Holly House Task Force: December Minutes

Feb 7, 2016 | News

ESUC Meeting of the Holly House Task Force  – Minutes
December 17, 2015
Co-Chairs:  (absent) Lee Dorigan, Bob Wiess
Participants: Mary Anderson, David Baumgart, (absent) Abbie Birmingham, Vic Bloomfield, Kristi Brennan, Seth Hamilton, Jason Puracal, Jane Sisk
7:00    Opening Words, Check in    Bob
7:15    Holly House Tour     Dave
7:45    Review revised draft of Board Charge to HHTF     Kristi, Dave
Review Actions Items    All
Possible criteria for assessing options    All
Process of the task force    Mary, Jane
Begin discussion of specific options    All
8:45    Wrap-up, Action Items    All
Task Force Members and Nov 19 Minutes Approved
Bob welcomed all the members. Dave reported that the ESUC Board had approved the recommendation to add Abbie Birmingham and Ned Kurabi on Dec 15. Mary moved and Jason seconded that the minutes from our Nov 19 meeting be approved as written.  Motion passed.

Holly House Tour
Despite the steady rain and the muddy path thru the Pea Patch, we all headed over to the Holly House for a tour of the facility. We were hosted by Harpreet Gill, the Sophia Way Supervisor for The Holly House which is currently leased to Sophia Way thru June 30, 2017. David and Mary remarked on how attractive and functional the interior or the Holly House appeared – a marked improvement over the facility’s state prior to the Sophia Way’s re-configuration of the interior to support 6 of their female clients. We were all impressed with how clean everything was and it was obvious that the facility was well maintained.
During the visit, we had an ongoing discussion with Harpreet about the facility. She told us that her clients were very pleased to call Holly House their temporary home. The residents were expected to eventually find long term housing before the end of their transition lease of up to two years. She also stated that the current 6 residents had been at HH anywhere from 2 weeks to 18 months. One of the residents, Allison, opened up her unit for our tour.
At the conclusion of our visit, Harpreep pointed out to Jason that the upper kitchen hot water was not working very well – low pressure. Jason recommended they contact Bellevue Plumbing. Under our lease agreement, Sophia Way is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the facility. East Shore is responsible for capital repairs and replacements.

1. Review revised draft of Board Charter to HHTF
General discussion that the charge was that the taskforce, in year one would:
•    Get organized with an established core team,
•    Establish a charter,
•    would perform fact finding, gathering information about the apparent alternative choices for the use of the Holly House and the ¾ acre property in accordance with our charter.
There was a good discussion about these points.

The Board had suggested that we provide monthly status reports to the Board – and Dave had been appointed as the Board Liaison to the task force. The Board also requested that we be prepared to provide an update to the congregation at the annual 2016 meeting.

2. Review Actions Items
•    [in progress] Dave will inquire about the status of the Unitarian Housing Group – a 501c (3) not for profit collaboration between East Shore and University Unitarian,
•    [done] Mary will write a Beacon Article.
•    [done] Mary and Jane will schedule one or more Listening Sessions starting in January.
•    [in progress – see below] Mary and Jane will review the initial charter and tweak it as needed to conform with the general template for charters at East Shore,
•    [done] Dave provided hyperlinks for various housing related organizations, and suggested that folks take time to learn more about Imagine Housing, ARCH, EHAC, etc.

Initial Charter (Mary and Jane)
At our November 19 meeting, Dave had reported that we would be functioning as a Board Task Force, reporting directly to the East Shore board. He and Vic had prepared proposed charters for the task force and that initial charter had been reviewed by the Board at their May 19 meeting. The responsibility mentioned in the May version, “Managing the HH contract and managing the landlord functions…” has been removed from our taskforce responsibilities. Jason has now assumed responsibility for those functions as Dir, Finance & Operations.

Mary and Jane have now drafted a completely different charter based on a template provided by Jason.  Our discussion began with the timeline:
•    Year 1 Charge from the Board – Fact Finding,
•    Year 2 – Evaluate Top Options
There was discussion about the last paragraph on page 1. The paragraph heading was revised to remove the words “Theological Foundation.”  Kristi moved to remove the words, Bob seconded. Motion passed.
Mary proposed that we move the last sentence to first in that same paragraph. Discussion about whether to mention of the current use of the Holly House by Sophia Way, or not. Some folks did not want to mention the current lease to Sophia Way. We agreed to re-write that paragraph to mention the historical uses of the property as well as the current use.
Vic wanted to add to the timeline the final submission to the congregation at the option of the Board. We decided to use Mary’s wording from the Beacon newsletter: “Report implementation plan to the board for its review and potential submission to the congregation for review and approval.”  Dave moved and Jason seconded.  Motion passed.
3. Possible criteria for assessing options  — long term vision?
We had a discussion about what criteria should be used to evaluate the potential alternative uses for the Holly House property. After several minutes of discussion, we all reached a consensus that we will keep an open mind about goals and criteria as we discuss and listen to all the ideas and suggestions we may receive from the East Shore Congregation.  As we receive feedback from the East Shore community, it may become more clear what criteria our members would consider as part of the evaluation.

4.  Process of the task force  (most already agreed upon)
We reviewed the general process that we will be following, based on the Charge from the board.
a.    regular public communication
b.    Beacon articles
c.    public sessions (discuss specific concerns)
Mediation with any stakeholders who have strong opinions.
d.    Calendar – Board Presentation in May, 2016,
e.    Annual Meeting June, 2016 – presentation about our first year effort – potentially the options being investigated
f.    Presentation to board and Annual Meeting 2017 – present 3 options for detailed discussion or ??
Communication Strategy – Public Sessions
Feb 7 is the date for our first listening session – we should have a good agenda (Mary and Jane will draft an agenda).
–    We should be well organized.
–    Conveying information about the present and the recent past.
–    Bob: schedule just one and if it is real good, then schedule another.
–    Goal is to gather ideas, remain open and transparent, learn how people feel about it.

5.  Begin discussion of specific options and select members responsible for investigation
Bob point out that all the options could be classified as one of these 4 options:
a.  No action –  keep present building and maintain undeveloped area
b.  Naturalization – demolition and planting
c.  Development of property by ESUC in conjunction with some other organization
d.  sell all or part of the property
e. other ideas as may be suggested

Bob assigned homework that we should all familiarize ourselves with the eastside housing org’s (see Dave’s list of hyperlinks).
Vic: we should maintain a historical perspective – documenting the history of the building, property, and neighborhood.

Wrap-up and Action Items:
•    Dave will ask Craig Nelson to do a search on the deed and waivers.
•    We will ask Abbie for ???,
•    To Do – Dave will inquire about the status of the Unitarian Housing Group – a 501c (3) not for profit collaboration between East Shore and University Unitarian,
•    Mary and Jane will schedule one or more Listening Sessions starting Feb 7 – they will provide a suggested agenda on Jan 20.
•    Mary and Jane will tweak the draft charter per the discussion on Dec 17,
•    All – review the websites for which Dave provided hyperlinks for various housing related organizations, and suggested that folks take time to learn more about Imagine Housing, ARCH, EHAC, etc.

We adjourned at 8:45pm. Our next meeting will be Wednesday evening at 7pm on Jan 20. Then, starting in February, we are moving to the 4th Wednesday…

Please consider these minutes as an initial draft. Additions and/or corrections are welcome.
Respectfully submitted,
David Baumgart, Secretary of the ESUC Board

Attachment 1 – Comment from Lee Dorigan, Co-Chair of Holly House Taskforce
Regarding our proposed public sessions
From: Lee Dorigan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2015 7:27 PM
To: Bob Weiss
Cc: Mary ESUC Anderson
Subject: Re: Draft Agenda for Holly House Task Force Meeting Thursday December 17 at 7:00 PM
I have some opinions about public meetings as I worked for over 20 years in a public meeting process on technical issues.  I worked to write and implement the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA or state superfund) regulations.  Also, I wrote, in a public meeting process, the first guidelines for removal of underground storage tanks.  In those processes, I learned a few things about public meetings.  It is my experience that the initial meetings should be information sessions with an open room full of tables with information about each of the options.  This would not be a time for group discussion yet.  After one or two of such meetings, I did a lot of public speaking to any group who asked.  Finally, there was a large public meeting of informed participants.  There were some rules for the meetings but everyone could speak.  When we tried an initial public meeting without any background information, it fell quickly into chaos and no benefits ensued.  Finally, when a decision is reached, there will be some unsatisfied people.  We can offer mediation for them.
Sorry to miss the meeting but not sorry to be in Trinidad.    Lee