Oso Grande Neighborhood Association (OGNA)
Semiannual Meeting Notes
6:00 p.m., Thursday, October 19, 2023, Bear Canyon Senior Center
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Bob Fass, President, opened the meeting with a welcome to attendees. He introduced himself and asked for each Board member to introduce themselves.
Lorraine Kubik, Treasurer, provided an overview of the OGNA Annual Treasurer’s Report covering periods October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023.
OGNA Checking Account:
Beginning Balance 10/1/22: $1,446.44.
Total Deposits: $591.56.
Total Withdrawals (Checks, Debit Card): $825.29
Transfer of funds from Checking to open a separate Plant Fund Savings Acct: $427.71.
Ending Balance 9/30/23: $785.00.
Major expenses or Withdrawals include: Annual PO Box fee: $248.00. Neighborhood Meeting Signs & Supplies: $315.91.
Annual OGNA Web Site Fee: $108.00, Meeting Room Fees: $78.75, District 8 Coalition Dues: $10.00.
Plant Fund Savings Account:
Beginning Balance 10/1/22: $.00
Receipt of Set Aside Funds from OGNA Checking account to establish a separate Plant Fund Savings Acct: $427.71.
Interest earned: $.25
Ending Balance 9/30/23: $427.96.
El Oso Grande Park Update and Accomplishments of OGNA
President Bob Fass provided an update on the Park’s recent and anticipated improvements.
Solar Lights were installed by City staff in May around the perimeter of the Park – along Osuna, Morris, near the bridge to CNM and near the Children’s Play Area.
OGNA has requested from the City Parks & Recreation Dept: a) re-painting of Handicapped Ramp area in the street on Osuna; b) a new Drinking Fountain with a bottle fill station should be installed in the Children’s Play Area in the next 2 months; c) three new 4 sided Picnic Tables; and d) 23 BearSaver trash containers with bear safe lids for the Park and Open Space areas.
Fass made an announcement for neighbors to please not dump landscape trimmings and plant cuttings in our Park – please don’t treat the Park like a dump. There will be a Green Waste Drive within the next couple of weeks to dispose of trimmings properly.
Fass stated that El Oso Grande Park received $30,000 in State Capital Outlay funds from the 2023 Legislative session that will be used to purchase additional solar lights to illuminate the remaining dark areas around the Park.
Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) Updates for Neighborhood Associations
OGNA Board members Karen Rivard and Dee Taylor attended a City of ABQ Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) meeting at Los Durantes Community Center on October 14. There were 5 speakers: Fire Department commander, Film Office rep, 311 Director, Albuquerque Police Dept rep and ONC. Information presented included the following: 80% of 911 calls are EMS calls. There are more fires in abandoned buildings, outside spaces, and dumpsters related to homelessness. 311: 311 hours of operation: 6 am to 9 pm M-Sat. Sunday 9 am to 6pm. The most common calls are regarding the bus schedule. A closed case means that 311 has referred the case to the appropriate entity. APD: 95% of home alarms are false alarms. Alarm owners must register and pay a fee to defer the cost to APD responding to alarms. 242-Cops and 911 use the same operators. Smart 911 system: personal information can be entered (such as garage code, health issues, etc) but that information can only be accessed when 911 is called. ATLAS 1 is a new APD app. Neighborhood associations can be paid by the film companies if the neighborhood is used for filming. ONC: Neighborhood Walks can be made to encompass interesting sights and neighborhoods around the City. There will be a neighborhood walk every month except June, July, and August. These walks are advertised to the public. October 21st: Pat Hurley neighborhood walk.
Annual Board Elections
President Fass explained the open positions in this year’s elections – Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and 2 At Large positions. The following persons applied by the Sept 27 deadline for these open positions: Lorraine Kubik for Treasurer; Janie McGuigan for Secretary and Karen Rivard for At Large member. The OGNA Bylaws do not provide for nominations from the floor. Since there were no opposing candidates for the 3 offices, Fass called for a voice vote and asked for a motion to accept the nominees by unanimous consent or acclamation. Mari Lyford made the motion and Linda Fass seconded the motion. The three Board applicants were approved.
Fass also stated the need for additional/more folks to consider involvement and Board membership in the future.
Report from State Representative District 27
Fass introduced Marianne Matthews, State Rep. She reported that the 2024 State Legislative Session will be a 30 day Session primarily dealing with financial issues. As a result of the continuing increase in oil and gas revenue there will continue to be an excess of State funds to disburse and competing interests for those. There are 2 avenues to get funds to neighborhood associations: State Capital Outlay and ‘Junior Money’ that is set aside for non-profits around the state. Ms. Matthews stated her priorities are: addressing organized retail crime and assisting CYFD to become fully funded and staffed; and property tax reduction/relief for Seniors.
District 8 City Council Candidate Forum
The two District 8 Candidates were introduced by Jane McGuigan, Forum Moderator: Dan Champine and Idalia Lechuga-Tena
Ms. McGuigan provided an overview of Candidate Forum ground rules: each Candidate will be given two minutes for Opening Remarks and two minutes for Closing Remarks. Candidates will be asked some prepared questions and written questions will be taken from the audience. Questions were not made available to the candidates before the Forum, etc. The following prepared questions were asked:
- What is the first new initiative or legislation you would introduce at City Council? And why?
- How do you plan to regularly inform and educate residents in District 8 about important City issues?
- Many neighborhoods deal with rental properties that are not managed well by their landlords. How would you address habitual problems arising from rental properties when landlords fail to respond to neighborhood concerns?
- What gun safety and/or gun violence prevention measures would you support for the city of Albuquerque to institute
- Would you support an amendment to the City’s IDO or Zoning Code to allow Duplex conversions in all R-1 zoned properties? Why or Why not?
- What do you think that ABQ has ‘done right’ to address the homelessness problem in ABQ?
- Property crimes, home robberies and auto burglaries have risen to exponential levels in the last several years in Albuquerque, what specific actions should the Police Chief and police beat officers take to reduce neighborhood crime
- Would you support an amendment to the City’s IDO or Zoning codes that places a minimum distance between short term rentals to ensure there is not a concentration of short term rentals on a particular block or in neighborhood or subdivision areas?
- In light of the Homelessness or Unhoused persons crisis in our City, how will you as a City Councilor respond to the injunction from the local District Judge that states beginning November 1, City staff will be ‘banned from seizing or destroying property of people who are homeless’ — essentially saying that homeless encampment sweeps or cleanups are illegal.
- The El Oso Grande Park has a large multi-purpose trail along the Bear Canyon arroyo that is used by walkers, runners, bicyclists, skaters, segway scooters, etc. Walking along the path can sometimes be dangerous as cyclists, skaters and scooters can move very fast along the path and someone could be injured. Would you be willing to declare a “safety corridor” using signs or yellow stripes in the center of the path, etc. to remind people to slow down and be more aware of others on the trail?
Door Prize Drawings
All attendees received a numbered ticket upon attendance and sign in at the meeting. A drawing of winning ticket numbers from a basket was held and the following prizes were given away: (2) $25 gift certificates from Restoration Pizza and Bosque Brewing; $25 gift certificate from Cinnamon Café; a bouquet of Roses; and $10 gift certificate from Starbucks.
Fass thanked all those who attended and closed the October 19, 2023 meeting.
Oso Grande Neighborhood Association, Semi-Annual Meeting
6:30 pm, Thursday, April 20, 2023
Location: Bear Canyon Senior Center
Opening Remarks Bob Fass, President
Bob opened the meeting updated the attendees about the new OGNA Neighborhood Sign at the corner of Osuna and Morris, which was spearheaded by Lorraine. He also said that OGNA had purchased 10 new yard signs in plastic fiberboard to announce OGNA General meetings and mentioned that OGNA will be asking for neighbors to post the new signs in their yard prior to OGNA General meetings. Bob provided a history of the City’s Office of Neighborhood Coordination, stating that it used to be in the City Planning Dept; but has since become an independent City department.
Marriane Matthews, State Rep Dist 27, was visiting OGNA and wanted to introduce herself and stated that because of redistricting in 2021, OGNA is now located in State District 27. Ms. Matthews said that she ‘works for us’ and that she would be glad to talk about what transpired in 2023 Legislative Session at another OGNA meeting.
Presentation: Foothills Community Policing Council Idalia Lechuga-Tena, Guest Speaker
Bob introduced our speaker, Idalia Lechuga-Tena who is running for City Council District 8 seat. Ms. Lechuga-Tena stated she is Chair of Citizens Policing Council (CPC), and, also Vice Chair of the City-wide CPC. CPCs are independent, volunteer organizations created by a City ordinance and report to the City Council. CPCs were created in response to the Federal government’s 2014 investigation of the Albuquerque Police Dept (APD) and a consent decree for oversight of APD. CPCs can recommend changes to the Albuquerque Police Dept and each area Police Command has own CPC. She said the best way to combat crime is to participate in the local CPC. The Foothills Area CPC (that OGNA is located in) meets the 2nd Monday of each Month (with hybrid – in person or virtual — meetings) at 6 – 8 pm. The CPCs discuss community concerns in Foothills area and Sean Garrett, Foothills Commander, provides police statistics at each meeting. She also mentioned the Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS) team and the services it provides. ACS primarily addresses homelessness issues and interfaces with Homeless citizens by doing wellness checks for non-criminal and non-medical issues impacting homeless persons. ACS is available 7 days a week 7 am – 8 pm; but for after hours issues call 911/Police Dept. To contact ACS, call 311 and then request ACS to check on a homeless person. Idalia said she will lobby for ACS services to be extended 24-7. Bob stated that ACS is very responsive to the community and ACS has been very response to OGNA regarding 2 incidences in El Oso Grande Park.
Treasurers Report James Carter, OGNA Treasurer
James displayed the April 2023 OGNA Budget sheet on a Ppt screen. He discussed recent Expenses for 10 new neighborhood meeting plastic fiberboard signs ($258.38) and meeting room expenses ($11.25) and the receipt of funds for OGNA Dues of $100.00 which yielded a Balance of $945.57 for the OGNA main acct as of April 20, 2023. The Native Area Plant Fund balance is $427.80.
El Oso Grande Park Updates Lorraine Kubik
Lorraine updated the OGNA members regarding the installation of the new Neighborhood monument sign and hanging message letter board at the corner of Osuna and Morris.
All parts have been received by the City for the motion-activated Solar Lights for the Park and are expected to be installed later this summer. Additionally a new shade structure was installed over the winter for the Children’s Play Area to keep the park equipment shaded during the hot summer months. Due to the efforts of the City Parks and Rec and District 8 City Councilor, $30,000 in State Capital Outlay funds were set aside for El Oso Grande Park in the 2023 Legislative Session via HB 2. Previous discussions with Park staff regarding the use of the funds are for purchasing (2) 4 – seat tables [one table will be placed near bridge to CNM and one table near the play area in the empty triangle] and concrete covers for City garbage cans.
El Oso Grande Park — Spring Cleanup Beth Baker
Saturday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon
Beth Baker is the Coordinator for the City’s Adopt-a-Park projects at El Oso Grande Park. She announced that a Park Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 from 9-12. She asked for volunteers to assist and to bring tools such as rakes, hoes, loppers, pruners, etc. Beth will provide trash bags from the City. She said all volunteers need to bring gloves and sign a City waiver. Volunteers should meet at Children’s play area in the Park. Bob said that a battery powered weed wacker is need to clean up around the Neighborhood Sign at the corner of Morris and Osuna. All waste will be picked up by City solid waste dept staff on the following Monday.
Responses/Updates on October 2022 Mtg. Concerns
OGNA Board members provided updates and answers to questions posed from OGNA members at the October Annual Meeting:
* Discuss whether Osuna Rd from Morris to Juan Tabo could be opened and the notification
processes — Janie McGuigan explained that she contacted staff at both the City Dept of Municipal Development and the Planning Dept. They explained that the street closure on Osuna Rd NE between Edwards and Sereno Dr. NE. is a City-maintained roadway and right of way; and, at present there are no plans to open Osuna as a through street. She said if there was going to be a change to the access to make it a through road, it would have to go through a public comment period and a notice would be received from the Office of Neighborhood Coordination to notify all property owners and area neighborhood associations including OGNA.
* Discuss concerns about an absentee landlord/homeowner allowing people to live in their house and not caring for the property — Bob Fass suggested that OGNA members should report such issues to the City and sign up for notices at the See/Click/Fix website, https://seeclickfix.com/albuquerque and/or call 311 to report any code violations, disturbances or property needing to be maintained.
* Discuss concerns about private properties being used as vacation rentals — Bob Fass provided an overview of the City’s Short-Term Rentals Ordinance. Mayor Keller and Council recently passed an update to the city ordinance governing short term rentals that included the max number of ST rentals per property owner will be 3 houses; that they must pay a permit fee for each home; and, the Property manager must live within 20 miles of ABQ limits for immediate response to issues. Existing ST properties already licensed will be grandfathered in and the total number of ST rentals will be expanded to 1800 houses city-wide. An attendee asked ‘How many ST rentals are in our neighborhood?’ OGNA will investigate the answer.
* What is the process for applying for a Block Party Permit from the City — Janie McGuigan explained there are a couple of types of block parties – Informal (potluck or cook outs at a neighbors yard or driveway) and Formal in which temporary street barricades are installed. No permit is required for an informal block party. A Formal block party with street barricades requires a City Block Party Permit Application (access on City website) be completed and approved by the Fire, Environmental Health, Municipal Development and Police Depts as well as having street barricades paid for by private individuals or an association.
* Illegal use of Fireworks before/after July 4th and other holidays — David Hollis provided an overview of the recommended process for addressing unwanted and illegal fireworks that included establishing a relationship with the particular Neighbor and stating that the fireworks scare the family, dogs, etc.; if no response or abatement of fireworks you can call 311 and report on City’s 311 See Click Fix app to ID the location that the fireworks are going off. In summary try to use: 1) diplomacy in communications, 2) ask the neighbor to stop; and if no response, 3) report to Police — you have right to report to Police. Another OGNA member suggested to put ‘gps’ trackers on pets and use ‘thundershirts’ to calm pets.
* Concerns about deteriorating roads in the Neighborhood — Bob Fass said the City keeps a running list of roads that need to be repaired around the city. If there is a particular road that needs repair, it is suggested to take pictures and submit to the City Transportation Dept or Municipal Development Dept. Bob stated that many street problems can be fixed by ‘pothole machines’.
* Concerns and ideas about speeding traffic along Morris by the Park – Bob Fass stated that OGNA could ask the City for ‘Slow Down ABQ’ signs; or, set up a speed enforcement area by completing a City request form. Another alternative is to start a Neighborhood Traffic Mgmt project that would ID traffic speeds via traffic speed wagon or request the City install flashing lights at Morris and Osuna.
Open Discussion on new Neighborhood Issues:
- Issue: Street Vehicles and Motorcycles doing circles in the Park that destroy grass and break sprinkler lines. Solutions include perhaps more trees could be planted or large boulders could be placed in strategic areas. The installation of solar lights should help.
- Issue: Prevalence of Trees and Weeds along Morris near Spain — suggest to report to 311 and/or See/Click/Fix as a city code violation for non-maintenance along the right of way on Morris.
Yvonne Mier and Janie McGuigan drew the door prize numbered stubs from a bowl and awarded the prizes to the winners: gift certificates from Starbucks, Restoration Pizza and Bosque Brewing.
Next General Meeting – October 2023
Oso Grande Neighborhood Association (OGNA) Annual Meeting
Thursday, October 20, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Bear Canyon Sr Center, Room 4
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Acting President, Bob Fass opened the meeting and welcomed all present. He reviewed the important implications and expectations of neighborhood associations regarding the City of Albuquerque’s Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance as passed by City Council on April 28, 2022. As dictated by this new ordinance, the Oso Grande Neighborhood Association has amended its Association Bylaws to be in compliance with the new ordinance changes and those Bylaws have been submitted to and approved by the Albuquerque Office of Neighborhood Coordination. Mr. Fass introduced all current Board Members: Bob Fass, Acting President, Janie McGuigan, Secretary, James Carter, Treasurer, and three At Large Board Members: Karen Rivard, Yvonne Mier and Lorraine Kubik.
NM Gas Residential Rebates Presentation
Ms. McGuigan introduced the speaker, Jody Calimlim, Residential Rebates Account Manager. Ms. Calimlim provided a Ppt presentation about the rebates programs of PNM and NM Gas to incentivize homeowners to purchase energy efficient water heaters, HVAC systems, insulation, etc. She set up an information table and brought free High Efficiency Showerheads to give away.
Oso Grande Pollinator Habitat
Beth Baker provided an update on the Pollinator Habit at Oso Grande Park; and discussed the regular maintenance and/or necessary replacement of various plants. The Oso Grande Pollinator habitat has a separate fund for expenditures that is overseen by the Oso Grande Treasurer.
James Carter provided an update of expenditures and disbursals. The September starting balance is $1,689.69 Total October Expenditures $254.50 [(2) Mtg Room Charges of $11.25 and PO Box cost of $232.00], yielding $1018.73 Total net for OGNA.
Subsequent Deposits received at or after the Annual Meeting include: $130.00 cash received at Annual Meeting and $120.00 checks = $250.00, yielding a new ending balance of $1,268.73 for OGNA as of October 30, 2022. A separate Oso Grande Pollinator Habitat Plant Funds balance remains: $427.71 .
Review of Activities and Accomplishments of OGNA
Lorraine Kubik provided an overview of the activities of OGNA volunteers from Nov 2021 to Oct 2022 to help maintain Oso Grande park: a new doggy bags box was installed; re-striping of curb and No Parking signs along Osuna Rd.; OGNA held a 2022 Spring Park cleanup and Meet & Greet of Officers in Oso Grande Park. Anticipated park improvements include Solar lighting, pending State Capital Outlay Funds, and OGNA is pursuing an Oso Grande Neighborhood Monument Sign with the Albuquerque Office of Neighborhood Coordination. Also pursuing 2 Neighborhood Sidewalk signs. Vanessa Baca w/ONC submitted the request to Councilor Jones’ office for approval. Once approved the sign will likely take up to 6 weeks to get fabricated and installed. OGNA has established good relationship with Councilor Jones’ office and her assistant, Aziza who has been supportive of park improvements for OGNA.
OGNA Annual Board Elections
Janie McGuigan, as OGNA Secretary, conducted the OGNA Board Elections process. She explained the OGNA Bylaws process for posting Board vacancies via social media 45 days before the date of the Annual Meeting; and, the deadline for receiving Board Applications being 20 days before the date of the Annual Meeting. She listed the four vacant Board positions on the dry erase board in the meeting room: President, Vice President and two (2) At Large Board positions. Applications were received by the deadline for the President position – Bob Fass; At Large position — Dee Taylor; At Large position – David Hollis; no Applications were received for the Vice President position. Since there was only one Application received per position, the Secretary asked for a motion to accept the slate of nominees by acclimation or unanimous approval. A motion was made by John Ross and seconded by Linda Fass to submit for approval to the OGNA General Membership the slate of 3 nominees: President position – Bob Fass; At Large position — Dee Taylor; At Large position – David Hollis. A vote was then called by the OGNA Secretary and all OGNA members present voted and accepted the slate of nominees.
Identification of Neighborhood Concerns and Issues
Bob Fass, newly elected President asked attendees ‘What are the Issues or Concerns that the General Membership is concerned about and suggests that OGNA should pursue?’ The following issues or concerns were offered:
1) neighbors expressed concern about whether Osuna Rd will be opened from Morris to Juan Tabo (Board members said they are monitoring the situation closely with Councilor Jones’ office and have heard of no further plans for opening Osuna); 2) what is the process for applying for a Block Party from the City?; 3) some neighbors are concerned about an absentee landlord/homeowner allowing squatters to live in their house and not caring for the property (Board members suggested that it be reported to City Code Enforcement and/or the Planning Dept via 311 and See/Click/Fix); 4) some neighbors are concerned about private properties being used as vacation rentals, i.e. VRBO or Air B&Bs and asked ‘what are the City rules for vacation rentals?’. (Board members said they would do research in the City Ordinances and ask the District 8 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations to find out further information); 5) some neighbors are concerned about the illegal use of Fireworks before/after July 4th and other holidays and the impact of noise and possible fires from fireworks. (Board members said they would write a letter to City Councilor Jones to make her aware and request action); 6) some neighbors are concerned about the deteriorating road and pavement in the neighborhood, especially in the Edwards/Cueva del Oso area and that the streets need to be resurfaced; 7) neighbors are concerned about speeding traffic along Morris by the Park and asked what could be done; and, a suggestion was made to put a crosswalk for walkers and cyclists for a safe crossing across Morris.
Door Prize Drawings
Janie McGuigan and Karen Rivard conducted the drawing of Door Prize ticket numbers from a basket, with the assistance of the two newly elected At Large Board Members, and several prizes were awarded: a tree from TreeNM; several gift certificates and a blanket.
Closing Remarks Bob Fass closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. He asked if attendees wanted to meet more than one time a year and the majority agreed that they wanted OGNA to meet two times a year – so a meeting will be held next Spring 2023.