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Minutes Emergency Meeting Exec Board November 29, 2011

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Approved December 13, 2011
McKnight Neighborhood Council
Executive & Emergency General Board Meeting:  November 29, 2011
Meeting Called to order 6:30 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (9):  Walter Kroll (Pres), Demetrios Panteleakis (Vice Pres), Liz Steven, (Treas), Ceil Lewonchuk  (Asst Secy), Frank Buntin, Donna Jordan,  Ed Kelly,  Jesse Lederman, Stephen Thibeau, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (4), Ben Swan, Jr, (Secy/Clerk), Katie Foster, Gregory Hession, Arthur Jones
Neighborhood Members Attending:   Marianne Winters
General Agenda
o   Situation Requiring Immediate Action
·         175 Bowdoin Street Project for permanent housing for ex-offenders being proposed by Hampden County Sheriff Department and Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council
o   General Board Items
·         2011 Community Service Award nominations need finalized
·         Finalization of format and planning details for 12/13 meeting and community pot luck and awards ceremony
·         Clarification of last year’s expenses,  budget items and CDBG submissions
Meeting Minutes
o   175 Bowdoin Street Project—Walter K presented the facts as known:
·         Project under development for over a year
·         Facility to open tentatively in 45 days
·         Claiming exemption from zoning and code ordinances under Dover Amendment as educational entity
o   Lengthy discussion covering the following:
·         No open communication with residents or city prior to project being undertaken
·         Oversaturation of group homes and similar facilities in McKnight neighborhood
·         Inappropriate location near sensitive programs already in place
·         Inappropriate location in neighborhood full of single family homes and adjacent to a housing complex full of numerous school age children
MOTION:  (DP moved) that MNC formally oppose the project at 175 Bowdoin Street; (EK seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to oppose.
o   Strategies developed as follows;
·         Continue engagement with Ward 4 Councilor Twiggs for possible City Council intervention
·         Information gathering relative to the Dover Amendment, funding sources such as HUD which may require de-leading of property, and Historical Commission requirements—and a clarification of the relationship of the Sheriff  Department’s role in the project and the SMOC entity.
MOTION:  (DP moved) that MNC formally authorize President Walter Kroll to write a letter to Sheriff Michael Ashe stating the Council’s concerns and objections; and asking for the withdrawal of the Bowdoin Street project ; copied to the Mayor and additional City employees as appropriate; (JL seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to authorize.
MOTION:  (DP moved) that MNC make a request under the Public Records Law for information relative to 175 Bowdoin Street project from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Springfield.  (JL seconded); (WK called the question); Unanimous vote to request.
o   General Board Items
·         2011 Community Service Award nominations need finalized
§  Discussion of possible applicants and their merits
§  Individuals selected:  Ron Harrell, Jim Boone, and Lt Colonel Stephen White
§  Liz Stevens and Kathryn Wright and their work on the Mason Square Library
§  Sonja Wall and Darlene Arthur for their work on the Rebecca Johnson Park
·         Finalization of format and planning details for 12/13 meeting and community pot luck and awards ceremony—format set; Liz S to check and see if Rebecca Johnson chorus can perform
·         Clarification of last year’s expenses,  budget items and CDBG submissions—Marianne W (fy2011 treasurer) brought figures on last year’s expenses; and collaborated with current treasurer Liz S on clarifying budget items from last year.
o   Walter K adjourned meeting at 7:45 pm.
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 12/13/2011

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