First, I want to take a moment to thank all of those who came out to the meeting last week. It was very beneficial to hear thoughts from our neighbors surrounding the proposed sober living house at 608 Middle Drive. Many of you offered up great thoughts, ideas, and things the board had not even considered, just as we hoped you would. As a result of that conversation, the Civic League board met on Wednesday, December 20, and created the Woodruff Place Civic League Land Use Special Committee (WPCLLUSC). The volunteers for this committee are Bill Longest (chair) from the Foundation board, Terri Carney from the Civic League board, Vanessa Javé-Lowry (adjacent homeowner), Rachel Pendleton, Kurt Tornquist, Paul Russell, and Monica Thompson-Deal (in an advisor role). Their first committee meeting will be 12/27/17.
In looking at whom to appoint to the committee, we looked at those who volunteered to serve and tried to select individuals who appeared to sit on all sides of the issue and who could offer additional understanding to benefit the committee. They have all agreed to tackle this task, and I ask that we all give them the support they need to create a recommendation to the board and the Civic League members. You can all be assured that if there is an actionable item, you will get a chance to vote on the direction that is taken.
On that note, I want to take a moment to apologize. It was NEVER the board’s intent to keep anything from the neighborhood or take sides. The intent was to gather the information we could from the new owner/operator, share that with the neighborhood, get the neighbors’ views, and determine next steps. We had a fact-finding meeting with the operator within a week of finding out what was proposed for 608, sent a letter containing that information to the neighbors within two days, and scheduled the information meeting for as soon as we thought feasible. We are working as quickly and effectively as we know how. In hindsight, I wish we would have had the owner/operator compose a letter to the neighborhood explaining their intent, instead of summarizing the conversation we had with them. That might have cleared up some of the feeling that the board had taken a side and was not just sharing information.
The start of a new year represents a fresh start. Even though we have a mountain of additional answers to seek, I ask that we do it together. We may currently have the highest number of members in the history of the organization. Let’s put it to good use.
Happy New Year to each one of you and your families.