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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 03/10/15

i Jul 12th No Comments by

Board Meeting March 10, 2015                                                                                                                                                       Draft

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting Called to order 6:15 p.m.

Board Members Present (4): Walter Kroll (Pres), Elizabeth O’Gilvie (Vice Pres), Lloyd Creswell (Asst Sec/Clerk), Paul

Swenson {Elizabeth Lederman, Adm. Staff}.

Board Members Not Present (10): Brandi Gamble-Lucas (Secy/Clerk), Colin Kirby (Treas), Jack Dubose, Tawreak

Eddington, Greg Gavin, Donna Jordan, Bryan McFarland, Damian Phillips, Elizabeth Stevens, Ben Swan, Jr

Neighborhood Members: Elaine Awand, Alan Stearley

Guests: Michael Fenton

Welcome by Walter K, board member introductions; audience introductions.


  • City Council President Michael Fenton attended as part of a listening tour he is conducting this spring to talk with neighborhood councils throughout the city. He presented an overview of his six-year tenure on the City Council, the accomplishments of the Council, the current direction of the city, and took questions from the Board.
  • The Council has ushered in a new type of government, with greater transparency and more accessibility for the public—all meetings are streamed live and taped so they can be viewed online; sub-committee meetings are now recorded and shared online, and for the first time this year, public speak-outs are also televised. Four of the Council committees now have citizen representatives participating.
  • The City has made progress economically with the retention of the Titeflex Corp which was intending to relocate several years ago but saved with good bargaining. Smith and Wesson has expanded, and a Chinese firm which will be building train cars is opening on the old Westinghouse property and this will bring many jobs.
  • President Fenton sees this current trend as part of turning the corner economically for the City, and bringing the type of mid-level long-term employment Springfield needs to be able to offer youthful residents graduating from high school, trade school, and community colleges with options to stay and succeed in the community.
  • Board members sought information about host agreement funds from the MGM development—who has control of the money and for what purposes will it be used. President Fenton said that no specific projects have been designated, only broad categories in the host agreement such as public safety, parks, addiction mitigation. Council has requested from MGM an overview of the timeline and specific dollar amount of revenues to be paid to the City before Council approves any more permit approvals to proceed with casino project. Tentatively, the Mayor has primary control of the revenues.
  • The Board asked about RFP approvals granted by the Council. President Fenton said that the Council generally goes with the recommendations of the Planning Dept since they are responsible for the in depth review of proposals.


NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor

  • Elaine Awand offered positive comments about a group called The Pioneer Valley Project, a consortium of 150 different groups whose goal is to improve Springfield; and she encouraged others to get to know the group.


  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble-Lucas)
  • Minutes of the February 10, 2015, meeting tabled due to the absence of a quorum.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Colin Kirby)
  • Colin K absent. Treasurer’s report tabled.


  • Neighborhood Target Improvement Grant—will submit bids for flower baskets again. Walter K to see about acquiring bids for the dry bridge repair. Bryan M submitted a photo of a gazebo available for purchase to potentially be located at Thompson Triangle which board members looked at. No quorum available to make any final decisions.
  • Good Neighbor Committee facilitating a neighborhood wide garage sale on Saturday May 16, to be coordinated by Elizabeth O. Will advertise widely. Participants must obtain individual tag sale permits from City Hall.
  • Walter K and Lloyd C gave details on Rebecca Johnson School pilot project to establish a “walking school bus”—a network of parents and neighbors who travel with walkers on their street routes home to provide safety and supervision. Requesting Council support and collaboration where possible.
  • Walter K reported on a meeting with Rev Michael Devine of St Peter’s Episcopal Church on Buckingham Street. Church community interested in networking with Council and neighborhood to increase support and communication. Happy to provide meeting space for neighborhood projects and initiatives.

7:30 pm: ADJOURNMENT:   MOTION: (EO moved) to adjourn; (LC seconded); (WK called); motion carried.