June 2011 meeting notes: Board election results, SAN lot, and SERT training at Helensview

At the June 21 Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) meeting, we seated six new board members, learned about the SAN lot, and got a full briefing in advance about the planned police training at Helensview High School on June 23.

Thanks to everybody who attended the meeting, including Doug Holley from ODOT, Kris Persson from Helensview High School, and Sgt Tom Hunt and Officer Mike Stradley from the Portland Police Bureau.

New board members

Elections were held by a show of hands for the secretary and two at-large positions. All candidates were contacted with the results. Each runner-up has agreed to serve in an ‘alternate’ role. That means they will join the board, participate in discussions, but only vote if the primary board members are not present.

Please welcome your new board members:

  • Secretary – Erica Martin
  • At large – Joan Gray
  • At large – Janet Shannon
  • Secretary (alternate) – Karrie Allen
  • At large (alternate) – John Bartlett
  • At large (alternate) – Karen Butterworth

ODOT and the SAN lot

Doug Holley joined us from ODOT. He is the maintenance manager for Region 1, District 2B. The ODOT website describes the scope of the work and the size of the district, which covers much of east Multnomah County.

SAN lot with Rocky Butte in the background
Caption: SAN lot with Rocky Butte in the background

Doug and his crew of 12 are charged with maintaining the safety and cleanliness of the 460 acres of ODOT property within their district, including parts of I-205 and I-84. Unfortunately, it can be a dangerous job: His crew members have been hit by vehicles three times in the last two months.

We’ll put details in a separate item, but here are the primary points based on a list of questions SAN sent beforehand:

  • The property is designated as an “operating right-of-way,” and it is included somewhere in ODOT “20/40” plans — looking out 20 and 40 years, respectively — as an I-205/Sandy Blvd interchange.
  • Any interchange construction is at least 15 years out. Indeed, no Sandy Blvd interchange is included in Metro’s 2035 transportation project list. Any project would involve extensive public outreach beforehand. There are no specific design plans on file at ODOT for the interchange.
  • In the meantime, SAN and other neighbors are encouraged to apply for usage permits for a variety of uses, including picnics, gardens, events, etc. The permits are free of charge, but it’s important to apply well in advance of any event, in case terms need to be negotiated.
  • Likewise, SAN and other neighbors are encouraged to file for usage permits to plant flowers, for example, on other ODOT properties, such as along NE 82nd near Killingsworth. Doug also invited us to file under the Adopt-a-Highway program to partner with ODOT on either NE 82nd, the SAN lot or other nearby ODOT properties. ODOT would furnish vests, bags and picker tools. We’d be required to pick up twice a year on any property we adopt.

SERT training at Helensview on Thursday, June 23

Helensview principal Kris Persson, Sgt Tom Hunt, and Officer Mike Stradley joined the SAN meeting to discuss the training set for Thursday at Helensview.

Kris noted that Helensview has enjoyed a close relationship with Portland Police and that the training was scheduled because two officers teach at the school and put her in contact with Sgt Hunt. She said school officials viewed it as an excellent opportunity to gain new skills and provide better safety for themselves, their students and the neighborhood. She noted that the training would take place while school was on a two-week hiatus, although two student would be taking part.

Sgt Hunt of the Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) emphasized the value of the training to teams, and that the setting at the high school afforded them a real environment. He noted that such trainings have been held at a variety of sites around Portland, including on the Willamette River and at Grant High School.

Officer Mike Stradley of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) also visited the meeting and emphasized that safety is their number one concern, and shared specific procedural and technical details to illustrate that point.

Complaint about WTS at NE 89th and Killingsworth

Two neighbors raised a new issue: The odor and noise coming from WTS at the southwest corner of NE Killingsworth and NE 89th. WTS is a septic pumper licensed by the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and they have a fleet of pumper trucks that come and go. Some other attendees agreed to help do some homework to see what can be done about reducing the noise, smell and other impacts.

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