Last week, The Stranger was cc'd on a furious email chain involving residents of the Cascade Neighborhood, who were seemingly irate and ready to sue members of the Cascade Neighborhood Council over (from what I can tell) changes to the council's by-laws and $1,700 in funds that some residents believed were being mismanaged or misappropriated. It was a little hard to follow, as emotions were heated and there were email accusations of people being "CRAZY, CONSPIRACY THEORY PEOPLE, INTERWINING THINGS, NON PARTICIPANTS," and other people chiming in with "I'm confused," and "wow Sean The Stranger thanks!" (when we were finally added to the clusterfuck of emails).
I tried to follow up with several members on the chain and didn't hear back. Now today brings the news that the entire Cascade Neighborhood Council has resigned via email:
The purpose of this memorandum is to announce the resignation of the full Executive Committee of the Cascade Neighborhood Council, provide context and reasoning for the resignation, direct questions to the intermediary, and allow personal resignation from each officer.
We came to the Cascade Neighborhood Council because we care about our neighborhood and the council was a great opportunity to contribute in a positive way. At first this effort was focused on having a neighborhood center; after that we utilized new forms for fulfilling our mission of creating and strengthening connections between the people of the neighborhood, without the use of a primary facility.
A whole lot more after the jump...
Many connections were made during our tenure and we are grateful—a wide variety of new residents came out of the woodwork and key businesses have stepped forward to support our mission.
Recently a very small number of vocal people have not seen what we are doing as positive. This obstruction has inhibited our ability to move forward in a productive manner. Hoping to resolve the issue and help each person maximize their place in the context of our community, we offered mediation. It was declined.
This places us at a crossroads. While we have been cultivating support all along, we have not arrived at the level of engagement necessary to be productive and move forward in this context. The most productive thing to do at this time is collectively resign.
The Cascade Neighborhood Council’s bylaws do not give sufficient direction of what to do in this situation, so we have asked the city to act as an intermediary.
This is a resignation of the full Executive Committee of the Cascade Neighborhood Council. Since this process has impacted each of us uniquely, we’ve also included personal resignations below:
Kim Justice, President I hereby resign my position as President of the Cascade Neighborhood Council. My decision to resign from the CNC is for the same reasons as I joined: I joined the CNC because I wanted to support my community, get to know my neighbors, and volunteer my time to make a positive contribution in other people’s lives. For those very same reasons, I am choosing to expend my time and energy elsewhere, as participation in the CNC is no longer a productive forum to achieve those goals. In the last few months, the council has been met with a level of obstructionism that has hindered our ability to be productive and active. Achieving our goals under the current context would demand a level of time and attention that I cannot invest as a volunteer who also has a full-time job.
LaJeanne Jones, Vice President As a resident and employee of the community, the mission of Cascade Neighborhood Council was very attractive - a forum through which residents, employees, business owners, and property owners can find common ground as they define and develop a livable community for themselves. It has been with great pleasure to serve such a unique and diverse community. I have truly enjoyed working with you all. Unfortunately, with all the continuous opposition, it's very difficult to make positive changes and progress in our mission. With regret, I hereby resign my position as Vice President of the Cascade Neighborhood Council.
Kyoko Yoshimi, Treasurer It has been a great pleasure for me to be able to assist the Cascade Neighborhood Council by donating my time, experience and knowledge. My role might have been a little low keyed because of its nature, but I believe I have played my part fully in accordance with my own belief as a guardian of the community's asset. I have to admit that I even enjoyed working on a little complicated fund accounting that required more procedures than the other general accounting for for-profit entities. However, my other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of my position and I feel it would be best if I make room for someone with the time and energy to devote to the job.
Molly Franklin, Secretary I love the essence of the mission of the Cascade Neighborhood Council—to create and strengthen connections between people who live, work, and own businesses or property here. It was and is the driving force of how I want to be in this geographical place with my young family. Ironically, precisely because this mission is so important to me, the CNC is no longer a productive place to be. My role as Secretary in the last five months has been consumed not with moving forward in this mission, but with attempting to manage a few vocal people who are unhappy. I hereby resign from my position as Secretary of the Cascade Neighborhood Council, fully alert for the many other contexts and ways to create and strengthen connections between the people of this great neighborhood.
I have several calls in to see what happens next with the CNC; I'll update when I know more.