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AGENDA & MINUTES March 12, 2013

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McKnight Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, March 12, 2013; 6-8 pm
Rebecca Johnson School, Music Room
55 Catharine St., Springfield MA

6:00 – 6:15 pm: OPEN MEETING, WELCOME
o Introduction, Board of Directors
o Audience Introductions

o Representatives from SMOC (Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council) presenting an update on the supported living program at 175 Bowdoin Street.

6:45—7:00 pm: OFFICERS’ REPORTS
o PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Walter J. Kroll)
o VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Demetrios Panteleakis)
o SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Jesse Lederman)
• Minutes of February 12, 2013, meeting (see attachment)
o TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)
• Monthly financial report

7:00 —7:15 pm: New Business—Open to the Floor

7:15—7:45 pm: COMMITTEE REPORTS – Any committee updates
o Standing Committees
• Rail Trail (Liz Stevens)
• Public Safety (Walter Kroll)
• Housing & Code (Demetrios Panteleakis)
• Good Neighbor (Ceil Lewonchuk)
• Communications (Corey Singleton. Ben Swan Jr)
o Ad Hoc Committees
• Food Access (Synthia Scott-Mitchell)

7:45—8:00 pm: Wrap Up—Final Business, Open to Floor

8:00—Close Meeting

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Board Meeting: March 12, 2013
Meeting Called to order 6:10 p.m.: (WK verified quorum present)
Board Members Present (8): Walter Kroll (Pres), Demetrios Panteleakis (Vice Pres), Elizabeth Stevens (Treas.), Jesse Lederman (Secy/Clerk), Donna Jordan, Ed Kelly, Ceil Lewonchuk, Stephen Thibeau , {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.
Board Members Not Present (5) Brandi Gamble-Lucas (Asst Sec/Clerk); Corey Singleton (Asst Treasurer), Lloyd Creswell, Ben Swan, Jr, Synthia Scott-Mitchell ,
Neighborhood Members: Frank Buntin, Colin Kirby, Elijah Ayers, Rajah Walia, Mark Healy
Guests: Moira Lozado, Charles Gagnon, Darlene Assenroa-Mazurek
Welcome by Walter K; board member introductions; audience introductions.
o Representatives from SMOC (Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council) presenting an update on the supported living program at 175 Bowdoin Street. Charles Gagnon, Chief Operating Officer presented overview of program, assisted by SMOC case manger and social worker.
• Providing housing for 13 women based on a peer group model with social service and case worker support. Women mainly in recovery from substance abuse.
• Their goal since opening in July of 2012 is to be good neighbors and good tenants who behave responsibly.
• Regarding the physical facility: an appropriate mail box has replaced the bank of lodging house mail boxes originally installed. House has been painted and new garage doors are due to be installed.
• Housing chairman Demetrios P suggested a third trim color needed to be added to the house, and the continued need for a privacy fence around the back and side yard was discussed.
• Jesse L inquired about program details and resident support. Three months of sobriety required to enter facility. Caseworker’s office is on site. Clinical services provided to residents from outside group. Residents are self policing and in close communication with staff.
• Brief discussion of the overdose and death of one of the residents shortly after the facility opened. Walter K emphasized that SMOC needs to be proactive in communicating events such as these to the Board, rather than rumors and complaints reaching the Board first. Agreement going forward to stay in communication with Board through Walter K, and fulfill SMOC’s original promise of contact and partnership within the neighborhood.
• Discussion of residents always being out on the side porch smoking, levels of discomfort that neighbors feel. Also a significant problem with cars pulling up playing loud music and honking to pick up residents. Agreement by SMOC staff to investigate and mitigate these problems.
• SMOC reporting that they are in compliance with their HUD grant and that the City Housing personnel have visited the premises.

o SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Jesse Lederman)
Secretary Jesse L, submitted the minutes of the Board Meeting February 12, 2013, for acceptance. Call for corrections or additions.
MOTION: (DP moved) to accept as presented; (ST seconded); (WK called) Unanimous vote.
o TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)
Liz S submitted treasurer’s report for review, which Bokul B developed. Reported that checks for 1st and 2nd quarter reimbursements have been received.
MOTION: (DP moved) to accept as presented; (DJ seconded); (WK called) Unanimous vote.
NEW BUSINESS—Open to Floor
o Frank B inquiring about the dog park proposal he read about in the newsletter. Ed K explained that the idea was based on dog parks in other communities; but that the idea was not well received from the feedback he had gotten since the article appeared in the newsletter; so he was no longer pursuing the project.
o Ed K reporting that he had been in contact with the Attorney General’s office and that office needed documentation that the Council was not involved with the defunct McKnight Homeowner’s Association now or since 2003 when it was dissolved. MNC will send letter.
o Ceil L reporting St James neighbor having problem with gas being siphoned from tank, and intruders in the yard from time to time. Walter K emphasizing these problems should be reported at the Sector F meeting so they can be followed.
o Rail Trail (Elizabeth Stevens, Chair)
• Liz S reporting meeting with Parks Director Pat Sullivan scheduled for March 25.
• Discussion on best way to pursue having the rail trail included as part of the City’s host agreement with the chosen casino developer. Possible avenues:
• Attend City Council speak-out session
• Write a letter to the Mayor and City Council.
• Endorse either Penn or MGM. Discussion around which casino promoter was more likely to be disposed toward developing the rail trail, with prevailing opinion being that Penn was the more likely.
MOTION: (LS moved) that MNC write a letter to the Mayor and City Council requesting that the Rail Trail be included in the host agreement; (DJ seconded); (WK called) Unanimous vote.
MOTION: (DJ moved) that MNC endorse Penn National as the preferred developer; (EK seconded); (WK called); Yea, 6; Nay, 1; Absentions, 1. Motion carried.
o Public Safety (Walter Kroll, Chair)
• Walter K reporting that Hancock & Eastern Avenue have been a combat zone at night and should be avoided. Being closely monitored by police.
• New program be developed by the police called the Love Program, designed to reach out to mothers and women to help address gang violence connected with family members.
o Housing & Code (Demetrios Panteleakis, Chair)
• Demetrios P reporting that the rubble from the burned down house on Harvard Street has finally been cleared.
8:00 ADJOURNMENT: MOTION: (DP moved) to adjourn; (Dj seconded); (WK called); motion carried.
Submitted by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 04/09/2013