Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood resident Todd Coward said that the past few months have seen the beginning of a collaborative effort between the association and Neighbors Taking Action, a group dissatisfied with the neighborhood association’s early responses to land use issues facing the neighborhood as part of the city’s comprehensive plan.
The disagreements were highlighted in a November 2015 community information meeting, after which Neighbors Taking Action submitted testimony to the Portland City Council.
“The city agreed with much of what we were advocating.” Coward said. “Mayor Charlie Hales submitted three amendments to the comp plan that addressed our issues. The neighborhood association’s land use committee, not understanding how its positions got reversed by the city, were quite upset, we understand, and the board, at that time, continued to be oblivious, or at least uninterested, in getting involved.”
The neighborhood association’s board of directors had subsequent elections after five or more board members either resigned or decided not to serve an additional term, including, according to Coward, the land use committee chair and some supporters on the committee who also resigned from board positions and as liaisons to the Broadway-Weidler Alliance. “The new leadership, with Chris Tanner as chair, has met several times with Neighbors Taking Action members to work on ‘righting the ship’ – rectifying the problems and issues with past boards, Coward said, “and we are now reporting substantial progress by the association and a much more collaborative relationship with our group.”