BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, February 15, 2016 – 7:00 p.m., Fuller Park
Board members present: Dan Williams, Lauren Anderson, Karen Costello, Steve Bieringer, Sandra Bartsias, Joy Gottschalk, Andrea Siegel
Board members absent: Mary Jane Mitchell, Virgil Petrie, Ryan Fisher, Dylan Sirny, Andrew Buss, Dick Fiala, Laura Silver, Eric David
Also present: Tony Sterle, Councilmember John Quincy, Tjody DeVaal, Abby Rowan
Called to order: 7:06pm
Partner and Other Announcements
Tony Sterle talked about Save Our Minneapolis Parks, an independent group that supports this year’s Parks referendum, where he is Campaign Manager. They are looking for volunteers to knock on doors, speak out about neighborhood parks, and pass out literature at caucuses. He described the risks he sees neighborhood parks facing, including a $15 million/year funding gap totalling $111 million overall. The city has 157 neighborhood parks, including 46 located in areas of poverty. Over 6 million people visit Minneapolis neighborhood parks each year.
John Quincy noted that the referendum is focused on long-ignored capital needs like facilities maintenance and upkeep and Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA) compliance issues. Funding these needs would free up more money for regular maintenance like mowing and groundskeeping. The parks facilities were originally built with federal money that is long-since gone, and the Parks Board did not allocate long-term funds for facilities maintenance, so now buildings and community centers require large amounts of deferred maintenance.
John Quincy noted recent growth in senior needs and other community programs at the parks. Steve asked about the Parks Board’s recent acquisitions of river-front property in north and northeast Minneapolis and if that reduces funding for neighborhood parks in favor of park system expansion. John Quincy replied that since the city is fully built out, riverfront property is too valuable to pass up it’s available. Joy also brought up the challenge to use/reserve non-playground facilities.
Southwest Business Association Happy Hour: Abby talked with the SBA president and reported that TNA should reach out to the SBA if there is something specific to work with area businesses on. Lauren suggested organics recycling.
Minnehaha Trail Improvement Meeting: TNA board members probably will not be able to attend, but Joy will reach out to Lynnhurst board members and get more information about how the event and trail walk went.
2015 Neighborhood Association Annual Report: TNA must submit the 2015 report to the City before we can get funding for current and future initiatives. Each team should review what they and the board accomplished in 2015 and communicate its community/neighborhood benefit. Abby will send around the report template to jump-start discussions, and will coordinate the report with input from board members and teams. Andrea suggested adding the March 2015 safety meeting to the report as an example of TNA community involvement.
February 3rd All-Neighborhood Meeting with Councilmember Quincy
Abby, Sandra, and Ryan attended the meeting and shared Tangletown’s accomplishments in 2015 and goals for 2016. Board members reported on the higher levels of involvement that some other neighborhoods have on their committees, like the Hale/Page/Diamond Lake (HPDL) safety committee, and asked how TNA can achieve higher participation. John Qunicy said the HPDL Safety committee increased involvement by widening their mission from crime to general safety issues like stop signs, traffic safety, public art, and grafitti abatement which attracted more community memebers than crime alone had. He also said the education and communication are great tools for crime prevention, including making sure neighborhoods what works for them with other neighborhoods. All neighborhoods want more involvement from block leaders, to develop new leaders where they are missing, and ensure crime that does happen gets reported to police and not simply discussed on Nextdoor and other social media.
The board discussed how to increase volunteer involvement. John Quincy suggested that should reach out to other neighborhoods and find out what’s working for them. Sandra suggested hiring temporary community organizer to door knock and hand out information about TNA efforts and opportunities for involvement. Joy suggested sending out flyers, which Abby agreed with. Lauren suggested postings at coffee shops and other neighborhood businesses for events TNA is holding in the next few months. Tjody suggested hilighting TNA initiaties and the annual meeting in the spring newsletter, instead of the usual articles about the garage sale and 4th of July event. Lauren brought up the organics recycling kickoff and need for block compost captains as outreach opportunities, which could help TNA involve more residents. John Quincy mentioned Windom’s new resident welcome program as a mechanism to make residents more aware of their neighborhood association.
Dan suggested that the TNA website should have an event list/calendar widget or some other way to get live info on the page to reflect our upcoming events. Other board members said we should re-start the TNA Facebook page and/or do monthly e-newsletters in addition to the print newsletter.
Joy asked about seemingly uneven progress of our various initiatives and whether we shouldn’t combine or simplify our priorities for 2016. While board progress during the winter has historically been slower, all the teams need to keep moving forward but we can re-evaluate in future meetings. Also, given the lack of quorum at the meeting, attendance was discussed and we need to reach out to all board memebers and make sure everyone comes to meetings regularly and is still interested in being on the board. Unless a majority of board members and half of the executive committee is present, the board can’t even approve budget, minutes, or make any official decisions.
Andrea will write cover article about Annual Meeting and water issues. Lauren will write an article about organics composting and Joy will write one about community solar. Due to all the other content, there won’t be an article about the garage sale this year. Sandra also suggested placing a $5 or $10 discount coupon in the newsletter for community education classes and board memebers agreed.
Annual Meeting on May 16th
At the January meeting the board decided that water should be the annual meeting topic. Sandra also suggested neighborhood park issues given the upcoming referendum. While the board thought parks were a great idea, we want to keep the annual meeting focused and a separate event was suggested for Parks issues. The board will buy food for the annual meeting and Abby will talk to Hector from Cafe Ena/La Fresca/Rincon 38 again to see if they are interested in catering.
Abby has held “office hours” at the Fuller Park Rec center on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for an hour each night. She reported lots of interest in TNA but noted that people really want something physical to take home and look at, like lists of what each committee needs volunteers for. Abby has entered all email addresses given to her into Constant Contact, but wants any collateral teams have ASAP. The board suggested Abby should also be present for specific events and perhaps have sign-up lists for TNA events and committees.
Secretary – January 2016 minutes could not be approved due to lack of quorum.
Treasurer – TNA received our CPP contract #38870 reimbursement from the City for 2014 for $10,563.66. The city also reimbursed TNA for the $255.75 after TNA provided clarification on the expense. Sandra put together a projected budget for 2016 and noted that TNA has not contracted much of our available funds yet.
The NCR account has $5507.94 and the Tangletown account has $18,171.88, not including the city reimbursement for NCR/CPP contracts for 2014.
Neighborhood Priorities Status / Committee Reports
Sustainability/Green Team (Lauren, Joy): TNA is holding a joint “Green Day” event in cooperation with Lynnhurst organized around the City organics recycling spring kick-off. There will be games, races, crafts, informational displays, and other activities. The event will also sign up block compost captains in both neighborhoods. Dan proposed printing a large, re-usable neighborhood map for this event and others. Joy got a quote from Banners to Go for $135 but no budget could be proposed or approved due to lack of quorum.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary