March 11, 2006 Meeting


The meeting, including election for officers, was announced in a newsletter distributed between February 11 and about March 3.
An e-mail was sent to each member who has provided a contact e-mail address.
Susan Chu and Laura Ellersieck phoned other members who have provided a contact phone number.


Susan Chu brought cookies and 7-up.


16 residents voted and attended at least a portion of the meeting.


Agenda Items:

  • Annual officer election
  • Draft by-laws discussion
  • Information Updates
    • Adding street lights to existing poles
    • Digital electric meter information
  • Upcoming Area Events
    • Council District 4 Community Meeting, March 30, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Victory Park
    • Viña Vieja Park Grand Opening Celebration, April 29, 10 am.
    • Tour de Fourth walk/bike event, May 13, 9 to 11 am.  Right before our meeting.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

The meeting began about 11:15 am in Hastings Branch Library’s meeting room.


The ballot box was set up at one side of the room along with a sign in sheet and blank ballots so voting could take place during the meeting.

On the ballot were each of the current officers running for re-election plus Scott Dayman running for the Secretary position.   There was also a space for writing in a choice for each office.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the votes were counted by Mike M. and Jennie F.  The results were:
President:  Laura Ellersieck – 16 votes
Vice-President:  Susan Chu – 15 votes,  Scott Dayman – 1 vote
Secretary:   Scott Dayman – 14 votes,  Susan Chu – 1 vote, 1 abstention
Treasurer:  Kathy Vacio – 15 votes, 1 abstention

Agenda items were taken out of order because of an expectation that by-laws discussion would take the longest.

  • Information Updates
    • Adding street lights to existing poles
  • The city was contacted about the three locations where residents had indicated a desire to add a light.   At 494/500 Avocado, 3217 Del Vina, and 463/469 Vineyard.
  • The city contact is Bob Sulistio, Assistant Engineer, Traffic Design Section.  He sent someone out to survey what the existing facilities are.  He then prepared for each street segment a letter proposing to add lights, a diagram showing where the existing lights are and proposed new lights would be, and a petition form to be signed by affected residents.
  • The Avocado papers were delivered a couple days before the meeting to Albert B. for his and his neighbor’s signatures.   He brought it including signatures to the meeting with him.  It will be sent in.
  • Although the request was only for a light for the pole at 3217 Del Vina, Mr Sulistio included a light for the pole at 3193.  Laura E. will check with the neighbors on whether they want it.
  • Similarly on Vineyard, he included three rather than just the one new light location.  One at the 425/433 property line, and one at the 493/499 property line.  We are sure that at least some of these neighbors would also welcome more light.  Kathy V. took the paperwork to circulate on Vineyard.
    • Digital electric meter information
      • There is supposedly a green arrow at the bottom of the display on the new meters which is supposed to flash each time the wheel would have rotated once.   The number display is showing kilowatt hours.   There is a transmitter in the box so that they should be able to read the meter from the street or at least without entering back/side yards.   They plan to replace all the water meters with digital displays and transmitters too.  They are replacing them faster then they normally would because they expect to save money on the meter reading and maintenance.  They expect to have all the meters in the city replaced in about 5 years.Visit for saving and emergency preparedness tips.

        They would be happy to send someone to talk at a neighborhood meeting if we’d like.

  • Upcoming Area Events
    • Council District 4 Community Meeting, March 30, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Victory Park
    • Viña Vieja Park Grand Opening Celebration, April 29, 10 am.
      • Question was raised if anyone has non-dog event ideas for the celebration.  One activity that is under consideration is planting of a grapevine along the fence by neighborhood children.
      • A suggestion was made that the city consider doing a brick walk, plaza, wall, or other construction where people could purchase a brick and have it inscribed to memorialize their family’s presence in the area.
  • Draft by-laws discussion
    • Since the last meeting Scott Dayman had asked about the association By-Laws, the creation of which had not happened since last year.  After being requested to volunteer, he prepared some draft by-laws with some back and forth from Laura Ellersieck.
    • There may be questions about meaning or purpose of some of the provisions or differences of opinion about them.  Or thoughts that other provisions are needed.  This can take some time, and it can be frustrating, but in the longer term it will be good for the association to have some written rules that we operate under rather than just understandings among those that have been involved.
    • Many items were discussed.  The only revision agreed upon was to change the definition of the Secretary’s job duties to maintaining the “contact” list rather then the “membership” list because there is no way we will ever have a list of all members.
    • Other items discussed but not changed in the draft by-laws included:
      • Should there be term limits and if so, is two years too little?
        • Reasoning against term limits is to keep in office people who are experienced and known both within the association and outside of it.  And what if no one else wants the job?
        • Reasons for term limits are to force the spreading of knowledge and experience among more members of the association and avoid having it fall apart just because someone entrenched can no longer serve for some reason.  Termed out officers are still always welcome to actively participate, take on new roles, help as requested, and perhaps run for the office again at a later time.
      • What’s the purpose of the Steering Committee and do we need it?
        • The purpose of the Steering Committee is to have a small core group of people who are ready and able to take part in discussing and deciding issues on short notice and for helping to set the direction of the association.  For example, whether something that comes up between meetings is important enough to notify the entire membership (distribute flyers to all residences).  Or, getting approval for a small expenditure of funds by the association in a timely manner.
        • Because there are monthly membership meetings for discussions, we can expect that the Steering Committee would be less important then in organizations with only a yearly membership meeting.  However, because any decision requiring a full membership vote requires notice to the whole neighborhood a reasonable time in advance (7 days is proposed), it isn’t feasible for every small decision to be made by a full membership vote.
      • Aside from the Association Officers, the Steering Committee may have “Directors” to broaden the representation.  How does a “Director” come into existence?
        • As currently proposed, a “Director” is elected by the members of an “Other Committee” to lead the committee and serve on the Steering Committee.  An “Other Committee” is created by the Steering Committee to deal with some specific issue and may exist for any length of time, depending on need.   The members of the “Other Committee” are association members who volunteer to serve on the committee after its been created.  They then elect a Director (aka. chairperson) to lead them, and that person is thus a Director on the Steering Committee.
        • A reason for doing it this way is to insure an Other Committee is independent of influence by the other members of the Steering Committee (although, the draft does not ban Officers from serving on Other Committees or persons from serving on multiple Other Committees).
        • A reason for doing it this way is to have representation of the Other Committee on the Steering Committee.
        • A question was raised about what happens if there came to be more then three Other Committies, then which ones would serve on the Steering Committee?
        • A question was raised as to whether it is good to assume that someone leading a focused committee will necessarily be interested in fully participating in the broader agenda of the Steering Committee.
        • Another suggested way for determining Directors was to just have Director positions voted on by full membership vote, just as Officers are.  “Other Committees” would still report via their chairperson to the Steering Committee and full membership.
        • It was suggested that it is most frequently the case that members for a committee need to be recruited to volunteer and in many organizations that is done by someone appointed as a leader of the committee because of their already high level of involvement and interest in the issue of the committee.
    • There was discussion that undoubtedly we will need to revise the by-laws as we go along and maybe we should just go with what we have and see how it works.
    • Decision was reached to allow time for people to read and think and discuss the draft.   Also to post the draft By-Laws on the web-site.   It’ll be included on the agenda for discussion at the next two meetings (April and May) and revisions may be agreed upon at those meetings.  The result will then be put to a vote at the June meeting.
  • Other items raised for discussion at various points
    • Contact info for Edison provided so residents can complain about the weedy mess on the Edison property.
    • City’s offer to hold PERT classes (Pasadena Emergency Response Team) locally if there are at least 12 people from the neighborhood who will attend.  Who is interested?
    • There has been an increase in graffiti in the neighborhood recently.  On signs and on bridge railings over the wash and elsewhere.  It is being cleaned up within a few days, but is put right back again.  Does anyone know why now, and is anyone (such as police) looking into who is doing it?
    • What’s with the pre-fabricated house just rolled onto a lot on Estado last week?   How can the city allow that?  A concerned citizen called the city and they said permits had been pulled for it but weren’t able to discuss any details.  Will it be safe in an earthquake? There doesn’t appear to be any foundation.  Why does the front door face the side of the property?  Is this thing going to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood?    A nicely done but oversized house just built on other side of street was also mentioned.  Questions as to why the city’s rules allow such huge houses on little lots in a neighborhood of smaller houses?
    • Success of the park tile workshops.  A third workshop was added and all three were overfull.  Expectation that excess tiles will be returned to their creators primarily via a table at the park opening.

Next meeting is April 8, same time, same place.

Adjourned about 1:10 pm.