BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, January 19, 2018 – 7:00 p.m., Fuller Park
Board members present: Dick Fiala, Dan Williams, Briana Daymont, Valerie Hurst, Kathy Kornblum, Gabe Moreno, Justin Wills, Joy Gottschalk, Steve Wohlford, Ryan Fisher
Board members absent: none
Also present: Sally Bauer (TNA Executive Director), Jeremy Schroeder, Benjy Schirm (resident), Sophia Manolis (Minneapolis iMatter), Rebecca Gagnon (school board)
Called to order: 7:05pm
Secretary – Steve made a motion to approve the January minutes, Valerie seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Treasurer – Our tax forms are due in May. TNA has traditionally filed Form 990N postcard notifications with IRS. For changing to a calendar fiscal year, the IRS said TNA only needs to send a letter and when TNA receives confirmation of that letter we’ll file a 990N for the short year. Next year we’ll have to file a 990EZ because we may be above $50,000 income for the year due to more regular reimbursements from the city.
Justin also presented a Profit & Loss statement for approval. Steve asked why professional services was such a large expenditure; Justin replied that it’s due to payments to Willow Consulting for strategic planning, Metro Blooms for rain gardens, and artist honorariums for utility box wraps. Sally noted that the final Willow Consulting expenses were about $17,200 while bid was $18,000, so it came in under budget.
Steve moved that we accept P&L statement as the basis for our 2017 taxes, Ryan seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Justin also noted that we aren’t getting electronic bank statements correctly, which he is in the process of fixing. He will also ensure that the correct names are on the accounts.
Youth Climate Resolution – iMatter Minneapolis
Sophia gave a short presentation about iMatter Minneapolis and their climate resolution. The local group was formed through the national iMatter organization, after members from multiple Minneapolis schools wanted to help achieve 100% renewable electricity for Minneapolis city properties and public spaces. A related resolution introduced last fall by several city council members did not pass and will be re-introduced, but the local iMatter group is seeking several changes to the resolution: 100% renewable electricity by 2025, with 25% of the renewables to be produced within Minneapolis, and finally two voting seats on the Community Environmental Advocacy Committee (CEAC) under the Clean Energy Partnership. The goal are to give youth a stronger voice in climate-related policies, to allow them to help with the process of getting to 100% renewable electricity, and to hold city accountable for achieving this goal.
The group is looking for an endorsement from TNA for their efforts and also for future cooperation. Steve asked what the renewable percentage currently is, Sophia thought it was about 10%. Gabe asked about details of the two committee seats the group is asking for; Sophia said they were looking to replace two existing seats rather than add more seats. She envisions an application process for candidates, which the group will discuss the options with the committee at their March 7th meeting.
Jeremy Schroeder and others on the Clean Energy Partnership support this proposal, and think these types of resolutions will help move towards to the goal.
Steve moved to endorse cooperation with iMatter Minneapolis and their resolution, and suggested to clean up language around percentages. Gabe seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved. Sally will follow up and fill out the endorsement form.
They will also have an online petition that the board agreed to post in social media and our newsletter. Sophia and Sally will connect to get the link.
Jeremy gave a short introduction of himself and his goals. Before City government, Jeremy was vice-president of the Hale-Page-Diamond-Lake neighborhood association. His election platform was based on affordable housing and racial justice. He chairs the Planning and Zoning committee, and had his first meeting for two developments in Uptown last Thursday. He is also on the new Housing committee, which is the first time the Minneapolis City Council has formed a committee to focus on housing and affordability. He is also on the Intergovernmental Affairs committee which interacts with the State government. He is also on the Audit committee, which additionally deals with city appointments and other non-public business. He is one of two members on the Clean Energy Partnership (which includes Xcel and Centerpoint and focuses on sustainability) and is looking to ramp up its activity. He is also on the Homeless and Housing advisory committees. He holds community coffees and meetings at other public locations (libraries, etc).
Steve asked for a summary of what Jeremy wants to get done for the next year. Jeremy talked about the City’s Comprehensive Plan (done every 10 years) which is often just a land-use plan, but this time they are going to talk about racial inequity in Minneapolis, where to plan affordable housing, and where jobs and transportation will be. They will focus on the neighborhood level to ensure residents know the purpose and background of the plan. Vacancy rates are currently very low which gives landlords lots of power, so he’s looking changes like increasing required eviction notice times since it’s so hard to find new housing. He is also looking at inclusive zoning, and easing building materials regulations that trip up developers by perhaps excluding affordable housing from some requirements. Kathy asked whether Minneapolis is a sanctuary city, Jeremy said Minneapolis is, that the city gets about $55,000,000 through community development block grants for affordable housing and this funding could be at risk due to our sanctuary city status.
Washburn Water Tower Evaluation
The board discussed water tower landscaping plans presented at the January meeting. The City’s Public Works Department will pay for and perform the construction and plantings, but do not have money for ongoing maintenance of the plantings. They would like TNA to help organize volunteers to do the maintenance work instead. Two options were presented, a “fancy” one with purple and green plans and a simpler one using a type of sumac. Sally created a neighborhood resident survey to gauge interest, which received 71 responses. 54 said they would come to a kick-off event, 32 to weed/water once per month, 36 once a summer, 13 would financially support these efforts. So it seems there is active interest in helping maintain this landmark feature in our neighborhood.
Steve asked how long the commitment would be and whether it would continue if the property was potentially turned over to the Minneapolis Parks and Resources Board in the future (which was mentioned as a possibility at the January meeting). The board decided that we should ask Public Works about irrigation system options and whether the plantings would even need irrigation after they become established.
Gabe moved that we endorse the City’s “fancy” proposal (purple & green color scheme) and commit to organizing maintenance efforts for at least three years. Valerie seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Strategic Planning Next Steps
The strategic planning process identified three focus areas: Beautiful Purposeful Spaces, Innovative Environmental Leadership, and Engaged Welcoming Community. To organize committees to handle these areas, Sally suggested that we base our structure on St. Paul’s Highland District Council structure, where each board member serves on at least one committee and additional community members are recruited. The chair of each committee must be a board member.
Steve suggested that we seed our committees with at least 3 or 4 board members but was concerned about board member involvement on multiple committees and the workload. He suggested that the committees could be the decision making/visionary/planning body but the actual effort could come from anyone (board or community), not just those on the committee. He was looking for a way to allow board members to mix & match committees with their interests but not be pigeonholed on a single committee.
Joy will send out a survey to board members in which they will rank their committee choices, after which she and Sally will assign members to committees, and the committees will begin to meet. Sally asked if we should solicit community involvement once we have the committees, goals, and meeting dates identified; the board agreed.
Composting Event: the Sustainability committee has been working with the Lynnhurst neighborhood to get a delivery of compost in late April (around Earth Day) or May which residents can then take a portion of. While the compost itself is free, delivery has a cost, which TNA could either absorb, or charge those who pick up compost a nominal fee.
Spring Cleanup: this event is traditionally held on Earth Day (April 22) but could also be held the previous weekend (April 14). Kathy/Gabe suggested the compost event could take place of the spring cleanup or be combined on the same day to simplify our busy spring event schedule. The board agreed.
Garage Sale: this event is traditionally the first weekend in May, which this year is May 4th or 5th. At the January meeting Steve suggested investigating moving the event to September, but it’s probably too late to do so now. Sally raised the possibility of pairing up with another neighborhood at the recent Southwest Coordinators meeting. Kingfield was not interested in a combined event but Armatage/Kenny were open to it.
Water Tower Kick-off: Possible dates include May 12 or more likely June 2.
Annual meeting: this event will be held on May 21.
Lyndale Open Streets: likely to be held on June 10th.
Sally pointed out that we have many events piling up in the April – June timeframe. She would prefer to space them out more if possible. The board agreed that the new committees resulting from strategic planning will take over the decisions on each of the events.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary