Board Minutes April 2023

South Capitol Neighborhood Association Board

Weds, April 12, 2023 6:30-8:00 PM

  1. Call to Order
    1. Approval of Agenda: Approved
    2. Approval of Minutes (March): Approved
    3. In Attendance: Shannon Shula and Lorie Hewitt (via Zoom), Gerald Apple, Addie Spencer, Howard Goldberg, John Saunders, David Maltman, Collum Liska, Valerie Hammett, Sue Hedrick, Dave Butler
  2. Work Group Reports
    1. St. John’s Episcopal Church – Lorie Hewitt

Lorie reported that she had a two-hour discussion with Lou MacMillan about St. John’s Church.  The church has had a leaky roof for many years.  An assessment was done in 2018/2019 to determine the cost of repairs.  The first phase was estimated at that time to cost about $1 million.  The congregation seemed supportive, but then the effort was paused due to the pandemic.  During that time, the cost went up to $2 million.  Now it’s at $3 million and they are not able to do the project for that price.  There are other problems that would need to be addressed such as asbestos.  The congregation would like to remain in the neighborhood in some capacity.  They hired Thomas Architects as a consultant to come up with options for the property, which are due in June or so.  The church currently has non-profit status.  If that were to change to for-profit, it would require approval from the bishop in Seattle.  Having additional organizations or living spaces could have an impact on parking in the neighborhood.  Members of the congregation will attend the South Capitol Association board meeting in May to discuss this further.  The meeting will be held at the church. 

  1. Traffic – Gerald Apple

Gerald said his neighbor broached the subject recently by proposing having speed bumps put on Capitol Way.  Gerald suggested we reach out to the police department and invite a representative to a board meeting to explain why they’ve not been patrolling Capitol Way as they have in the past. John Saunders agreed with this suggestion.  David M. said he thought a radar sign would have the best effect of slowing traffic down, or having a police car park near some of the busiest intersections. Emily said she remembered seeing an old cruiser with a dummy in it in a neighborhood she once lived in. She said she would prefer a camera at intersections since it might be more effective. Howard, Gerald and John will find a representative at the Olympia police department to come and speak to the board at one of our monthly meetings.  There was discussion about whether the State Patrol has jurisdiction on Capitol Way, and it was agreed that they do. On a separate note, there was also discussion about the possibility of having flashing yellow lights installed at the intersection of 24th and Capitol Way.  Howard said he will look into the feasibility of that and report back at the next meeting.  

  1. Social/Communication – Emily Tilger

Emily said she created a South Capitol Neighbors page on Facebook. She is also managing the South Capitol Neighborhood” Facebook page, which was previously created.  She would like board members to send her articles, videos, community events – whatever they would like to share – and she will post them on the Facebook pages.  She said folks can send information via text, email – whatever form is fine by her. David asked about posting information about the historical homes – it was agreed that Emily could do that and direct folks to the South Capitol Neighborhood website, where there is a walking tour. Valerie asked whether the walking tour is self-guided – it is.  She said she would like to see a post about the historical homes. John asked that articles be posted on the South Capitol Neighborhood Association website and sent out to the listserve as well, and not just Facebook.  Addie said she will continue posting to the listserve, and Karen Meyer will continue to moderate its content. There was a discussion about possible social events hosted by the association.  Addie said that the board has paid for the use of the Lord Mansion two more times at $100 per use for the year. 

  1. Safety – Howard Goldberg

Howard said that safety can be defined in many ways.  It could be getting to know your neighbors, which is important. He would like to see if this is something that can be focused on.  This could help neighbors be more responsive to concerns in the neighborhood when they arise.  Howard said he used to deliver flyers around the neighborhood, and this was a way to get to know people.  He suggested that membership in the neighborhood association and knowing our neighbors would provide the greatest safety. Having neighborhood events also helps. Dave B. mentioned some problems he has been having with his neighbors concerning parking. 

  1. Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) – John Saunders

John sent a written report to the board prior to the meeting (see below). He mentioned there is a lot of information being sent out now from the Department of Enterprise Services (DES).  Demolition of the Newhouse building is ongoing.  The Pritchard building remodel and new addition is in the design phase.  The good news is that the artwork in the building will be preserved. Collum asked about the closure of Water Street, and expressed concerns about emergency vehicles getting into that part of the neighborhood. David M. asked if there were any plans to demolish the General Administration building.  A proposal is in the works.  John reported on the meeting with Senator Sam Hunt and Representatives Beth Doglio and Jessica Bateman about the budget proviso for parking, which the Board (via the work group) has gone on record opposing in favor of more landscaping.  He said the legislators were receptive to the work group’s concerns. Addie said there was a Triad committee (city, state and neighborhood) that used to meet, and suggested this be added to the Board’s 2023 working groups with John as the lead. 

  1. Election of Officers and board – moved and seconded to elect John Saunders as 2023 board president.  Approved
  2. SCNA communication with the City of Olympia – Addie
    1. Participation in the Neighborhood Recognition Program: 

Addie  said we are a recognized neighborhood so we can apply for grants (up to $5,000 annually according to the Olympia’s Neighborhood Recognition Program website).  Matching grants can be matched by volunteer hours of board members rather than funds.  Neighborhoods are allowed two street closures per year for block parties. She suggested board members go to the website to learn more.

  1. Attendance at the CNA meetings:

Addie also reported there is a Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, which is a way for neighborhoods to have a united voice with the city on issues such as traffic or homelessness.  We do not currently have a representative for the Board.  Gerald agreed to attend the CNA meetings, but said it would be good to have a backup in case he is not able to go.

  1. Key SCNA contacts for city officials: use the email?

Addie said that Joyce from the City of Olympia has been trying to reach the South Capitol Neighborhood Association – Sam may know more about this.  Addie asked if someone would be able to monitor the neighborhood association’s email inbox.  John said that he will chat with Sam about this.

  1. Discussion about changing dues structure – Howard
    1. Howard said he thought it would be nice to increase our neighborhood association’s income.  Since we have a Paypal account, he wondered if it could be set up so that folks could pay $10 per month rather than just once per year. John asked how the association is doing financially – Addie said we are just breaking even. John said that, if we ask for neighbors to contribute more, we would need to explain what the association would do with the money and what they would get for it.  Howard said he will look into how the Paypal collection system might be changed and will report back on it. 
  2. Board Housekeeping- Sharing google doc access and google tools with board members- Sam Shula

Sam had to leave the meeting before we reached this item on the agenda. All board members appear to have access to the Board’s Google Drive.

  1. Motion to Adjourn
    1. Meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

Next Meeting- Weds, May 10, 2023, 6:30 pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church


Written Reports

Here is a report for the Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) workgroup submitted for the April 12, 2023, SCNA Board meeting.  This report covers activities during March 2023.

Major construction projects have begun and will continue over the next few years. 

  • Demolition of the existing Newhouse Building and the Ayers House is underway.  The Carolyn House has been demolished.
  • Detailed design of the O’Brien buildings renovation is underway.. 
  • Detailed design of the renovated and expanded Pritchard Building is underway.  
  • Over the next few years, these large projects will cause some disruption, especially to the adjacent areas. SCNA will monitor these projects.  

The Workgroup met with Rep. Beth Doglio, Rep. Jessica Bateman and Sen. Sam Hunt from our legislative delegation. We asked that they seek to remove or change the proviso in the Capital Budget which requires the LCM project to maintain, at a minimum, all existing surface parking.  This would allow the LCM to provide better landscaping in keeping with the original campus design.  They agreed with our request and passed it to the respective capital budget committee chairs.  We are seeking clarification on whether the change has or will be made before final passage of the capital budget.

SCNA continues to advocate for a landscaping plan with less surface parking, more tall trees and understory to create human scale for the large Newhouse replacement building, a softer transition to the neighborhood, and a southern gateway entrance to the Capitol Campus that keeps Water Street open to bikes, pedestrians, and autos.

Anyone can  now sign up for weekly updates by email from the DES project team by sending a request to:

Meetings continue:

  • The workgroup attended LCM Stakeholder meetings on March 30.  Everyone is invited to attend these meetings.  Send a request to  
  • DES will host the next LCM Stakeholder meeting on April 27, 2023 at 3:30 pm. 
  • The SCNA workgroup also continues to support the Friends of the Capitol Campus.

Published by Community Contributor

These articles are from a wide variety of members of our community. See the byline to find out who wrote the specific article you're reading.

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