Neighborhood news and support for issues for Fremont residents

Monthly Minutes – November 2015

Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – November 22, 2015

 Board members present:  Stephanie Pure, Norma Jones, Jim Engelhardt, Toby Thaler, Matt Gasparich, Judie Clarridge.

Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:

.. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Party will be Wednesday, December 2nd at 5 pm at Fremont Studios.

.. The Lenin Lighting and Fremont Festivus Weekend is Friday, December 4th – Sunday, December 6th, including live music and buskers.  The Rocket ReLaunch and Lighting is Saturday at 5 pm.

.. Photos with Santa will be taken at the Red Door Alehouse on December 5th from 9 am to 2 pm.

.. B.F. Day Elementary is holding four Open House and Tours for families who are looking for a public school for the 2016/17 year.  The dates are December 2 and 9, 2015 and February 10 and 17, 2016. Open enrollment begins December 1st for families new to Seattle Schools.

.. Opportunities for input: (1) Seattle Green Partnership (volunteers who support forested parks) is conducting a community survey, (2) SDOT is asking for ideas to improve their website, (3) The City is conducting a survey for the Pedestrian Master Plan Update.

Trees! – Stephanie Pure

 Stephanie presented an overview of programs and organizations that advocate for trees in Seattle.

  • Seattle reLeaf is a City of Seattle program that educates and provides volunteer opportunities to plant, maintain, and support our urban forest along street right-of-ways and publicly owned parks. More:
  • Green Seattle Partnership is a consortium of nonprofit organizations and the City who collaborate to restore and actively maintain the City’s forested parklands. More:
  • The Urban Forestry Commission is a 9-member team that which advises the Mayor and City Council on policy governing the protection, management and conservation of trees and vegetation in the city. More: seattle/gov/urbanforestrycommission.
  • Seattle City Light’s Vegetation Management program provides guidance on which trees can be grown successfully near power lines, provides tree pruning near lines, and plants new trees to replace trees that have grown so large that they interfere with lines. More:


There was discussion about issues regarding trees:


(1) Trees in parking strips:  ReLeaf provides up to 4 trees per household that can be planted in parking strips, water bags and mulch.  ReLeaf volunteer Tree Ambassadors provide guidance on planting.

(2) Multi-family housing can result in fewer trees.  Concern was expressed about developers who pave over parking strips.  City permits the removal of trees with no notice.

(3) Seattle has a goal to reach 30% tree canopy cover by 2037 (currently at 23%) yet the City’s tree ordinance is weak and needs to be improved.

(4) Advocacy and Education: FNC needs to work with developers and condo boards to advocate for street trees and for permeable sidewalks. Ask about plans for trees at Design Review Board meetings. Put information on FNC website regarding how to get trees and care for them and what resources are available.  Is there a Tree Ambassador in Fremont who could speak at meeting?   Tilth might be a resource.


2016 Membership Drive – Norma Jones


Norma proposed that we send out an email early in January on the topic of membership renewal and encourage people to renew via PayPal.  Then, we would follow up with a mailing later in the month.


MOTION:  Toby moved to authorize up to $250 for Norma to spend for expenses related to the mailing.  Matt seconded and the motion passed.


There was discussion about increasing dues.  Suggestion that an increase could be tied to a specific purpose.  Suggestion to promote the “Angel” ($50) level.  Comment that merger with Fremont Neighborhood Fund would increase FNC funds.  Suggestion to set a goal for increased membership (30% increase?) and have a thermometer that will show progress toward goal.  Norma will draft the letter for the mailing.


Election Wrap-up and Plans for 2016


Rob Johnson represents District 4 (includes East Fremont between Aurora and Stone Way) and Mike O’Brien represents District 6 (includes West Fremont between Aurora and 8th NW).  Tim Burgess and Lorena Gonzalez were elected to the two at-large positions.


Annual General Meeting:  Suggestion to invite Rob and Mike to speak.  Could highlight what we want for Fremont from them.  Discussion about whether to invite one or both of them.  “Move Seattle Levy” – how will it benefit Fremont?  Improve pedestrian safety on N. 36th.  Suggest that we send topics to speaker in advance.

Suggestion that Stephanie meet with O’Brien on a regular basis.

Important Fremont issues are Land Use, Public Safety, and Transportation (including paying attention to Move Seattle Levy projects).  There was concern about the low voter turnout for this election.

Future speakers:  (1) Invite one at-large councilmember at a time. (2) Department of Parks and Recreation.


Other Business

 Leo Griffin shared that the Troll’s Knoll Park P Patch will be having a ground breaking.

Kirby Lindsay Laney reported on the most recent Lake Union District Council meeting:  Art Brochet (SDOT) reported that the construction of a sidewalk at Waterway 22 (Northlake Way at the foot of Stone Way) is not possible because there is no retaining wall. Representatives from Eastlake have concerns about Ride the Duck resuming operation.  There was concern about the City’s interest in aligning the 13 District Councils with the 7 City Council districts.

Seattle Greenways is interested in Woodland Park Avenue being a Greenway.

Need to decide when to have the Land Use Forum.

Jessica Vets is resigning from her position as the director of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce at the end of January.  She has served in that position for 8 years.


Minutes:  The September and October minutes were reviewed.  Norma moved that the minutes be approved as presented.  Matt seconded and the motion was passed.

Treasurer’s Report:

Jim reported that expenses associated with improving the security of the FNC website totaled $73.98.  The following are the current balances in the FNC’s accounts:


Verity Checking:                     $    442.73

Verity Money Market:             56,989.18

PayPal                                                83.75

46th Street Mural:                   $    471.39


The meeting was adjourned.  The next FNC Board meeting will be Monday, January 25, 2016.