Happy Holidays to all our Upper Deschutes River Coalition residents, businesses and partners!!! 2017 was a year of change for the Upper Deschutes River Coalition. These changes included:
• New leadership team
• New organization direction
• Creation and implementation of new programs
• Technology and communication
• Forming partnerships with new organizations and strengthening relationships with existing partners
• Creating a more flexible and responsive organizational structure
A new Chairperson/President – Monte Dammarell, Vice President – Dean Richardson, Secretary – Jerry Hubbard, Treasurer – Aaron Schofield, Public/Private Lands Committee Co-chairpersons – Dean Richardson and Jim Larsen
The new Leadership Team reviewed the past, current and future accomplishments and determine the Upper Deschutes River Coalition could better serve our constituents by refocusing our efforts from being hands-on project oriented to a more communication and facilitation centric organization. The UDRC provides information so that area citizens can make informed opinions and decisions.
Creation and Implementation of new programs
It was determined the Upper Deschutes River Coalition could continue providing capital resources to assist area landowners needing fire fuel reduction treatments with current restricted renewable grant funding. This program has proved very successful!! Please visit the www.udrc.org website for information regarding the program. Additionally a new program is being created to assist low income seniors and disabled residents in creating defensible space in 2018.
Technology and communication
The Upper Deschutes River Coalition efforts have been in upgrading current print media and electronic communication sources. The desired goal is to provide current information about events, projects, and actions affecting our region. These upgrades include updating the UDRC website, Facebook, Next Door Neighbor, UDRC E-News, and our extensive email list. We are also submitting articles and announcements in the local print media including: The Sunriver Scene, Newberry Eagle, Bend Bulletin, and The Source Weekly.
Strengthening existing partnerships and reaching out to new partners
The Upper Deschutes River Coalition strength has historically been the strong partnerships with the various agencies and organizations managing and maintaining our beautiful environment. The UDRC will strive to further these partnerships and seek out new partners. The UDRC will work with our partners in facilitating events, meetings, and information.
Creating a more flexible and responsive organization
Since the Upper Deschutes River Coalition formed in 2004 the structure of the Board of Directors has been somewhat confusing and restricted in decision making. The Board was comprised of 1 representative from each Homeowner Association, Road District, and neighborhood (those without an HOA or Road District) for a total of 22 +/- representatives. The bylaws stated any decisions made by the BOD required a meeting quorum or at least 50% of the BOD present before a vote could be taken. Many times motions could not be made due to an insufficient quorum. Thus the Leadership Team presented a proposal changing the bylaws to reflect a new BOD structure. The November BOD meeting, having a quorum present, approved changing the bylaws. The new BOD will be composed of 9-11 members, including the Leadership Team, 2-3 committee leaders, and 3-4 at large members. The current BOD has approved these changes. Nominations for 2018 are being accepted for officers, committee chairs, and at-large directors.
Reducing the number of BOD members also effectively reduces the voices for each neighborhood. The Leadership Team recognized this situation and proposes creating a network of Neighborhood Coordinators or Ambassadors or Liaisons. Each Board member would be assigned neighborhoods and keep the coordinators updated on information from our partners and residents. The coordinators would then disseminate the information to their neighborhoods and provide the BOD any feedback.
The Upper Deschutes River Coalition will have monthly meetings at the Sunriver Library on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. The meetings are designed to be informational with 1 or 2 guest speakers. The annual business meeting will be conducted at a fall meeting (September, October, or November). There will also be 2 presentations with local experts addressing issues affecting our area during the year.
I know this is a lot of information to digest. Hopefully it will give you an idea of the commitment the Upper Deschutes River Coalition continues making to our community. I would like to encourage you to get involved with the organization. The goal is “many hands making small work.” If you are interested in getting involved or would like more information about the Upper Deschutes River Coalition please contact me.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!!!