BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, November 16th, 2020 – 7:00 p.m., via Zoom
Board members present: Dan Williams, Pat Collins, Brenda Anderson, Kellie Hanson, Carl Arrell, Alyssa Thull, Dirk Nicholson, Heather Grovum, Dick Fiala, Brian McDonald
Board members absent: Dan Treinen, Jon Dejong, Lori Gubrud, Joan Staveley,
Also present: Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder, one community member
Called to order: 7:03
Secretary – Carl moved to approve October minutes. Brenda seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Treasurer – Brian noted that TNA’s bank balance is a bit lower than usual due to outstanding reimbursement requests that will be completed soon and about $9,000 in grant income also due soon. Brian said that income is about $18,600 less than budgeted due to COVID-19 and that the budget will likely be slightly negative at the end of the year.
The council is in the middle of their budget season. There are two upcoming budget-related meetings, on December 2nd at 6:05pm and December 9th at 6:05. Attendees must sign up to participate. Comments on the budget process can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Neighborhoods 2020 framework (but not funding) was passed through committee Friday November 13th. Sally asked, since the budgeting process was split from the Neighborhoods 2020 plan approval, if additional comments should be sent. Jeremy said he’d check.
Jeremy thanked the equity committee from meeting with him about re-purposing the Roof Depot site for the Tiny Villages project. Jeremy said the building has very poor infrastructure and the most difficult part is getting a service provider for any housing on the site.
Pat asked about the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) plan to supplement their force with transit police and county sherrif officers. She noted that even though Jeremy voted against the plan it was passed. With increased crime, Pat still advocates for responsible policing. She said it seems like the council doesn’t really have a plan, and asked if Jeremy could clarify. Jeremy said the force supplementation plan came up quickly and would dip into the city’s emergency fund, but the City keeps that fund for only the most dire emergencies, so he voted against it. He also opposed the force supplementation plan because there was no contract yet and thus no answers for accountability and rules for interaction. Jeremy said that the city council only has a vote over the amount of the MPD budget; they cannot change policy or weigh in until the budget season starts in the next few weeks. He thinks they need to focus on the immediate needs like getting people off the streets and the help they need based on their analysis of 911 calls (especially mental health-related calls and those where people are not in danger). He spoke of a pilot project with the county to send mental health professionals first (rather than sworn officers) that previously showed positive results. He said MPD has not done a good job of prioritizing 911 call response either, and solutions could include increasing dispatch resources, strictly prioritizing calls, and not sending armed officers when not needed (eg for insurance reports).
Kelly asked how force levels meet the charter minimum requirement for officer staffing levels. Jeremy said that MPD Chief Arradondo could not answer how the additional funding would address the actual problems with 911 response. MPD has a $180m budget and Jeremy doesn’t think there is enough information about where that money is going, let alone additional funding. Jeremy feels the emergency fund needs to be maintained due to the upcoming budget crisis due to COVID-19 and lawsuits from the death of George Floyd. He also said the city is actually above required staffing levels at this time and feels that prioritization changes are a good starting point. Dirk asked if MPD cannot fill the open officer positions would the city get the additional funding back. Jeremy answered he didn’t know but that he thinks MPD needs more accountability for their funding.
Brenda asked how the budget currently addresses Jeremy’s suggested changes. He said the budget has funding for moving some 911 non-emergency calls to 311, and implementing the 911 Study Group’s recommendations.
Heather said she thought addressing the park encampments and other unmet community needs is key to reducing crime. Jeremy said that single room housing, the Tenant Opportunity Purchase Act (when unit goes up for sale, tenants and the city have first opportunity to purchase), and rezoning to allow more shelters are key to the housing problem.
FY2021 Budget Plan
Sally and Brian presented a draft 2021 budget. Sally assumes ongoing COVID-19 related event revenue and expense reductions well into 2021. She sees the budget as a “shell budget” that includes mostly core functions like staffing, website, newsletter, and existing committee programs. She increased the “prize” budget in anticipation of more self-guided events. She noted that she kept the CPP funding amount the same; the city indicated they would keep CPP funding the same until June 30 and then funding reductions due to Neighborhoods 2020 will start. Based on what the city council decides in their budget season in December we’ll have to review and adjust the budget early next year.
Alyssa didn’t expect any t-shirt revenue this year and asked whether Sally expected there would be next year. Sally said she expected there would be some next year.
Heather made a motion to approve the draft budget, Dick seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
2021 Neighborhood Survey
Sally updated the TNA neighborhood survey with new questions related to re-evaluating the strategic plan developed a few years ago. Sally asked for feedback on the survey questions. Heather asked how the survey would be run; Sally said it will be online and awareness spread via normal marketing channels like newsletter, postcards, social media, etc. Sally asked about prizes as an incentive for filling out the survey; Dirk suggested “$20 to a business of your choice in Tangletown” and the board agreed with that. Sally will figure out the details, and write the final survey by the end of December.
Spaces: the committee is searching for a vendor to produce water tower signage that conforms to City requirements that the committee recently learned about.
Engagement: the committee completed a very successful winter coat drive, collecting 133 bags (931 lbs) of coats. They received great feedback from the organizations to which the coats were delivered. Sally also said she delivered all welcome bags to residents who moved to Tangletown in 2020.
Environmental: the True Cost virtual movie screening and panel had 35 attendees. An upcoming event on Saturday Nov 21 will focus on respectful, mindful donations. Energy efficiency rebates are still being promoted, and the committee is looking for testimonials.
Equity: the Mapping Prejudice was postponed until early December. The committee met with Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder about the East Philips land-use project at the Roof Depot site. They also discussed whether to request recognition as a standing committee. Pat asked for approval for $300 for an honorarium for authors of two upcoming book discussions. Sally said she thought the funds could be pulled from NRP funds and/or donations.
Pat made a motion that the board approve up to $300 for author honorariums. Brenda seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Executive Director Update
December Meeting: the December meeting has usually been canceled in favor of a non-business board gathering. A board member suggested a baking/food/beverage exchange. Dirk suggested a shorter “casual” virtual board meeting or a food-shelf donation drop-off, but asked Sally to send a poll to board members.
Final reimbursement request: Sally usually waits until December to submit the final reimbursement, plus with the final $9,000 grant funds, our January bank balance should be settled and healthy.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary