2004-2005 President's Farewell Letter and List of MNA Accomplishments

First year important; second year CRITICAL!

Most organizations make it easily through their first year. Enthused officers and an often impressed and thankful membership celebrate every accomplishment and overlook the errors that are inevitable with a first-year association.

Ah, but the second year! That’s when everyone thinks they’ve got it made. And so they turn their heads thinking someone else will carry the load. New ideas are nothing more than rehashed old ideas. First-year errors in process or planning slated for correction are put on the back burner. And whatever happened to the enthusiasm that surged through the Board and the membership?

Now’s the time, Murdock community. It’s the second year. Time to get to work. Time to volunteer. Start by selecting new and enthusiastic leaders. Then offer your time and effort to work on a committee. You don’t have to give a lot….just give a little. If you enjoy volunteering, there always will be something more for you to do. Who do we need? Everyone. Do SOMETHING. Start by getting your neighbor involved as a member.

Of course, the key is that the new Board must set the course and make clear what needs doing. That accomplished, it’s up to you to say “I can do that.”

A list of accomplishments the Murdock Neighborhood Association established as its first-year resume follows this letter. Let’s make the list longer a year from today.

I’ve enjoyed being your president and look forward to working alongside you to make Year Two a great year.


Steve Chell, president

October 26, 2005

MNA: Off to a good start

It has been an exciting first year for the Murdock Neighborhood Association. Here’s a look at a “Top Ten” list of the organization’s accomplishments that I shared with attendees at the National Night Out gathering in Murdock Park:

  1. We organized the association, elected a Board of Directors, drafted and adopted by-laws;
  2. We formed several committees that already have made contributions: Traffic, Hospitality, Neighborhood Watch, Block Captain, Dumpster Days, and Emergency Preparedness;
  3. Working with Murdock-Portal Elementary School, the Traffic Committee developed a traffic flow process and pattern and was instrumental in having signs posted and “No Parking” curb areas painted red;
  4. Webmaster Sigi Illes has given us an outstanding website. If you haven’t already, check it out: http://www.murdockna.org;
  5. Under the leadership of Secretary Mori Mandis, we have a newsletter and a Block Captain network to help distribute flyers and other information;
  6. Held several general meetings at which we had guest speakers: District 1 Councilperson Linda LeZotte, City-wide Trails Yves Zsutty, FUHSD & CUSD officials about the Parcel Tax, Comcast’s Eddie Garcia, and Kim Gaddis of the Neighborhood Watch Program. Two of those “meetings” were the Summer Picnics chaired by Margie and Larry Murchan;
  7. We’ve been active in the landscaping business, too. Led by Doris Livezey, we’ve had a daffodil planting at the park, organized and conducted a successful street planting session (14 new trees), had a dead tree removed from the park, and we passed along a successful (by all reports) method for the folks on Oak Knoll and Castle Glen to keep their tulip trees from dripping tar;
  8. We organized a Dumpster Day. Bob Rolufs led the effort, working with Maria Le of Councilperson LeZotte’s office. Neighbors took advantage of the many disposal options available on September 24.
  9. Tom & Mary Carson have agreed to head up the Emergency Preparedness campaign, and they are in the process of developing a program for an upcoming general meeting. Respond to the MNA through the website if you’d like to give them a hand;
  10. 2nd VP Trixie Johnson is heading a Grants Committee that aims to go after grant money from the City of San Jose for beautification projects. Trixie would like more committee members to continue the effort. Contact her through the website.

There is more to do – and the need is for new people to join in and take a role on the association’s leadership team. The Board election is in October; if you have an interest in running – or simply want information about the offices and what is required, please contact the association through the website. If you know of some outstanding people in the neighborhood that you’d like to see get involved, consider joining Larry Murchan’s Nominating Committee. Contact Larry through the website as well.

Stay well…and stay involved,

Steve Chell, president Murdock Neighborhood Association