Meeting Amidst COVID-19
In early March we sent out a message to the Partnership letting you know we were going to be taking a pause on meeting in person until public meeting guidelines had been lifted. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now realize that it may be quite some time before we can meet in-person (if at all before project completion), in order to complete our work on time by December 2021, we need march forward using a virtual platform.
In a time when some of our days seem to be filled with conference calls and virtual meetings, the Integrated Water Management (IWM) Plan Development Team and Local Planning Coordinator plan to keep any meetings of the Partnership to a maximum of 90 minutes. Meeting materials will be distributed well in advance so you can come prepared for highly productive meetings with actionable outcomes and deliverables.
The IWM plan development team will be distributing a monthly or bimonthly newsletter to update the Partnership on the progress of the project and provide any information or links they need feedback on. Check out July’s Newsletter!
The Local Planning Coordinator and IWM plan development team will be convening the three work groups in August to wrap up planning Step 3 (summarizing key issues to address current and future water needs).
The August work group meetings are scheduled for the following dates: Aug 17th from 2pm-3:30pm (Municipalities & Special Districts), Aug 20th from 3pm-4:30pm (Self-Supplied Water Users) and Aug 25th from 11am-12:30pm (Instream).
The Local Planning Coordinator will send out the GoToMeeting information for each work group meeting along with the meeting agenda and materials soon, stay tuned!
Results of the Consensus Decision to bring Lincoln County, represented by Kaety Jacobson, to serve as a Co-Convener of the Partnership!
Last month we let the Partnership know that effective July 1st Tim Gross, representing City of Newport and Alan Fujishin with Gibson Farms would be stepping out of their co-convening roles and that the Seal Rock Water District will be the new fiscal agent of the Partnership. We also let the Partnership know about the consensus decision to bring on Lincoln County, represented by Kaety Jacobson to serve as a co-convener alongside Seal Rock Water District, represented by Adam Denlinger, and Harmony Burright with the Oregon Water Resources Department.
For this consensus decision only, all those who have signed the Charter were allowed to send a response regardless of recent participation in the last year (which is usually a condition for participating in consensus decisions). We are excited to announce that we achieved consensus to bring on Lincoln County, represented by Kaety Jacobson to serve as a co-convener!
We look forward to the Partnership welcoming Kaety into her new role at the next Partnership meeting, stay tuned for more information for when that will be!
Fiscal Agent and Co-Convener Transition!
We are writing to let you know about a few important updates and an upcoming consensus decision. Effective July 1, 2020, Seal Rock Water District will become the new fiscal agent of the Partnership. At this same time, Tim Gross with the City of Newport and Alan Fujishin with Gibson Farms will be stepping back from their co-convening roles. Within the next few weeks the Partnership will be seeking a consensus decision of the Partnership to bring Kaety Jacobson, representing Lincoln County, into a co-convening role alongside Seal Rock Water District (SRWD) and the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). Kaety, Tim, and Alan have each written letters describing this transition in their own words click on their names to read them.
Background – City of Newport’s Original Vision and Support
The City of Newport initiated this planning effort out of a desire to improve how water users support each other in sharing our most precious natural resource, water. Tim Gross, who has been co-convening on behalf of the City, recognized that the region would benefit from creating a venue to better coordinate around water. This vision was supported with a grant from the Oregon Water Resources Department to spearhead an integrated water resources planning effort. Over time, the City and OWRD recognized the need to invite others to co-convene with them. In early 2018, the Partnership made a consensus decision to add Adam Denlinger of SRWD and Alan Fujishin of Gibson Farms as Co-Conveners. This had the effect of bringing in more diverse voices into leadership roles and drawing on the talents of others to share responsibilities associated with supporting and leading the Partnership. Tim and Alan have continued to take on more responsibilities within their organizations, which means that their capacity to support and lead the Partnership has diminished over time. They identified the need and benefit of handing off the role of fiscal agent and co-convener to other capable entities.
Fiscal Agent Transition
Due to continued capacity constraints within the City, the co-conveners recognized the need to bring on a new fiscal agent. Seal Rock Water District, under the leadership of General Manager Adam Denlinger, has generously offered to serve in this role. This will be effective July 1, 2020. You may have already seen the announcement go out that we are seeking to bring on a Plan Writer/Facilitator to help us complete the planning process. This contract will be overseen by Seal Rock Water District and our local Planning Coordinator, Alexandria Scott.
Lincoln County recognizes the opportunities presented by this planning effort to pursue a more secure water future for instream and out-of-stream water needs in the region. As City of Newport and Gibson Farms transition out of the co-convener role, we will be seeking consensus from the Partnership to have Lincoln County step into the role. Conveners are responsible for bringing people together to address an issue, problem, or opportunity. Conveners clarify the purpose of the collaborative effort, identify who to bring to the table, ensure a neutral forum for collaborative problem-solving, and secure partner buy-in and support for the process and implementation of any agreed upon outcomes. Those of you who are eligible to participate, will be asked to participate in a consensus decision the week of June 15th. Anyone who has signed on to the Charter will be eligible to participate in this consensus decision online or via email though we will welcome feedback from anyone. If you haven’t signed the Charter but would like to, or are unsure if you have signed the Charter, please contact Alexandria.
Any Questions? If you have any questions at all, please reach out to Alexandria who will help connect you to the right people to get your questions answered!
Dusting off our Consensus-Building Skills!
We asked you to tell us what would make you more or less likely to support problem/issue statements and 23 of you responded! As a Partnership, we will be able to achieve consensus if a proposal is:
Within the scope of the Partnership’s stated purpose
Based on data/information we can agree on
Developed collaboratively and finds common ground between partners
Respectful and avoids disparagement or undermining behavior
Holistic, of regional significance and likely to benefit many
Cognizant of existing systems and processes, both natural and institutional
Realistic and represents something partners have the ability and want to take individual or joint action on
Many survey respondents called out specific actions or outcomes that they either absolutely want to see happen or absolutely do not want to see happen. In order to make anything happen in this process, we need to be able to achieve consensus. Consensus is defined in our charter as a “decision-making process in which group members develop and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole.” Building consensus requires dialogue, debate, deliberation, patience, and creative problem solving.
It is clear from the survey that people don’t want to shy away from difficult topics or conversations, but it’s also clear that there are very different perspectives on the “right” course of action. There are also a lot of areas where we’re seeing alignment. As we continue to seek consensus on the problems and issues we’ll be tackling together we welcome and encourage these diverse viewpoints as long as you engage with an intent to find common ground with other partners. We all need to show up and make a good faith effort to meet the interests of all partners and you may be surprised where that leads!
Want to take a peek at the survey results? Here they are (with any identifiers removed). Is this your first time in a consensus-based process? Are you a bit rusty on your consensus-building skills? We’ll be sending along some resources to help you brush up!
For starters, check out this video! Why collaboration can sometimes be unproductive, but doesn’t have to be!
Stay tuned for more information about consensus building as we work to wrap up planning Step 3 and prepare for Step 4!
We’re hiring a Facilitator and Plan Writer!
We are very excited to announce that we are looking to hire a Facilitator and Plan Writer to further support the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership!
The Partnership is continuing to grow and as we work to reach consensus around the unique water needs of the coastal communities, the environment, and the economy in the Mid-Coast watersheds, we need more capacity. The Partnership is seeking a scope of services and cost from interested Facilitators who are capable of collaborative and participatory process design, strategic group facilitation, and strategic plan writing. The contract will be administered by the Seal Rock Water District, who is stepping into the fiscal agent role of the Partnership.
We are hoping to attract Facilitators with knowledge and experience with rural coastal communities, water management or natural resources management. The time period for services is July 1, 2020 through December 30, 2021 with at least one meeting to initiate the consultant’s work with the Partnership, and one meeting to deliver the final plan. Given the current conditions in the world right now we are asking that Facilitators include both in-person and remote contact engagement strategies that would adapt to COVID-19 social distancing rules.
Click here for the full Invitation to Provide Scope of Services.
More information about the Partnership can be found at www.midcoastwaterpartners.com. Applications will be received until June 1st, 2020. Questions regarding the Partnership or this invitation for scope of services and contract should be directed to Alexandria Scott, Local Planning Coordinator for the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership.
Proposals may be e-mailed or physically delivered: E-mail to: Alexandria Scott, Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership, Local Planning Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deliver to: Seal Rock Water District 1037 NW Grebe Street Seal Rock, OR 97376
Can you spread the word to your networks to help us find the best candidates?
Hopefully you’ll get a chance to help us welcome a new Facilitator and Plan Writer at our next Partnership meeting! Thank you for your help getting the word out!
Adam Denlinger, Seal Rock Water District
Alan Fujishin, Gibson Farms
Tim Gross, City of Newport
Harmony Burright, Oregon Water Resources Department
January 9th Partnership Meeting in Toledo Recap!
We found ourselves in the Toledo Fire Hall for our January 9th partnership meeting. We were treated to a BBQ feast of smoked mushrooms (for our vegetarian friends), smoked chicken thighs, pulled pork, salad and jalapeño mac and cheese! There were about 40 or so of us in attendance ready to learn about the interests and needs of self-supplied water users in the region, which includes rural homes, farms, and industries that supply their own water as opposed to getting it from a municipality or other water provider. Our MC for the evening, Alan Fujishin, Gibson Farms reminded everyone that each of the Working Groups has helped to put on a meeting of the Partnership to share what they have been learning over the past 1+ years. The Municipal/District Working Group hosted a meeting in April 2019, the Instream/Ecology Working Group hosted a meeting in September 2019. This meeting is hosted by the Self-Supplied Working Group. In the spirit of cooperation and collaboration he reminded everyone of the guiding principles/shared values in the Charter, meeting guidelines and what step we are at in the planning process.
Our host Rod Cross, Mayor of Toledo highlighted the work of the Partnership and emphasized the importance of collaboration in meeting our water challenges and future water security.
Representative David Gomberg gave some opening remarks about how unique the region is, the difficult task that we are faced with of trying to support the economy while preserving natural resources for future generations. He also gave a short session update, how his work at the state can tie into local projects such as Big Creek Dam and he thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.
We went around the room for introductions and each person answered one or both of the following questions: What is the value of water to me? How can water help us build community on the coast? A common trend in the room was that “water is life” and “without water there isn’t community”.
We heard from Nikki Hendricks, Dist. 1 Watermaster, who provided an overview of self-supplied issues and solutions generated by the Self-Supplied Water User Working Group, which provided context for the guest presentations. Chrissy Lucas, Outreach Program Director, OSU Extension Service, gave a presentation on well stewardship and safety efforts. Our last guest speaker was Kirk Cook, Oregon Department of Agriculture, who provided a presentation about the work of the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership in the Yamhill watershed and its potential applicability to the Mid-Coast. For more detail you can read the DRAFT Meeting Notes or view the full presentations on the MCWPP website at http://midcoastwaterpartners.com/partnership-meetings/.
For the partner updates portion of the meeting we had one update from Tim Gross, City of Newport who let the group know that during the summer self-supplied water users can come to the City and buy water at a moderate rate. The city is tracking these purchases.
To finish the meeting, we went over next steps for the Partnership. The Municipalities/Special Districts and Self-Supplied Water Users work groups don’t have meetings scheduled at this time. The Instream Summit will be February 10th 10am – 3pm at the Center for Health Education in Newport. There will be an Inter-Working Group Meeting: All day, Date range April 20th-24th (TBD).
The action item for this Partnership meeting is the Partnership Survey – Consensus Criteria for Problems/Issues: Please fill out this survey by February 5! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSej8Ek4PkXvm-yR_pbYZxu0Hf27Zud1zswn9fiL-QqNHLzD2w/viewform.
Our next Partnership meeting will be in late May 2020 (TBD) to reach consensus on Problems/Issues. If you are looking to host our next meeting in late May please reach out to our local planning coordinator Alexandria Scott.
Guiding Principles/Shared Values from the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership Charter
Identifies the key principles, or values, that will guide how the members work together as a partnership.
The following principles guide how we will work together:
Partnership. We recognize different perspectives and seek common ground to develop strategies that meet our collective needs.
Transparency. We create an inclusive process to openly share information and interests, invite curiosity, and encourage dialogue.
Innovation. We bring our best ideas and information to the table and explore innovative, out-of-the-box solutions.
Commitment. We act in good faith to support the success of the Partnership in developing strategies that are in the best interests of the region.
Flexibility. We are open to new ideas and approaches that will adapt our process or approach to fit the needs of the Partners.
Action. We seek practical near-term actions as well as longer term strategies consistent with our goals.
Clarity. We commit to expressing all of our findings in the simplest and clearest form possible.
Guest presenter Chrissy Lucas (OSU Extension) giving a presentation about domestic well stewardship and safety efforts at our January 9th Partnership meeting!
Opening remarks from State Representative David Gomberg
Guest presenter Kirk Cook (ODA) giving a presentation of the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership in the Yamhill watershed.