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Minutes August 10, 2010

i Sep 25th No Comments by

McKnight Neighborhood Council

Board Meeting: August 10, 2010
Called to order 6:15 p.m.
PRESENT: *Walter Kroll (Pres.), *Tony Anthony (VicePres.), *Frank Buntin, *Chip Gorra, *Ed Kelly *Jesse Lederman, *Denise Moccia, *Liz Stevens, (Clerk/Secy.), *Gregory A Hession, *Ben Swan Jr., Judy Blair, LeRoy Blair, Elizabeth Lederman, Kat Wright (*Members of the Board)
10 Board members present; Board members not present: *Katie Foster, *Arthur Jones, *Donna Jordan, *Ceil Lewonchuk, *Marianne Winters (Treas.),
Guests: Sgt. James Brown, Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.; Pete Merzbacher, UMass urban gardening; Lonnie E. Ryans, Springfield Public Schools; Michael Tully, Springfield Parks Dept.; Laurie Williams, Springfield College student
 PRESENTATION: Mike Tully, Parks Dept., reported on status of Rebecca M Johnson School playground project, distributed plan drawings. Bids open Aug. 25, ground-breaking in Oct, completion in May or June 2011. RMJ School will have first use; public use to be worked out between the school and parks dept. Carly Youngblood (Capital Assets) is more familiar with the project, MT will ask her to attend a future MNC meeting. LS noted that the grant requires $30,000 to be raised by the community.
NEW BUSINESS: Robin Taimanglo, 34 Westminster St., bought next-door lot from city, will attend Sept. MNC meeting to describe proposed use.
 PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter Kroll):
 Asked that members work things out in committee and report to the full board, so that this meeting will be for sharing of ideas, receiving or inquiring about information from the City, businesses for review, and homeowners’ concerns.
 Committees: Asked that every board member serve on at least one committee. This year’s committees will be as follows:
  • CODE/HOUSING – Tony Anthony, Chair; Denise Moccia, Greg Hession, Jesse Lederman
  • YOUTH – Jesse Lederman, Chair; Frank Buntin, Arthur Jones, Walter Kroll
  • FINANCE/FUNDRAISING – Marianne Winters, Chair; Greg Hession
  • PUBLIC SAFETY – Walter Kroll, Chair; Ben Swan Jr., Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman
  • COMMUNICATIONS – Marianne Winters, Chair; Donna Jordan, Chip Gorra
  • GOOD NEIGHBOR/ WELCOME – Ceil Lewonchuk
  • AD HOC committees: HEALTH & GREENSPACE – Katie Foste
  • TRAIL & M.S.LIBRARY – Liz Stevens

 Suggested that MNC honor those people who served on the council in the past as part of our agenda at each meeting.
 Announced that MNC policy regarding applicants for permits, waivers, etc., will now be handled by the Vice President to find out information and identify any questions before that person comes before this council; this procedure will save time at the public meeting and will be a pro-active effort rather than passive reliance on the applicant. The procedure and application will be published on the website; there will be time given to the Vice President to gather information before such applicant is placed on an agenda for hearing before this board.
 Hiring administrative staff: KW will write an ad and send it to MNC email list; check cost of ad in newspapers; Hiring committee will be WK, TA and MW.
SECRETARY’S REPORT (Liz Stevens, Kat Wright, staff): Minutes of Board Meeting, July 13, 2010: TA moved to accept; JL seconded. Motion passed.
TREASURER’S REPORT (Marianne Winters, Treas., not present): No report at this time. TA moved to table discussion of the treasurer’s report until such time as the board can review said report; BS seconded. Motion passed.
OLD BUSINESS:
o BLOCK PARTY: Set Saturday, Sept. 18; Rain date Sept. 25; Organizing committee is Chip Gorra, Walter Kroll, Elizabeth Lederman.
o D.A. CANDIDATE FORUM: All 6 candidates have agreed to participate; confirmed date Aug. 24, from 7:oo to 8:30 pm, at Sprague auditorium, AIC; KW will write and send out press release; Craig Greenberg, PR head at AIC would like copy of any MNC publicity sent to him; MNC ad hoc committee to make final arrangements.
REPORTS:
 YOUTH COUNCIL (Jesse Lederman, Chair): JL reported MNYC work to oppose the toxic incinerator includes surveys, postcard petitions, calls to Governor’s office, press conference tomorrow (Aug. 11) at City Hall, asking City Council to revoke its permit (granted 2 years ago); JL said he would be speaking at the press conference for the MNYC.
BS moved that MNC oppose the building of the Springfield incinerator plant; DM seconded. Discussion: members cited high rates of asthma and serious concern that such a plant would be toxic; JL offered a friendly amendment, which BS accepted, worded thus: that MNC oppose the incinerator proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy or any similar construction/demolition waste incinerator. Motion passed unanimously.
• To follow up, WK will write a letter from the MNC board to City Council asking them to revoke the permit, in light of further information on the nature of the project. MNC will send a press release out to state our opposition to the incinerator.
 PUBLIC SAFETY (Walter Kroll, Chair):
• We have T-shirts for Neighborhood Watch; WK recognized Sgt. James Brown as the backbone of Neighborhood Watch; proposed combining Neighborhood Watch and SPD Beat Team Management meetings to leverage resources, save time and effort for residents
• Noted petty theft on rise in McKnight; empty houses should be boarded and secured, break-ins reported and followed up; will ask for city list of bank-owned properties, city ordinance that property manager has to live within 5 minutes to maintain it;
• Still need street captains and active neighborhood walks to be a visible presence; urged that violations be reported, after 15 minutes call again and ask for watch commander; follow up with WK and Sgt. Brown; Never had an issue not addressed.
 HOUSING/ CODE (Denise Moccia, Chair):
• Wondered if next step on 111 Dartmouth Terr. (since we have received no reply from owner to our letter) would be reporting to Code Enforcement via their website.
• CG reported trash build-up at Westminster & State, at Family Dollar, Subway, McDonalds – this is the business’s responsibility to clean up; can be reported; EK reported he delivered a bag of McDonalds trash collected on his lawn to McDonalds, he also set up 2 trash bins on the island across from his house, but one was stolen.
• CG reported overgrown yard at Westminster and Bay; City has secured the building, next step is City’s “clean and lien” as this is one of 1000 properties city has to get to.
• KW suggested establishing an ad hoc committee to push for a city-wide anti-litter campaign; TA urged effort to get City Council to start a public service campaign against littering through education and working with business owners so they don’t leave the neighborhood; FB agreed it is an education process for kids and adults
BS moved that MNC offer a letter to the neighborhood councils, the City, Mayor’s office, School Dept., DPW, City Council, etc. to bring to fruition an anti-litter campaign; WK seconded. Discussion: CG offered to produce an ad video. Motion passed.
 MASON SQUARE LIBRARY (Liz Stevens, Chair): Window display of furniture being purchased and plan drawings of the new children’s area to be built once the Urban League moves out; UL sign cannot legally be removed until the tenant is out of the building; Library Dept. still plans to re-open in November 2010.
 RAIL TRAIL/ RMJ PLAYGROUND (Liz Stevens, Chair): Looking at a couple of grant sources, MSHTF wants coalitions to apply for only two grant opportunities according the Springfield Partners; MNC is looking for collaborators including Gasoline Alley and Gardening the Community garden on Albany St.; at Saturday meeting, will identify further potential collaborators; grant application is due sometime in October.
 COMMUNICATIONS (Marianne Winters, Chair): Fall newsletter due out Sept. 15, theme is housing and economics.
 FINANCE & FUND RAISING (Marianne Winters, Treas.): MW not present; no report.
NEW BUSINESS (Open to floor):
o Litter: Sgt. Brown will ask that Sheriff’s Dept. cleaning crew be tasked to clean up litter in McKnight
o Humanics in Action, Springfield College annual student neighborhood service project: LS asks that MNC pick a project ASAP so she can contact Springfield College, WK will coordinate on the day; Date is probably Thursday, Sept. 23 or 30.
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT: JL moved to adjourn, DM seconded. Motion passed.

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