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  • Writer's pictureOakley Neighborhood Association

Oakley Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes: June 1, 2021

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Oakley Neighborhood Association - meeting minutes

Tuesday June 1, 2021 6-7:15pm / Oakley Pavilion /

Anna Sexton - Neighborhood Advisory Committee

  • 71 registered neighborhoods

  • Connect neighborhoods to city council/staff, engage with development plans

  • Meet the last Monday of the month (6/28) 5-6:30p

  • Goal is to increase neighborhood registration

    • Pleased to see our Plan on a Page progress

  • Neighborhood festival - spring 2022

  • Annual “neighborhood hero”

    • Planning July 1 (Anna to send details to Michael)

  • Issue forums, future format TBD

  • Michael asked about block parties - Anna said she’d investigate

Rich Lee - Google Survey

  • Defines neighborhood

  • Link to survey on neighborhood facebook page

  • Need more respondents

Michael Stratton - Plan on a Page

  • City of AVL template

  • Current draft developed by early Neighborhood Association meetings, Resilience Garden group, Neighborhood Watch group

  • Would like input from folks who haven’t yet done the survey

  • Neighborhood origins, history, boundaries

  • 6mo-1yr to fully develop

Michael Stratton - Bylaws

  • Borrowed template from East West

  • Subcommittee to firm up draft

  • Add a link to PoP & Bylaws to FB page? Possible web domain, funded by Resilience Garden

Michael Stratton - Resilience Garden

  • 400 lbs of food grown so far

  • Started as a passive idea, individuals claim plots

  • COVID shifted the model to supplement underfed kids

  • 56% kids in Buncombe County Schools on free and reduced lunch pre-pandemic

  • 461 Fairview Road

  • Volunteer days

    • Wed 5:30-7

    • Sat 10a-12p


Unanimous vote to let early leaders serve as interim board, duke out who does what

  • Michael Stratton

  • Betsy Nesbitt

  • Bess McDavid

  • Allison Kiehl

  • Rich Lee

  • Natalie Romanello

Oakley Library - Potential Closure

  • Jim Blanton - Buncombe County Library Director

  • Ruth O’Donnell - Library Advisory Board chair

  • County performed a comprehensive facilities plan

    • Library opted for a specialist review

      • Consultant from Dallas TX

  • Fall 2020

    • Consultant reviewed all library facilities

    • Zoom input sessions for community members (not well circulated)

    • Survey about library facility preferences

      • 77 respondents named Oakley their primary branch

  • Recommendations from consultant - Main/regional/satellite branch model

    • Priority to increase access to population centers and save money on leased properties

    • The consultant predicts that the new East branch will decrease Oakley use

      • Areas that lose a branch will get “outreach” aka bookmobiles

  • Library board has requested listening sessions with County Commission, to hear from community members

  • County Commission meeting to discuss the report and public opinion

    • June 15, 5pm - TD Bank building - 200 College St

    • Open for public comment

Questions/Comments after hearing from Jim and Ruth

  • Who owns the building?

    • The city; county leases space for library

  • Walkability to Oakley branch. Public transit is inadequate - requires a transfer and several hours to bus to East

    • Drive time was reported, but no walkability

  • Community members should request listening sessions when they contact County Commissioners

  • Was there ever an option/would the county ever consider hiring a local consultant?

    • Ruth suggested that there are no local consultants suited to this type of work

  • Oakley branch serves Shiloh - we must consider that neighborhood for ease of access to other branches

  • Oakley is ~7000 households, per Plan on a Page, one of the largest neighborhoods in AVL. The consultant’s report says Oakley branch serves smallest geographic area

  • Community members should also email city council to express concern because they own the building and might be moved to collaborate with the county government

  • “Home Library” is used in the consultant’s report, when it is a meaningless figure within the library system. It is not changed in patron accounts because it doesn’t reflect any meaningful data.

  • WE are the library. We imbue our community with the things we read.

  • How do we get the word out? Yard signs? Postcards? Picketing?

Cheryl’s Numbers - 2019

  • 21 years as Head Librarian at Oakley branch

  • 146 weekly storytimes (3x weekly)

    • + Lego programs, Stuffed Animal Sleepovers

  • 3,900/month door count

  • 300/month computer check out

  • 70(?) 1:1 computer instruction session (librarian sits with patron, teaches them computer literacy)

  • 72,000 circulation

  • 10 Summer Reading programs (all in-house)

  • 4th year of hosting county-wide Summer Reading Kick-Off (previously at Pack, moved in 2015 to best outdoor option)

    • 700 participants in just a few hours

  • $70k on new HVAC, installed 2020

Save the Oakley Library subcommittee

  • Guy Burneko

  • Elisabeth Wallace

  • Rita Sneider-Cotter

  • Amy Brown

  • Jennifer McCallum

  • Emily Bombeck

  • Amy Price

  • Tara Cary

Neighborhood Events

  • Friday 6/4, 8:30pm - Movie night at the Resilience Garden - 461 Fairview Rd - Sandlot

  • Saturday 6/5, 4pm - Democratic voter registration meeting at Rich’s - 348 Fairview Rd

Next meeting - Tuesday July 13, 6pm - Oakley Pavillion

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