Save Otter Creek Park – The Friends of Otter Creek Park Blog


Tonight’s Meeting: Sub-Committees Coming Together by stateofthecommonwealth
January 27, 2009, 5:33 am
Filed under: Events, Friends of Otter Creek Park News, Media, Meetings, OCP News

(Robert Strickland of the Petitions and Volunteering Sub-Committee addresses the crowd.)

Tonight’s meeting of the Friends of Otter Creek Park at the Southwest Government Center was remarkably productive, though not without a few exciting moments! Prior to the group’s meeting, the FOCP board had a quick meeting during which some interesting aspects came to light. Board member John Oliver produced a copy of the original quitclaim deed granting Otter Creek Park from the United States of America to the City of Louisville. We hope to have a scan of the deed available on this site in the next day or two.

As the meeting was getting underway, I related the news that Louisville Metro Parks is seeking proposals from third-party vendors to run Otter Creek Park (click link for news story from Sunday’s Courier-Journal). As it turns out, two potential vendors, Gary and Shannon Mefferd, were in the audience, and addressed the crowd with their plans for reopening OCP. Needless to say, Friends of Otter Creek Park hopes to be a part of the process of selecting any potential vendors, and we’re doing our best to identify and communicate any third-party with realistic hopes of reopening the Park.

The majority of our business tonight revolved around our previously formed Sub-Committees, again available here:

1. Petitions and Volunteering
2. Public Relations and Media
3. Non-Profit and Charity Outreach
4. Government Liaison
5. Legal Issues and Liability Policy
6. Friends of Otter Creek Park Bylaws
7. Special Interest Groups

We spent almost an hour divided into a few of the seven Sub-Committees, though two of them — Non-Profit and Charity Outreach and Legal Issues and Liability Policy — were unrepresented. However, the Sub-Committees that met did devise plans which they then shared with the group.

Robert Strickland spoke for the Petitions and Volunteering Sub-Committee, which is working on a number of issues, some in partnership with Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins’ office:

1. To draft a petition statement.
2. To research the legality of signers from counties other than Jefferson.
3. To schedule meetings to deliver petitions once an adequate amount is reached.

(After some later discussion, it was decided that delivery of the Friends of Otter Creek Park petition will be done in a respectful and non-confrontational way.)

Amos Wilkins reported some great ideas from the Media and Public Relations Sub-Committee, which include the following:

1. Producing a Public Service Announcement for either television or radio about Friends of Otter Creek Park.
2. Crafting the Mission Statement for the group (this can be done in collaboration with the Bylaws Sub-Committee).
3. Writing editorials for local media outlets (the Courier-Journal, as well as smaller newspapers, were mentioned as possibilities).
4. Compiling photos of Otter Creek Park for local media use.
5. Crafting and disseminating press releases for all Friends of Otter Creek Park meetings and news.
6. Working with the Special Interests Group to get the word out about FOCP’s mission and meetings.

Kevin Martin also added that as the sole Government Liaison Sub-Committee representative, he would like to work with the Media Sub-Committee in terms of contacting legislators at the state level about Friends of Otter Creek Park.

Brian Tucker presented for the Friends of Otter Creek Park Bylaws Sub-Committee, which produced ten articles for revision as FOCP’s bylaws. After a day or two of editing, we plan to publish those bylaws to this site no later than Friday, January 30. At the next Friends of Otter Creek Park meeting, the group as a whole will vote on the bylaws.

Last but certainly not least, Mike Mosier spoke with the group on behalf of the Special Interests Sub-Committee, which was well represented by hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, campers, trout fishermen, and more at tonight’s meeting. The general consensus of this group is that FOCP needs to do all we can to reach out to the many recreational groups who have used Otter Creek Park in the past, and keep them informed and up-to-date as to our group’s activities.

All in all, I’d say we accomplished quite a bit tonight, with still much more work to go. As related at the meeting, the Friends of Otter Creek Park Board hopes to have an introductory meeting with Metro Parks in the next two weeks, as well as make more progress towards incorporation and development of a plan to reopen the Park (in addition to discussions with any other potential third-party operators). Keep checking this site for more updates, and feel free to email me with any questions at saveottercreekpark@gmail.com.

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Friends of Otter Creek Park Meeting TOMORROW, January 26th by joelhunt
January 25, 2009, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends of Otter Creek Park News, Meetings, OCP News

The next Friends of Otter Creek Park meeting will be tomorrow, Monday, January 26th, at 7 PM at the Southwest Government Center at 7219 Dixie Highway (click here for a map).

This meeting’s focus will be on the Sub-Committees formed at the last meeting on January 5th. The Sub-Committees are:

1. Petitions and Volunteering
2. Public Relations and Media
3. Non-Profit and Charity Outreach
4. Government Liaison
5. Legal Issues and Liability Policy
6. Friends of Otter Creek Park Bylaws
7. Special Interest Groups

After a brief introduction at the beginning of the meeting, we will divide into these Sub-Committees to work on a plan of action for each, for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. After this group workshop time, the larger group will reconvene and the Sub-Committees will report on what they’re planning. If you’ve signed up for more than one Sub-Committee, there should be ample time to work in more than one.

If you CANNOT attend tomorrow’s meeting, you may want to consider attending the first of Mayor Abramson’s Community Conversations tomorrow night to express your support for reopening Otter Creek Park at Westport Middle School, 8100 Westport Road, in the East End (click here for a map). The Mayor’s Community Conversation begins at 6:30 PM.



Mayor’s Community Conversations Schedule Set for 2009… by stateofthecommonwealth
January 13, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends of Otter Creek Park News, Meetings

And somewhat unsurprisingly, the first one conflicts with the next Friends of Otter Creek Park meeting, on Monday, January 26th. Here’s the entire schedule, as posted today on the Louisville Metro website:

Monday, January 26*
Westport Middle School
8100 Westport Road
Map it
*4th Monday due
to MLK holiday

Monday, February 16
Moore High School – Theatre Room
6415 Outer Loop
Map it

Monday, March 16
Iroquois High School Gym
4615 Taylor Blvd.
Map it

Monday, April 20
Stuart Middle School Gym
4601 Valley Station Rd.
Map it

Monday, May 18
Newburg Middle School Gym
4901 Exeter Avenue
Map it

Monday, June 15
Ramsey Middle School Gym
6409 Gellhaus Lane
Map it

Monday, July 20
Carter Elementary School
3600 Bohne Avenue
Map it

Monday, August 17
Fairdale High School – Small Gym
1001 Fairdale Road
Map it

Monday, Sept. 21
Atherton High School – Small Gym
3000 Dundee Way
Map it

Monday, October 19
Southern High School – Large Gym
8620 Preston Highway
Map it

Monday, Nov. 17
Central High School – Large Gym
1130 W. Chestnut Street
Map it

Obviously, if community members upset with the closing of Otter Creek Park could get some face time with the Mayor, that would be beneficial.



Friends of Otter Creek Park: We’re Gettin’ Organized! by joelhunt

Perhaps you’ve noticed by now that we’re a little bit biased, but I’ve gotta say, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way tonight’s Friends of Otter Creek Park meeting was conducted. A big thank you goes to Patsy Bowman, Angie White, and Kevin Martin who helped organize the meeting and kept it running smoothly. Another thank you goes to Louisville Metro Council Members Bob Henderson and Doug Hawkins, and Legislative Aide Renay Davis for attending. Most of all I’d like to thank everyone who showed up, spoke their mind, and got involved! We had a packed house tonight, I’m guessing at least roughly 100 more attendees than our meeting on December 22nd, and we accomplished quite a lot in just 2 1/2 hours.

Speaking of which, let’s get down to the business of recounting the business of the meeting. As you can see from the agenda posted below (link here), we needed to get a few organizational aspects accomplished to move the group forward towards our ultimate goal, which is the reopening of Otter Creek Park. I feel that we were able to accomplish tonight’s agenda in a positive, democratic and transparent way wherein anyone who wanted to speak, could. Our first Resolution (which passed by a near-unanimous voice vote) involved the official naming of the group, which is now known as Friends of Otter Creek Park. Here’s the entire text of the resolution:

Resolved, that the organization generally known as Friends of Otter Creek Park — which includes many of the concerned citizens of Louisville, Jefferson County, Hardin County, Meade County and many other municipalities — be officially named Friends of Otter Creek Park in all correspondence, including interviews with the media, liaisons with government, volunteering and fundraising efforts, and general business.

Our second Resolution (also passed by a near-unanimous voice vote) was a declaration of exploration of the possibility of Friends of Otter Creek Park incorporating as a non-profit organization. There are differing views on whether this is the right course of the group — and again, I am happy to say that I feel that those views were fairly represented — but I felt that this resolution would be a start in pointing a possible way forward for the group to conduct business. As far as I consider it, this resolution is non-binding, and merely a suggestion. Here’s the text of Resolution Number 2:

Resolved, that the Friends of Otter Creek Park be legally incorporated as a non-profit organization registered with the State of Kentucky and the Louisville Metro government, and that its business be conducted in a transparent and open manner. Additionally, the officers of Friends of Otter Creek Park shall solicit legal advice on the matter of incorporating by no later than January 31, 2009, with the goal of formerly incorporating by February 1, 2009.

With those two important resolutions passed, we then set upon the work of electing Officers of Friends of Otter Creek Park, in order to have a solid team of individuals leading the group’s efforts. I’m pleased to announce that the following people were elected to head the Friends of Otter Creek Park board: Donnie Basham, Joel Hunt, William Mudd, John Oliver, Bill Ralls, and Angie White. For now, Officers can be contacted through saveottercreekpark@gmail.com.

(Newly elected Board Chair John Oliver addresses the crowd.)

Then, we elected the positions Secretary and Treasurer. Dave Baker (who also is an administrator of the Save Otter Creek Park Facebook group) was elected Secretary, and Kim Lucas was elected Treasurer. A motion from the floor to establish these positions as three-month terms was voted on and accepted.

Next, we voted on a number of Sub-Committee Groups to help steer the actions and outreach of Friends of Otter Creek Park. The four groups from the agenda — Petitions and Volunteering, Public Relations and Media, Non-Profit and Charity Outreach, and Government Liaison — were accepted by voice vote, and three suggested groups from the floor — Legal Issues and Liability Policy, Friends of Otter Creek Park Bylaws, and Special Interests — were adopted. IMPORTANT: If you signed up to volunteer for one or more of these groups, you will be contacted by phone or by email in the next few days! Additionally, we didn’t get any volunteers for the Legal Issues and Liability Policy group, so if you have an interest in this group but haven’t volunteered, PLEASE DO SO!

The last item, but certainly not the least, on the agenda was a public forum for your questions, comments, and concerns. What followed was a lively and positive discussion from all corners of the room, covering a wide range of aspects of what we’re ultimately all meeting for: to reopen Otter Creek Park! I thank each and every person who stood up to speak their mind.

Additionally, I’d like to thank the members of the news media who attended the event: Stephen George from LEO Weekly (read his story here), WLKY 32 (who ran a piece on tonight’s 11 O’Clock News), The Local Weekly (read their story here), and anyone else I might have missed. Also, you can read Brian Tucker’s excellent summary of the night on his always-great Valley Report blog here: http://valleyreport.blogspot.com/2009/01/its-official-friends-of-otter-creek.html.

So with tonight’s success in mind, we still have a lot of work to do. Friends of Otter Creek Park will next meet on Monday, January 26th, again at the Southwest Government Center at 7 PM. I expect that a major part of the agenda will be to hear ideas on what each volunteer sub-committee can do. Additionally, I hope to present to the group research concerning many aspects of OCP’s closure, including the liability costs associated with entrance fees, the Metro Council budget process, and much more.

In the meantime, here’s what you can do:

  1. VOLUNTEER — If you missed the meeting or didn’t get the chance to sign up for a volunteer sub-committee, email me at saveottercreekpark@gmail.com, and we’ll get you started.
  2. TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOUT US — we need as many people involved as possible! If you were able to get blank petition forms, get your friends and family to sign up! And I promise we will have the petition available for downloading off this site in the next few days.
  3. WRITE YOUR COUNCILPERSON AND MAYOR ABRAMSON— Unbelievably, there are still some Friends of Otter Creek Park supporters who have not contacted their Louisville Metro representatives. But it’s never too late! Here’s how:

Metro Council
601 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-1100
Address postal mail to individual Councilmember.

http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroCouncil/ – This site links to individual Councilmembers.

Thanks again everybody, and we’ll see you on the 26th!



Agenda for Tonight’s Meeting by stateofthecommonwealth
January 5, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Events, Meetings, OCP News

This is tonight’s agenda — keep in mind that this is a suggested agenda, and any additional items that need to be added can be, with proper notice. Thanks and I hope to see you tonight!

I. Introduction and Welcome – Approximately 5 minutes

A. Short explanation of Committee Group – Joel Hunt

B. Ground rules for Meeting and explanation of Agenda – Joel Hunt

II. Introduction of Resolution to Officially Name Friends of Otter Creek Park – Approximately 10 minutes

A. Debate on Naming Resolution:

1. Speakers For (2 minutes each)

2. Speakers Against – if any (2 minutes each)

B. Voice Vote on Resolution

III. Introduction of Resolution to Legally Incorporate Friends of Otter Creek Park – Approximately 10 minutes

A. Debate on Incorporation Resolution:

1. Speakers For (up to 5 minutes each)

2. Speakers Against – if any (up to 5 minutes each)

B. Voice Vote on Resolution

IV. Election of Friends of Otter Creek Park Officers – Approximately 1 hour

A. Nomination of Chairperson(s)

1. Short Statements by Candidates (up to 5 minutes each)

2. Voice Vote on Chairperson(s)

B. Nomination of Secretary

1. Short Statements by Candidates (up to 5 minutes each)

2. Voice Vote on Secretary

C. Nomination of Treasurer

1. Short Statements by Candidates (up to 5 minutes each)

2. Voice Vote on Treasurer

V. Organization of Sub-Committees – Approximately 45 minutes

A. Proposal and Explanation of Sub-Committee Groups

1. Petitions and Volunteering

2. Public Relations and Media

3. Non-Profit and Charity Outreach

4. Government Liaison

5. Any Additional Sub-Committee(s) to be Suggested at Meeting

i. Short Discussion of proposed Sub-Committee (5 minutes pro and against)

ii. Voice Vote on Sub-Committee Formation

B. Volunteering of Sub-Committee Chairs and Members

VI. Questions and Comments from the Public – Approximately 30 Minutes, up to 5 minutes per speaker



Short Friends of Otter Creek Park Interview on 84 WHAS by stateofthecommonwealth
January 5, 2009, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Events, Media, Meetings, OCP News

(Otter Creek Park sign from whas.com.)

84 WHAS aired a short story on Friends of Otter Creek Park this morning. You can read the story here, and listen to it here. There’s a short clip of audio in the piece from when I was interviewed by Suzanne Duvall of 84 WHAS last Friday. Obviously they couldn’t use everything, but the short bit where I point out that Otter Creek Park is one of the things that makes Louisville “unique” was nice.

And as the story points out, please don’t forget tonight’s meeting at the Southwest Government Center, 219 Dixie Hwy #106 in Southwest Louisville at 7 PM!

UPDATE: Both WHAS-11 and WDRB-41 (clicking on the WDRB link will open Windows Media Player) mention the meeting tonight in news stories as well. Links courtesy the Valley Report.



Friends of Otter Creek Park Meeting January 5th by stateofthecommonwealth
December 29, 2008, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Events, Louisville Metro Council, Media, Meetings, OCP News

UPDATE 1/5/09: The agenda for tonight’s meeting has been posted below: https://saveottercreekpark.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/agenda-for-tonights-meeting/. Still, there’s time for any additions or changes to be added, so please email me at saveottercreekpark@gmail.com if you have any by 4 PM. If you have any last minute changes at the meeting, please feel free to come up and make your concerns known. See you tonight!

The next meeting of the group provisionally entitled Friends of Otter Creek Park will be Monday, January 5th, 2009 at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Hwy #106 in Southwest Louisville at 7 PM. This group is a citizen-led, grassroots effort to explore what possibilities exist for keeping Otter Creek Park open for recreational usage and free from commercial, industrial or residential development. Given that Louisville Metro government plans to close OCP on Thursday, January 1st, we are also committed to finding ways to reopen the park to the public as soon as possible.

As of this writing, this group has many members but no clear organization or official mission, so defining the group will be the main task of Monday’s meeting. The author of this blog, Joel Hunt, was elected Co-Chairperson of the group along with Patsy Bowman (organizer of the previous two rallies), and as such I wrote an initial email to our members, of which the elements which pertain to the next meeting I’ll share here:

… Our next meeting at the Southwest Government Center on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be open to the public and the local news media, as well as any other group with an interest in keeping Otter Creek Park open. Louisville Metro representatives and/or representatives from any other relevant government agency (counties, state, federal) will be invited as well. Information about the meeting will be publicized on https://saveottercreekpark.wordpress.com as well as on the Facebook Save Otter Creek Park group.

As we all know, the Park will be closed by the city on January 1st, so the next steps that we as a group take will be important. With that in mind, being organized and presenting a clear, coherent message to the community at large about what Otter Creek Park means to us and our families is very important. So in turn I’d like to propose that we develop an agenda for the next meeting, with the emphasis first on organizing as a group by determining sub-committees to tackle individual goals (examples: Petitions and Volunteering; Public Relations and Media; Non-Profit and Charity Outreach, etc.), electing officers, and discussing whether this group should or should not be incorporated as some sort of legal entity. Additionally, I think we need to see what petition signatures we as a group can collect in the next two weeks, and consolidate that data into phonebanks and email lists. Lastly, we need to craft a mission statement for the group, as well develop a media strategy to inform the public. That said, these are what I think the priorities should be, but I am more than happy to keep the agenda open not only to members of this committee, but the general public as well. While saving Otter Creek Park is our goal, we should exercise as much transparency as possible to achieve it.

So send along your suggestions for the meeting’s agenda to this email, saveottercreekpark@gmail.com, and I’ll put forth a rough version to send to everyone in the next few days (as time allows — obviously the holidays are busy times for everyone, myself included!). If there’s anyone you think should be involved with this effort but isn’t included on this email, please let me know ASAP! Also, if there are concerned community members out there who don’t use email but want to be involved, please put them in contact with myself and the group. We need as many committed people as possible!

With that in mind, we’re sounding the call now. If you are interested in joining our cause, you are welcome to join us at the Southwest Government Center on Monday the 5th. If you would like to take an active role in helping us develop the agenda for the meeting — as well as what direction the group may take — please contact me at saveottercreekpark@gmail.com. I’ll post the meeting’s agenda in the next few days as soon as a draft version is ready.

Additionally, please contact your Louisville Metro Councilmember and invite them to the meeting. You can do so by contacting them here:

Metro Council
601 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-1100
Address postal mail to individual Councilmember.

http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroCouncil/ – This site links to individual Councilmembers.