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3/1/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Mar 2, 2017, 9:51 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Mar 2, 2017, 9:53 PM ]
River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

Attending
From RONA: President Jean Marlowe, Secretary Laura Carns
From City of San Jose, District 4 Office: Councilmember Lan Diep, staffers Chris Rork,
From Santa Clara Water District: Dick Santos
and community members: 
Jim Canova.

MINUTES
  1. River Oaks Park Maintenance Issues
    Jean got a response from Rafael Gomez of the Parks Depth. He has collected some of the information but not all. Currently taking care of the flooding has higher priority. He can confirm that the Irvine funds are being used for River Oaks Park, and that the Irvine funds are not enough to fully pay for maintenance. The city is making up the difference. RONA will continue to ask for a full accounting of the details.

  2. Agnews School Campus Construction
    Larry Adams has said they will be asking the Board to award a contract to the architect at the February 9th meeting. It will take 1-2 months from there to get organized, so expect the community outreach to start up again in the April/May timeframe.

  3. RONA would like to set up a community meeting with Councilmember Lan Diep, and invite the entire neighborhood for Q&A session. The current plan is to have it scheduled as part of the May 3rd RONA meeting. Board needs to put together flyers. It was also suggested that we pre-solicit the questions, that way if research is required on CM Diep's side, he has time to do that.

  4. The Urban Land Institute brought some of the country's best urban-planners out to brainstorm ideas for improving North San Jose. You can read about it here.

  5. Jim Canova reporting back on the District 11 idea: The last time the city redistricted, it was Measure F in 1978. That was a city-wide ballot measure. We'd have to do something similar. As the council grows it gets unwieldy as a committee... one idea: pursue a redistricting rather than adding districts.

  6. FloodingRONA's Secretary Laura Carns wrote up a brief overview of the events of last week. 

  7. Flooding: The Board had a conversation with Rick Santos of the Santa Clara Valley Water District and Councilmember Lan Diep. The focus was kept to a positive discussion our neighborhood and how the situation played out in our area. (Editor's note: This conversation was very fast-flowig, here are some of the heavily paraphrased and out-of-order comments):
    1. From Mr. Santos: 
      1. This flood was the same as 1983, 1997: Andersen fills up and then we get more rain. 
      2. It's everything south of Trimble that's a problem. SCVWD has tried for years now but never got the federal matching funds to improve those sections. 
      3. RO levees have 3 feet of "freeboard" -- ie there should always be 3 feet of height before the river goes over the levee. Many points south of us will fail before that last 3 feet is used. If you see other standing water, it's not the creek; it's storm drains backing up ("ditchwater").
      4. SCVWD is evaluating everything they did, every communication, looking for improvements. 
    2. From CM Diep: 
      1. City is working on plans to have a much improved emergency alert system, but that's a long way off and will take funding. Reverse 911 is one of the options.
      2. City has lots of underfunded maintenance projects. Two of the top-priority ones are in NSJ:
        1. Alviso's Gold St pump -- funds approved, getting permits now, will construct in 2018
        2. Charcot/Zanker intersection improvements
    3. From Laura:
      1. For a medium-term alert solution, have you thought about using HOAs as the equivalent of a telephone tree? They're highly localized, have all the contact information they need, and have a stake in the game. (Both Santos and Diep liked that suggestion...)
      2. The NOAA and other agencies were issuing warnings for the whole Creek but it was hard to know how to interpret them. Better communication from SCVWD on the 3 feet of "freeboard" would have eased some concerns here. 
      3. ROP has relatively poor connectivity to the street grid, which could be very bad in an evacuation scenario. Does the city have a plan?
    4. From Mr. Canova: ROP has the best flood protection on the Coyote, and it's due to years of work from Mr. Santos and people like him. Thank you!