Annual Community Meeting Featured a Packed Agenda, Board Election

Griffin neighbors converged on the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters Wednesday night to participate in the annual Community Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. The packed agenda included reports from the President and Treasurer of the Association, the election of half the Board, and an opportunity to hear from and question a variety of local leaders. A presentation by Thurston Energy rounded out the evening.

Board President Dave Schuett-Hames reported on the activities of the Board over the prior year. Highlights of the year included a successful fundraiser for the Steamboat Conservation Partnership; the celtic band Gaelica packed the Prosperity Grange last March. Our summer picnic, at Frye Cove, featured seafood dishes prepared by local chef Xinh.

Dave introduced the outgoing members of the Board. After many, many years of service, Kathleen O’Shaunessy is retiring from the Board. Jim Lynch and Randi Johnson are also retiring from the Board. All of them will be missed, but were sure to see them at future neighborhood events.

Treasurer Gary Goodwin reported the Association ended the year with a bigger balance in its accounts than at the beginning of the year. Although fundraising focused on the Steamboat Conservation Partnership, the GNA made donations of $200 each to the food bank at St. Christopher’s Church and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group.

Association Bylaws provide for a Board of between 10 and 17 members. Each year, roughly half the Board positions are up for election. Members present at the Community Meeting were presented with a slate of nominees. In addition to local residents already on the slate, one more nominee stepped forward. A total of seven positions were filled on the Board.

Many thanks to returning Board members Donna Hursh. Dave Peeler, Peter Reid, Dave Schuett-Hames, and Bob Whitener. New Board members are Marty Beagle and Diane Wiley.

Two positions remain open. Local residents who may be interested in serving on the Board are encouraged to speak with a Board member and to read the Association’s “Board Member FAQ”. Click here for the entire list of current Board members and find a link to the FAQ.

A veritable cavalcade of local leaders spoke with area residents. Remarkably, all those who were asked to come and speak were able to do so.

Greg Woods, Griffin School Principal, described recycling efforts at the Griffin School and other steps being taken to reduce the school’s energy footprint.

Fire Chief John Wood and Commissioner Jim McGarva provided an update on Griffin Fire Department activities, including the purchase of the Department’s new fire truck.
Lindy Vincent and Linda Bradford spoke about activities at St. Christopher’s Church. These include ongoing plans to expand the church and Lindy’s work providing support for local families in need.
State Representative Fred Finn briefly described steps being taken to meet the state’s budget shortfall.
Karen Valenzuela, Thurston County Commissioner, spoke of the12% staff cuts made last year, to reduce the County’s budget. But she also told us that long-term budget projections continue to be troubling.

Valenzuela reminded residents that progressive environmental policies cannot move forward, without active community support.

John Snaza, Thurston County Sheriff, told those present that 85% of Sheriff Department’s budget is wages. Putting deputies in the field is a chief priority of his.

Jon Tunheim, Thurston County Prosecutor, also spoke at the Community Meeting. He spoke about steps he is taking to improve the functioning of the Prosecutor’s Office. Tunheim is a local resident, too, and he became a member of the Griffin Neighborhood Association at the meeting.

Ramsey Zimmerman, Program Director for Thurston Energy (and a local resident), described the HomePLUS Energy Evaluation Package. With HomePlus, homeowners can receive a comprehensive energy assessment of their home, including recommendations to improve its energy efficiency, referrals to qualified energy contractors, and access to a wealth of other resources designed to reduce energy costs.

Several of those who turned out for this meeting also became new members of the Association or renewed their membership. For more information on how to join the Griffin Neighborhood Association, or to renew your membership, click here.

Coffee service was donated to the event by the Starbucks store at 315 Cooper Point Road NW (Cooper Point and Harrison). Hot water, for tea service, was donated by the Starbucks store at the Capital Mall. Many thanks to Starbucks for this generous donation. The refreshments provided an opportunity to socialize, before the meeting, and kept us going throughout the evening.

Posted in Uncategorized.