park.
USED CAR LOTS PARKING ISSUE.
Parking Compliance visited Euro Auto Imports. Joe sent an email explaining what happened. Code Enforcement has also been visiting. They spoke to the dealer about parking on W. San Carlos.
Lara Tran has also been working on this with Parking Compliance. There were no violations when she went out one day. The car lot owners are apt to say "Those cars belong to our employees," but they do not. Frances (representing Pierluigi Oliverio's office) initially said Parking Compliance could not cite the owners, but she was supplied with the specific Code numbers that Joe Carpenter had sent around. She had not been made aware of this.
It is believed that the owners are now accessing CitySourced themselves to see what cars have been reported and then sending their employees down the street to move them. They have been reported for parking at the red zone, so they come out and move their cars. There was an rearend accident on that corner this weekend because cars were sticking out of the driveway. Can we get an accident report?
Yelp and the Better Business Bureau already both give these car lots very bad reviews. There was some discussion about the difference between the property owner versus business owner. Getting the business's license revoked for City Code violations would be the easiest thing to do.
As for permit parking, 50% of the residents have to agree, but we are apt to have the same problem, but everyone will have to pay for parking permits. Each address can get multiple permits. After some research it was agreed permits would not solve the problem and would cost everyone.
The saying goes that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” We should continue to use Citysourced and make it harder for these car lots to continue to operate in this fashion. Applied pressure and the annoyance factor can change their behavior.
What is the goal? Don’t park on our residential streets. Don’t race up and down street.
Decision: Use CitySourced and/or 311. Get ALL the neighbors involved. We need to get a flier created (Loui offered to get them printed) and distributed to neighbors. The advantage to using CitySourced is that we can collect the data and refer to the DMV for an ethics complaint against the dealership. Automobile dealerships (new and used) are licensed to regulated and licensed by the DMV.
The problem with Herbs Medical Marijuana Dispensary and the “resale market” on Mayellen was discussed. Brian is going to take the upcoming NAC training about neighborhood
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safety. It was noted again that Herbs is already in violation of City Codes because medical marijuana stores cannot be within 500 feet of residence, and it clearly is. We know it has been cited, but what is the status of that Code violation? Frances indicated she would find out and let us know.
In the meantime the City Council is working on the medical marijuana dispensar issue - how many, where located, etc.?
There seems to have been an increase in graffiti on Race Street, and in some parts of Sherman Oaks. What happened to the Graffiti Abatement program? Frances said that July 1 it was outsourced to a for-profit organization. They started with just three employees, just added another. There are also program for youth assigned to do community service.
There was a discussion about the effectiveness of murals. Do they deter taggers? If they do manage to tag it, repairs to a mural can take significantly longer than typical graffiti abatement. The new service attempts to color match with hundreds of colors to avoid "secondary graffiti" of mismatched coverup paints. How about that shiny slick paint?
We have talked about printing a newsletter and it is in our CAP Grant application. Possible topics for articles include (1) park status; (2) parking problems; (3) CitySourced and how to use it; (4) status of the Bascom Library/Community Center; (5) What does the BVNA do? (6) What has the BVNA done in the past? (7) yard sale signs. There should be a Letter from the President. Ideally it should be in Spanish and English. In order to do both Spanish and English we’d need to expand to 8 pages (from the usual 4).
Decision: People interested in writing articles need to write them and email them to Robert.
The question was asked about how to report blight, abandoned cars, cars parked on lawn. The City does not allow cars to be parked on an unpaved surface, but the County does not prohibit this practice. You can report blight of any kind - graffiti, weeds, litter, debris, cars on lawns, etc. - with the City of San Jose’ Blight Form on line. On your computer, type “San Jose Blight Form” into any search engine. There are also phone numbers: Code Enforcement’s main number is 408-535-7770.
There was initial discussion of obtaining surveillance cameras. John and Jens will discuss this offline for a potential presentation at a future meeting.
There was a discussion of having our annual Halloween House and whether or not we can get replacement instant cameras. Loui and Sabine offered to buy one camera and some film and lend it to the BVNA on Halloween, but the BVNA will have to purchase another camera because we will need two cameras that night.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. The next BVNA meeting will be on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at Karen O’Mara’s house at 379 Menker Avenue.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.