WNA: Please Enhance Bylaws for Transparency!

Hi all,

As you may know, the WNA often attempts to do good things such as host neighborhood picnics, clean-up days, garage sales, perform sidewalk surveys for purposes of repair and improvement, and similar such activities. The WNA’s existing policies, practices and procedures are sufficient for these purposes.

Increasingly, the WNA seeks to represent the neighborhood in meetings and correspondence with public agencies, public officials, and elected representatives. Additionally, the WNA occasionally hosts public meetings to discuss controversial matters such as forming a neighborhood conservation district within Warfleigh that would restrict certain property rights.

Unfortunately, the WNA’s existing policies, practices and procedures need improvement if the WNA seeks to act as outlined immediately above. Simply, the WNA needs to adopt best practices and principles of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness if the WNA seeks to claim it represents the neighborhood in matters of public policy and public affairs.

I’ve worked with the WNA over the summer to try to help implement process improvements. While the WNA has made some changes for which I am very grateful (thank-you, WNA!), additional work need be done to help ensure representativeness.

I’m next going to try to help the neighborhood and WNA by volunteering to be a WNA board member (vote for me!) and try to help the WNA improve its processes.

Initially, I will propose the WNA modify its bylaws to adopt best practices in open meetings and ensure openness, transparency, inclusiveness, and representativeness. The proposed changes would ensure the neighborhood receives meeting notices in advance of meetings, meeting agendas in advance of meetings, meeting minutes after meetings are held, and timely notice of any instance in which the WNA has represented the neighborhood in any discussion or correspondence with a public agency, public official, or elected official.

You can find here a copy of the changes to the bylaws I will propose:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19ArhxJlJBEPnsFgHaaESNI9IN17GnInJ/view?usp=sharing

Recommended changes appear as red underlined text, deleted text appears in the margin.

I also will work with the WNA and try to ensure the WNA adopts an agenda that conforms to best practices in open meetings.  You can find a copy of the proposed agenda here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/187BZtZ0QNo1V7FScGGdmrDFBCm_MwYGg/view?usp=sharing

The changes to bylaws and agendas I propose are simple, basic, easy to implement and should be welcomed by any neighborhood organization that claims to represent the will of the neighborhood it intends to represent.

Here’s how you can help:

– Send the WNA an email (contact@warfleigh.com, president@warfleigh.com). Indicate you prefer the WNA adopt best practices in openness, transparency, and public meetings if the WNA seeks to claim it represents the neighborhood in matters of public affairs and public policy.

– Review the changes to the bylaws and agenda I will propose. Send the WNA an email (contact@warfleigh.com, president@warfleigh.com), indicate your support, and tell the WNA that it is your will the WNA adopt these changes.

– Stay tuned for further information, remain vigilant and remain vocal.

– Vote for me as a WNA board member at the next WNA public meeting, October 12, 2021.  See www.warfleigh.com for more information.

Ultimately, if a neighborhood organization claims to represent a neighborhood in matters of public policy and public affairs, and seeks to do so, then the neighborhood deserves openness, inclusiveness, representativeness, and transparency.

Thanks!

Jim Polito