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AGENDA & MINUTES July 19, 2011

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McKnight Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, July 19, 2011:  6-8 pm
Rebecca Johnson School, Music Room
55 Catherine St., Springfield MA
6:00 – 6:15 pm:  OPEN MEETING, WELCOME
o   Introduction, Board of Directors 2011-12
o   Acknowledgements to Any Retiring Directors Present
o   Audience Introductions
6:15 – 6:30 pm:   OFFICER’S REPORTS (from 2010-2011 Board)
o    PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
·         McKnight Annual June Block Party details
·         Bowdoin Street Fire Meeting Summary from June 21 special meeting
o    SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff)
·         Minutes of June 14,  2011 meeting
o    TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Marianne Winters)
·         Year end budget overview and details on finalization of new bookkeeping system
o    Installation of Electees to Board of Directors
o    Election of Officers
·         Presentation of Slate by Nominating Committee
·         Call for nominations from the floor
·         Balloting and tally
·         Elected officers installed
6:45 pm—7:00 pm:  NEW BUSINESS–Open to the Floor
o    What does the Council want to accomplish this year?
·         Last years goals & tasks (see CBDG worksheet attached)
·         This year’s projects
o    Evaluation & Re-organization of Current Standing & Ad Hoc Committees
·         Standing Committees & Chairpersons
§  Youth (Jesse Lederman)                                                           
§  Public Safety (Walter Kroll)                                                       
§  Housing/Code (vacant chair)
§  Communications (Walter Kroll)
§  Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)
§  Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
·         Ad Hoc Committees & Chairpersons
§  Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens)
§  Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens)
§  Health & Green Space (Katie Foster)
8:00 pm – Close Meeting
Next McKnight Neighborhood Council Meeting 
Tuesday, August 09, 2011              6:00-8:00 pm             Rebecca Johnson School

Approved August 16, 2011
Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting:  July 19, 2011
Meeting Called to order 6:05 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (10):  Walter Kroll (out going Pres.), Liz Stevens, (outgoing Clerk/Secy.), Ben Swan, Jr, (outgoing Asst Clerk/Secy), Gregory Hession, (outgoing Asst. Treas.), Katie Foster, Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman, Ceil Lewonchuk, Demetrios Panteleakis, Stephen Thibeau, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (3):  Frank Buntin, Arthur Jones, Donna Jordan
Neighborhood Members Attending:   Tricia Love-Walsh, Susan Bernardy, Stephen Gray, Brandi Gamble, Lenora Monroe, Michael McLaurin
Welcome by WK; board member introductions; audience introductions.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (outgoing, Walter Kroll)
o   Report on spring block party held June 18—well attended; keeps improving with previous contributors returning; start thinking forward for good ideas for the fall block party.
o   Report on Bowdoin Street fire meeting and follow up measures.  Neighborhood Watch now conducting walking tours on Thursday and Friday evenings from 7 to 830 pm—WK, EK, ST and Officer Ramos participating; networking with street residents and providing public visibility.  Teams are wearing McKnight Watch shirts.
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (outgoing, Liz Stevens, Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, June 14, 2011, submitted for acceptance.  LS called for corrections or additions.  None offered.
MOTION: (EK moved) to accept as presented; (LS seconded); (WK call for discussion) ;(WK called the question);  carried unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: (outgoing, Marianne Winters)
o   MW absent; no report presented.
o   LS, chairman of the nominating committee for officer elections, presented the slate of officers, as follows:  President, Walter Kroll; Vice President, Frank Buntin & Demetrios Panteleakis; Secretary/Clerk, Ben Swan, Jr;  Treasurer, Elizabeth Stevens; Asst Secretary/Clerk, Ceil Lewonchuk; Assistant Treasurer, none.
o   Nominations opened to the floor—none offered.
o   Ballots distributed to Board members; voting ensued; ballots collected and tallied by EL.
o   LS announced the results as follows for 2011-12 Officers:  President, Walter Kroll; Vice-President Demetrios Panteleakis; Secretary/Clerk, Ben Swan, Jr; Treasurer, Elizabeth Stevens; Asst Secretary/Clerk, Ceil Lewonchuk.
o   Newly elected President Walter Kroll officiated in swearing in the new 2011-12 Board, who promised to work to advance the values and initiatives of the MNC, and to play well together.
o   Lengthy discussion on River Inn property located at Thompson & State Street—recent machete attack by someone who lives there—continued public nuisance.  WK cited need for holistic approach to the problem—continuing to put pressure on the City, specifically code enforcement, and possibly the Dept of Transitional Assistance who provides vouchers for the residents of the property units.   DP suggested petitioning the City to fence the opens lots adjacent to the property to discourage activity in these areas and to change the foot traffic pattern into the neighborhood.  Agreement that public safety committee needs to speak to surrounding businesses and the temple to garner support and increase momentum on the issue. 
o   DP citing litter from Subway and Dollar Store continues to plague Westminster Street residents.
o   SG citing seriously deteriorated pavement at Thompson & State Street.
o   ST reporting that MNC non profit status with the state needs updated.
o   ST raising question of what constitutes residency in the neighborhood and therefore membership on the Council.  General agreement that the bylaws leave it open to some interpretation.  DP suggested that the City standard of residency for department heads as the legal, permanent domicile might be the best default standard.  WK to check with the City for more information.
WK presenting planning format—what people want to do this year will determine committee structure—committees from previous year evaluated and re-organized.   Results as follow:
o   Standing Committees & 2010-11 Chairpersons
·         Youth ( Jesse Lederman)—Committee deactivated (not dissolved)
§   Discussion—since McKnight Neighborhood Youth Council has completed its major project on the biomass incinerator, three members have graduated from high school, leaving only two members.  Since there has been limited interest from other neighborhood youth for community action projects, Youth Council members have chosen to step back and work on other committees for now.
·         Public Safety(Walter Kroll)— Committee Continued
§  Committee volunteers—Ed Kelly, Walter Kroll, Jesse Lederman, Michael McLauren, Ceil Lewonchuk                                                      
·         Housing/Code(vacant chair)—Committee Continued
§  Disscussion—historic preservation still primary concern in neighborhood; also undervaluation of McKnight properties in the market; need to continue to educate residents to vigorously pursue code issues and 311 reporting;  need to establish a consistent “point man” to dialogue with City departments.
§  Committee volunteers—Greg Hession, Jesse Lederman, Steve Thibeau, Brandi Gamble,  Steve Gray, Walter Kroll, Demetrios Panteleakis, Michael McLaurin, Ben Swan, Jr.  GH to organize initial meeting.
·         Communications (Walter Kroll) Committee Continued
§  Discussion—Marianne Winters not present but has committed to continuing to work on this committee, which includes newsletter & web site activities
§  Committee volunteers—Marianne Winters, Ed Kelly, Elizabeth Lederman
·         Finance & Fund Raising (Marianne Winters)Committee Dissolved
§  Discussion—fundraising can be folded into project-specific activities under the purview of general board activity or those of specific committees, e.g. rail trail grant applications, etc.
·         Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk Committee Continued
§  Committee volunteers—Ceil Lewonchuk
o   Ad Hoc Committees & 2010-11 Chairpersons
·         Mason Square Library (Liz Stevens)—Committee Dissolved
§  Discussion—Mason Square Library successfully reacquired in 2010 by the City and reopened to the public in April.  Mission accomplished.  Library now has its own support committee with outreach to surrounding neighborhood councils.
·         Rail trail/RJS playground (Liz Stevens)—Committee Modified
§  Discussion—Rebecca Johnson Playground now completed.  Mission accomplished.  Rail trail work continues vigorously. Rail Trail committee moved from ad hoc committee status to standing committee status.
§  Committee volunteers—Liz Steven, with Liz reporting that she has acquired a lengthy list of volunteers who signed on at Rail Trail Information table at the spring block party.
·         Health & Green Space (Katie Foster)—Committee Dissolved
§  Discussion—General agreement to put collective efforts for green space and support efforts to improve health into the Rail Trail this year.
o   Discussion about how to establish committee chairmanships for this year.  Bylaws consulted, and it was determined that it is the responsibility of the President to appoint committee chairpersons, and the person may be either a member of the Board, or from the general membership in the neighborhood.  WK to evaluate and decide later on chairpersons.
o   Two new ad hoc committees established, as follows: 
·         McKnight Community Center Committee—Committee Created
§  Discussion—Church on the corner of St James & Clarendon for sale; prime spot for needed community center.  DP reports it may qualify for historic funding credits, and will look into design and appraisal avenues to evaluate project.
§  Committee volunteers—Demetrios Panteleakis, Ben Swan, Jr, Jesse Lederman, Walter Kroll, Stephen Gray, Michael McLaurin.
·         Debate Committee—Committee Created
§  Discussion—Committee needed to continue consistently setting up debate forums during election season.
§  Committee volunteers—Jesse Lederman, April Perez, Demetrios Panteleakis, Walter Kroll.
8:20 pm ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (BS moved) to adjourn; (DP seconded); (WK called); motion carried.
NEXT MNC MEETING:                    Tuesday, September 13, 2011
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 08/09/2011.


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