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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 11/10/15

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Board Meeting: November 10, 2015
Approved December 08, 2015                                                              
Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council
Meeting called to order by President Lamont C at 6:10 pm.
Board Members Present (10): Lamont E Clemons, (Pres), Lloyd A Creswell, (Asst Sec/Clerk), Tawreak Eddington, (Asst Treas), Brandi Gamble, (Sec/Clerk), Art Jones, Colin Kirby, (Treas), Walter Kroll, Bryan McFarland, Elizabeth O’Gilvie, Elizabeth Stevens
Board Members Not Present (5): Jack Dubose, Henry Payne, (Vice Pres), Synthia Scott-Mitchell, Ben Swan, Jr, Paul Swenson
Administrative Staff:   Elizabeth Lederman
Neighborhood Members:  Alison Messier, Todd Ostrowski, Damian Phillips, Roberta Kilkenney, Stephen Howard
Guests: None
Pres Lamont C welcomed those attending the meeting; Board and audience introductions followed.
  • PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Lamont Clemons)
  • Pres Lamont C reporting attending the Parks Commission Hearing with Rep Elizabeth S, Rail Trail chair, for review of the Rail Trail project, which the Commission is supporting. Praised Rep Stevens for her hard work and dedication.
  • VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT: (Henry Payne) Vice Pres Henry P absent, no report.
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Brandi Gamble)
  • Minutes of Board meeting, Oct 13, Executive Board meeting Oct 27, submitted for review and acceptance by Asst Sec/Clerk Lloyd C.
  • MOTION: (LAC moved) to accept as presented; (EO seconded); (LEC call for discussion); (LEC called the question): Motion carried unanimously.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Colin Kirby)
  • Treas Colin K submitted treasurer’s report for October. Cash balance on hand $3872.97.
  • MOTION: (AJ moved) to accept treasurer’s reports as presented; (LAC seconded); (LEC call for discussion); (LEC called the question): Motion carried unanimously.
  • Kibbe House Letter

  • Discussion about an email communication received from a Mr Mike Florio of Western MassCOSH inquiring about MNC’s “presumed” involvement in code complaints filed with the City over the property at 1030 Worthington. Board determined that no complaints have been made by the Housing and Code Committee or any individual Board members to the City.
    • MOTION: (BM moved) that letter be sent to Mr Florio, and copied to other related parties, reflecting above facts; (LAC seconded); (LEC call for discussion); Motion carried unanimously.

  • Admin Staff Elizabeth L directed to communicate this to Mr Florio and City Code department by email response.
  • McKnight Council Board Photograph
  • Board adjourned briefly so Photographer Ed Kelly could take group photo for December newsletter.
NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor 
(Meeting resumed chaired by Sec/Clerk Brandi Gamble as Pres Lamont C had to leave early for another engagement.)
  • Neighborhood member Todd O brought forward a letter he had written to the Mayor and the City Council reporting his frustration with the lack of follow up over numerous issues which he has been reporting to officials in various City Departments over the last year. After reviewing the issues which involved code complaints and police response issues, the Board offered support in moving these issues forward with the City.
  • MOTION: (EO moved) that a letter be drafted and sent to the City (with Mr Ostrowski’s letter attached) to move these issues forward; (BM seconded); (BG called for discussion); (BG called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • Rep Elizabeth O volunteered to draft the letter. Mr Ostrowski was asked to forward the original letter he had written to the Council email so that it could be forwarded to all Board members.
  • Neighborhood member Alison M reporting safety issues on Halloween with a large party and display on Thompson that drew crowds spilling out into the street surrounding the area. Expressed concerns that the street should have had safety cones and other suitable safety supervision measures.
  • Neighborhood member Damian P inquiring about how to procure air quality monitoring equipment to measure the emissions of the frequent truck traffic occurring on St James Avenue. Also concerned about the trucks travelling St James are over weight limits; and that despite reporting this to the police department, they have taken no action.
  • Rep Bryan M asking Board if they want to have Thompson Triangle decorated again this year. Board in agreement. Requesting approval as Chair of the Beautification committee for expenditure for non-denominational holiday decorations which will be put up over Thanksgiving. (BG called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • MOTION: (ES moved) to authorize up to $200 for holiday decorations; (TE seconded); (BG call for discussion);
  • Rep Bryan M noting that District 1 seat currently held by Rep Jack Dubose who has not been participating in meetings might need to be opened up for someone else who is interested in serving. Agreement to discuss at later time.

  • Magazine Park Latrine
  • Pres Lamont C originally received response from Mayor’s office rejecting request due to safety considerations; however a porta-potty was delivered to the park in late October. Not clear what the final word is, but will follow situation.
  • Church Renovation on St James
  • Housing and Code Committee Chair Colin K presented a letter he had drafted to the Pastor of All Nations Church of God, and copied to the Mayor, Housing & Code, and the Historical Commission. It cited the rapidly deteriorating conditions at the church, and the failure of the owners to move forward with the project since initiating the renovation three years ago—and withdraws support of the Council for the project.
  • MOTION: (BM moved) to approve the letter on behalf of the Board; (AJ seconded); (BG call for discussion);
    • Discussion included the fact that the letter did not preclude the opportunity for the owners to continue to dialogue with the Board about the future of the property, if they in fact responded to the Board’s action.
    • (BG called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  • Lamont—Top Ten Priorities—Tabled.
  • Lloyd—Creation of Outreach Committee—Tabled.
  • Newsletter Planning
  • Admin Asst Elizabeth L reporting that so far seven ad requests have been received and five articles. Reps Walter K and Elizabeth S still intending to contribute articles. Must be received by Friday, Nov 13, as printer wants copy by Mon, Nov 16, in order to get the newsletter out in time to promote the holiday potluck at the December 08 meeting.
  • December Pot Luck
  • Rep Elizabeth S reporting that the Rebecca Johnson chorus will not be available for the pot luck entertainment. Notices will be sent out to neighborhood via email list, website, Facebook and in the newsletter to promote event.

  • Admin Staff—Committee List Update—requesting list of members in addition to chairpersons
    • Rail Trail—Rep Walter K
    • Community Center—Neighborhood Member Roberta K, Rep Walter K
    • Public Safety—Neighborhood Member Todd O
    • Bylaw—Reps Bryan M, Walter K, Tawreak E, Elizabeth S, Elizabeth O, Neighborhood Members Greg G, Elizabeth L
  • Public Safety Committee—Chair, Walter Kroll
  • C-3 reporting includes a Community Report that gives an overview of what everyone is doing. Will start including that in public safety report because it provides a lot of potentially helpful information. Will bring a copy of Todd’s letter to the next Sector F to share since it cites specific situations which Dep Cochran can investigate.
  • Rail Trail Committee—Chair, Elizabeth Stevens
  • Will report Park Commission meeting summary in upcoming newsletter
  • Tourism—Chair, Bryan McFarland
  • Working on website to feature inventions and historically significant events that are connected to the neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood member Elizabeth L noting recent dismissals of Historic Commission members by the Mayor. Agreement by Board that MNC should respond to the situation since McKnight is one of the two major historic districts in the city, and has a major interest in who is appointed the commission.
  • MOTION: (BM moved) to authorize Reps Art J and Walter K to develop a response on behalf of the Board; (ES seconded) (BG call for discussion); (BG called the question); Motion carried unanimously.
  •  MOTION: (BM moved) to adjourn; (WK seconded); (BG); Motion unanimous.
8:00 pm: Meeting adjourned. 

Submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 12/08/15.