BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, February 17th, 2020 – 7:00 p.m., Fuller Park
Board members present: Carl Arrell, Pat Collins, Alyssa Thull, Dan Williams, Brian McDonald, Kellie Hanson, Dirk Nicholson
Board members absent: Dick Fiala, Brenda Anderson, Bernadette Tomko
Also present: Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder, Fullertown Flats developers (Matt Larson, Josh Segal, Michael Marguiles), Emma Pachuta (MPRB), Erik Takashita, 9 community members
Called to order: 7:04
Secretary – Carl made a motion to approve the January and November minutes, Dirk seconded. Voice vote, six in favor, one abstention, motion approved.
Treasurer – no report this month
Jeremy gave a Neighborhoods 2020 update. He said the comment period starts a week from today. The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) report on the Neighborhoods 2020 plan and options was discussed at full city council last week and encountered pushback from neighborhood groups. Jeremy is focusing on the outcome he wants, not the data in the CURA report. He said many took the data around diversity and who benefits from neighborhood funding personally as there appear to be great disparities between neighborhood groups and the actual population they serve. CURA suggested three options for neighborhood funding: (a) no base funding, (b) $10,000 base, and (c) $25,000 base. Jeremy thinks the no-base/10k base effectively eliminates neighborhood organizations since it’s very hard to run a non-profit with that level of funding. During the council meeting he voted against hearing a citizen-originated rebuttal report for procedural reasons only, not because he thinks it was not worthwhile. He also asked for a staff report on the $35 million of unspent neighborhood funds to deliver at the next full council meeting. He noted that some neighorhoods have more than $1 million in unspent funds..
Pat asked what we can do to help. Jeremy said that everyone should send feedback to the City during the comment period and say what your organization has done and what your vision is.
Councilmember Shroeder gave a recap of the permit process so far. He noted that the developer can change their plans to accommodate the parking issue and resubmit them. Major changes deviate from the original site plan (eg adding a story, 10% change of mass, exceeding setbacks) while minor change do not. The lack of a parking variance required the developer to reduce the number of units in the plan, and that and other changes have not yet been approved. The city doesn’t approve projects but instead determines whether the project conforms to the applicable laws.
Carl asked the audience to keep comments short and indicated that TNA would be happy to help facilitate further meetings for more in-depth discussion.
Josh gave an overview of the latest changes. The original plan was 23 units and 10 parking spaces and as a result of the parking variance denial was modified to 18 units and 18 parking spaces. There is also a 1:1 ratio for bike spaces to units. The construction timing is still unknown but they will conform to required permit notices when construction starts. Plans currently include three two-bedroom units, six studio units, and nine single units. They believe they are conforming to the original site plan. The additional parking will be on second floor with an entrance from the alley. In the original plans the garage entrance was in the back on ground floor but will now start 30ft from the front of the building.
Erik thanked the board for offering to facilitate a conversation. Based on Erik’s interpretation of major/minor changes, he believes that the project changes constitute a major change. He would like to attend a follow-up.
Josh indicated they would be happy to attend a follow-up.
A community member asked why the change to alley access was made in the latest proposal. Josh indicated it was originally in the plan but pulled based on concerns from the city and neighbors, but he believes those concerns are addressed with the new plans.
Another community member asked about trash removal which will now be on the second floor. Josh replied that trash collection will be done in the alley and the collector will bring dumpster out into alley and unload it there.
Parks for All (Emma Pachuta)
Emma presented information on the Park Board’s comprehensive plan for the next decade. MPRB is currently in the vision and discovery phase with a draft plan due in the middle of the year. They hope to adopt the comprehensive plan by December. The plan builds on past master plans and MPRB is looking at past comments as well. The comprehensive plan does not focus on individual parks but on the needs and goals of the system as a whole. The process starts with input, identifies system-wide patterns and comments, develops goals and strategies into the plan, then implements it over the plan period.
Carl and Dirk asked how the comprehensive plan related to the current master plan proposals for individual parks. Emma said that the comprehensive plan sets overall policy for the park system but does not affect park master plans for facilities plans that are already in process.
The previous (and first) comprehensive plan was adopted in 2007 and runs through 2020. The 2007 plan was much broader in scope and MPRB would like to narrow focus this time, including adding metrics which the previous plan lacked..
Brian presented an overview of our financial policies that specify the responsibilities of the Board, TNA as a whole, and the executive director. It covers bank accounts, authorizations, financial limits, reporting requirements, compliance, conflicts of interest, etc. The biggest operational change involves the addition of a debit card to TNA operations. Sally had previously requested personal reimbursements for all expenses and a debit card will streamline the process and save time. Auditors had also recommended creating a quarterly treasurer’s report for the TNA President. Brian pushed to have oversight of signatories on TNA accounts.
Dan moved to accept the financial policy. Pat seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Carl presented the board assessment survey results. One theme was a feeling of rushed decisions; Carl recapped Robert’s Rules and asked board members to continue discussion after a motion is made if needed. He also emphasized inclusion and making sure that everyone on the board feels like they are heard, and encouraged board members to volunteer.
Committee Recruitment Event (March 3)
The event will be held at Wise Acre. The intent is to be a fairly loose and be an easy way to meet TNA and get involved. The board hopes to have at least 20 attendees. Sally said postcards were mailed Thursday February 13th. Sally asked the board to think about how we’ll follow up and convince attendees to join committees. Dirk would like to keep it more unstructured and social. Erik suggested “Ask me about X” stickers/buttons. Alyssa suggested snacks and two rotating hosts at the welcome table. Erik also suggested “social math”; for example if you have 1 hour per month of time to volunteer here’s what you can do, but if you have 4 hours here’s what you can do, etc. He said committee sign-up may sound painful but breaking it down further is more manageable and might draw people in better.
Committee Initiatives Updates
Spaces: the committee presented the final design for utility pole banners and was planning to bring the full banner project using this design to the board for approval. However, the committee is not sure the project is the best use of funding given upcoming uncertainty in the Neighborhoods 2020 plan. Carl asked about density of signage to which Dirk responded that the focus is on Nicollet Ave and 50th St., 48th St. and Grand Ave, and a couple points around the perimeter. Pat indicated that given the upcoming city focus on equity and need she felt somewhat uncomfortable with the project and expense. Dirk thought the goal for developing neighborhood identity and engagement makes sense, but if the lens we are using for our work is equity then it may not make sense. Alyssa asked about longevity of the banners to which Dirk replied that the banner material itself weathers well. Sally suggested the board table any decision until May by which time we’ll know what the Neighborhoods 2020 plans are. Dirk has the final assets in high quality and is waiting for the artist’s signed release.
The Board agreed to table decisions on the banner project implementation until the May meeting or after.
Engagement: Winterfest needs cleanup volunteers.
Environmental: the committee will hold a textile reuse/recycle event (clothing swap, etc) on March 21st 12-3pm at Fuller Park with presenters, artists, tables, film. Pat noted that 1,500 people indicated an interest in attending via social media. The committee would like to approve up $400 for food for the event.
Dirk made a motion to approve up to $400 for food for the event. Carl seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
The committee is also getting the Good Steward grant started with Metro Blooms. Metro Blooms originally asked us to dedicate funding to the project but then got a grant instead.
Pat asked Sally about the energy reimbursement program. Sally said we have completed eight or nine reimbursements so far. She will soon email everyone who’s already had an energy audit in the past three years in Tangletown to advertise our rebate.
Executive Director Report
Neighborhoods 2020: Sally presented a condensed version of the CURA report and the three funding options. Sally indicated that the Southwest neighborhood coordinators will meet in March to strategize and that the board should spend a large part of the March meeting doing so as well.
CPP Annual Report Approval: Dan moved to approve the CPP annual report. Pat seconded, voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary