BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, February 18th, 2018 – 7:00 p.m., Fuller Park
Board members present: Dan Williams, Pat Collins, Steve Wohlford, Ryan Fisher, Briana Daymont, Dirk Nicholson, Erik Brenna, Valerie Hurst, Joy Gottschalk,
Board members absent: John Dukich, Dick Fiala, Carl Arrell, Kellie Hanson, Brian McDonald,
Also present: Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder, Colleen O’Dell from Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board, Al Giesen (resident), Bernadette Tomko (resident), Beadul Phenuethen (resident)
Called to order: 7:04
Secretary – Valerie made a motion to approve the January minutes, Steve seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Treasurer – TNA has a $10,000 outstanding balance from an advance on a City NRP contract that we will not be spending yet and will be paid back to the City. Steve asked if the $10,000 was above-and-beyond our ~$300,000 NRP/CPP budget plan or was allocated from an existing contract; Sally said she would check with the City.
SW Parks Area Plan
The Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board is developing a new master plan for southwest neighborhood parks (including Fuller Park) and is accepting feedback on initial concepts through March 31st. MPRB is accepting comments via an online survey and comment cards at headquarters. Sally said the e-newsletter item about the parks master plan got 100 clicks which is well above normal.
A community member in attendance said this was first she’d heard about it and suggested that the MPRB communication process was deficient. She was also upset about the full basketball court in one of the proposed Fuller Park plans. She asked that the Parks Board door-knock to gather input on residents next to parks.
Sally asked about the current state of the planning process. Colleen said they are about halfway through the project. This is the first time they have done a comprehensive master plan for all parks in the city in the 130 years of MPRB. They are looking at feedback from residents, city sustainability goals, etc. The Citizens Advisory Committee will vote on a preferred concept for each of the 43 parks in May or June. Then there will be a 45 day public comment period and public hearings before commissioners vote on the plan this summer.
Each year the Park Board funds improvements at 10-20 parks ranked on a number of criteria including equity, usage, facility age, and resident needs, cycling around to all parks. When a park is funded the board asks neighborhood residents which parts of the park’s plan they would like to see first.
Steve asked about the process for formal comments for the board; Colleen asked that the board separate comments by project. Dirk asked if each triangle and park should be separate to which Colleen said “no”. Dirk and Steve asked if traffic studies had been done for the triangles.
Steve asked if any of the raw data was available from the research gathering process. Colleen said the information shared with the designers is shared on the MPRB website under “Design Week”.
Councilmember Schroeder Update
The council passed a home energy savings ordinance that Jeremy co-authored. He expects it to add only 2 minutes to home inspections. The realtor’s association was opposed to the ordinance but would still love to have this information.
Jeremy has a meeting with neighborhood association staff on March 12th to discuss the Neighborhoods 2020 plan. The City will release a draft response to comments on the plan soon. Jeremy thinks neighborhood groups have to discuss diversity issues and work on becoming more diverse themselves. Steve asked if Jeremy could clarify for the record that the intent of Neighborhoods 2020 is not to have specific percentages of diversity (renters, race, income, etc) but that the board should be representative of their own neighborhood. Jeremy is not a fan of ratios, but some neighborhoods have very disproportionate representation. Steve thinks a huge amount of negative publicity was because the diversity initiatives were not well specified.
2018 CPP Annual Report
Our 2018 CPP Annual Report needs formal board approval before Sally can submit it to the City. Steve moved to approve the report, Carl seconded. Voice vote, motion approved.
City of Lakes Land Trust Project
CLLT proposed that TNA invest $90,000 into a foreclosure property at 33rd and Nicollet for which financing closes in March. They requested 5% or lower interest rate. While CLLT would like TNA to roll the money over into more CLLT houses, Bri suggested we simply approve the single project and talk about rollover later. Bri suggested 0% interest.
Steve indicated he supports the goals of CLLT but was against moving so quickly on this issue and wanted to wait a year or so until it was clear there were no opportunities in Tangletown. Bri’s opinion was that sitting on the NRP housing money wasn’t very useful and the CLLT representative indicated that it was very unlikely that we’d see anything in Tangletown in the next few years due to real-estate prices in our neighborhood.
Carl suggested charging a small amount of interest for projects outside Tangletown which would generate additional income we could invest in Tangletown and might incentivize CLLT to find projects in the neighborhood. Steve asked what the turnaround time on the loan would be and Ryan said the CLLT representative indicated it could be as short as 3 months. Steve was afraid that tying up our housing money for a longer term in the Nicollet project would prevent moving on a Tangletown opportunity in the short-term if one came up. Ryan said that even if we came up with a Tangletown project now it might be a year before that gets off the ground. He supports a small interest fee on the loan.
Steve said that while he understands Carl’s point of incentivizing, the short term of the loan wouldn’t return much interested to TNA. Steve would advocate for 0% interest with the caveat that we are doing it one time and that in the future we’d like projects in Tangletown.
Sally said that Kingfield is charging interest in their project with CLLT but will donate the interest towards the affordability of the property in the future.
Joy moved that TNA invest $90,000 into the CLLT project at 3310 Nicollet at 2% interest. Dirk seconded. Steve proposed an amendment to Joy’s motion from 2 to 2.5% interest. Joy accepted the amendment. Dan seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Bri highlighted sections she thought were important:
- Term of office (section 4.05): bylaws specify board members cannot serve more than 6 consecutive years and then must take a 12 month break. Sally added language indicating that board members could serve longer than their term if board seats were not contested.
- Officer terms (section 5.03): these will now be one-year terms with the intent of opening up positions on the board to encourage community involvement.
Sally said we are not required to have the community vote on the bylaws change, but notice must be sent and then the bylaws voted on by the board during a meeting. Ryan and Steve suggested that we should either (a) let community members vote on the change or (b) vote on the bylaws before our annual meeting.
Steve thinks that 15 board members is too large.
Steve also asked about a sentence about electronic voting being allowed, but wonders if we don’t need additional language spelling out conditions under which it should be implemented and how much notice board members should receive. Bri replied that this was intentionally left vague since TNA has never done electronic voting before and our initial experience might result in further bylaws changes in a year or two if it was specified. Steve thought we should just specify it.
Steve took issue with the language of “[i]n between board meetings the exec committee shall have full authority of the full board”. He asked if there was any intention of having a non-profit lawyer review the bylaws and thought that would be a good use of some funds. Sally replied she would have the City review it, but she also said that NCR (of which TNA is a member) has signed a contract with an attorney’s office to provide some legal advice. Sally will ask if the attorney could review our bylaws.
Joy asked about timing. Ryan said we need 45 day notice to the community before our vote. In the past TNA has treated bylaw changes as requiring a neighborhood vote. Ryan also asked that electronic voting be transparent and communicated in a timely way to the community. Steve thought it would be adequate to publicize bylaws changes in advance of the annual meeting, vote on bylaws in the annual meeting, and then elect new board members. Ryan would like the draft to be published publicly to get input from the community before the annual meeting.
The exec committee and Sally will take another pass at the bylaws to incorporate comments from the board.
Committee Initiatives Updates
Dirk asked if he could be brought up to date on business initiatives from the various committees and have some time in future meetings to communicate results.
Spaces: Steve would like to resign as chair but remain on the committee. Dirk will take over as chair. Still working on initiatives and clarifying the spring cleanup event.
Engagement: TNA held a successful Winterfest event with about 100 – 150 attendees. Sally and Rachel put in a lot of the planning work. It was a low-effort/high-value event. The committee is moving ahead with new welcome bags and have finalized the welcome pamphlet, to be distributed on a quarterly basis. The committee hoping to have everything finalized by March to target new home purchases. They haven’t come up with a plan yet for engaging new renters. Sally asked if there was any feedback to please send it to her.
Environmental: The largest chunk of money in the committees plan is the energy efficiency incentives. Joy is hoping to get a decision on energy update rebates before the newsletter goes out. The committee would like to use all the money for energy improvements (rather than help cost-share energy audit as was previously discussed) because the City plans to make audits free for everyone. The City will also soon offer 0% financing for remediation. The committee is now focusing on the conversion from audit to remediation work. They are proposing a 10% rebate of remediation up to $500 for any resident, with $20,000 total on first-come/first-serve basis. Another $5000 is allocated for multi-family units. Given a per-house average of $300/year in energy savings, remediation of 50 homes it would save homeowners $15,000 in energy costs each year. The committee is also attempting to create a pilot project to have the rebate taken off the CEE contractor invoice to make things simpler for homeowners.
Steve said he would still rather see a lower cap ($300) to help more people, or if we don’t get participation then we re-evaluate. Joy also feels better about a lower cap and helping more residents given the City’s movement on energy efficiency programs.
Steve also proposed a higher amount reserved for renters, suggesting 28% of the $25,000 (eg $7,000) to better match the proportion of renters in the neighborhood. Steve moved to approve the initiative up to $18,000 for single-family homes with a 10% rebate up to $300. Pat seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Pat said that the new City proposal has 50% base funding, 25% discretionary funding, and 25% for special projects. Starting in 2020 neighborhoods must submit project proposals and compete for non-base funding. Pat is trying to organize a meeting with Jeremy Schroeder to talk about issues with the plan and advocate for continued funding of TNA and neighborhood organizations. Sally asked that as many board members as are able would attend.
Sally needs newsletter content by March 1st. She also asked for board volunteers since our April – June schedule is packed. Steve proposed moving our annual meeting earlier (eg March) so that it does not conflict with our busy spring even schedule. No decision on the meeting date was made.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary