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AGENDA & MINUTES September 14, 2010

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6:00 pm – Open Meeting, Welcome
6:05- 6:35pm
o   Robin Taimanglo, 34 Westminster St., on planned use of next door lot they bough from the City.
o   Ed Whitley, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services, on model “Connect-To-Go” program of reporting to Code Enforcement (McKnight is a proposed model neighborhood for the project).
6:35- 7:05 pm
o   PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll) Includes:
§  Administrative Staff search & hire
§  Follow-up on letter from MNC board opposing siting a ‘biomass incinerator’ in Springfield.
§  Honoring a former MNC board member or officer at next meeting.
§  Updating MNC 2008 Revitalization Plan to a living document.
o   VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Tony Anthony) Includes applicants for MNC support for special permits, zoning waivers, and other matters.
o   SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens) Minutes of Aug. 10, 2010; First Quarter CDBG report narratives due from all committee chairs (July 1 – Sept. 30, 2010) (in writing).
o   TREASURER’S REPORT: (Marianne Winters): Monthly report; CDBG First Quarterly bill due Sept. 30; Update on grant application to Mason Square Health Task Force for Rail Trail.
7:05- 7:40 pm
REPORTS – Any committee updates (5 minutes each)
o   Youth (Jesse Lederman) – Update on stopping the incinerator; membership recruitment
o   Public Safety (Walter Kroll) – MNC Block Party Saturday, Sept. 18, Noon to 5 pm: Arrangements already made, tasks to be assigned and done. (Rain date Sat., Sept. 25)
o   Housing/Code (Tony Anthony)
o   Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens) – Urban League is scheduled to leave Sept. 30; work to renovate, including new furniture and computers, should be completed for grand re-opining in November 2010.
o   Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens) – Springfield College Humanics Day, Thursday, Sept. 30; project requested is clearing Rail Trail from State to Bay; Arrangements made, tasks to be assigned.
o   Communications (Marianne Winters) – Status of website & fall newsletter
o   Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)
7:40 – 8:00 pm
o   Open to the floor
8:00 pm – Close Meeting

McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting: September 14, 2010
Called to order 6:05 p.m.
PRESENT: *Walter Kroll (Pres.), *Tony Anthony (VicePres.), *Chip Gorra, *Ed Kelly *Jesse Lederman, *Liz Stevens, (Clerk/Secy.), *Gregory A Hession, *Arthur Jones, *Ceil Lewonchuk, *Ben Swan Jr., *Marianne Winters (Treas.), Deb Albury, Camille Elliot, Johnathon Elliot Sr., Sandra Hession, Kathryn Kirby, Elizabeth Lederman, Robin Taimanglo, Denise Taimanglo, Ed Whitley, Kat Wright (*Members of the Board)
11 Board members present; Board members not present: *Frank Buntin, *Katie Foster, *Donna Jordan, *Denise Moccia,
Guests:  None
PRESENTATION: Robin Taimanglo, 34 Westminster St., bought next-door lot from city, is designated preferred developer; purpose is to expand yard, to be fenced in, partly to extend outdoor use for currently operated day-care (registered for 10 children; currently from 10 months to 4 years of age); Noted the family has kept this lot clean and mowed for 9 years. MNC board applauded her efforts.
CG announced that he has taken ownership of the lot next to his house; person who bought it at auction found out he cannot build an affordable house on it.
Second scheduled presentation by Ed Whitley, Dep. Dir of Neighborhood Services, postponed until his arrival. WK gave short description of “Connect to Go” easy wireless reporting with a photo cell phone on code violations; meant to accurately record account of events and reports; McKnight will become a guinea pig for this program; AJ suggested MNC should not adopt something without neighborhood input.
o   Announced hiring of Elizabeth Lederman as Administrative Staff starting Oct. 1, 2010
o   Letter opposing biomass incinerator in Springfield has been sent to Mayor and City Council
o   MNC will begin to honor former board members and officers in the October 12 meeting
o   Updating 2008 MNC Revitalization Plan: Wants each MNC committee to take over a section of this comprehensive plan and bring it up to date as a prioritized “wish list” for use in presenting to City departments for action. SH has the 2008 document in Word form, which can be shared with committee chairs and easily updated.
TREASURER’S REPORT (Marianne Winters)
o   New fiscal year began July 1, 2010
o   Baystate grant awarded last year through Dunbar for rail trail; they are doing it differently this year; MNC did send a letter of intent by deadline.
o   Financial report: MNC has a deficit, as shown in this budget approved by this board and submitted to the City in May; MNC is hoping to receive additional grants (e.g. to pay a bookkeeper, not in current budget, that piece will have to be submitted to the board as an amendment); MW noted that supplies, food for block parties and other miscellany are not in this budget; noted a mistake in the telephone budget – should be $300/year rather than $3,000/year.
o   MW and GAH will bring an amendment and a doable goal for fund-raising to next meeting after first quarter; noted first step and best practice is for each member of the board of directors to pledge a donation, because a board donation at 100% greatly increases our capacity to obtain further grant monies.
o   GAH corrected the total expense line to $14,000 rather than $16,700, which eliminated the deficit, and instead resulted in a surplus of $1,515.
o   AJ moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as amended; TA seconded. Motion passed.
o   Black Leadership Alliance has been contracted by the City to survey and assess resources and organizations in Springfield; TA asked BLA representative Bill Blatch to present at Oct. 12 meeting; TA will email survey to board members.
o   Michael Skrabley will come before the council Oct. 12 for support for his application for a special permit from the City to sell used cars at 556 St. James Ave.
SECRETARY’S REPORT (Liz Stevens, Kat Wright, staff):  
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, August 10, 2010: LS moved to accept; TA seconded. Motion passed.
o   KW noted first quarter CDBG report is due Oct. 1; will send FY2011 Scope of Service and last year’s report out as a template to committee chairs.
o   YOUTH COUNCIL (Jesse Lederman, Chair): 
o   With STIS, delivered postcard petition to City Council to revoke the permit; has meeting scheduled with Mayor; DEP study on-going, construction stalled; City attorney is researching revocation by City Council.
o   MNYC Recruitment planned for door-to-door for fall and spring.
o   HOUSING/ CODE (Tony Anthony, Chair):
o   Offered 2 ‘form’ letters to be sent to negligent property owners (mostly absentee landlords) noting a code violation issue and asking it be corrected, and a second letter if needed before our reporting it to Code Enforcement
o   Read list of 8 problem properties reported to David Cotter, Housing Office
o   Proposed a commendation letter recognizing owners who improved their property
o   MASON SQUARE LIBRARY (Liz Stevens, Chair): UL said they would be out by Sept. 30, temporarily to STCC; not yet confirmed; to date UL has paid no use/occupancy fee to city.
o   RAIL TRAIL/ RMJ PLAYGROUND (Liz Stevens, Chair):
o   Humanics Day, Sept. 30, will clear trail from State to Bay; True Vine Pentacostal Church (Hayden Ave.) purchased some of rail bed from railroad; city has not yet purchased any of the land or rights
o   Meeting was held with John Judge (Spfd Chief Development Officer), Ed Whitley, Scott Hanson, D. Panteleakis, WK, EK, LS on how city would lay groundwork, and strategy for funding; Hanson will follow up
o   MW presented new map of neighborhood with trail marked out, from PVPC; shared details of work on grant proposals; report from Neil Greene received
o   COMMUNICATIONS (Marianne Winters, Chair):
o   Fall newsletter on hold awaiting new editor, asked for articles related to fall theme on housing and economics
o   Website: Proposed platform on homepage to get feedback, priorities from neighbors; Website is getting about 100,000 ‘hits’ per year
o   McKnight Facebook: JL noted Friends of McKnight Facebook account that he maintains has 180 ‘fans’ and MNYC Facebook account has 50 ‘fans’
o   JL moved to appoint MW to set up and maintain a McKnight Facebook page; WK seconded. Motion passed.
o   FINANCE & FUND RAISING (Marianne Winters, Treas.): No report.
o   PUBLIC SAFETY (Walter Kroll, Chair):
o   Block party set for Sept. 18, Noon to 5, Thompson Triangle Park.
o   175 Bowdoin St.: Neighbors reported serious noise and safety incidents, including a home invasion; have reported to Springfield Police several times; WK will follow up with McKnight quality of life liaison officer, Reggie Miller
o   Report attached
PRESENTATION: Ed Whitley, Dep. Dir. of Community Services, presented pilot program for “Connect to Go” – a way of reporting code violations via cell phone; several people in McKnight will be testing the program; Discussion on how to improve 311 reporting in general & request from public on better feedback on reports that have been submitted; Noted that a report to Clean City (311) to remove trash from tree belt will be handled immediately by DPW
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT: JL moved to adjourn, TA seconded. Motion passed.
     Tuesday, October 12, 2010
     REBECCA JOHNSON SCHOOL, 55 Catherine St.
     6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Kathryn A. Wright, Administrative Staff, 10/1/2010


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