It has been a privilege to have been the President of the Barron Park Association during the past eight months. The BPA Board updated the BPA Bylaws this year, setting a one year term for the President. So, in that context, my period of service is not unusually brief. But, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on and to let someone else pick up the reins of leadership. At the November BPA Board meeting, Markus Fromherz was elected President and Peter Mueller as Vice President.
I want to thank the Barron Park community for the opportunity to serve and hope that I have provided some clarity to you on some of the issues facing our community and our City.
To recap, during this year the BPA Board took some positive actions for the neighborhood.
- The Maybell-Clemo project was controversial and so the Board decided to first ask our membership by a survey/vote whether to financially support the signature gathering effort to put the measure to a referendum; the response was an overwhelming (but not unanimous) yes.
- We altered our bylaws to establish an annual election cycle for the BPA President and Vice President.
- We responded to the comments and concerns of our members and developed guidelines for subscribers and also (for the first time) guidelines for the list manager of the BPA email lists.
- We also responded to comments from members and voted to sever our relationship with the Boy Scouts of America as a BPA chartering organization next year because of their discriminatory policies on adult volunteers. In actuality, there hasn’t been an active connection between the BPA and the scout troop for some years.
- We worked with City officials and the bicycle community and convinced the City to install ‘share the path’ signs along the Bol Park Bike path as safety reminders to both walkers and bicyclists.
- With the energetic involvement of Dick Placone, we were able to have the City complete the multi-year effort to convert the space alongside the Matadero Well site into an attractive pocket park.
- With the participation and expertise of Dick Whitmore, we helped facilitate an agreement between the Acterra/Donkey Handler group and James Witt over the use of use of his property as donkey pasture for the Barron Park donkeys.
- And we’ve continued our ongoing activities; we produced quarterly issues of the BPA Newsletter under the editorship of Nancy Hamilton with articles contributed by Doug Graham and others; used our website, www.BPApaloalto.org, to regularly publish posts with news and information of interest to the neighborhood along with events on a community calendar; organized several social events during the year, including a highly successful repeat (the 36th edition) of our May Fete coordinated by John King, and added some new events – a Chinese New Year’s celebration with Lion Dancers and a Movie Night in the Park – both organized by Lydia Kou. Our Membership Chair, Lisa Landers, has compiled the Babysitting list and distributed to those who requested it, and our Welcoming Chair, Gwen Luce, prepared and delivered information packets to newcomers. And during the year I voiced the concerns of the Barron Park neighborhood on the pace of development and the concerns about traffic at numerous neighborhood and City meetings.
I have tried very hard to represent the interests of the membership as a whole, to respond to your comments and concerns, to provide information to you about the Board activities and the measures the Board deals with and votes upon, to support initiatives that I feel are of benefit to the community and oppose those that conflict with our mission as a community organization. In short, to make you – each member of the BPA – aware of the issues that come before the Board and hopefully interest some of you , especially new residents or older residents who haven’t been active before, in participating in the Board activities. It can be a very rewarding experience.
To keep BPA Board vital, it needs an infusion of new faces , people with new ideas about how and what the BPA can do to enhance our community life– and with the energy and drive to carry them out. Please step forward and devote some of your time and talent to our neighborhood association.
Posted by Art Liberman