of Board Meeting:
Directors Present: Liz Kearns, Jerry Owens, Wanda Fullner, John Meerscheidt, Jan Brucker, Bob Messina, Debra Willendorf, Yvonne Zoretic, and Ellen Beck.
Board Representatives Present: Wally Fosmore (North Seattle Community College), Pam Larsen (Seattle City Light), and Jan Avinger-Jacques (Editor of Licton Springs Currents).
Visitors: Belinda Gigliotti (Seattle Parks Department, Northwest Sector Manager), Elizabeth Butler (Department of Neighborhoods), Neil Powers, Bert Bradley, Brenda McDonell, Bob Benton, and Judy Nicastro (Seattle City Councilwoman).
President Liz Kearns called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. and everyone introduced themselves.
Minutes: The February 21, 2001 meeting minutes were approved as amended (expanding reference to the North Park/Mineral Park safety netting).
Treasurer’s Report: Debra Willendorf submitted a written Treasurer’s report reflecting LSCC’s balance being $1,084.34 as of March 20, 2001. Debra said that a budget for 2001 needs to be formulated. She also suggested that the Board establish checks, balances, and protocols for our accounting of funds received. Jan Brucker said that funding agencies have rules, guidelines and protocols established that we would need to follow. Debra will send around an e-mail to schedule a meeting regarding the 2001 budget and budget protocols.
Liz Kearns first explained the Licton Springs Community Master Plan for the Wilson-Pacific area and surrounds (including Pillings Pond).
Seattle School Board Member Steve Brown again introduced himself and told a bit about him and his family. He has been on the School Board for 15 months and is one of the two newer members. He and his family live on the east side of Green Lake and he and his wife have two children, a sixth grader and a fourth grader, both in Seattle Public Schools. Steve told us that the Board meets twice a month, but also has committee meetings. The Board sets the overall policy for the School District and also performs oversight functions.
Steve said that the School Board had been receiving pressure from parents to make Wilson-Pacific a middle school with 600 to 800 students. At present, though, no decision has been made. The School District is now having work sessions on plan implementation, including the optimum size of middle and high schools.
Jan Brucker gave the background of the community’s efforts and support of Wilson-Pacific as a functioning school. The community is interested in not just having a school at the Wilson-Pacific site, but also being able to carry on neighborhood programs there. Jan made a plea for a mechanism/dialogue for school issues and facilities. The Licton Springs Community is very concerned about the Wilson-Pacific site.
Steve Brown said that he believed the School District had school space for the number of students enrolled, but that there was overcrowding because of students’ preferences for certain popular schools. He said that the School District had to determine a philosophy for the future: What direction are schools going? Does smaller equal better? He said that whatever discussion took place at the high school level would also be taking place at the middle school level.
Jan Brucker asked about long-term plans for the site. If Wilson-Pacific is not a school, what will it become? The Community wants to be involved in the discussion process.
Steve gave the three categories of School District properties: (i) essential, (ii) interim, and (iii) surplus. He said that the School Board discusses and votes on where to categorize School District properties. At present, Wilson-Pacific is not considered in the surplus category.
Various questions were asked by those present. Bert Bradley asked for suggestions for effective ways to advocate our preferences.
Steve Brown gave three suggestions: (i) attend meetings which are held the first and third Wednesdays of the month (check web-page for when they are, or call Becky Taylor at 252-0040); (ii) continue to call Kathy Johnson and keep meeting with School Board members; and (iii) initiate and maintain informal contacts with Board members.
Jan Brucker asked what the School Board’s policy was for involving neighborhoods. Steve said that there was no formal policy, but working with communities is in the goals for this academic year. Principals now have as part of their job description that they are to work with the community in which their school is situated.
Bob Messina brought up the Wilson-Pacific ball fields and possible amenities for the public and incorporating Pillings Pond into this general plan. Bob mentioned the Memory Walk Park at John Hay Elementary that Gary Payton donated funding for in memory of the people, especially the children, lost in the Alaska Airlines crash.
Steve Brown said that the School District does have a new sensibility and more dialogue with the communities, but that it was easier to make that happen if a school site exists. It is harder at present for the Wilson-Pacific site because that site is not firmly categorized for the long term.
Steve Brown was thanked by the Council for his attendance at our meeting. Liz said that we should also invite Barbara Peterson to a future Council meeting.
Next, we had a second round of introductions for Judy Nicastro who arrived after our meeting had started.
Seattle City Councilwoman Judy Nicastro addressed the group. She said that her day had begun with Licton Springs (having a tour of Pillings Pond) and ended with Licton Springs (at our meeting). Judy Nicastro was elected last year on a renters’ rights platform. She talked about work that she has been involved with on the City Council.
Jan Brucker brought up the concerns of the community regarding increased density. She said that the City Council needs to keep in mind that when density is increased, the stresses on the infrastructure (i.e., less water pressure) also are increased and this affects the quality of life. Jan also suggested making use of alleys as pedestrian pathways.
Judy Nicastro said that she could see hard times ahead for the City for the next couple of years. She said there would not be as much “fat” in the budgets.
Next a discussion took place regarding mother-in-law units and people’s positions on this topic, since this was a way to increase density. Those present were all in favor of mother-in-law units as long as the home was owner-occupied and there was adequate parking space for additional residents. Judy Nicastro stated that the regulations had been changed in connection with mother-in-law units and the permit process was easier for citizens.
Jan Brucker asked if Judy Nicastro had ever toured NSCC, the north-end wetlands, etc. A discussion followed about Northgate and the Northgate Transit Center being cut off from people on the west side, including students of NSCC and residents. A better connection with the east side of the freeway is important. A discussion needs to be established with the DOT regarding the I-5 corridor. If the State is considering significant revamping near Northgate, it’s a perfect time to look at our access needs. Judy Nicastro also suggested bringing Councilman McIver into the discussion since he focuses on transportation.
Judy next outlined issues for the future: (i) protection of domestic violence victims so that they could not be denied housing, etc.; and (ii) what can be done to alleviate tax assessments for landlords who keep rents below market.
A discussion of staffing at the City Council level was discussed. It was pointed out that the King County Council has much more support. Judy Nicastro said that she appreciated the desire of the community to have City Council have more support staff, but that she didn’t see it happening because of budgeting. The discussion then flowed to the effects of contracting out jobs (i.e., to other companies in the City or even out of state) and why it was done.
Liz Kearns told Judy Nicastro about the upcoming meeting regarding the master plan for the Wilson-Pacific/Pillings Pond/ball fields area. She said that Mayor Schell and School Superintendent Olchefske will be invited, as well as others representing SPU, the Parks Department, and SeaTran. This gathering was the original idea of Phil Fujii. It is important to bring all “heads” together to develop a master plan for the Wilson-Pacific site.
Jan Brucker added that the meeting would take place the end of April/first part of May and would be a springboard from the neighborhood plan to the present and would have as its goal getting integration for all work needing to be done.
Judy Nicastro next talked about the Mardi Gras violence. She said that she had been able to begin a dialogue with young people involved in violence because of an article written about her in The Stranger that had prompted young people to call her. She said she was attempting to set up a meeting of these young people and Council members.
Jan Brucker pointed out that one of the problems was that there were not enough facilities for pick up games – that facilities were monopolized by organized teams/sports.
Board of Directors. Liz asked Ellen to read the names of directors with terms expiring in 2001. They are Jerry Owens, John Meerscheidt, Debra Willendorf, and Yvonne Zoretic. All these directors indicated a willingness to keep serving on the Board.
Jan Brucker announced her resignation after six plus years on the Board, including two years as president and two years being one of the heads of our neighborhood planning committee. Jan also was responsible for approaching Bert Bradley about his willingness to serve on the Board. Bert was the transportation committee chairman for the neighborhood planning committee. Bert was unanimously elected to fulfill Jan’s Board term.
Belinda Gigliotti, Seattle Parks Department Northwest Sector Manager, spoke next. She confirmed that the comfort station in the Licton Springs Park will be remodeled. Belinda also told us that the timeline for North Park shows that it will get funding earlier rather than later. She also reminded folks of the March 31 work party at Licton Springs Park.
North Seattle Community College. Wally Fosmore announced that landscape renovation of the central courtyard at the College had begun on Monday. He said he thought everyone would be very pleased with the courtyard after completion. There will be a water feature. All overgrown plants are going to be removed. He said that the number of trees would decrease from 41 to 38. Wally also announced that there would be a 30 year reunion for alumni on April 21st. He said there would be an alumni recognition night and that it would be the kick off event for the Alumni Association.
Wally also said that the College was doing a seismic upgrade on the skybridge. Doing this at the same time as the central courtyard renovation would conserve money and efforts.
Pillings Pond. Bob Messina reported that Karen Touring of Seattle Community Access Network had taken joined the history project for Pillings Pond. Karen was in need of a pilot program and Pillings Pond was perfect for her needs. SCAN is involved in putting neighborhood histories on the Internet.
It was moved and second that the Pillings Pond Committee seek a small and simple matching grant for the Pillings Pond History Project. The motion was unanimously approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
Ellen M. Beck
 The first meeting in May is Part 2 of a work session to address what to do post levy and a meeting to get familiar with School Board members and their positions.
 Projects were: (i) Programs with City Light to (a) increase the low-income eligibility to 200% of the federal poverty level (from 125%), and (b) made permanent a pilot program for discounted electricity rates for buildings owned by nonprofit organizations (provided that income-eligible people are among the tenants and that rental payments for these tenants be reduced by an amount equal to the electricity rate savings); (ii) increasing the fines for abandoned buildings; (iii) increasing emergency rental fund for families with children or senior citizens to help prevent homelessness; and (iv) adding field lights to four fields to allow greater participation by people interested in sports.