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AGENDA & MINUTES November 09, 2010

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AGENDA

6:00 pm – Open Meeting, Welcome
6:05- 6:35 pm  NEW BUSINESS
o    McKnight Youth Council letter to all Springfield Neighborhoods & Civic Associations, re:  Palmer Renewable Energy has submitted a “Change in Project” to the State, seeking permission to burn waste wood rather than construction waste in their proposed facility on Page Blvd.  The Youth Council has asked East Springfield to re-examine the information on incineration and the health impacts of the pollution it produces, to reconsider their position and withdraw their support of the Palmer Renewable Energy project. They are requesting that each Council and Civic group send a similar letter to East Springfield with a copy to the Mayor and City Council.  (See attached letter from Youth Council; PRE Notice of Project Change;  Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield fact sheet; and first letter from the MNC Board opposing the original incinerator.)
6:35- 7:05 pm   OFFICER’S REPORTS   
o    PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
§  Report on the success of the McKnight Sponsored DA debate on October 19 at AIC
§  Planning for the December holiday Board meeting
o    VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Tony Anthony)
o    SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff)
§  Minutes of September 14, 2010 meeting (tabled from October meeting)
§  Minutes of October 12, 2010 meeting
§  !st Quarter Report
o    TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Marianne Winters):
§  Monthly financial report
§  Update on the Mason Square Health Task Force grant
7:05- 7:40 pm  COMMITTEE REPORTS – Any committee updates (5 minutes each)
o    Youth (Jesse Lederman)
o    Public Safety (Walter Kroll)
o    Housing/Code
o    Communications (Marianne Winters)
o    Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)
o    Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
Ad Hoc Committees:
o    Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens)
o    Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens)
o    Health & Green Space (Katie Foster)
7:40 – 8:00 pm   NEW BUSINESS:  Open to the floor
8:00 pm – Close Meeting

MINUTES

Board Meeting: November 09, 2010

Called to order 6:05 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present  (12):  Walter Kroll (Pres.), Tony Anthony (VicePres.), Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman, Liz Stevens, (Clerk/Secy.), Gregory A Hession, Ceil Lewonchuk, Ben Swan, Jr, Denise Moccia, Frank Buntin, Chip Gorra, Donna Jordan,  {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (3):  Katie Foster, Arthur Jones, Marianne Winters (Treas.)
Neighborhood Members Attending:  Kat Wright, Samantha Kroll, Jane Buntin, Carolyn Garcia, Brandi Gamble. 
New Business : WK introduced letter from McKnight Youth Council to all Springfield Neighborhoods & Civic Associations, re:  Palmer Renewable Energy’s  “Notice of Change in Project” to the State, seeking permission to burn waste wood rather than construction waste in proposed facility on Page Blvd.  The Youth Council had asked East Springfield to re-examine the information on incineration and the health impacts of the pollution it produces, to reconsider their position, and withdraw their support of the Palmer Renewable Energy project. They are requesting that each Council and Civic group send a similar letter to East Springfield with a copy to the Mayor and City Council. 
WK raised question of whether original opposition letter sent in August suffices as grounds for Board to send new letter or is a new motion required.  Agreement that new motion would be needed. 
JL gave updated information and led discussion about the Notice of Change in Project.
MOTION:  (JL moved) that MNC authorize letter to East Springfield Neighborhood Council , copied to Mayor and City Council, urging withdrawal of support from Palmer Renewable Energy wood burning incinerator project.  (DM seconded); (WK called for discussion); CG asked about current political climate.  JL expressed opposition is building.  FB observed that all neighborhoods should be involved, and commended Youth Council for their work on the issue. (TA called the question); Motion passed unanimously.   WK directed EL to send letter as indicated in motion.
MOTION:  (JL moved) that MNC send a press release announcing opposition and encouraging every neighborhood council join MNC in opposition.  WK suggested amendment to remove press release from motion as unnecessary part of motion; (LS seconded); (WK call for discussion); (TA called question); Motion passed: 10 yea, 1 abstention.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter Kroll)
o   Report on DA debate held Oct 19 as highly successful event with involvement by AIC staff and students.  CG commented that it drew a lot of attention from wider community.  KW commented that it was well covered in press.
o   Discussed plans for community potluck at December meeting.    Will be honoring people who have made an impact in the neighborhood.  Request for suggestions for nominees in addition to past president Greg Hession, Sgt James Brown and Sgt Reggie Miller.
o   Announced request from videographer Aaron Williams who is working on a documentary of the Mason Square Neighborhood.  He is requesting old pictures or video of McKnight to highlight its history and development.
VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Tony Anthony)
o   No updates to report.           
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens, Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, September 14, 2010 (tabled from October 9 meeting) submitted for acceptance.
MOTION: (TA moved) to accept; (WK seconded ); (WK call for discussion); LS offered correction  re:  Treasure’s report, “Baystate  grant awarded last year through Dunbar for rail trail”; change Dunbar to Mason Square Health Task Force. (LS moved) to accept minutes as amended; (WK seconded); Motion carried unanimously.
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, October 9, 2010, submitted for acceptance.
MOTION: (TA moved) to accept as presented; (GH seconded); (WK call for discussion) ;( WK called the question); Motion carried; 10 yea, 1 opposed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: (Marianne Winters)
o   (MW absent) Asst. treasurer GH gave monthly financial report including an announcement of a small budget surplus. Discussed having the newsletter becoming self-sustaining by hiring a professional writer who would be paid by the advertising income from the newsletter.
o   WK reported on status of MSHTF grant saying it was submitted on time, well-written with strong endorsements.  LS said Board would hear something in December.
COMMITTEE REPORTS:
YOUTH COUNCIL: (Jesse Lederman, Chair)
o   Reported on membership drive which did not attract any new members.   Reported that two of the five members will graduate in June.  Asked for more assistance from the main council in helping to recruit.  Discussion about the possibility of establishing the Youth Council as a city-wide organization.
PUBLIC SAFETY: (Walter Kroll, Chair)
o   WK announced that Sgt James Brown will no longer be heading the Neighborhood Watch.  Core neighborhood members remain.  EK currently involved in Citizen’s Police Academy.  BS discussed revisiting issue of combining Police Beat and Watch meetings to be held on the same night. 
o   WK emphasized that residents continue to be primarily concerned with safety and housing issues, and the need to encourage involvement and activity in these areas; and that break-ins continue to be a problem.  Reminded everyone to call, call, call about any suspicious activity.
o   Report on details from Safe Neighborhood Night attended by WK, EK, and JL.
HOUSING/ CODE: (Vacant  Chair)
o   WK emphasized need for vacant chairmanship to be filled.  In the mean time, concerns can be brought to him. 
o   Discussion of several positive projects in neighborhood taking place and the need to recognize positive efforts, re:  temple on Thompson and State Street.
o   CG suggested historical signage for homeowners; discussion followed around uniformity, design, pricing, materials, and finding a local vendor to produce.  WK suggested Putnam High School.  CG to spearhead project.
COMMUNICATIONS: (Marianne Winters, Chair)
o   (MW absent), WK reported that they are in communication with Bob McCarthy who is a professional writer (as mentioned earlier) to take over  newsletter.
FINANCE AND FUNDRAISING:  (Marianne Winters, Chair)
o   (MW absent); no report.
GOOD NEIGHBOR:  (Ceil Lewonchuk, Chair)
o   Discussion on what activities will help to develop this committee which has been inactive.  CG suggested checking list of new home buyers in neighborhood.   WK suggested a one page welcome letter and coordinating with realtor JB who has homeowner’s packet which he distributes.  CL unsure of who other committee members are.  EL to send info.  SK volunteered to be on committee.
MASON SQUARE LIBRARY: (Liz Stevens, Chair)
o   LS reported that Urban League is scheduled to move to STCC on November 15, City Council to evict on November 16 if the move does not happen.  KW reported library will open unofficially on January 24, with grand opening scheduled for the week of school vacation on February 23.  BS asked about funding for event.  KW reported that meeting on December 2 would involve budget, and LS reported that the Annie Curran fund was the major source of funds for the Library Foundation for this event.
RAIL TRAIL/ RJS PLAYGROUND: (Liz Stevens, Chair)
o   LS reported that the heavy equipment was in place working on RJS playground.
o   Re: Rail trail, BS asked JL about the Governor’s interest in the rail trail per the conversation JL recently had with him; JL & LS to collaborate on how to follow up.
HEALTH & GREENSPACE:  (Katie Foster, Chair)
o   (KF absent); no report.
NEW BUSINESS:
WK called for new business.  TA suggested re-approaching the concern raised by FB that the Board of Directors should be doing more to involve black people in the council.  TA pointed out that although the Board is the inverse of the neighborhood demographic, it is a volunteer organization without the legal mandates of a government entity; and that the disparity may be related to historical cultural issues, but may also be related simply to expectations of how much people believe they can effect change.  Review of past and current outreach efforts, which have been vigorous; general agreement that the problem was not so much racial, but more likely related to apathy and people not being well engaged who show occasional interest beyond the block parties.  Short discussion by Board on how to better engage those people who come to the monthly meetings.   LS suggested opening meeting with introductions from audience, a “what brings you here?” session.   General agreement that Good Neighbor committee needs to develop a strong welcome protocol.  Plans made to flyer neighborhoods as more personal outreach to promote the annual community potluck at December meeting.  EL directed to design flyer.
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (JL moved) to adjourn; (BS seconded); motion carried.
NEXT MNC MEETING:                    Tuesday, December 14, 2010
REBECCA JOHNSON SCHOOL, 55 Catherine Street
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 12/13/2010.

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