Saturday, October 30, 2010

VC: 11/1 Sidewalks, Solar, Widows!, Green Space, Affordable Housing, Water, Ancestors,

{--A local widow who receives John Gaunt's flour and sugar bequest for her Christmas cookies, from an American Profile magazine article last year

Dear People: Ok, this is a pretty big agenda, and the packet is attached to this document.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 1) DAVID SCOTT, new Director of Senior Center,
will introduce himself, offer brief explanation of his vision for the Senior Center's future. He has submitted a proposal for village funding of the Senior Center, but this proposal will not be discussed on Monday.

2 ) FLUORIDE FORUM November 13th, 2-4:30 pm, Bryan Center Gym. Kathleen Theissen (SENES labs, Oak Ridge TN, National Research Council scientist), Kevin Schlueter (YSI Labs, biochemist), Mary White (Director, Division of Medical Humanities). Moderator: Meg Carver (Village Mediation). This is a panel of scientists and a public health professor: these are not activists arguing for a cause, so much as scientists explaining their understanding of the water fluoridation issue. This is a forum for learning; come prepared to ask questions politely and respectfully.

Since I post this email to my blog, I am only here identifying residents who have current or recent positions connected to Village government, and leaving anonymous those who do not. Their names will be mentioned at the meeting and their signed letters are in the attached packet:

Resident: SIDEWALKS against new sidewalk policy;
Steve Conn (former EC): HOUSING use the Sustainable YS report, possibly avoid need for Housing Needs Assessment;
Tom Clevenger (EC): RECYCLING offers a power-point plan for real recycling options (and encouragement thereof) downtown, including clearly marked containers and ideas for placement and other signage
MTFR Annual Report (passed levy, bought a new engine, trained many EMTs/fire fighters, lessons from first life-threatening on-the-job injury).
2 Residents (1 household): AFFORDABLE HOUSING against Cemetary St. development


SIDEWALKS Amending sidewalk policy (2nd reading/public hearing). DIscussed earlier; this ordinance would make the village, rather than individual property owners, responsible for sidewalks.
ORDINANCE: SOLAR Approving the Form, Authorizing Execution of Solar Energy Schedule with AMP (1st Reading). The agreement with AMP last month has been approved; this is just the next step in the process.
RESOLUTION: COMP PLAN This would be the final adoption of the Comp Plan by this Council. Just in time to start revising again...
RESOLUTION: FLOUR/ SUGAR for WIDOWS. Everybody's favorite, annual, heart warming resolution, in honor of the bequest of our revered ancestor, John Gaunt, survivor of slavery, entrepreneur, public benefactor.
RESOLUTION: SIDEWALK REPAIR RFP This is a request for proposals from contractors who would repair village sidewalks next year.

Community Resources Presentation:
Lisa Abel, president of CR, will present the report CR gave some months ago to the community at large on their current activities and plans.
Water Testing Report: Resident Ellis Jacobs and Water Treatment Plant Manager Joe Bates will discuss the testing of YS water for commonly used herbicides, etc., conducted earlier this year. This test is not required by the EPA or other federal agencies, but probably should be (see this New York Times series on water quality in the US). (Agricultural chemical tends to be more of problem on water from surface sources rather than groundwater, as YS water is.) Our water passed with flying colors.

Housing Needs Assessment Discussion:
I believe we will here discuss what next steps we ought to take with regards to the Housing Needs Assessment, including the suggestion made by Steve Conn, above.
Affordable Housing Initiative: This is the plan that Judith and I are introducing to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Home, Inc., to develop a plan for a few permanently affordable houses on Cemetary Street.
Green Space Funding: We will be discussing a possible resolution to place $50,000 into the Green Space fund each year from the Estate Taxes (when such funds are available), to a cap of $250,000.
2011 Council Goals: We will discuss all 6 principals and the goals related to all six.

The next agenda will be very full, as we are starting to discuss the budget, levy renewal, public safety, etc.

Personnel--Clerk position and progress

POEM FOR THE ANCESTORS: I love singing this hard song, with its crazy key changes, and I love the words of this, the "Negro National Anthem," particularly the second verse.

Lift Every Voice and Sing

by James Weldon Johnson

Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,

Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,

May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Lori Askeland (lori.askeland@gmail....)
Yellow Springs Village Council
1640 Spillan Road // Yellow Springs OH 45387 (updated regularly with council news)

* TO UNSUBSCRIBE: If you wish to cease receiving regular Council updates from me, just send me a quick email; I won't be offended! *

"You may be certain that the world is heading for destruction, but it's a good thing, a moral thing, to behave as though there's still hope. Hope is as contagious as despair: your hope, or show of hope, is a gift you can give to your neighbour, and may even help to prevent or delay the destruction of his world,"- Primo Levi, 1985

Saturday, October 2, 2010

VOTE! VC Mon: Sidewalks, Affordable Housing, 2011 Goals, Comprehensive Plan

Dear People: I am so happy for the cool weather and the rain. I actually love a cold rainy fall day--although I'm kicking myself a little for not being more productive today; I was supposed to grade all day. Didn't. Ah well, I guess that's what Sundays are for.

But I did look through the Council packet (which I've attached the electronic version of) as I was downtown this afternoon, sans computer. Here's the agenda:

1. ANNOUNCEMENTS Greene County Combined Health District will make an announcement urging us to support the upcoming Levy, Issue 5.

Speaking of which: I want to urge you all to vote. You can still register as of this Monday (10/4), and you can start voting absentee as of last week, so get out and vote. I'll send you my choices, but basically I have to tell you I'm feeling more yellow-dog Democrat than ever this fall, perhaps grimly so--the behavior of the Republican party is simply not responsible government by any stretch of the imagination at this moment: it's demagoguery and we cannot afford it: they want to give still more useless tax breaks to the wealthiest of US citizens, who are richer than ever before, and they want to pay for it by cutting education. You may not be feeling "thrilled" or "enthusiastic" but you need to exercise this right.

I am enthusiastic, by the way, about Maryellen O'Shaunessy who is running for Secretary of State.
I have two words for you: Ken Blackwell. Remember him and the fouled up election of 2004? The Republicans are running a young man who is a perpetual candidate with no experience; Maryellen O'Shaunessy has long experience in municipal government and small business doing work that has well prepared her for this job. I heard her speak, and I was impressed. Support Maryellen!


ORDINANCE 2nd Reading and Public Hearing:
Amending, very slightly, the economic sustainability committee ordinance.


Mark has prepared a really good report about sidewalk repair, especially focused on how much it would likely cost if we were to decide to simply take on the costs of repair and replacement of sidewalks as a community, rather than having property owners in charge of this process--which does, actually, itself cost the village some considerable staff time and energy to try to enforce, and is, at this point, haphazard at best.

Over the course of wrestling with this for the past three years, I actually have come to believe that it's time for the Village, which aspires to being a walkable and bikeable town, that welcomes people of differing abilities, to take on this cost and treat it much as we do our streets, alleys, and the bike trail, which we pay to maintain. We are at a place in our street-repair plans that we are no longer needing to spend as much money doing complete street replacements, so I plan to support a plan to budget $50,000/year, which is a fraction of what we've annually spent on streets in the past several years, to begin repairing and replacing the sidewalks in town. (I would support reimbursement to property owners who have, at village behest, replaced faulty sidewalks in the past year, upon their provision of reasonable receipts for their costs.)

I understand the arguments on the other side of this issue, and I believe I have carefully considered them. I am open, of course, to hearing arguments on the other side of the issue.


Affordable Housing Initiative:
Our visioning process revealed that affordable housing was the top concern of those who participated. Judith and I propose to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Home, Inc., to develop approximately one acre of land on Cemetary Street for affordable housing units.

2011 Council Goals: 1, 2, 3: We're going to look at our old goals and plans from 2010, as well as the Visioning Results, and try to determine what we hope to accomplish for next year. Overarching goals 1, 2, 3 were:
  • Deepen decision-making processes with active citizen participation and effective representative governance
  • Be an excellent employer and provider of services within a responsible fiscal framework
  • Be a welcoming community of opportunity for people of diverse races, ages, sexual orientations, cultures, and incomes.
Comprehensive Plan: At long last, the revisions and edits we made to the Comprehensive Plan last year, before the loss of our Council Clerk Deborah Benning's untimely death, have been completed. Before she died, Deborah had begun work on the final edits, which have now been completed by Village Manager Mark Cundiff and our new Clerk, Judy Kintner. Thanks go to both of them for their efforts.

5. Manager's Report: Mark will be reporting on the completion of the Bryan Center's roof repairs, the most recent works on the design of the CBE (the center for business and educaiton, where Antioch University Midwest is located), work to improve the drainage on the Ellis Park parking lot, and some water and sewer planning studies to help us think about how to best move forward to keep up our aging systems.


A Sunset of the City

by Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

Kathleen Eileen

Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite
And night is night.

It is a real chill out,
The genuine thing.
I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer
Because sun stays and birds continue to sing.

It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone.
The sweet flowers indrying and dying down,
The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown.

It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes.
I am aware there is winter to heed.
There is no warm house
That is fitted with my need.
I am cold in this cold house this house
Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls.
I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs.
I am a woman who hurries through her prayers.

Tin intimations of a quiet core to be my
Desert and my dear relief
Come: there shall be such islanding from grief,
And small communion with the master shore.
Twang they. And I incline this ear to tin,
Consult a dual dilemma. Whether to dry
In humming pallor or to leap and die.

Somebody muffed it? Somebody wanted to joke.

Lori Askeland (lori.askeland AT gmail....)
Yellow Springs Village Council
1640 Spillan Road // Yellow Springs OH 45387 (updated regularly with council news)

* TO UNSUBSCRIBE: If you wish to cease receiving regular Council updates from me, just send me a quick email; I won't be offended! *

"You may be certain that the world is heading for destruction, but it's a good thing, a moral thing, to behave as though there's still hope. Hope is as contagious as despair: your hope, or show of hope, is a gift you can give to your neighbour, and may even help to prevent or delay the destruction of his world,"- Primo Levi, 1985