New year, new start for Admiral Neighborhood Association

Long, info-packed meeting for the Admiral Neighborhood Association Tuesday night, first one under the new slate of officers elected last fall – president Katy Walum and vice president Jim Cavin (both in the photo above), secretary Catherine Barker, treasurer Ann Limbaugh. (Their predecessors were among the 15+ people on hand.) Some new procedures, some old, and lots of looking ahead as well as looking forward – read on for the toplines:

Something new – name tags for everyone, including permanent ones for regulars (even for us as, usually, the lone journalist on hand). Something old – Walum carried on former president Mark Wainwright‘s tradition of starting the meeting with introductions of everyone in the room and an icebreaker question (this time, “What do you love about Admiral?”).

The new officers outlined their accountabilities; secretary Barker promised to post minutes promptly; Limbaugh noted that managing the group’s finances is more complex than before, since the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series brought in sponsorship revenue. (The group is not a 501(c)(3), so it needs a “fiscal sponsor,” which is Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association.)

Much of the meeting constituted almost a reintroduction – of the ANA itself, and of other groups with which its members are involved, like the Southwest District Council, explained by former vice president Jim Del Ciello (photo above, with Barker), who represents Admiral at SWDC. “It’s not a mystery – it’s open to the public.” He also mentioned that he and SWDC chair Chas Redmond now lead the City Neighborhood Council too; its Citizens Budget Conference is coming up January 31st (as noted here), and he recapped other SWDC discussions from last week’s meeting (which we covered here), plus its focus on neighborhood planning.

That was a segue to past president Wainwright, who shared the observation that West Seattle could wind up having a neighborhood chosen for a plan update this year, because of the RapidRide bus service scheduled to launch next year. He also discussed the Admiral Safeway’s ongoing progression through the Design Review process, and the fact that its next – and possibly final – review will focus on the face it presents to California SW. (As noted here, that meeting is now tentatively set for February 11th.) Spirited discussion ensued; at one point, meeting attendee David Whiting observed that he’d heard more pointed comments and questions there than at the previous Southwest Design Review Board meeting, but “if you want to be heard … you can be heard much more as a neighborhood association.”

Even more than the Design Review process, Wainwright suggested, the “most important” venue in which the project will be considered is the City Council, when its rezoning request comes up for approval later this year.

Discussion moved on to recap the ANA’s history. According to a document shared at the meeting, it was a spinoff of the Admiral Planning Coalition, which had a previous role as “stewards of the Admiral Neighborhood Plan,” which was adopted in 1999. It was officially created in October 2005; the document also listed area highlights from the ensuing years, including a Clean and Green cleanup of the Admiral Streetscape that drew more than 60 volunteers in April 2007, the Admiral/California repaving in summer 2007 (which had been suggested in the Admiral Neighborhood Plan); and the public open-space dedication on a redeveloped City Light substation site last June.

The history document, by the way, was assembled by Southwest District Coordinator Stan Lock, who attended the meeting after first sitting in on part of the Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting, and explained his role in conveying information to the community and sharing concerns/issues with the city (his position is part of the Department of Neighborhoods – which has a workshop coming up January 21st at Youngstown Arts Center, 6 pm, to talk about Neighborhood Matching Fund grants).

Now – what’s ahead for the year. Walum hopes to reach out to Admiral businesses, for starters, in the spirit of encouraging the district’s economic growth – ANA member Diane Vincent observed that many new businesses have moved into the area, like The Swinery, Prost, and The Bohemian. (“Samples!” somebody joked.)

Walum asked for ideas on who to feature as guest speakers at upcoming meetings; one set of ideas came from member Karl de Jong, who suggested city councilmembers as well as Port of Seattle reps to discuss railroad noise.

The second annual Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series is a sure bet, with six Thursday night outdoor performances planned again, starting July 29. They’re looking for suggestions for musical acts – “Bluegrass? Rhythm and blues? Motown?” Walum wondered aloud. (They’ll also be seeking sponsors again this year.)

Should the ANA help with more neighborhood activities? That came up too, with talk turning to the 4th of July Parade that neighbors have organized for years, and the business-district trick-or-treat event at Halloween.

New events might be on the docket, too – Walum says they’ve been approached by Honk Fest West about possibly bringing its noisy good times to Admiral on April 10th.

And in the online world – ANA is hoping to streamline its web presence, which currently consists of the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha website, a partly complete all-things-ANA website, and the Yahoo! mail group that has been used for years as the primary means of communication.

One more new endeavor – de Jong made a motion, in the new-business section, to have the ANA create an endorsement committee, to consider hosting candidates and endorsing them, during political seasons. He also reminded everyone of the February 9th special election, which will include Seattle Public Schools ballot measures.

Next ANA meeting: 7 pm February 9th, in the Admiral Church basement meeting room as usual, with the agenda scheduled to include an SDOT rep talking about the electric-vs.-diesel-buses issue discussed at the Southwest District Council meeting earlier this month, and Benjamin Kinlow, Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator.

2 Replies to "New year, new start for Admiral Neighborhood Association"

  • Admiral Neighbor January 14, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Thanks for all of your work on behalf of our neighborhood! You should know that neighbors like me appreciate you and your time. West Seattle is definitely made better by organizations such as this and your commitment to volunteering! Can’t wait for the concerts this summer, I’ll put in my vote for some bluegrass.

  • Manuela Slye January 14, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    Missed the meeting! Thanks to WSB for the recap!

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