OGNA Semi-Annual Membership Meeting Notes


Oso Grande Neighborhood Association

Semiannual  Meeting Notes

6:30 pm, Thursday, April 18, 2024, Bear Canyon Senior Center 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

OGNA President Bob Fass opened the meeting and introduced OGNA Board Members and their positions.  Bob also introduced Mary O’Dowd as an interim At Large Board member approved by the Board.

Treasurer’s Report                                                                                                   

OGNA Treasurer Lorraine Kubik presented financial updates for the OGNA Fund and the Plant Fund (designated for the maintenance of the Oso Grande Pollinator Habitat) of deposits and expenditures from 10/1/23 to 3/31/24, i.e. since the October Semi-Annual Meeting.

OGNA Fund:  beginning balance on 10/1/2023 was $785.00 and the ending balance as of 3/31/24 was $ 1,028.71.  Total Deposits to the OGNA Fund from donations equaled $624.03; Total Expenditures $380.32.   Plant Fund:  beginning balance as of 10/1/23 was $427.96 and the ending balance as of 3/31/24 was $428.19.  For the Plant Fund there were $ 0 expenditures and $.23 in deposits for interest accrued

El Oso Grande Park Improvement Updates                         

Bob Fass reported the following:  Ten Solar Lights were installed along Osuna Rd in the last 12 months; it is anticipated that 3 additional solar lights will be installed along Osuna to fill in the darker lit spots.  Additionally two new 4-sided Picnic Tables have already been installed in the Park on the south side near the bridge to CNM.  A Drinking Fountain with a bottle fill and dog bowl has been requested from the Parks & Rec Dept.  The Dept is currently taking bids from contractors for installation of water fountains, so it is hoped that our park’s water fountain will be installed before the end of the year.

$40K of Capital Outlay Funds Allocated for El Oso Grande Park Improvements

Bob Fass stated that the El Oso Grande Park received $40K in Capital Outlay Funds during the 2024 Legislative Session, thanks to the advocacy of Sen. Bill Tallman and Rep. Marianne Matthews.  Bob reported that the OGNA Board developed the following options for possible use of the Capital Outlay Funds:

  • ADA Picnic table specifically for disabled persons – (3 sided table)
  • a larger shade structure for the children’s play area
  • ADA compliant children’s play equipment

Mr. Fass then asked OGNA meeting attendees for more suggestions and capital improvement needs for the Park.  The following ideas were also proposed:

  • additional Children’s play equipment ‘enclosure’ (similar to Barelas park)
  • another table for the triangle area near the children’s play area (possible concrete base needed)
  • additional Park benches along CNM Arroyo walking path w/ extended concrete pads for wheelchairs
  • Oso Grande NA Sign – need new hanging message board beneath; need goose-neck lights to light the Sign
  • More Lights along walk way on CNM side of Oso Grande Park (dark in early morning and late at night)
  • Replace/repair grass areas in Park
  • Request a sign to direct people to park their vehicles in the CNM Parking lot vs. only along Osuna

Mr. Fass said that the list would be finalized and submitted to Councilor Champine within the next 7 to 10 days.

Speakers

Senator Bill Tallman, District 18:

Sen Tallman provided an overview of activities from the 2024 NM Legislative Session.  There were 777 bills proposed for the 30 day session and of that 107 were signed by the Governor. The final $10.2 Billion budget included $3B placed into reserves for the Permanent Fund, Higher Education and other NM Trust Funds. Highlights of bills passed included:  the extension of funding for Universal School Lunch Funds; creation of a Rural Healthcare Fund to maintain facilities and support medical providers; increasing the Medicare reimbursement rates; replenish the Solar Tax Credit fund; create a NM Geothermal Tax Credit; $1000 tax deduction for school teachers to buy school supplies; legislation allowing retired public safety personnel to return to work while receiving their pension; among many other bills passed.  Another bill to extend the length of all Legislative sessions, compensate Legislators, and provide staff for Legislators was proposed but did not receive enough support and was not passed.

Samantha Martinez, Crime Prevention Specialist, APD Foothills Area Command:

Ms Martinez reported that in the last 90 days in the Oso Grande area there were 8 calls for services including 3 residential burglaries.  She suggested to call 242-COPS if you notice anything suspicious; to get to know all your neighbors; provide lights in the front and back yards and be sure to also lock the house back doors and not leave house keys nearby to be easily found. While on vacation, you can call 242-COPS to have your home put on ‘periodic watch’ by Police staff.  Other upcoming Police community activities and events include Coffee with a Cop, and Touch a Truck.  She said there are 70 personnel working out of the Foothills Police station both during 8-5 and on shifts. To file a Police report you can do it online or in person at the Foothills substation.  Be sure to get a T number (Tracking number) as well as the Case number.

District 8 City Councilor Dan Champine:

Councilor Champine provided an update on area activities including:  a fence has been installed around the CNM property to discourage homeless encampments; he committed use City funds and staff to widen the curb cuts and repaint the blue stripes for the 2 Handicapped access entrances to the Park off Osuna Rd; he stated that a Dog Park was being considered for the El Oso Grande Park area and that OGNA would be consulted about whether the Park would be built. He told OGNA members that a lot of road and utility work would be taking place in District 8 in the next couple of weeks especially along Morris, Eubank and Montgomery. Speed cameras are to be installed along Tramway, a State Road, and overgrown vegetation will be removed by City crews.

Pollinator Garden and Native Plant Society Update      

Mr. Fass said that the condition of the El Oso Grande Pollinator Garden has unfortunately deteriorated and he has contacted Tom Stewart.  Tom Stewart is our Pollinator Garden chief volunteer and the current Treasurer of the Native Plant Society (NPS).  He has assumed responsibility of our Pollinator Habitat. Tom and Ms. Terry Dettweiler (also a member of NPS) and Mr. Dan Humbles who is the City Horticulturalist will all work together to do an inventory/study of the area and provide new plants/trees etc to improve the garden. This is expected to be an on-going project over the next couple of years. The next steps are to rejuvenate the area with new/replacement plants, fixing fence posts and raise the walking path stones.  OGNA is also looking for a few volunteers who are willing to learn about native plants/grasses and how a pollinator/habitat is designed to work. This could be a rewarding experience to be able to watch our pollinator/habitat expand and develop. Volunteers should send us a message thru the OGNA website – info@osograndena.org .

Oso Grande Neighborhood Association Sign

Bob stated that the hanging message board under the OGNA Sign is not workable — it is very difficult to get the letters placed on the board and the letters will not stay in place.  He stated that a new hanging message board is needed and OGNA is looking at options for replacement.  Also lighting is needed for the sign — so OGNA is currently pricing gooseneck solar lights as an option.

OGNA Website Updates / Demonstration

Janie McGuigan, Secretary, provided a live demonstration of the OGNA website, osograndena.org  showing such website sections as the Home page, Latest Accomplishments, OGNA Meeting Notes, OGNA Board members, Important City Phone numbers, and City/Community News.

Announcement of El Oso Grande Park Cleanup  May 11, 2024

The next Park Cleanup will be held Saturday, May 11 from 9am to 12.  Please bring garden tools and gloves.  Members will meet in the Children’s Play area.  The next Green Waste Days sponsored by the Solid Waste Dept will be April 29 – May 6.

Closing Remarks                                                                                                

*****

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.

Treasurer’s Report                                                                         

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.

Closing Remarks

Fass thanked all those who attended and closed the October 19, 2023 meeting.

*****

Oso Grande Neighborhood Association

6:30 pm, Thursday, April 20, 2023, Bear Canyon Senior Center

                                                                 Semi-Annual Meeting  Meeting Notes

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.

Door Prizes 

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