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Open Space Conservancy Trust - Minutes     
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Call To Order:
 
Chairperson Don Cohen called the meeting to order at 6:06 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.
 
Roll Call:
 
Don Cohen, Chairperson, Peter Guyer; Vice Chairperson, Debbie Bertlin, Tina Lanzinger, Elliot Newman, and Bob Thorpe were present. Council Liaison Grausz arrived at 6:07.
 
Staff Present:
 
Bruce Fletcher, Parks & Recreation Director
Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator
Deborah Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant
 
Minutes:
 

  1. It was moved by Trustee Newman, seconded by Trustee Guyer, to:

Approve the minutes of August 12, 2010.
Motion passed 6-0
 
Appearances:
 
Liz Sanderson, former Trustee, appeared to address the Trustees about the republication of Pioneer Park: A Natural History (Item III on the agenda).
 
Regular Business:
 
 

  1. Meet New Trustees– Don Cohen

 
Chair Cohen briefly introduced Bob Thorpe and Debbie Bertlin. Both of them talked about their backgrounds and how they might contribute to the Trust Board.
 
(II)         Staff Changes – Bruce Fletcher
 
Bruce Fletcher announced that both Keith Kerner and Aaron Heyer have left the Parks & Recreation Department. Jason Kintner has been appointed Acting Parks Manager and is doing an excellent job. Bruce has received approval to rehire a Parks Superintendent, but will not do so until next year due to budget concerns.
 
Chair Cohen mentioned that Keith’s involvement with the Board had significantly increased over the past year and he dealt with some challenging issues. He suggested that a motion of appreciation might be called for.
 
It was moved by Trustee Newman, seconded by Trustee Bertlin, that:
 
The Open Space Conservancy Trust Board expresses itsappreciation to Keith Kerner for his work in coordination with the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board and to wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.
 
Motion passed 7-0
 
(III)        “Pioneer Park: A Natural History” – Liz Sanderson
 
Chair Cohen mentioned that the OSCT had a brainstorming session at a retreat in 2007 in which the possibility of reprinting “Pioneer Park: A Natural History” was mentioned as a potential project. Liz Sanderson has had a continuing interest in this project and came to make a presentation.
 
Ms.Sanderson reviewed the contents of a letter that was distributed with the agenda packets. In short, the Farrington Foundation has authorized a contribution of $2,000 to pay for the costs of publishing a third edition of the book. The Foundation is also sponsoring the making of a short video documentary about Pioneer Park as seen through the eyes of multicultural teens. She requested the names of anyone who might want to be interviewed in the video. The new edition will have color photographs and information on internet resources.
 
Chair Cohen suggested that Paul or Alaine be used as a resource to verify scientific information and that possibly a Trustee could serve as a liaison on the project. Bob Thorpe offered to serve in this capacity and work with Liz Sanderson. Chair Cohen asked for an estimate as to when Liz expected the new book to be done. She estimated that by Christmas 2011 the project will be completed. Chair Cohen requested an update on the project around the February 2011 OSCT meeting. Chair Cohen expressed appreciation on behalf of the Trust Board for Ms.Sanderson’s continuing efforts.
 
 

  1. Kiosk Area Design– Paul West

 
Paul West reported that Trustees Lanzinger, Guyer, Newman, Bruce Fletcher and he met at the kiosk in Pioneer Park before the meeting to review the two design options. He summarized the comments of the subcommittee. Among the comments were a suggested modification to the equestrian trail, eliminate the picnic tables, and more native plantings. The composting toilet option was also discussed and it was determined that more research needed to be done to determine if it could handle a variable amount of people. The subcommittee suggested that staff go back to the landscape architect for a new drawing that incorporates the suggested changes, and bring it to the next meeting for further consideration.
 
The Trustees discussed several issues, including equestrian access/traffic, the composting toilet, and especially the development of a meeting area. Chair Cohen summarized  that staff should develop a modified plan based on the subcommittee site meeting and the discussion at this meeting.. Paul West will to bring back additional ideas and a new drawing  to the next meeting to continue the discussion.
 
 

  1. Engstrom Transfer/Northstar Update– Paul West

 
Paul West reported that the Engstrom Transfer resolution is scheduled for the November 1st City Council Meeting. Chair Cohen gave the new Trustees some brief  background informationon the transfer.
 
Council Liaison Grausz talked about the City’s proposed 2011-12 budget that includes a reduction in funding for Open Space Management (including Pioneer Park). He expressed concern that the reason this is being considered is because of the existence of the 2008 Park Levy funding.  He commented that he believes that the voters who approved the levy saw this as additional funding and not a substitute for existing general fund allocations. The Trustees discussed this and shared his concern.
 
It was moved by Trustee Thorpe, seconded by Trustee Lanzinger, that:
 
The Open Space Conservancy Trust opposes any significant decrease in general city funding for open space maintenance and preservation that would dilute the positive impacts the voters contemplated in approving the 2008 Parks Operations and Maintenance Levy.
 
Motion passes 7-0
 
Chair Cohen asked staff to prepare a letter that included the motion to be sent to City Council. He also agreed to attend a Council Meeting to speak on behalf of the Trust Board about this issue.
 
Paul West reported that he applied for a grant from the Recreation Conservation Fund for the Northstar Property acquisition, but was unsuccessful. The Department now has a $500,000 matching grant from King County with no match.
 
Bob Thorpe reported that his company is willing to do an assessment as a contribution to this effort. Chair Cohen asked Paul West to consult the City Attorney on this matter and make the necessary arrangements. Council Liaison Grausz suggested this might be an opportunity to seek private funds to get a match.
 
 

  1. Docent Walks– Paul West

 
Paul West reported that Rita Moore has agreed to do three docent walks in Pioneer Park in the fall, and they are currently posted on the kiosk. He said he will e-mail the dates to the Trustees.
 
 

  1. Group Walks Policy– Paul West

 
Paul West briefed the Trustees on the circumstance that arose which started the discussion about the department policy of charging a fee for events in Pioneer Park. After the initial discussion at the February 11th meeting, the Trustees directed staff to develop a policy. He reviewed the draft policy included in the agenda packet, but afterdiscussion, it seemed  there were a number of issues that still needed to be worked out. Staff agreed to rework the policy and bring it back to the Trust Board at a future meeting.
 
 

  1. Next Meeting– Don Cohen

 
Don asked the Trustees if there were any known scheduling conflicts for the Dember 9th meeting,  to which no one voiced any. He also noted that the 2011 Work Plan will probably need to be discussed, as well as continuing the discussion about a meeting area in the park, Northstar funding, and the group walks policy. The next meeting will be on December 9th.
 

 

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