Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – November 24, 2014
Board members present: Toby Thaler, Norma Jones, Stephanie Pure, Jim Engelhardt, Linda Clifton, Elfreide Noble, Shawn Mulanix, Judie Clarridge.
Toby opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
- The Doric Lodge asks that we leave the chairs on the floor at the end of our meetings.
- Kirby Lindsay said Fremont Festivus will be on December 5th from 5pm to 9 pm. It will include the Lighting of the Lenin statue, Art Walk, and kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
- Jessica Vets announced that the Fremont Chamber of Commerce will present their annual awards at their Holiday Party on December 3 at Fremont Studios. Also, there will be a presentation by the American Planning Association which has named Fremont as one of the top 10 neighborhoods in the U.S.
Traffic on Fremont Avenue – Heather McAuliffe
Heather reported on the increased traffic on Fremont Avenue N. Upper Fremont businesses are growing and it has become a dangerous road. She made a Public Disclosure Request and learned that in the last 10 years, there have been 541 collisions. She suggested that we invite an SDOT traffic engineer to attend an upcoming meeting to discuss what kind of engineering improvements could be made to make this area safer.
Erik offered to draft a letter to SDOT. There was also discussion about people driving above the speed limit on Fremont and about asking SPD to increase enforcement.
There was also discussion about traffic on N. 39th and the intersection of N. 39th and Phinney. Poor visibility at the intersection could be improved by reducing nearby parking spaces.
Strengthening the FNC organization – Toby Thaler
Toby talked about the need to increase the membership of the FNC and to increase the number of board members. We need more active members to work on the issues: land use, pedestrian safety, etc. He said that he had gotten a response when he posted the FNC meeting agenda on Next Door and suggested using social media to publicize the organization.
Should the FNC become a 501(c)(3) organization? – Stephanie Pure
The FNC is a Washington State non-profit organization but is not a 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS.
Becoming a 501(c)(3) is like starting a business. It increases the formality of the organization. There are reporting requirements to complete financial forms. The board has a fiduciary responsibility regarding the management of the organization’s finances. There was discussion about the need to obtain insurance to cover board members, even if the FNC is not a 501(c)(3). There was discussion about asking the Department of Neighborhoods if there are other neighborhood organizations who are 501(c)(3)s. We could ask them about their experience.
It was also noted that Washington State serves a watchdog function as well; not just the IRS. There is lots of bookkeeping; some organizations have found that it is wise to hire a bookkeeper. Would people be reluctant to become board members of a 501(c)(3)?
Organizations sometimes decide to become a 501(c)(3) if they have a need for major fundraising. It is important to know what the organization’s strategic plan is first. It can take a year or more to get a 501(c)(3) approved.
Jessica Vets said that the Fremont Arts Council is a 501(c)(3). There has been thought about how the 3 organizations (Chamber, FAC, and FNC) could work together. There was discussion about applying for a Small and Simple Grant to work on this idea and whether there was time to meet the February grant deadline. There was discussion about meeting on January 13th or 14th to talk more.
2015 Membership Drive
Norma noted that it is time for the 2015 membership drive. The first step is to send an email message to those who have been members in the past, encouraging them to renew online. Norma will send the FNC flyer to the board for updates. Then, a mailing will be sent to those who have not renewed.
MOTION: Norma made a motion that she be authorized to spend up to $200 on supplies (flyers, postage, etc.) for the membership mailing in January. Judie seconded. The motion passed.
There was discussion about setting a goal for membership and to publicize that residents’ membership is important. Suggestions for publicity: Next Door, other social media, and Fremocentrist.com.
Toby updated on the high density apartment projects in the 3600 block of Linden. The City is requiring the developer to do a parking study. He thinks it would be beneficial to have an independent traffic engineer review the study.
MOTION: Toby made a motion that the FNC spend up to $300 to have a traffic engineer review the developer’s study. Linda seconded. The motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report: Jim reported the following balances:
Checking account: $ 1,822.28 46th Street Mural Fund: $321.39
Money Market: 56,243.44
Jim reported that $134 was spent on the domain name renewal.
Community Neighborhood Council:
Ralph Weathers reported that the city District Councils are concerned that the Department of Neighborhoods seems to be moving in the direction of reducing the impact of the District Councils, particularly in the area of reviewing and recommending projects for funding.
Minutes: A motion was made that the October minutes be approved as corrected. The motion was seconded and passed.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Monday, January 26, 2015.