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Richmond neighborhood association narrowly rejects recall of density advocate

Posted by on September 15th, 2015 at 1:46 pm

doug klotz

Doug Klotz is a longtime Richmond Neighborhood
Association board member. He also co-founded
the advocacy group Oregon Walks.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

One of Portland’s longest-serving neighborhood association board members survived a recall vote Monday night by the thinnest margin possible.

Doug Klotz, a member of the Richmond Neighborhood Association since “around 1993” and a longtime advocate for Portland to become more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented, won the right to stay in office by a single ballot out of 252 cast.

The neighborhood association’s bylaws require a 2/3 majority to agree with the recall proposal. According to a count Monday night and a recount Tuesday by the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition, opponents of Klotz found 167 votes out of the 168 they would have needed.

The Richmond neighborhood includes the area south of Hawthorne and north of Powell, east of 28th/29th and west of 50th/52nd. It includes the stretch of Division Street that has rapidly changed over the last few years from a relatively low-density auto-oriented corridor into a street lined with low-rise apartments and popular (and in some cases expensive) shops and restaurants.

The Richmond Neighborhood Association is an influential group in the future of the Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway.

Though the neighborhood association has been overwhelmingly focused on issues related to that shift, it’s also an influential group in the future of the Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway. At a public open house tomorrow night, the city plans to propose one or more traffic diverters that would reduce auto traffic on that street in order to make it friendlier to biking and walking.

The vote over Klotz’s recall was prompted by a different election earlier this year. As we reported in June, Klotz mounted an effort this spring to recruit like-minded people to serve with him on the board. As part of that effort, Klotz posted to two bike-related listservs, BikeLoudPDX and Active Right of Way, suggesting that Richmond neighborhood residents on those lists should consider running for board office or simply turn out to vote for the candidates Klotz supported.

Klotz’s effort worked, more or less. An unusually large number of people (39) showed up at Richmond’s June election and voted in three new board members. That vote ousted three incumbent board members, including the neighborhood association’s former chair, Allen Field.

Field and Klotz have often disagreed about issues related to infill and development.


After being voted out of office, the three ousted members — Field, Bonnie Bray, and Karin Maczko — accused Klotz of misconduct because one of his emails had described the incumbent Richmond board as “less than bike friendly.” With a 6-6 vote on Aug. 24, Richmond’s new neighborhood board decided not to create a grievance committee to further review the situation.

Meanwhile, Klotz’s critics took their campaign to the neighborhood itself, gathering the 12 signatures required for a recall vote, which is allowed “with or without cause.”

ice cream hands

Division Street’s urban overhaul is a major
source of contention in the Richmond area.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

In an email to neighborhood residents circulated last week, Field urged neighbors to base their vote on Klotz’s tactics in the earlier election and on his support for paid auto parking and infill. (Klotz supporters subsequently disputed the specifics of Field’s claims.)

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of Klotz (or at least of his opinions) attended Monday’s neighborhood association meeting. Southeast Uplift neighborhood planning program manager Bob Kellett, who helped oversee the vote, said Tuesday that every person voting needed to be present.

“Their bylaws don’t allow for proxy voting,” Kellett said. “The meeting was from 7 to 9, so we accepted ballots until the end.”

Kellett said they modeled the vote process on previous Richmond elections: voters were asked to give their address and to agree that they were a resident or property owner within the neighborhood.

After the initial vote count came up with 167 votes for recall and 85 against — one vote short of the total needed for a recall — election organizers decided a recount would be needed. But they didn’t want to keep everyone there until late in the evening.

“We counted them at the meeting and then wanted to make sure that the results were accurate, so the executive director [of SEUL, Anne Dufay] took them home last night, and we counted them again in the office this morning to verify that we got them right,” Kellett said.

I asked Kellett if his experience with other neighborhood associations could offer any guidance as Richmond deals with such a contentious series of events.

“Periodically neighborhood association boards just have situations that arise, and they kind of have to be worked out,” Kellett answered. “Obviously there are feelings on all sides of the issue. … I think if we can harness the energy that’s been involved with this to try and make improvements and move forward, then that’s the best path for the neighborhoods and for the board.”

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  • Evan Manvel September 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Any chance you have the circulated e-mail you reference, accusing Doug of advocating to cut subsidies for car storage? (aka supporting paid car parking?)

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    • a September 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      From: Allen F
      Date: September 7, 2015 at 11:21:16 PM PDT
      To: Allen Field
      Subject: RNA Recall Election Monday Sept 14
      Reply-To: Allen F

      Richmond Neighborhood Association
      Recall Election
      September 14, Waverly Church, SE 33rd & Woodward, 7pm
      To understand the background to the recall election of RNA 24-year Board Member Doug Klotz, refer to these two SE Examiner articles (the 2nd is an Op-Ed piece by Allen Field):

      Mr. Klotz succeeded in voting out 3 incumbents and boardstacking in 3 new board members in the June 2015 election by soliciting voters from the BikeLoudPDX listserve by inappropriately calling the Board “less than bike-friendly.” The two RNA Board decisions on which he bases this accusation (6/2011 and 11/2014 votes) are votes he supported. His hope is to fill the Board with people who share his views on:
      · Requiring paid parking on all streets in Richmond, residential and commercial
      · Creating a parking permit district for all of Richmond, with permits at $65/car
      · Eliminating parking requirements for apartment buildings
      · Adding parking meters on Division and Hawthorne
      · Wanting 5-7 story buildings on Division and Hawthorne
      If these views are in line with yours, vote against recall. If you do not share these views and do not agree with the tactics used in the June 2015 election, then vote for recall.
      Tell your neighbors. The RNA is your representative to the city on these issues.

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      • Matt September 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

        Ah, ok, THIS makes sense. Allen was upset about bike-people getting the board seats, but he realized there’s no political traction in saying, “Can you believe they stacked the board with people that want to make SE Clinton safer for people ages 8-80!?” So instead he went for a diversion and falsely linked everybody to all the ideas with the least political traction and basically said, “These people want to steal all your parking and make you pay for it! And giant buildings! And apartment people everywhere stealing your parking!”

        Glad to see that bait and switch didn’t quite work out this time. If Allen had put as much effort into creating good cycling infrastructure as he’s put into this recall nonsense nobody would have tried to unseat him in the first place.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm

          Allen put a huge amount of time and effort into making his neighborhood a better place, and I totally respect him for that. Despite what you’ve been reading on this forum, bike issues are only a tiny slice of what RNA does, and while I am about as pro-bike as you can get, I don’t feel Allen or the RNA in general was (or is) in any way anti-bike.

          This whole episode was ugly and unfortunate for all the principals, as well as the board itself. While “bikes” were the agent, what underlies this issue is nothing more than a dispute between board members that escalated way beyond where anyone wanted it to go.

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        • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
          Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

          From what I can tell, the June vote was not mostly about bikes, even though it did involve a couple candidates who heard about it via the BikeLoud list. It was mostly about the neighborhood’s divide over density stuff, which is to a large extent auto parking stuff.

          So I think it makes sense for Field to call out Klotz’s views about density and parking.

          However, I don’t think, based on everybody I’ve talked to, that Field is correct to suggest that the people who voted for people other than him were overwhelmingly bike advocates. I think they were mostly pro-infill people from the neighborhood that he didn’t know. Others know better than I do, though.

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          • Doug Klotz September 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            Indeed, I don’t mind Allen reminding people of my views, if he were accurate. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

            For instance, I do not believe the entire neighborhood should be required to have permits. I do think the city’s latest proposal for a tool neighbors can choose to adopt, block by block, is a good one to have the option of. But large areas of Richmond would have no need for such permits.

            Likewise parking meters are something the business owners should be able to choose. Not a mandate.

            I’m okay with the current parking requirements for apartment buildings, and think it is appropriate if incentives to not drive are offered to residents there.

            And, I don’t support 6 or 7 story buildings on Division, or on Hawthorne unless at a time far in the future, the neighborhood supports that.

            But since it was a private (presumably) mass email, I would guess that many people read it without benefit of fact checking.

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  • Joe Adamski September 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    252 votes is an incredible number, which suggests that regardless of position on the recall, a lot of folks felt the importance of the meeting and made a point to attend. Good on you for that!

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    • davemess September 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Yes, that number blows my mind. My NA has no limit on board members, just a completely different type of system.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        Richmond does seem unusual in the small number of seats it has. If they made more room, this whole issue could have been avoided.

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        • davemess September 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

          That’s what I was thinking. Why not just have a bigger board?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

            I think that for Doug, or one of his supporters, to advocate for this might help mend some of the rifts that have been created.

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            • TonyJ September 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm

              I don’t know… for a long time there were vacancies on that board. 15 people is actually quite a few for a NA board, imo. Several of the sitting board members never even had to have an election, because there were vacancies. I think there was a case a few months before the contested election where a board member resigned and, conveniently, there was a like minded person wanting to step in!!

              How that never raised any hackles, I don’t know… I guess that person had the “correct” opinions.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 5:33 pm

                What’s wrong with vacancies? Our board has plenty (and almost always has), and it’s never been a problem. We have, from time to time, added members between elections, and, generally speaking, it shouldn’t be controversial. The board should be open to all.

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              • davemess September 16, 2015 at 9:50 am

                “15 people is actually quite a few for a NA board, imo.”

                Why? What’s the drawback of having a bigger board? As you point out most NA’s have trouble even getting close to 15 board members. More board members means more voices/opinions heard, and more people to work on more projects. As Kitty pointed out above, transportation (and land use) are just a fraction of some of the the things NA’s are into.

                For a lot of NA’s it’s useful to have people on the board just to keep them coming to meetings.

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              • TonyJ September 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

                I can only speak to my experience as a member and chair, but more members *might* lead to the benefits you describe, but it isn’t a guarantee.

                Downsides include, more cat-herding, difficulty meeting quorum, longer meetings (or actually less input), and, the big one… vacancies and walk ons.

                If you have vacancies and seat mid-term, then you run a real risk of being taken over by single issue groups WITHOUT community input. If it was a “problem” for Doug to change the board makeup at an election, it should be a damn near apocalypse to add several single issue members mid term.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 11:15 am

                On most boards, there is some discretion about whether to accept new members mid-term. I would expect if a “block” of new candidates apply, discretion on how many to accept could be used. It would be much more difficult to apply that check/balance during a general election, especially if existing members lose their seats. Personally, I would never accept a mid-term addition to the board of someone who hasn’t been showing up and participating consistently.

                Small boards are easier to capture because one group can more easily displace another. Larger boards are more resistant because the “capturing block” must be larger and more committed.

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              • davemess September 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

                Single issue groups with the power to do what though? I know that some of these articles make NA’s sound really powerful, but in most instances they have very little input in public policy in the city. I find it hard to believe that the RNA would really have much more pull than the kind of stuff that BikeLoud is already doing. Sure, it’s nice to have the NA’s approval/support, but the NA’s are rarely really in a spot to have major influence over neighborhood policy.

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    • canuck September 16, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Sure they got to come out and vote on the recall but where were they for the original vote? All of a sudden they care about the issues?

      In my view if you were to apathetic to vote the first time, you don’t get to complain and vote on a recall. Same goes for signing a petition for recall.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Wow… 6-6, then 167-85…

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Different issues, of course: the first vote was about whether it was worth further investigation about whether Klotz had violated the RNA bylaws or ONI standards during the election.

      The second was just about whether people thought Klotz should stay on the board.

      That said: yes, wow.

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      • davemess September 15, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        And the first vote was a vote exclusively by the board. The second one was open to all residents.

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      • lop September 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        Is this final? Or in a week will someone who voted be accused of not living or owning property in the area?

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        • Dawn September 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

          Who knows All it takes is 12 signatures to get a recall going after all.

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          • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

            And there’s nothing stopping those 12 people from just repeating themselves initiating another recall… 12 is a ridiculously low amount of people for a neighborhood with ~9,000 eligible voters.

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            • davemess September 15, 2015 at 5:16 pm

              How many people usually attend your NA meetings? We’ve had a number of meetings where 12 would be more than the whole meeting attendance.

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              • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm

                I’d guess somewhere between 30 and 50, not including the board.

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              • davemess September 16, 2015 at 9:51 am


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              • canuck September 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

                That may be more people than actually voted to put the people in the seat.

                Why do those who didn’t vote the first time around get to kick someone out?

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      • Anne Dufay September 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

        Quick clarification: the “Standards” in question are not “SEUL Standards” – they are “ONI Standards” (Office of Neighborhood Involvement).

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  • Terry D-M September 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Good for Doug, luckily there are no hanging chads….

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    • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 12:15 am

      Because they took the ballots to someone’s home to count them. What a crock.

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      • Concordia Cyclist September 16, 2015 at 8:28 am

        I think it was to REcount them.

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  • Adron Hall September 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    So he mentioned on two public lists to communicate with the public about the community meeting… and that’s wrong somehow? I mean, isn’t the point of the community meetings/neighborhood groups to include the neighborhood and community, not hide and push information away from them?

    Seems odd that they had contention that he mailed public email lists. :-/ I wish MORE people in these positions would actually put together some legitimate outreach and communicate with the community.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      It wasn’t that he sent messages to mailing lists, it was what he said in those messages. I don’t think he should have been kicked off the board, but you are not accurately describing the situation.

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      • SE 34th September 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        Beg to differ. I live on the horrible stretch of SE 34th Avenue between SE Clinton and SE Division that has one lane of thru traffic but is a two-way street and a major bike thoroughfare. A few years ago a majority of the neighbors on the street came to the RNA to support a proposal to remove parking on one side, establish a two-way bike lane and have traffic be one way to remove the conflicts and unsafe altercations. Allen Field was instrumental in shooting that proposal down. I think he is less than bike-friendly, and I went last night in support of Mr. Klotz. Here’s more:

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm

          Regardless of whether you agree with what Doug posted, there is no dispute that it was the content of his post that got him in trouble, not the mere fact that he posted at all.

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          • Daniel Costantino September 16, 2015 at 3:23 am

            I’m still completely baffled how “less than bike-friendly” is incendiary language, or why anyone, and especially someone on a neighborhood board, wouldn’t be allowed to voice that opinion in a public forum.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

              I’m not defending Doug’s “impeachment”, just clarifying the basis on which it was done. It is my opinion that Doug’s description of the RNA was not accurate, but even so, it is hardly incendiary.

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        • jeffrey September 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

          Any possibility this will be back on the table as part of the Clinton calming project?

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          • SE 34th September 16, 2015 at 9:56 am


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  • Steve B September 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Doug is a personal hero of mine. A meticulous advocate for the walking public in Portland. Thanks to everyone who showed up in support of Doug!

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson September 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    shows how important every resident is! if just one person who voted against had voted for richmond would be without a thoughtful and smart leader!

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  • Matt September 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I’m pretty suspicious about how close they’re claiming the vote was. A lot of people appeared to be there for the first time and a lot of people were there because they want better action for bicycle plans in the neighborhood.

    I think the closeness of the vote was probably more a factor of an oddly-worded ballot than of almost 2/3 of the people being there to try and see Doug Klotz tossed out.

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    • Steve B September 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Considering over 250 people came to their local neighborhood association meeting, I imagine there were all sorts of first-timers present.

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    • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      IIRC, the ballot stated: “Shall Doug Klotz be removed from the RNA board of directors? Yes or no? Hardly an “oddly worded ballot”.

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  • rick September 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    SE needs to take on a lot more density if people are moving here. The soil even absorbs rain fairly well.

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  • rick September 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm
    • paikiala September 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I guess I’m slow. I don’t see illegal activity, per se, on your link. Public rights of way are for public use.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T September 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Um, what does this have to do with this story? And as paikiala said, there is nothing illegal going on in the situation your link describes.

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  • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Great! Now we can put this ridiculous issue behind us and focus on actually helping to improve the neighborhood! Or will Allen continue his public spat and take this issue to ONI?

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  • Anderson September 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I got several anti-Klotz get out the vote emails. Wonder how they got my email, as I don’t participate in the RNA. Interesting that the anti-Klotz faction uses the same tactics they accuse him of.

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    • Chris I September 15, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      I noticed this too. Seems a bit hypocritical.

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      • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm

        A bit? They’re literally doing exactly what they accused Doug of doing, thus the reason for the recall!

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    • osmill September 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      The Division-Clinton Business Association forwarded Field’s email to their list with a vague “get involved if you feel it’s necessary”, but without the header information, so it was not evident that the message came from Field.

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  • soren September 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    This kind of nonsense is exactly why our City needs to stop pretending that NAs speak for neighborhoods as a whole. Until NAs mail ballots to every registered voter in their neighborhood they are nothing more than civic/social clubs and should have no more say than any other non-governmental organization.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Join your NA, and use this perceived weakness to your advantage!

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      • soren September 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm

        From a 2003 report on Portland’s neighborhood associations:

        ONI had become an “ineffectual central bureaucracy attempting to
        herd citizens through top-down devised processes”
        and neighborhood activists were “increasingly focused on organizational politics,” going
        from “proactive barn-raising” to “reactive wordsmithing.”

        Reactive wordsmithing describes the RNA drama to a tee.

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    • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Soren, agree 100% with you on this. This case appears to be one where a few extremist troublemakers are trying to ruin an established neighborhood by forcing people to pay to park – no doubt “car haters”. Many of those people probably cannot afford the fee – most folks today are on slim budgets. I’m glad they slapped the troublemaker down in this case – maybe at the next meeting they’ll knock him out.

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      • soren September 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

        I wholeheartedly support Doug’s efforts when it comes to land use equity and I definitely don’t think working towards a more sustainable community is the least bit extreme.
        Nevertheless, I also believe that an organization which requires only 10 votes out of a population of ~12,000 for a recall is not a serious civic group.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Good thing that you can’t recall someone with 10 votes! (unless, I guess, only 14 people show up…)

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        • soren September 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

          12 signatures.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

            12 signatures to start the process, and a 2/3 vote to finish it.

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        • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm

          We can disagree on the policies they want in this case, but your premise that all voterss of the NA should be mailed a ballot, is one we can agree on. Except: A ballot should be mailed to every adult, registered voter or not – the proposal to tax parking would affect everyone.

          To fix the whole situation, it would be best to eliminate NAs – they provide no good for the community and have a habit of coming up with idiotic ideas like taxing parking.

          I can guarantee you that if a significant fraction of the people in that neighborhood had learned of a proposal to tax parking, there would have been a he ll of a lot more than 252 people at the meeting – and most would have been carrying pitchforks. 😉

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm

            The RNA will not be the ones to decide about the parking permit issue. That is done by residents, by ballot, separate from the NA system.

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      • Evan Manvel September 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

        Someone who can afford a car (AAA average cost: $8,698/year), but can’t afford $60/year for a parking permit?

        Please identify a specific person in that category. I will pay for their permit.

        It’s like the hypothetical anecdotal farming family losing their farm to the estate tax: a great story, but baseless.

        That said, of course we should be concerned about equity. But the parking permit fees aren’t on the same scale as water and sewer costs, housing costs (often driven up by hundreds of dollar per month by costs of required parking), etc.

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        • lop September 16, 2015 at 11:53 am

          AAA number is for new cars kept for five years, average vehicle in the fleet is more than ten years old.

          Mean average spending per car over all income groups is a bit under 4500, less for lower income groups. $60 a year shouldn’t be a burden though for almost all people. Raise it to $61 and you’ll have enough to cover the costs of comping the permits for anyone who can legitimately claim hardship.

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          • TonyJ September 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

            60 a year is ridiculously low. If residential permits are going to have any effect on parking management they probably need to be at least 5X if not 10X that cost per year.

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            • lop September 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm

              At $60 a year you might not discourage one in a thousand of those eligible for a permit from keeping their car. The point is just to cover the costs of determining who is eligible, and kick everyone else out. Say visitors to a business that want to stay more than the two hours guests are allowed to park. Or maybe you sell guest permits to those who live in the area for family barbecues and what not and charge $1 per car per day for the first twenty, but then hike it to $5 per car per day after that to discourage someone from running a hotel with on street parking for their guests.

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              • lop September 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm

                Oh, and forgot about people who live in apartments on the arterial, and their guests. You can keep them from parking in front of someone’s house a block or two away.

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          • Evan Manvel September 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

            Thanks! That’s great data to have. Also, the AAA number is for a midsized sedan – not for a large sedan or light truck/SUV, which a large number of people choose. Those costs are about $1500-2000/year higher.

            More on the methodology:

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            • davemess September 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm

              I”m still failing to see how “Depreciation” is an actual cost (they use it in their figure.). Cars aren’t an investment, I think few people view them as such.

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              • lop September 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm

                Say you buy a car from a dealership for $30k. You don’t count that $30k as a cost of car ownership. Because now you have an asset worth $30k. Presumably you didn’t pay cash, you instead got a loan. After five years you might have spent $2500 on interest and origination fees on that loan, and now you sell the car for $17500. $2500 is your finance charge, $30k-17.5k = $12.5k is your depreciation charge.

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              • Daniel Costantino September 17, 2015 at 3:02 am

                Yeah, that’s mathematically true, but it doesn’t feel like depreciation because you already spent the $30k to start with. It feels like ou recouped $12.5k in the end. Because this is personal finance, not corporate accounting.

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        • Dan September 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

          You already ARE helping to pay for their parking. And at $60 a year, you still will be.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

            And they are helping pay for our biking. It’s almost like we’re all in this together, each with different needs and different ways of contributing.

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        • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          The letter posted above said the fee would be $65/car. I thought that meant per month. $65/month would be a hardship on a lot of people – what if they have to park 2 cars on the street? But apparently you think it’s OK to tax people as long as it doesn’t hurt “too much”. Pretty sick.

          Your claim that families don’t lose the farm due to the estate tax is a blatant lie. You cannot be so naïve that you believe it. If you inherited a farm worth $5 million, where would you come up with a huge sum to pay the tax? Most can’t come up with it. Wise up.

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          • Evan Manvel September 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

            As the risk of trying to engage with an anonymous troll, yes, I agree, $65/month is significant for many people.

            But on the farm estate tax, “How many of America’s 2.2 million farms have been sold to pay estate taxes? None.” It’s just a pretend thing.


            Even if I was worried about the huge problems of people who inherit over $5,000,000, they’re not losing the farm.

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            • Dan September 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm

              1. It’s $65/year.

              2. If you want to leave me a $5 million dollar farm in your will, go for it. I will deal with the ‘consequences’.

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              • TonyJ September 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

                the amount that these yet to be codified permits will cost is still very much int he air. Interestingly $65 is NOT a number that has ever been mentioned by anyone other than Allen.

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  • maccoinnich September 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Division in 2011:
    Division in 2015:

    I don’t live in Richmond, but I know which one I prefer.

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    • Adam Herstein September 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      I honestly don’t understand the people who mourn the loss of parking lots, run-down buildings, and shady car-repair shops.

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      • Art Fuldodger September 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

        nor do I, and I lived in (through?) the Division/Hawthorne area in the late 70’s/early 80’s. It was per your description, and more, though there were a few funkadelic taverns whose passing is, if not worth mourning, worth a little nostalgia. Unalloyed urban grit is pretty cool, but most people don’t want to settle down & raise a family in it…

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      • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm

        It’s less about mourning those things and more about what their loss signifies. More people, more people, more people, more people, more people, for one. Also–I don’t remember thinking “ick, Division” before it was mowed down and resurrected like some contestant on the The Swan, though your and others descriptions make it sound like it was truly a wasteland. I think it was developing very interestingly, naturally, on its own. Would’ve loved to see where that natural progression led.

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        • matt f September 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm

          Wanting to change something that you feel like you can’t…we all have felt that before…

          Only one thing to do: get involved. Mourning that sh!tty bar you went to once 12 years ago, slapping stickers on house for sale signs, making newcomers feel vaguely not welcomed, and other quintessential NW passive-aggressive behavior don’t count.

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          • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 11:24 pm

            Hi matt f. I’m not much of a frequenter of bars, nor a sticker slapper, but I understand the feelings. Making newcomers feel unwelcome in a place that becomes suddenly overrun with newcomers is the eventual byproduct of stress–not the aim of the original residents. I know I’ve said here before that I was a regular welcome wagon up until about 2008 which was what I saw as the rotten tipping point for Portland. Too many people. I was happy to see folks move in, up to that point, have many friends who moved here then. In 2008 I saw the vaunted quality of life here start to really suffer, with tipping points reached in traffic (of all kinds), pollution, and heat (Urban Heat Island Effect. Too many people = hot cities).

            It’s human to want to move to a pretty place with all the stuff. But it’s equally human to be stressed when you see that pretty place being destroyed by too much ‘love.’ That’s when you get what you hear and see happening in Portland now. You can see the same thing happening in the formerly welcoming Ecuador, in Austin, in Seattle, etc. etc. Residents aren’t so friendly as they were at the start. Why would they be? What is good for newcomers is bad for residents, once that tipping point is reached. If we keep squeezing people in here the way we are, it won’t be long before newcomers are feeling the pinch, too. And expressing unhappiness about all the people crowding in.

            At this point, I’m so much like a jangled cat whose environment is being changed constantly, I am not thinking of making newcomers feel welcome. Didn’t used to feel that way, and I’m sorry that’s what it’s come to. But that is how I feel now, and it didn’t just happen, out of the blue. It happened, quite predictably, because of what has happened around me.

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        • maccoinnich September 15, 2015 at 9:01 pm

          What is unnatural about the progression to where it is now?

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          • bjorn September 15, 2015 at 10:37 pm

            If anything if allowed to just “naturally” grow the buildings would probably be taller, the current state of division reflects limits placed on growth on division itself but is also the natural result of extreme limits on multifamily housing on almost every street that isn’t an artery like division. We have intentionally concentrated these types of developments onto a small number of streets, so it should surprise no one that they have been built there.

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          • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm

            I think it was on it’s way to developing more like Hawthorne in the 30s blocks. Do you see what’s happened, in a very short period of time, as a natural look or progression?

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            • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 11:01 pm

              Low slung buildings, a pleasant hodgepodge of shops and restaurants and businesses–that’s what I mean when I’m talking about that section of Hawthorne. The Cup & Saucer area. That look suited Division. In my opinion.

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              • Daniel Costantino September 17, 2015 at 3:08 am

                You describe a great result (Hawthorne in upper 30s), rachel b, but not one that could viably occur in current land economics (or even the economics of 20 years ago). Those low-slung buildings on Hawthorne were built back when Hawthorne & 39th was the outer suburbs of Portland. Anything that would get rebuilt today in that area would have to have significantly more square footage to compensate for today’s cost of land + building. So, similarly, insofar as redeveloping Division involved a lot of land conversion, it makes perfect economic sense that the buildings would be taller. Whether that’s “natural” is mostly a value judgement. It feels fine to me and I’m not upset, but it’s obvious that the community as a whole is divided over it.

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              • rachel b September 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm

                Hi Daniel. I understand this. But what you’re saying assumes that our city HAD to support the kind of development that’s been happening at such a feverish pace here. I’ve lived here all my life, but for four years. How on earth did our city survive at that previous much slower pace of development? Portland’s changed a lot over my lifetime. But the rate of change never prompted feelings of panic and hopelessness in me until the past several years.

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              • rachel b September 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

                Forgot to mention–the costs/economics today are just a reflection of pro-aggressive development decisions by City leaders. If we had not so avidly pursued growth in Portland, would it have become such a feeding frenzy as it is now?

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            • maccoinnich September 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

              I do think it’s a natural progression. If you prefer the aesthetics of low rise buildings that’s fine (we disagree, but it’s a reasonable opinion), but there’s nothing inherently natural about it. The City could set the zoning heights along Division so low that one story buildings are all that could ever be built, but that would actually represent a very artificial constraint.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

            The speed at which Division changed was pretty radical. Organic growth, natural progression, etc., all suggest gradual growth and change.

            What’s there is probably better than what was there, but it could have been better if the pace was less frantic.

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            • maccoinnich September 16, 2015 at 11:15 am

              “Organic”, “natural” and “gradual” are all very nice words, but none of them inherently correlate to low rise buildings and surface parking lots.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 11:20 am

                No, but they do correlate to a slower pace of growth than what Division has experienced. A slower pace allows the surrounding areas to adjust, and I believe would result in better overall design.

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              • rachel b September 16, 2015 at 11:59 am

                Hear, hear, Hello.

                What’s happened on Division is the antithesis of ‘organic’ development–it happened far too swiftly to qualify for that description. And yes–it is a very nice word. 🙂

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              • lop September 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

                You’d get that slower pace of growth on division if you allowed more development in the surrounding area. But Portland doesn’t allow that. So any house a couple blocks off that isn’t in great shape or is just a little small can get knocked down for a mcmansion, apartments and retail are sent to division.

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              • davemess September 16, 2015 at 12:34 pm

                So you don’t think we should have commercial zones? Allow retail anywhere?

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              • Daniel Costantino September 17, 2015 at 3:11 am

                There’s no such thing as “organic” or “natural” growth in private land development. It’s driven by capital and land economics, combined with government regulation. Whether the result of those drivers suits us is usually what defines whether we choose to call it something nice like organic or natural.

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              • rachel b September 17, 2015 at 11:02 pm

                ‘We’ (meaning our elected officials) invited the growth in–aggressively pursued it. People would’ve been attracted here anyway, sure, but I don’t believe this frenzy would’ve occurred without our mayor et al actively soliciting big growth. Ditto Travel Portland, which is, along with Hales, patting itself on the back for successfully, assiduously advertising and plaguing our city with millions and millions of people who walk around w/ Voodoo Donuts boxes and look for all the ‘weird.’ I’d feel better about the tourism if we had an actual attraction besides The Weird and our outlying areas’ scenery. Would also feel better if they’d pass a sales tax already and take full advantage of all the millions of people the City’s so hell-bent on attracting here.

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    • AMA September 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      The one with the parking lots and no people walking, or the one with tons of new storefronts and people out walking?

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  • Ted Buehler September 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Congrats to Doug!

    Thanks much to each of the folks who came out to vote.

    Folks, if you live in Richmond and you support density and/or bicycling, make sure you’re available to vote in any upcoming elections.

    Map of Richmond Boundaries here

    Ted Buehler

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Or, better, participate on an ongoing basis!

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      • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

        I need to do this. Must first overcome hermit and misanthrope tendencies, though… 😉

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 10:18 pm

          You’re in my neighborhood, so you’d be among friends 🙂

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          • rachel b September 15, 2015 at 11:28 pm


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      • Ted Buehler September 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        “Or, better…”

        Oh yeah, that too.

        BTW, I’ve been on the Boise Neighborhood Association board for four years, I’ve been board chair for three of those.

        We could really use more people out who care about neighborhood issues. We have plenty of open seats and roles to fill.

        Our neighborhood covers both the Mississippi and Williams Ave apartment districts (Fremont to Skidmore), we’ve had about a dozen new apartment building built in the last four years. Not once have we asked for more car parking. And on each one we’ve asked for more bike parking.

        Want to participate? General Meetings are the 2nd Monday at the Q Center, and “Land Use and Transportation” Meetings are the 4th Monday, same place. This month we’ll be hearing about a new apartment building for the corner of Vancouver and Failing, just south of Livingscape Nursery.

        Map of Boise Neighborhood boundaries

        And, map of the whole city so you can find your own neighborhood association.

        Ted Buehler

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        • Ted Buehler September 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm

          Oh, that’s

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        • daisy September 15, 2015 at 8:03 pm

          Ted, I live in nearby Eliot, and I know they are looking for good folks, too. However, I’ve been reluctant to get involved because we have a primarily white NA, and I’m white. It’s not representative of the neighborhood, and I don’t want to contribute to that. I’m guessing you all have dealt with this. Can you share your thoughts?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

            Since you didn’t ask me, I’ll give you my opinion… if there are empty seats, you wouldn’t be displacing someone. Also, it is quite possible to participate without formally joining. I was a member of my NA in all but name for years, and the only thing I couldn’t do was vote. Since we are pretty good at coming to consensus, it hardly mattered.

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            • daisy September 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm

              But I meant to ask you! Actually your take on this is great, very thoughtful and sensible. Thanks!

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  • Dead Salmon September 15, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Wow! 167 votes to remove him out of 252. He may have survived but he sure as he ll knows he isn’t liked much by the members of the NA. They at least won that point with the election. They can probably get a few more votes and remove him in the next election.

    Sounds like a few squeaky wheels are trying to run rough-shod over the neighborhood. Hope they throw his but t out in the next meeting.

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    • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Better yet, go door to door and get a bunch of new members – then make the vote 267 out of 352. Out he goes.

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  • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Quote from the article: “With a 6-6 vote on Aug. 24, Richmond’s new neighborhood board decided not to create a grievance committee to further review the situation.”

    Hilarious. The board that had been stacked with “like-minded” people decided there was no problem. 🙂 You can’t make this stuff up.

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    • TonyJ September 16, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Another conclusion an obviously unbiased person like yourself could come to is that Doug didn’t stack the board. One might further infer that the board already heavily leaned in one direction, maybe from a les democratic “stacking” by appointing new membership-term to vacant positions. One might also wonder if there was a reason for vacancies.

      It’s odd, I didn’t see articles last November about the Democrats “stacking” the state legislature.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

        Richmond’s problem is their board is so small that it lends itself to this sort of fracas. That could never have happened in most other neighborhoods. If there is room for everyone, there can be no “stacking”.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson September 16, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Doug is a Portland Hero in my book! Glad he survived this chapter of NA drama.
    I love the new Division…its become a place not a car commuter corridor.

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    • soren September 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Bhel puri at bollywood and shiitake+calabrian chile pie at pizza maria.

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  • KristenT September 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Boards should always be odd numbers of people, that way you always have a definitive vote on things. 6-6 isn’t a decisive, definitive vote, it’s a deadlock.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 16, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Unless one person is absent…

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      • davemess September 16, 2015 at 9:59 am

        A person can also abstain from voting. I would think someone involved in the situation would do that.

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  • NC September 16, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Shoddy Maths. 3 votes short. I now don’t feel so bad about not being able to attend the meeting.

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    • PJ September 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      252 times .667 = 168

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      • NC September 16, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        That assumes someone changed their vote, that’s not the same as being a vote short.

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