The SCNA board voted at its April 8 meeting to authorize prudent withdrawals from the reserve account if absolutely needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Treasurer John Bailey met with Executive Director Terri Shettle to reassess the budget while the Sierra 2 Center is closed. Normal expenses are approximately $70,000 per month, with about $16,000 revenue from resident tenants. Terri was able to reduce the budget to $33,000 per month.
She applied for a city loan, which was approved. She is reviewing SBA loans and the payroll protection program. Jonathan LaTurner has assisted Terri with navigating these programs’ red tape. Terri will continue to pursue grants to cover benefits and other operating costs.
Terri reported checking in with staff, looking for funding streams and helping customers to reschedule events and classes. Staff still receive 100% of their medical benefits.
The theme for SCNA’s Big Day of Giving is “Sierra 2gether.” Vice President Kathy Les is chairing the Big Day of Giving this year. She asked board members to raise $1,000 each. While the center is closed, we must still maintain the building and pay utilities. Half of the staff has applied for unemployment and Terri is taking a pay cut. There have been some generous donations already, but additional funds are needed to recover and return to financial health.
Co-chair John Mathews presented a letter to the city planning division regarding the proposed apartment complex at 24th Street and Castro Way.
SCNA welcomes much-needed affordable housing in our neighborhood, but asks that the new construction harmonize with the historic local character and fit in with existing homes. The board considers the proposed 14 units too dense for that property as parking is already at a premium. Mike McKeever has asked city staff for a Zoom meeting regarding design proposals. It was suggested to submit a letter within five days after amendments are made by Bill Hoover, John Mathews and Dan Murphy.
Neighborhood Concerns has proposed planting native plants at 24th Street and Fourth Avenue. Sierra 2 has a landscape plan for sustainable irrigation that will be shared with the committee. A local Boy Scout troop is willing to pitch in to do the plantings.
English elm treatment
Since October 2007, SCNA has hired Davey tree service to treat 17 English elms in the north part of William Curtis Park to protect them against Dutch elm disease. These treatments began in response to the removal of elms infected with the disease. Many were concerned all the elms would succumb and have to be removed if no preventive action was taken. The elm is injected with a fungicide, which provides protection for three years. The cost to treat 17 trees is approximately $14,000 and is completed over a two-year period. Since these treatments began, none of the treated elms have contracted Dutch elm disease. Given the cancellation of the Home and Garden Tour and the center’s temporary closure, SCNA’s budget does not support treating the elms unless we organize a fundraiser, or work out a plan with the city.
In attendance at the April 8 meeting, by Zoom conference video, were SCNA President Bill Hoover, Executive Director Terri Shettle, and board members Bruce Pierini, Eric Johnson, Kathy Les, Erik Fay, Bill French, John Bailey, Nury Enciso, Kimberley Bond, John Mathews, Mike McKeever, Jonathan LaTurner, Andrea Rosen, Kat Haro, Gerre Buehler, Martin Pierucci, Dan Pskowski and Kate Van Buren. Also in attendance were Dan Murphy, Mark Wenzel and Michael Hawkins.
Submitted by Kate Van Buren, board secretary