Washington Park Cottage was completely empty until about ten minutes before 7 p.m. when a group of three people walked to the door of the small building. Susie, Chelsea and I were greeted by Amy Henne, who is the Secretary and Treasurer for Friendly Area Neighbors (FAN). Henne informed us that we could not ask anyone questions (specifically Board Co-Chair, Carlos Barrera) because the neighborhood council meeting would be starting promptly at 7 and they had a lot to cover that night.
The meeting started with about 11 people, including the three of us, who were the only ones sitting in the designated audience section. Henne started by reading off the minutes and then affirming that $150 had been deposited into the account at the beginning of the month. This $150 was because of the newsletter, which we would find out later on in the meeting. Henne also said that there was consent from the community that money that wasn’t be used should be put toward unused properties being turned into gardens.
The next order of business was the use of student volunteers from the University of Oregon. Barrera said that volunteers might be useful at tables during their annual summer picnic or that maybe some could be used to map out sidewalk plans. Barrera then talked about a new committee that has been formed for public safety. This committee, along with the City Liaison Committee apparently formed out of a committee that does not exist anymore. Barrera said that the unnamed safety committee would be focused on getting medical attention to certain areas. For example, by finding specific roads to more secluded homes in the case of a fire.
A hot topic at this meeting was the issue that FAN’s newsletter was more expensive than Andrew Fisher (the Newsletter Editor) thought that it would be. They had shortened the newsletter to two pages, but the place where they usually made copies couldn’t use the same format as the four page newsletter. This required them to use different paper, which in turn made the price more expensive than Fisher has anticipated. As a result of the overpriced newsletters, Fisher suggested making the newsletter a single sheet because someone had commented to him that this might be a good idea.
Fisher then continued to talk about FAN’s website and suggested that FAN board members have photos and bios on the website. Henne didn’t support this idea however, “I’m having privacy issues. There’s this new website called Pipl, you should put your name on there and check that.”
The matter of business that took the most time to discuss was about Civic Stadium. The issue was brought up by Joyce Berman, who said that she was a FAN resident and a past board member. She said that 4J (Eugene’s elementary, middle, and high school district) was submitting a permit to begin a process to remove Civic Stadium’s historic designation. Berman said, “There has been no public hearing on this. Within two weeks they decided they were going to put this up for sale.”
Berman urged FAN members to testify at 4J’s next meeting to say that they didn’t support the sale. According to Berman and her colleagues, removing the historic status is part of a permit process to have it demolished, but that it would probably take several years. After some debate and discussion among Berman’s colleagues and FAN, three members of FAN agreed to attend the next 4J meeting, including Barrera.