Samish Neighborhood Association

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SNA minutes 2017-04

SNA BOD Meeting April 13, 2017

Call to order, BOD members present: Steve Abell, Tom Read, Nikki Long, Joe Carpenter, Dick Conoboy, Tom Dohman, Don Hale, Joy Hale, and Kevin Probasco.

Public Comment Period: Mary Boynton, WWU Journalism student, attended the meeting and will be writing about our neighborhood for her Journalism class this quarter.

BPD Police Report: NPO Eric Osterkamp gave the board a presentation on the history and use of COB Police Department ‘Bearcat’ vehicle.

MNAC Report: Most recent MNAC meeting was cancelled. Connecting Communities Day of Service connects volunteers from WWU via a neighborhood grant program.

Old Business

BOD talked about annual meeting, what went well, what we could do better. Discussed Janicki logging on Samish and traffic concerns on the corner of 40th and Elwood Ave.

Treasurers Report: $2,345.86 is current balance, $824 dues collected so far in 2017. Last newsletter cost $661.00

SNA BOD Officers re-elected unanimously for 1-year terms: Steve Abell President, Dick Conoboy Vice President, Tom Reed Treasurer, and Joe Carpenter Secretary.

New Business

Annual September Picnic at Lake Padden Park will be either on September 10th or September 17th.

Ridgemont Annual Garage Sale is September 9th.

Discussed Newsletter and mailing cost. Multiple BOD noted they would not be on the board now if not for a printed and mailed newsletter.

May BOD Meeting Cancelled due to multiple BOD being out of town.

Meeting adjourned.





Posted 1 year, 7 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-03 Annual meeting

SNA Annual Meeting
Elk’s Lodge, March 16, 2017

Cheesecake with several topping choices was available as  refreshments for the meeting. Thanks to Judy Brightman for organizing and presenting this treat.

Steve Abell started the meeting by thanking Greg McCracken for his continuing service as our newsletter editor, the Elk’s Lodge for hosting our meetings for free, and Janicki Logging for having an information table on their summer project in Samish.

Tom Reed gave a Treasurers report of our balance of $1,700.

SNA BOD Election:

Steve noted we elect board members at the Spring general meeting and officers at the April board meeting.

There were no nominations from the floor. Kevin Probasco, Tom Reed, Joe Carpenter, Nicki Long, and Tom Dohman, who were nominated previously at the February meeting, were elected unanimously. We now have nine board members.

Officer Eric Osterkamp of BPD, our Neighborhood Police Officer, gave a presentation. He talked about crime statistics in our neighborhood and the city as a whole. Questions were asked of him regarding officer involved shootings, body cameras, and department hiring and training of police officers.

Scott Hendrickson, Volunteer coordinator of “Bellingham Neighbors Together” (BNT) discussed the program, its training and goals within the city.

Chalice Johnston from Whatcom County Sheriffs Emergency Management Department gave a presentation. She discussed ‘map you neighborhood’ and the steps after a disaster.

Greg Hope gave a presentation on Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Gayle Shipley, volunteer at the Mobilization Center, discussed the group and its volunteers and training.

Meeting adjourned


Posted 1 year, 7 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-02

SNA Meeting February 16, 2017

SNA Meeting called to order. BOD present were Steve Abell, Nikki Long, Judy Brightman, Dick Conoboy, Tom Read, Kevin Probasco, and Joe Carpenter. Other attendees were Tom Dohman (resident) and Questen Inghram (WWU student).

Officer Osterkamp is at the Sudden Valley Neighborhood Association meeting tonight.

January 2017 SNA Meeting Minutes approved unanimously.

Treasurers Report: Tom reported that we did not have any deposits or withdraws, thus our balance from January was unchanged at $2,425.39.

Planning Commission Board change will go in to effect April 1, 2017. New requirement will allow no more than (3) representatives from the Real Estate and Development Industry. There are currently (2) openings and the mayor’s office has received 12 applications. 8 interviews have already started.

MNAC Update: MNAC meeting talked about the purpose of MNAC. There was also discussion about “Nextdoor” website. This information was provided by “Neighborhood Leads” that control the website in their respective areas. SNA BOD discussed our interest in having a SNA “Neighborhood Lead”. The last topic discussed at MNAC was school district changes happening in the northern part of the city.

March 16, 2017 General Meeting at the Elks Club was discussed. Joe made a motion to, “Recommend having the City of Bellingham Police Departments ‘Bearcat’ vehicle attend our meeting”. Motion was seconded, and voted on. Motion failed 4-3.

Steve asked for input from the board on the order of the agenda for our meeting. We decided to take care of SNA business before speaker presentations begin.

Dick met with Planning Director Rick Sepler and asked him if the city had any plans to sell COB owned property currently designated as ‘open space’. Rick said the city does not have any plans at this time.

University Ridge Development update: No update to provide at this time.

Dick noted that the city is drafting a vacation rental property ordinance and it will be implemented later this year. This includes properties offered by AirBnB, VRBO (vacation rentals by owner), and Craigslist.

ADU issues is still being discussed within the COB.

The COB has a group of WASU students reviewing the zoning in COB looking for overlap and ways to both simplify the zoning and set design standards that are more uniform.

Tom Dohman was nominated to serve on the SNA Board of Directors. We’ll vote for him at the annual meeting.

Judy informed the BOD that she will not seek reelection to the BOD. Kevin and Joe will seek another term on the BOD.

Meeting adjourned.




Posted 1 year, 8 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-01

SNA BOD January 12, 2017

BOD called to order. Members present were Tom Read, Steve Abell, Judy Brightman, Kevin Probasco, Joy Hale, Don Hale, and Joe Carpenter. Other present were BPD Officer Eric Osterkamp and residents Questen Inghram, Atalie Chan, and Nathan Matsushima.

Public Comments: Officer Osterkamp asked for board feedback on what types of issues we would like more information on from him.

Old Business: Treasurer’s report noted a balance of $2425.39. $42 in dues were deposited since our last meeting. Refund of $43 for ½ of Yorky’s PO Box. New PO Box fees of $86 and Non-Profit Filing Fee of $10.

November SNA meeting minutes approved.

Samish Logging Update: Steve, Tom, Nikki, and Dick met with Mr. Janicki of Janicki Logging. He seemed to understand our concerns about safety. He expects logging to start in July 2017. He expects 5-6 Trucks per day 5 Days a week for approximately 6 weeks. Not to exceed 250 trips total.

Planning Commission Members Update: A new change for the (7) member commission will prevent (3) or more members being from the same industry.

ADU changes were made in the Comprehensive Plan but do not as of yet have the force of law due to them not being in COB ordinance yet.

New Business:

March Annual Meeting is March 16 from 7-9PM. Judy has been discussing a possible presentation by some local disaster preparedness experts. She will reach back out to them and set it up for the meeting.

Possible table presentations in the lobby of the Elks Lodge would be Jannicki Logging and Bellingham Police.

A motion was made and approved for a ‘Cheesecake Bar’ at our meeting. A budget of approximately $200 was approved. Judy will organize it.

Spring Newsletter deadline to get info to Greg McCracken is February 22.

Topics include, Disaster Preparedness Presentation Notification (Judy), Cheesecake Bar (Judy), Samish Hill Logging (Tom), Samish Crime Stats (Officer Osterkamp), Treasurers Report (Tom), and Presidents Letter (Steve).

Meeting Adjourned


Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-11

SNA BOD November 10, 2016


BOD called to order. Members present were Gary Vodopich, Tom Read, Steve Abell, Judy Brightman, Nikki Long, Dick Conoboy, and Joe Carpenter. Other present were BPD Officer Eric Osterkamp and residents Steve and Rita Spitzer.

Public Comments: Officer Osterkamp gave the board a report about issues in neighborhood. One topic was Homeless Camps, specifically the camp visited by Steve Abell off Bill McDonald PKWY.

Presentation: Lexi Brewer of Futurewise gave a presentation to the board on “Greenlink”. A NOAA project on environmental issues in Whatcom County.

Old Business: Treasure’s report noted a balance of $2,436.39. $115 in dues were deposited since our last meeting. October SNA meeting minutes approved.

New Business:

MNAC report by Dick noted potential changes to the Planning Commission Members. A draft ordinance was submitted by Councilman Terry Borneman bases on an ordinance out of the state of Oregon. Next meeting for MNAC is next Wednesday in the basement of the Public Library. The meeting will focus on “Smart Growth”. A ‘Third’ reading of Comprehensive Plan changes will occur next Monday. One of the contentious issues continues to be what type of ‘affordable housing’ language ought to be in plan.

Samish Hill logging will be done next year by Janicki Logging. Some members of SNA will be meeting with Janicki soon and have more information.

Our next annual meeting will be Thursday March 16th at the Elk’s Lodge from 7-9.

New Business:

Lucky Dog East & West needs a variance granted to eliminate requirement to develop a street that would hit the Spitzer house & property. Spitzer family needs the variance granted to make sure they don’t have to give up a piece of their carport.

Garey Vodopich resigned his position as a board member. Garey contributed to the Samish Neighborhood in many ways over many years. We thank him for his service and wish him well.

Meeting adjourned. Our next board meeting is January 12, 2017.

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-10

SNA Meeting Minutes October 14, 2016

Meeting called to order by Steve Abell. BOD members present: Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Judy Brightman, Junga Subedar, Kevin Probasco, Nikki Long, and Joe Carpenter. Others attending were Councilman Michael Lilliquist, BPD Officer Eric Osterkamp, Erica Wonk (EMS Levy) and residents Ryan Provedrer, Dan Angble, Kay Anolle, Jim Long, Steve Swan, Barbara and Craig Bessire, and Julia Burns.

Councilman Lilliquist talked about Comprehensive Plan changes. Noted accessory dwelling units current regulation, and future changes.

Erica talked about the forthcoming EMS Levy vote (Proposition 1). They are planning on adding a 4th paramedic.

Officer Ostercamp talked about the new ‘Body Camera’ police officers are wearing.

Treasurer’s Report: We have 139 paid members. The cost for the picnic was $228.70. Recent newsletter cost was $856. We have a checking balance of $2003.00

MNAC Update: Agenda for meeting comes out over a week before meeting, thus allowing preparation for meeting. Planning Director is expected to give a Comprehensive Plan presentation at the November MNAC.

SNA BOD discussed draft letter proposal to Bellingham City Council regarding Comprehensive Plan changes. Various issues were discussed without being agreed upon. Another letter will be drafted by Junga for the BOD to review.

SNA BOD Adjourned.





Posted 1 year, 11 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-06

Samish Neighborhood Association Meeting
June 9, 2016, Community Baptist Church

Meeting called to order by President Abell.

Board members present: Steve Abell, Dick Conoboy, Don Hale, Joy Hale, Tom Read, Junga Subedar, Nikki Long, Judy Brightman, Kevin Probasco

Board members absent: Garey Vodopich, Joe Carpenter

Visitors: Samish residents Shirley Forslof, Barbara Bessire

Public Comments: Shirley Forslof expressed concern about changes in the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations which might allow detached ADU’s in single family residential zoned areas. She asked if the Board would take a position opposing this change. Barbara Bessire also expressed her concerns about the same issue.

BPD police report (NPO Eric Osterkamp): Officer Ostercamp was unavailable but sent information about the new Safe Outdoor Program. This program is a joint project of BPD, Public Works, Parks, Conservation Corp, and Opportunity Council. It is aimed at cleaning up illegal camps in the city and connecting the camp occupants with available resources to give them some place to go after they leave the camps. With no place to go, the camps will just relocate and the problem will persist.

President’s Announcements: none.

Old business:

Meeting minutes from May 12 were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s report: Account balance is $2,799.58. We paid bills to renew our website and have a new book of NCCU deposit slips printed. Tom pointed out that while about 90 members have renewed their memberships by paying dues, about 70 have not. This led us into a discussion of whether we should change our dues policy. Items discussed included charging half dues at the picnic for renewals or new memberships, standardizing all dues at $15 (no senior discount) payable at any time during the year but good only until the following April 1, and conducting a telephone membership drive just prior to the March 2017 general meeting. A motion was made to standardize dues but was tabled pending future discussion.

MNAC report: MNAC continues to discuss Comp Plan revisions. It’s been a bit of a struggle to provide input to city personnel who, at first, wanted only to discuss process rather than specific details. The new Comp Plan draft will be reviewed by the Council’s Planning Committee in several sessions to be held between now and early August. One of the big issues is changes to ADU ordinances, which was the subject of Ms. Forslof’s comment. We had a spirited discussion of what the Board’s position should be. There are many competing interests including neighborhood character, afforable housing, individual property rights, residents’ responsibility to neighbors, parking, and occupancy. No conclusions or recommendations for action were reached.

The discussion of attendance of Board members continued. There is in our by-laws a provision for removal of a Board member if he/she has three unexcused absences in a 12-month period. Steve suggested that this provision should not be needed or used. He would rather ask Board members who, for whatever reason (loss of interest, change in personal priorities), find that they cannot meet their attendance commitment that they made by accepting nomination and election to the Board to simply resign from the Board.

New business:

The deadline for submission of articles to go into our Fall Newsletter will come up in August. Dick will write a piece on the Comp Plan revisions. Steve will write the traditional President’s Letter. We also decided to include in the newsletter, on the back of the membership form (we expect our editor, Greg McCracken, to be able to do this), a short questionnaire (maybe just one or two questions) to solicit residents’ input on what issues they would like the Board to direct attention to. The objective here is to get from Samish residents more input and, hopefully, more interest in neighborhood affairs.

Don asked to include an announcement for the Ridgemont garage sale with possibly an open invitation to all Samish residents to participate in the sale.

A motion was made and seconded to cancel the July Board meeting due to interference from summer vacations and activities. The motion passed unanimously. The next meeting is therefore August 11th.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell, acting secretary

Posted 2 years, 4 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-05

SNA Meeting May 12, 2016

SNA called to order. Directors present, Dick, Garey, Judy, Nikki, Kevin and Joe

Visitors Anders Papritz from Parks Dept. Advisory Council. Anders is serving as a liason between the neighborhoods, Parks Department, and the Mayor’s office.

BPD Officer Eric is in Colorado at a Conference and thus wasn’t able to give us an update from COB Police Department.

Unanimous approval of April Meeting Minutes.

Treasurers report: Tom was absent but we did get the $500 reimbursement from COB.

MNAC Update: Dick brought Bellingham Comprehensive Plan up at last meeting, and wanted to talk about the actual Comp Plan, not the process of Comp plan. Next MNAC, third Wednesday of the month, Rick Sepler will give presentation on the Comp Plan. Dick also went to a recent retreat that was open to the public where he viewed this presentation. Rick will be giving same briefing to City Council this coming Monday.

Reservation for Picnic is September 11th, from 11-3 at Lake Padden. Kin will cook and Joe will bring BBQ again.

Attendance Requirement for BOD for meeting: Bylaws state that “three meetings per calendar year without prior notice” is grounds for the BOD to vote for board of director removal. We discussed, and will bring issue up with Steve in the future.

Letter to Pacific Harbor Psychology, Judy has some editions and will forward to Steve for final approval and signature.

Donation of food left over from Picnic: Past years Salmon was sold to members, but most years there are not any left overs.

Our next meeting is June 9th.

Meeting adjourned.

Posted 2 years, 6 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-04

SNA Minutes April 14th 2016

Board Meeting was called to order by President Steve Abell.

Board Members present were Kevin Probasco, Garey Vodopich, Nikki Long, Don Hale, Joy Hale, Dick Conoboy, Judy Brightman, Tom Read and Joe Carpenter. Others in attendance were BPD Officer Eric Osterkamp, Carmen Rasmussen, Alysia Noriega, and Janet Simpson.

Alysia from Compass USA gave a presentation on the need for volunteer host families for Chinese students age 13-17 for the period July 7-21. She may be contacted at 425-328-5713

Janet Simpson from Bellingham At Home, a division of the Whatcom Council on Aging, gave a presentation on their new program. This new program is a ‘village of members’ that will coordinate services for those members age 50+ that live at home. Membership fees are $350. Janet may be reached at 746-3462 for more information.

President announcements were that rental inspections will start this summer. SNA will be in the first phase.

Minutes for February and March meetings were approved without any corrections.

Steve presented the Treasurer’s report. We have a current checking balance of $2,158.73.

Discussion was held on splitting the SNA in to two separate areas. We all agreed that there could be both positives and negatives that could make the neighborhood weaker and stronger.

Tom Read was nominated for Treasurer. Joe Carpenter was nominated for Secretary. Steve Abell was nominated as President. Dick Conoboy was nominated as Vice President. All nominations were seconded and all officers were elected by unanimous vote of the Board.

By unanimous vote the following signature authority changes are made to the North Coast Credit Union Account #32118002:
Added to signature authority for the account is Thomas Read.
Steven Abell and Richard Conoboy continue as signature authorities for the same account.

Annual SNA picnic was scheduled for Sunday September 11th between 12-3PM at Lake Padden. We all agreed it would be a good year to bring Salmon back to the Potluck menu and we could afford $150.

Meeting Adjourned

Posted 2 years, 7 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2016-03

Samish Neighborhood Association General Business Meeting
March 15, 2016 at Elk’s Lodge, Game Room

Meeting called to order by President Abell at 7:10.

Board members present: Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Dick Conoboy, Don Hale, Joy Hale, Tom Read, Nikki Long, Judy Brightman, Kevin Probasco

Board members absent: Joe Carpenter (unexcused), Junga Subedar (unexcused)

Guest speakers: BPD Chief Cliff Cook, NPO Eric Osterkamp, Bellingham City Emergency Manager Paul Gazdik

Forty people signed in for this annual general membership business meeting. The total attendance was higher by a small but unknown amount. Quorum (minimum 25 active members) was present.

Steve recognized and thanked Greg McCracken for his many years of service as our newsletter editor. He also thanked the Elk’s Club for allowing us to use the venue without charge.

Chief Cook reviewed a list of eight questions from residents and elaborated on all but the last one which was skipped due to time constraints. The questions concerned marijuana-related crime issues, control of homeless camps, 9-1-1 calls, police priority in answering calls, excessive speed of cars through our neighborhood, police manpower, the yet-to-be-implemented crime prediction program, and the Chief’s career path (which we did not get to).

Officer Osterkamp showed two slides out of his presentation (time constraints again) showing crime statistics for Samish Neighborhood. One slide showed Samish trends in crime from 2011 through 2015. There was a whopping peak in liquor law violations in 2011, but other than that Samish has been fairly calm. Another slide compared Samish stats to York, Sehome, City Center, Happy Valley, and Puget neighborhoods. Happily, Samish showed the lowest occurrence of crime in 15 out of 21 categories. Steve will post the entire presentation on

Paul Gazdik reviewed many of the potential emergency situations that might occur in our area including earthquake, flood, tsunami, and fire. He also described how the city’s Emergency Management Office coordinates activities with the Whatcom Unified Emergency Management Team. He stressed preparedness as the key to getting through a disaster and the importance for households to create and maintain an emergency kit (food, water, first aid, medicine, etc.) to ensure survival from disaster occurrence through re-establishment of public and private services. He also recommended neighborhood participation in Map Your Neighborhood, a nationwide disaster preparedness program. Information on this program is available at

The annual treasurer’s report showed annual income of $2,094 comprising dues and the annual $500 reimbursement from the city. Annual expenses were $2,048 with publication of two newsletters accounting for about three-fourths of this amount. Balance in the checking account stands at $1,326 so we’re in good shape pending receipt of the next round of dues payments.

Dick Conoboy, our current representative on MNAC (Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission), gave a brief overview of the ongoing revision to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. He emphasized the importance of monitoring any changes or additions to the plan because the revised Comp Plan will be used to guide development for the next 8-10 years. The board of directors will review the revised plan prior to consideration by the City Council. We welcome comments or suggestions from interested Samish residents.

Last on the agenda was nomination and election of board members for standard two-year terms. There are eleven current board members with four open positions. Steve briefly reviewed the duties and responsibilities of board members. The terms of six board members (Carpenter, Joy Hale, Read, Subedar, Brightman, and Probasco) run for another year. The terms of five board members (Don Hale, Conoboy, Vodopich, Long, and Abell) are expiring. These five individuals were nominated as a group for re-election to the board. Steve invited nominations from the floor but none were forthcoming. He pointed out that nominations could be made at future board meetings and up to four new members of the board could be added. The five re-nominated board members were elected unanimously by raising of hands by all active members present.

Steve thanked the speakers and attendees, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:50.

Steve Abell
Acting Secretary


Posted 2 years, 8 months ago.

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