Scanned and reposted by San Lorenzo Express



December 8, 1998

Meeting Called to Order: 7:05 p.m. By Nancy Van Huffel

Present: Nancy Van Huffel, Jim Spears, Mary Ann McMillan, Jim Sherman, John and Dorothy Partridge, Barry Weiss, Millie Arieta, Bill and Anne Smith, Frank Peixoto, Lisa Gudjohnson, Mel Brookman, Carol Davis, Harry Gin, Howard Beckman, Travis Thoms, Mary Reynolds and Kathleen Harrigan

Nancy Van Huffel announced that the Association mailed out a survey this week with the assessment bills which addressed two key issues the business committee had been discussing. The first survey asked residents whether they would shop at a Gottschalks Department store if it moved into the Mervyns' square and the second survey asked whether homeowners supported Rite Aid coming into San Lorenzo. Ms. Van Huffel stated that there was information about both of these items enclosed with the survey.

1. Purpose and Direction of Committee - Howard Beckman

Mr. Beckman handed out a memo which outlined the future work and structure of the business committee including: how the committee meetings should be run; the function and focus of the committee and its membership. Mr. Beckman stated that the reason he put this proposal together was because the committee had never had a written mandate. Mr. Beckman pointed out that the two main issues are (1) The process of the committee and its constitution and (2) the committee's impact on a general plan for the area. Nancy Van Huffel stated that when the committee initially met in July it was suggested by the Board of Directors of the Association that the committee (1) Review the economic health of the San Lorenzo Village; (2) Form an economic strategic plan, and (3) Develop long and short term goals/a time line for the committee. Ms. Van Huffel suggested that the immediate goal of the committee might be to take a look at the development of the old Mervyns' square. Ms. Van Huffel further stated that Mr. Beckman's plan is more detailed and it is important for the committee as well as the Board of Directors of the Association to determine what the coi-nmittee should do. The Board needs to state what it wants and doesn't want from the committee since it is an advisory body to the Board. Dorothy Partridge stated that the five members of the Board have not decided what specific goals/charges the committee should have, and that without these the committee has no focus. Nancy Van Fluffel pointed out that the committee has done some important things in the past six months, including: the total home owner survey; the business inventory; as well as meeting and talking with people from the Alameda County Planning Department regarding redevelopment. Harry Gin stated that certain things need to be established for this business committee including who the leader/chair of this committee would be and what/who would constitutes its membership. Howard Beckman stated that the Board needs to clarify what it wants of the committee. His vision was that this committee establish its credibility by being a forum for residents to come and look at different business proposals for the community and provide research and data to bring back to the Board.

Carol Davis stated that the Board needs to develop a purpose for the committee and asked the Board i-nembers present to let the committee know what they feel the purpose should be. Jim Sherman stated that he felt that the committee should focus on the Mervyn's square initially, but not eliminate involvement in outlying areas. He felt that the membership should be left open. Jim Spears agreed with Jim Sherman about the committee's focus. Dorothy Partridge agreed that the committee should focus on the Mervyns' square and try to get development into the area so that San Lorenzo can have a central business area again. She further stated that the committee should be pro-active, taking action as an advisory group to the Board by actively seeking out businesses who want to locate in San Lorenzo.

Director Millie Arieta stated that the committee should be pro-active and concentrate on the Mervyns' square initially, then move out to other areas effecting San Lorenzo. She further stated that the Bohannon Organization is the owner of the property and as such needs to be taken into account when developing a plan or focus for the committee.

Lisa Gudjohnson said the group should first decide on membership and then set its goals. Nancy Van Huffel added that business owners as well as tenants should be included with the current membership. Ms. Gudjohnson suggested that the next Association newsletter include a notice that the Business Development Committee had been established and if residents or business owners are still interested in becoming a member to contact the Association office. It was questioned as to how many members are currently on the mailing list. Nancy Van Huffel stated that she thought that there were approximately 25 people. Carol Davis suggested that committee may want to set a permanent number of members with some alternate seats. The alternates would only have decision making powers should a permanent member not be present. Howard Beckman stated that the committee shouldn't determine who gets votes and who doesn't -- he felt that the whole idea was to get the support and input from the people in the community. He further stated that if only a few people vote, issues can become polarized between the voting members and the community. Jim Sherman suggested that the committee weed out people through attrition, and that as members miss a set number of meetings, they would no longer be part of the committee. Harry Gin suggested that the group require two Board members to be permanent members to the committee and to submit this request to the Board, prior to its next meeting.

Howard Beckman noted that the committee seems to be in agreement that the focus for the group should be the Mervyns' square area. He stressed the importance of developing some general idea/plan with details for this area and that in order for the group to be pro-active it must do some research prior to developing this plan. Harry Gin stated that the committee may need a neutral party to help develop consensus and a vision. The group needs to determine how its meetings are to be held/run. It was suggested that the group elect a chair and then come up with a consensus on how to run its meetings.

Jim Sherman suggested Harry Gin be nominated as chair; he declined. Carol Davis recommend Frank Peixoto; he declined. Frank Peixoto recommended Barry Weiss; he declined. Finally, Travis Thoms volunteered to serve as chair. Travis Thoms was nominated as chair to the committee with the condition that if he is elected as a Director of the Board he would step down. There was consensus to approve Mr. Thoms as the chair.

Chairperson Thoms suggested the group meet bimonthly for awhile until it can iron out some of the details related to the make up of the committee and its function. Howard Beckman stated that the committee should request a formal statement from the Board related to its make up and focus. Frank Peixoto said that the committee must have a direction from the Board wherein the committee's parameters are clearly outlined for all its members. Dorothy Partridge stated that the committee meet prior to the next Board meeting and draft a proposal or vision for the group and submit it to the Board members so they can discuss and vote on it at the January 1999 Board meeting. It was decided that the committee would meet the first Thursday in January to draft this document for submission to the Board of Directors of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association.

2. Next meeting: There will be 2 (two) meetings in January 1999. 1/7/99 and 1/26/99.

3. Meeting Adjourned at 8.56 pm.