Notes from the "Areas of Focus" work session
Friendly Area Neighbors (FAN) Winter 2013 General Meeting
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Washington Park Center

FAN Board members present: Carlos Barrera, Nancy Classen, Bernie Corrigan, Andrew Fisher, Greg Giesy, Deb Jones, Kristina Lang, Nancy Ellen Locke, Rex Redmon, Bruce Strimling, Christine Thompson

The "Areas of Focus" conversation was initially formed out of FAN Board member discussions on what might be neighborhood priorities that merit our current attention, consideration, and action. A related goal was to possibly create committees in the future comprised of both FAN Board members and FAN residents-at-large. This goal of forming productive committees might well support many of the themes identified in the recent Neighborhood Mediation/Dialogue meeting held Monday, January 14th, 2013.

During the second half of the Winter 2013 General Meeting, areas of focus were written on a large sheet and presented to the group. These areas of focus were solicited from FAN Board members through our online google group. The gathered residents were asked if the areas of focus covered the big issues in our neighborhood or if we had missed anything. A couple more themes were suggested from the audience and added to the list.

Residents were then asked to decide in their minds which 3 areas of focus were most important to them. We would go through them one at a time and record the number of hands raised to try and identify three priorities. Only FAN residents-at-large were asked to vote. It was acknowledged that just because a theme might not get a majority of votes, it didn't mean it wasn't important...realistically we can only focus on some of the themes initially. It was also acknowledged that there might be overlap on some of the items as well.

At the end of the exercise it was announced that the results of the work session would be shared through our online sources (FAN website, Friendly Neighbors Forum) as well as announced in the next Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter. We hope the conversation will grow over time and continue to be revisited and refined and further participation by neighborhood residents would be solicited.

Here is a list of the Areas of Focus and the number of votes they received:

1 - Tree Preservation
5 - Public Safety & Crime Prevention (with a relationship to Community Education)
6 - Transportation (biking, walking, driving)

4 - Land Use / Planning / Housing
1 - Neighborhood Events & Meetings
0 - Outreach & Communication & Volunteer Recruitment
7 - Neighborhood Sustainability
2 - Historic Preservation
0 - Government Relations
2 - Noise Reduction / Light Reduction

Upon identifying the three top vote-getters, we went through each area of focus one at a time and asked residents to respond to the question: "What are the major issued that need to be addressed?" Some of the feedback was very specific and some referred to broader ideas.

Public Safety & Crime Prevention (with a relationship to Community Education)

- taking care of your neighbors; knowing them
- neighborhood watch
- how do we support (public safety, crime prevention, community education)
- raise awareness when crimes occur
- neighborhood watch signs as a deterrent to crime
- police involvement


Transportation

- having sidewalks (where they might not exist) / safe walking
- slowing traffic
- awareness of pedestrian laws
- enhanced pedestrian safety at key intersections such as painted crosswalks (increasing visibility/awareness)
- addressing hazards in sidewalks
- crosswalks regularly (available)
- sustainable road construction practices (road rubble re-use for example)
- focus on "active" transportation
- recognizing the needs of the elderly may differ

Neighborhood Sustainability

- noise reduction (traffic noise from Willamette, "jam" sessions)
- retain character of FAN, historic tours
- building neighborliness
- sharing reserves/resources, e.g. community garden, book kiosk, tools, mulch
- leaf availability
- map your neighborhood - more crime focused
- having a neighborhood pick-up truck (as Whiteaker Neighborhood has)
- facilitate nature-scaping and habitat corridors

Notes provided by Andrew Fisher from feedback written on large pad during meeting and other notes taken by FAN Board members. Posted 01/26/13.