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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 7/14/15

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Board Meeting: July 14, 2015

Approved August 11, 2015

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting called to order by Walter K at 6:00 p.m.

Welcome; Board & Audience Introductions

Board Members Present (14): Lamont E Clemons, Lloyd A Creswell, Tawreak Eddington, Brandi Gamble, Art Jones, Colin Kirby, Walter Kroll, Bryan McFarland, Elizabeth O’Gilvie, Henry Payne, Synthia Scott-Mitchell, Elizabeth Stevens, Ben Swan, Jr, Paul Swenson

Board Members Not Present (1): Jack Dubose

Administrative Staff:   Elizabeth Lederman

Neighborhood Members: Barbara Gasque, Deb Papagno, Roberta Kilkenney

Guests: Ed Whitley, Department of Neighborhood Services; Lorenzo Gaines, Lou Boynton, Ted McNeil, Charles Rucks



  • Walter K thanked the Board for their service to the neighborhood, and observed that a lot of progress has been made in the last several years in raising the quality of life in the neighborhood; and that this was the result of the integrity, participation, and collaboration on the part of the Board and the neighborhood at large. He observed that with leadership comes the sacrifice of more work and a greater time commitment, and the challenging responsibility to balance interests and let everyone have their say; and was confident that Board would continue to work together with the common goal of improving life in the neighborhood.
  • VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Elizabeth O’Gilvie)
  • Elizabeth O observed that it was a pleasure to work with the Board, and that she was proud of the hard work the Council had done in protecting the interests of the neighborhood, and in joining with other neighborhood councils to reject inappropriate projects like the proposed McDonald’s relocation, and the relocation of the RMV—both of which would have brought negative impacts to the neighborhood in general and our children in particular. She expressed gratitude at being able to acquire the Primus Mason property through the abutter’s program, and having the opportunity to share the garden space with her neighbors.
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble)
  • Minutes of Board Meeting, June 9, submitted for review and acceptance by Brandi G.
  • MOTION: (LAC moved ) to accept as presented; (EO seconded); (WK call for discussion) ;(WK called the question); Motion carried.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Colin Kirby)
  • Colin K distributed a budget summary and reported that the majority of expenses for the year have been paid and that the current bank balance was $6170.88, and that once the 4th quarter CDBG reimbursement was received, there would be a total of $9,362.03.
  • MOTION: (EO moved) to accept treasurer’s report as presented; (PS seconded); (WK called the question); Motion carried unanimously.


  • Installation
    • Walter K welcomed newly elected Representatives to the Board, and they were given a round of applause.
  • Election of Officers for FY 2015-16—Nominating Committee Chair, Elizabeth Stevens, presented Slate of Officers as follows:
    • President—Lamont Clemons, Colin Kirby, Elizabeth O’Gilvie
    • Vice President—Walter Kroll, Henry Payne
    • Brandi Gamble—Brandi Gamble
    • Asst Secretary/Clerk—Lloyd Creswell
  • Treasurer—Colin Kirby
  • Asst Treasurer—Tawreak Edding ton
  • Elizabeth S explained that because there were multiple candidates for two offices, and individuals who wanted to run for more than one seat, balloting would be done on an office by office basis, beginning with President, with nominations from the floor prior to each race. Ballots were to be cast as secret ballots, and counted by Elizabeth S and Elizabeth L after each vote.
  • Office of President—no nominations received from the floor. Results: Lamont Clemons—6; Elizabeth O’Gilvie—5; Colin Kirby—3.
  • Office of Vice-President: Walter Kroll withdrew his name from the slate in deference to newer members that might want to serve. Nomination received from the floor for Lloyd Creswell. Results: Henry Payne—9; Lloyd Creswell—3; Walter Kroll—2.
  • Offices of Secretary, Asst Secretary, Treasurer, and Asst Treasurer were uncontested—after calling for nominations from the floor of which there were none, the remaining slate was presented for acceptance by acclamation.


    • MOTION: (BS moved) to accept the remaining slate as presented; (EO seconded); (WK called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • 2015-16 McKnight Council Officers:
  • President—Lamont Clemons
  • Vice-President—Henry Payne
  • Secretary/Clerk—Brandi Gamble
  • Asst Secretary/Clerk—Lloyd Creswell
  • Treasurer—Colin Kirby
  • Asst Treasurer—Tawreak Eddington




  • Discussion & Approval of FY2016 CDBG Scope of Service
  • Ben S explained to the members of the board unfamiliar with the CDBG Scope of Service that its purpose was to serve as a format of the “work” the Council would undertake in the coming year. Discussion resulted in adding additional partners to the Objective # 2: ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY, Activity #1: Partners added were Rebecca Johnson School, Springfield Food Policy Council, Mason Square Food Justice Initiative, and Concerned Citizens of Mason Square.

MOTION: (LAC moved) to accept as amended; (TE seconded); (LEC called the question); Motion carried unanimously.

  • Discussion & Approval of FY2016 CDBG Budget
  • Previous year’s budget of $11,540 reduced to $11,250 for FY2016—a difference of $290.00.
  • Elizabeth O recommended a raise for administrative staff person Elizabeth L, which Elizabeth L declined as not necessary. General agreement to table discussion and pursue at a later date.
  • Budget decrease adjusted by following motion.
  • MOTION: (BS moved) decreasing the line item, communication, by the difference between last year’s budget and this year’s budget—$ 290.00; (AJ seconded); (LEC called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • MOTION: (BS moved) to approve the budget as amended; (TE seconded); (LEC called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • Vote of Corporation Authorizing Execution of Contract (Legal authorization for President to sign the CDBG contract for the coming year)
  • MOTION: (EO moved) to authorize Lamont Clemons in his capacity as President to sign the CDBG contract on behalf of MNC, inc; (LAC seconded); (LEC called the question); Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor

  • No new business.


  • Discussion of Committees and work for upcoming year; chairperson appointments.
  • Lamont C asked if everyone was still agreeable to continuing as the chairs of various committees, which they were. Damian P, chair of the Community Center Committee, was not present at the meeting. Lamont C to follow up with him about continuing to chair the committee.
  • Some overall discussion of the work that the various committees do. Synthia S asked if there was a description of the work each committee does along with the expectations involved in working on each committee. There was no specific list available. The observation was made that the committees tend to each take on the character of the participants, out of which projects and activities develop and are brought forward.
  • An audience member suggested that it would be helpful to post information on the website and Facebook about the various committees and the work they do.
  • Standing Committees


  • Rail Trail, Chair, Elizabeth Stevens
  • Elizabeth S gave a quick summary of what had been accomplished to date; and invited people to attend an upcoming meeting of the Parks Commission
  • Public Safety, Chair, Walter Kroll
  • Walter K gave a brief synopsis of the meetings open to the neighborhood including the Neighborhood Watch, the Sector F Police Beat meeting, and the Mason Square Initiative
  • Housing & Code, Chair, Colin Kirby;
  • Colin K gave an update on the progression of the Faith Baptist Church renovation on St James; All Nations Church of God pastor (the group renovating the church) to be invited to next meeting to provide update.
  • Communications, Chair, Ben Swan
  • Ben S invited anyone interested in working on communications committee to join in.
  • Good Neighbor, Chair, Elizabeth O’Gilvie
  • Elizabeth O described her outreach activities to new McKnight neighbors, including bringing cookies.
  • Ad Hoc Committees


    • Food Access, Chair, Elizabeth O’Gilvie
    • Elizabeth O briefly described the purpose of the committee, and the opportunity she has had to represent McKnight, the city, and western mass on a state-wide initiative.
  • Debate Committee, Chair, Paul Swenson—no report
  • McKnight Community Center, Chair, Damian Phillips—no report
  • Beautification—Chair, Bryan McFarland 


  • Bryan M has repainted the fire boxes around the neighborhood, put up holiday decorations at Thompson Triangle and has other projects under consideration for the future.


  • Request from new neighborhood member to work on the McKnight Community Center committee. Her information to be given to Damian P.8:00 ADJOURNMENT:   MOTION: (BS moved) to adjourn; (EO seconded); (LEC called); motion carried. 


  • Submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 08/11/2015