If you don’t already know Donna Hartmann-Miller, who as a proud Maple Leaf resident heads the Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park committee and has been quoted in Seattle Met’s Best Places to Live piece, here’s your chance to get to know one of the newest additions to the Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board:
Donna Lynn Hartmann-Miller (sorry to everyone sending me an email and thank goodness David [Miller, who is also on the executive board] has a nice short last name or people would get a cramp when typing in my extraordinarily long email address).
I’m lucky to work with a group of lovely co-workers at Maple Leaf Ace Hardware where I am Administrative Assistant/Marketing Coordinator.
When did you move to Maple leaf and why?
We started looking in September 1996, bought our house in March 1997, and moved in on May 9, 1997. We moved here for two reasons. No wait, three reasons. First, we gave our real estate agent (who, ironically, actually lived in Maple Leaf at the time) the menu for Snappy Dragon which has a map on it. We told her we HAD to live in this area since we required frequent home delivery of their dumplings. Second, we loved the easy and quick access to I-5. So convenient. The last reason we moved here is we fell in love with our house (which, ironically, we are now in the middle of a multi-year remodel of) and the yard (the only negative of our house is we are at the bottom of what I call the steepest hill in Maple Leaf — the hike up the hill to the bus line exhausts me). Then we met our neighbors, got to know the businesses better (we already knew Snappy, of course, and Reckless Video, which was still in its original location), got involved with the neighborhood, and it became obvious we had made the right choice.
What current Maple Leaf issue are you most excited about?
LOL, is this a trick question? Well, while I am anxious (and intimidated) to get more involved in quality of life issues like zoning, transportation, walkability, safety, and security, the issue that I am more involved in and not just excited about, but passionate about, is the development of the park. I will admit, when I began this process, I did not foresee how much would need to be done nor did I suspect just how very much I would learn, but it REALLY is interesting. And I’m always learning something new, finding another piece of the parks system puzzle. I’ve met many people I may never have met, not just from Maple Leaf, but from across the city, and had interesting conversations (I do so enjoy listening and talking with people). So many issues I never even considered are now issues I know and care a great deal about and I have found myself arguing for or against.
I’m also hoping to get involved (not lead, but be a support person) with Disaster Emergency Management in Maple Leaf. I think one of the best ways a community survives a disaster is by being prepared to react AS a community. Which means the big picture items like knowing what to do, where to go, how to check on and support each other, how to communicate, etc. And it means the small detailed items like not just having a 3-day kit for your family, but making sure we have a gas turn-off wrench so we can turn off our and our neighbors’ gas so that fires don’t begin and spread.
What is the one thing you hope to accomplish while on the board?
Honestly, I don’t know if I can name one specific thing, it is more that I want people to enjoy their lives in this neighborhood. I want this neighborhood to represent a positive in the lives of Maple Leafers (Leafians? Leafiettes? We should really come to a consensus — maybe we can have a vote on it). And I hope the park contributes to this, at least in some small way. At this point, the next thing I want to accomplish is making sure the community’s wishes are being represented in the upcoming development and construction decisions. I really want this to be a great park that fills a community need.
And now I’m going to do a quick pitch because in order to accomplish anything what the Maple Leaf Board will really needs is to continue to hear from people about what is important to them (regarding the park and other neighborhood issues). We all do our best to represent the majority of the community, but, as much as any of us might like this super power, we can’t read minds. But we can hear and read, so please share what you think so we know what to prioritize and fight for. And if you specfically have comments on the park, visit the upcoming neighborhood tables (TBA) or send in your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. One of my new goals is to read and respond in some way to all the comments that come in and to forward them when necessary to any appropriate contact.