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AGENDA & MINUTES May 08, 2012

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McKnight Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
Special Annual Meeting FY 2011-2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012:  6-8 pm
Rebecca Johnson School, Cafeteria
55 Catharine St., Springfield MA
6:00—6:30 pm:  Pot Luck and Social
 Welcome from McKnight Council President Walter Kroll
Community Pot Luck & Social
6:30 pm:  Walter Kroll, Introducing Guest Speaker, LeeAnn Pasquini.
6:30—7:00 pm:  LeeAnn  Pasquini is the Budget Director for the City of Springfield and she is here to
 discuss the challenges of the upcoming year and the proposed budget being    
 developed by the Mayor’s office.
7:00 pm:  Call Meeting to Order
o    Audience Recognition
o    Introduction of the Board of Directors
o    Election Update—An Invitation to Serve on the Board of Directors
7:05—7:15 pm:  OFFICER’S REPORTS 
·         PRESIDENT’S YEAR-END REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
·         SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Ben Swan, Jr,  & Elizabeth Lederman, admin staff);
§  Approval of Minutes from April 10, 2012  meeting
·         TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)
§  Approval of Treasurer’s Report
7:15—7:30 pm:  Community Speak Out—Open to the Floor
o   Standing Committees:
·         Housing/Code(Demetrios Panteleakis, Chair)
·         Public Safety (Walter Kroll, Chair)
·         Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk, Chair)
·         Rail Trail (Elizabeth Stevens, Chair)
o   Ad Hoc Committees:
·         Community Center (Demetrios Panteleakis, Chair)
·         Debate  (Jesse Lederman, Chair)
·         Block Party (Donna Jordan & Corey Singleton, Co-Chairs)
7:50—8:00 pm:  Final Business, Wrap Up—Close Meeting

Approved June 12, 2012

McKnight Neighborhood Council Minutes
Board Meeting: May 08, 2012—Annual Meeting
(Community Pot Luck Dinner took place from 6-630 pm—approximately 30 people in attendance.)
Business meeting called to order 6:30 p.m.:   (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (7):  Walter Kroll (Pres.), Ben Swan, Jr , (Clerk/Secy.), Ed Kelly, Jesse Lederman,  Corey Singleton, Stephen Thibeau, {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}
Board Members Not Present (7):  Demetrios Panteleakis (Vice Pres), Elizabeth Stevens (Treas.), Ceil Lewonchuk (Asst Clerk/Secy); Frank Bunton, Katie Foster, Arthur Jones, Donna Jordan
Representatives from the Springfield Finance Department, LeeAnn Pasquini, Jennifer Winkler, and Tracye Whitfield, presented Budget 101—an overview of how the budget for the City of Springfield is developed.    The budget document itself which consists of nine sections was explained, along with the budget calendar, the time line the finance department uses to develop the budget throughout the year.  
The various roles of the mayor’s office, the finance department, city department heads, and the City Council were described.    Information was presented about where the money comes from and where it goes—and the yearly figures for revenue and expenses were presented.  Information was given on how to stay informed through budget hearings, finance committee meeting, and access through the City website at        
City Counselor Tom Ashe joined the discussion and helped to answer questions about the budget process from the audience, which included questions about the school budget and how the City’s cash reserves are used and replenished.
SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Ben Swan, Jr; Elizabeth Lederman, staff)
o   Minutes of Board Meeting, Apri 10, 2012 submitted for acceptance.
MOTION: (BS moved) to accept as presented; (JL seconded); (WK call for discussion) ;( WK called the question); Motion carried.
TREASURER’S REPORT: (Liz Stevens, absent)
o   Treasurer’s report tabled.
o   Ben S raised concerns about property located at Clarendon and Worthington Street falling into greater disrepair and should be followed.
o   Corey S voiced similar concerns about a property on Hunter Place.
{Note:  Committee reports for this meeting offered to update the community on accomplishments and activities that have taken place throughout the year.}
HOUSING/ CODE:(Demetrios Panteleakis, Chair) Walter K reporting:
o   Most of the committee’s activity this year focused on Bowdoin Street—first with the arson concerns, and later with the proposed SMOC program at 175 Bowdoin.  Other work included successfully identifying the city owned houses and vacant lots in the neighborhood, and developing protocols for interacting effectively with homeowners whose property is in violation of code and need attention. 
o   The coming year will continue with these issues, and focus on the new RFP’s that the City has put out for three city-owned McKnight properties.
PUBLIC SAFETY: (Walter Kroll, Chair)
o   Walter K reported on the combined activities of the Neighborhood Watch and the public safety committee.  A lot of work went into averting the proposed program for newly released offenders at 175 Bowdoin Street, which ended successfully with the Sheriff’s department agreeing to withdraw the project, and with SMOC proposing a different tenant population. 
o   The Watch offered different trainings throughout the year at the monthly Watch meetings which are now combined with the Police Beat meetings at the Mason Square Library. 
o   The Watch continues to emphasize that the real heart of public safety on a community level is knowing your neighbor and what is happening on your street—and reporting and following up until problems are resolved. 
RAIL TRAIL : (Liz Stevens, Chair) Walter K reporting:
o   The Rail Trail continues to be a major project for the Council.  Disappointing rejection by Mass Mutual of our grant application to fund the engineering assessment.  The City has stepped up to the plate and is now showing a lot of interest in the project and making  some of its own resources available such as an environmental consultant.  Walter K, Liz S, and Ed K involved now in regular meetings with Pat Sullivan from the Parks department
Debate Committee  (Jesse Lederman, Chair)
o   Jesse L reported that the Council has established a respected position city-wide in conducting local political debates and that the goal of the committee remains focused on bringing  local officials into the neighborhood to familiarize them with our issues, and to assist residents in connecting with candidates and making informed decisions as voters. 
o   MNC partnered with AIC again this year to sponsor both a mayoral candidates’ forum and a primary debate for the three candidates, both of which were well attended and highly successful.
o   Plans are in place for the coming year to sponsor a primary debate for state senatorial hopefuls and possibly a forum or debate for the candidates for Hampden County Clerk of Courts.
o   Everyone was encouraged to participate in the annual Block Party scheduled for June 09.
o   Board members are currently soliciting newsletter donations with complimentary ads for contributors for the upcoming newsletter to be mailed prior to the Block Party.
o   Nomination papers for annual Board of Directors election to be held at the Block Party are due by June 02. 
8:00 pm ADJOURNMENT:    MOTION:   (JL moved) to adjourn; (EK seconded); motion carried.
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 06/12/2012

Next McKnight Neighborhood Council meeting:       Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 6:00-8:00 pm    
  Rebecca Johnson School, Music room


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