Board of Trustees 2023

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all property belonging to Wesley United Methodist Church to support its ministries.  Wesley’s properties include:
  • Main church campus consisting of the Sanctuary, Chapel, Administrative Building, Fellowship Hall, Education Building and parking lot located at 566 North 5th Street, San Jose;
  • Commercial building (aka Soko Annex) and Storage Building located at 565 N. 6th Street, San Jose.  There are two commercial tenants on the first floor of the commercial building (Okayama Japanese Restaurant & new yakitori restaurant which is under construction);
  • Two parking lots on either side of the Soko Annex (the North lot is referred to as the “Dobashi” lot as it was purchased from the owners of the Dobashi Japanese grocery store which is now occupied by Nijiya Japanese Market on Jackson Street); and
  • Church parsonage at 2758 Valley Heights Drive, San Jose (4 bedroom, 2 bath, approximately 1,590 Sq Ft).
Our duties include:
  • Upkeep and maintenance of all church properties
  • Oversee church’s budget for repair & maintenance, upgrades, insurance, property taxes, utilities, janitorial services, landscaping, etc. 
  • Also responsible for leases for tenants of Soko Annex property and for dispositioning requests from outside non-profit groups who request use of Wesley properties.
Committee Members:
Tomoko Tanaka (Chair), DeeDee Azuma,  Jim Higuchi, Rob Hikido, Mona Otomori, Cynthia Fukuda, Brian Hamilton
Highlights for 2023 include the following:
Main Church Campus
Several new projects were completed this year including:
  • Installation of the new vehicle gate for the 5th Street parking lot and 6 ft high security fence around the perimeter of the 5th Street side of the church property due to repeated incidences of trespassing and vandalism on church property.  We tried increasing security lighting and adding security cameras but in the end, we concluded that a fence is necessary to safeguard church members, staff and church property.  It became operational at the end of October.
  • Completion of the new glass “storefront” entry on the east side of the Fellowship Hall, facing the 6th Street parking lot.  This is the first phase of the new garden project which will be installed in a portion of the existing 6th Street parking lot South (aka Dobashi lot).  This new double door glass entry (like a store) will provide a view to the new garden which is going through San Jose’s permitting process.
  • Office reconfiguration to accommodate additional part-time staff members, improve functionality, and update the look with a new table, art work on walls, and storage.. 
  • WUMC was found to be in violation of the ADA with respect to ADA accessible parking spaces in the 5th Street parking lot, which caused a delay with the permits for the storefront project. This was corrected with a new ramp and ADA markings in the parking lot
  • We continued to be blessed with Boy Scouts from Troop 201 who select Wesley to be the beneficiary of service projects.  This past year, the 5th Street “front yard” in front of the Administrative Building and the parsonage front yard were both replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping by two different Scout led projects.
  • BOT has started to update and refresh church facilities as some rooms are showing their age.  This past year, volunteers refurbished the Fireside Room and made it a multi-purpose meeting and video conference room.  The MYF Room and Nichigo Library (Room 16) were updated creatively on a tight budget. 

565 N. 6th Street (Wesley Annex, aka old Soko building)
Modifications continued in Suite A, which is located on the first floor, adjacent to the Okayama Restaurant, by the new tenant which intends to open a yakitori restaurant.  Progress has been slow due to regulations and compliance items.  One that will require additional outlay of funds by Wesley (amount TBD) is an issue with ADA parking in the parking lot.  A design to address was verbally agreed to by the City of San Jose and corrective action will take place soon.
A new roof and repair of eaves was completed on the parsonage in early 2023.  We discovered during the renovation of the parsonage in 2022 that some water damage had occurred on eaves and under the roof shingles.

Serving the community
The Japantown Business Association (JBA) which consists of local Japan town businesses, continues to use 17 parking spaces in the 6th Street South lot during the work week. 
Two non-profit groups continue to “rent” space in the Soko Annex for a minimal contributions:  the Japantown Business Association (JBA) maintains a small office and the Chidori Band stores their equipment. 
St. Paul’s UMC, who experienced a fire at their site, continue to rent a space which they use as their temporary office.
We occasionally allow other community groups such as the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL) of Silicon Valley, Chidori Band rehearsals and the DYKK Gabriel EOTC (Ethiopian Church) which is our next-door neighbor on 6th Street, to use our facilities.
Looking forward…     
We learned this year that the Fellowship Hall kitchen is not compliant with current health department regulations to receive a permit for public events without some modifications to our food preparation procedures.  We believe that we will need to update the kitchen, which has not been through a renovation since it was originally built in 1973, within the next few years.
A new sign will be installed on the exterior to the Narthex with the UMC flaming cross logo to improve visibility.

Respectfully submitted, October, 20. 2023.
Tomoko Tanaka