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McKnight Annual Meeting of the General Membership 6/27/17

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Annual Meeting/General Membership Meeting:  June 27, 2017                                      Approved July 11, 2017

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

6:00 pm:  Welcome from President Walter Kroll

6:00 – 6:30 pm:  Community Pot Luck & Social

 Meeting called to order by President Walter K at 6:30 pm.  Board and audience introductions followed.

Quorum sufficient for proceeding with general membership meeting.

 Board Representatives Present (9): Walter Kroll, President; Bryan McFarland, Vice-Presdident; Damian Phillips, Asst Sec/Clerk; Elizabeth Stevens, Treasurer; Tawreak Eddington, Asst Treasurer; Art Jones, Nick Panteleakis; Paul Swenson, Ben Swan, Jr

Board Representatives Not Present (6): Synthia Scott-Mitchell, Secy/Clerk; Lloyd Creswell, Lamont Clemons, Lorenzo Gaines, Giselle Vizcarrondo, Elizabeth O’Gilvie

Newly Elected Board Representatives Present (2):  Brandi Gamble, Cora Swan

Administrative Staff:   Elizabeth Lederman

Neighborhood Members & Guests who signed in:  Mike Stevens, Patricia McFarland, Susan Roche, Jesse Lederman, Karen Twiggs, Stephen Gray, Todd Ostrowski, Alice Swan, Luz Swan, David Gaby, Lloyd Creswell, Jr

Guest Presentations:  Johnny Kayrouz, Racing Mart; accompanied by Attorney Tom Rooke


  • Racing Mart—Owner Johnny Kayrouz appeared with his attorney to present details on his purchase of the FL Roberts gas station property on Armory and Taylor Street. He also purchased two adjacent properties with abandoned houses, and will be leveling the entire site to build a 7250 square foot Racing Mart gas station. 
  • The store will be open 24/7 and employ 25-30 employees. Expected completion date is January 2018.
  • His proposal has already been approved by the City Planning department, which attached 21 conditions to its approval which Mr Kayrouz is happy to comply with. The City Council granted all permits on June 26.
  • He requested the Council’s vote of confidence and its support of the proposal as a gesture of good will from the Council for the project.

MOTION:  (BM moved) that the Council give Racing Mart a vote of confidence; ; (AJ seconded); (WK called for discussion):   Discussion included whether or not to wait until the next meeting until taking the vote as is the usual practice.  Agreement to go ahead with the vote.  (WK called the question); Motion passed unanimously.


  • Award plaques were presented for the 2017 McKnight Community Service Awards. Lloyd Creswell, award accepted on his behalf by his son;  Jeri Gardiner, award accepted on her behalf by Ben Swan, Jr.;  and Tom Potorski, award accepted on his behalf by Bryan McFarland.
  • Rep Art Jones presented Youth Rep Tawreak Eddington who is going off to college this fall with a framed poem by Rudyard Kipling as a remembrance from the Council.



Pres Walter K reviewed the activities and accomplishments of the Council for the previous year.  Highlights were the completion of the Bylaws Revision, a highly successful debate for the Hampden County Sherriff’s race, and the challenging work of responding to the neighborhood’s adjustment to the Bridge Home opening on Worthington St.  He also reviewed the presentations of monthly meeting guests who have shared their expertise and gathered feedback from McKnight residents.

  • TREASURER’S ANNUAL REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)

Treas Elizabeth S passed out a draft of recent expenses.  She reported that the block party cost $700 to put on, and the Council collected $280 in food purchases and $225 in table fees.  The difference for the cost of the block party will be made up from CDBG funds for the 4th quarter.  No formal report submitted.

  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Synthia Scott-Mitchell, absent)

Asst Sec/Clerk Damian P submitted the minutes of the 5/09/17 General Membership/Board Meeting.    

MOTION: (AJ moved) to accept the minutes as presented; (BS seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.


  • Election Commission Chairperson Ben S submitted the election report to the general membership. A total of 67 ballots were cast as follows:  District 1—29; District 2—20; District 3—17; Youth Ballots—1.  District 3 elected Brandi Gamble, and the following at-large seats were filled:  General—Bryan McFarland; Senior—Art Jones; and Youth, Cora Swan.
  • There were numerous write-in candidates, however only two met the required threshold of 15 votes to win election.

District 1 has two vacant seats, District 2 has two vacant seats, and District 3 has one vacant seat.

  • Chair Ben S requested a motion be brought forward for ratification of the election results by the general membership.

MOTION:  (ES moved) that the election results be ratified as presented; (TE seconded); (WK call for discussion);

Motion passed unanimously.


  • Pres Walter K seated the incoming Board representatives, newly elected Reps Brandi Gamble and Cora Swan; and former Board representatives Tawreak E, Damian P, and Paul S retired to the general membership.
  • Pres Walter K then turned the meeting over to Nominating Committee Chair Paul S.


  • Chair Paul S submitted the Nominating Committee Report—the slate of officers included one candidate for each office with the exception of the Asst Treasurer, a position for which no candidates declared an interest.

President—Walter Kroll

Vice-President—Ben Swan, Jr

Sec/Clerk—Bryan McFarland

Treasurer—Elizabeth Stevens

Asst/Sec Clerk—Brandi Gamble

Asst/Treasurer—no candidates

  • A call was made for nominations from the floor. None being brought forward, the Chair brought forward the following motion:

MOTION:  (PS moved) that the slate of officers be approved by a voice vote of acclamation; (BG seconded); (PS called the question); Motion approved unanimously.


  • Pres Walter K re-convened and opened up the meeting to final business from the floor.
  • Patty M brought concerns about the deteriorating church building on the corner of Clarendon and St James, which the City is now involved in potentially taking over from the group that owns it. Discussion about the different possibilities of what could happen to the disposition of the property.  Agreement by Board to contact appropriate City departments and officials requesting to be kept apprised of any activity surrounding the property, and to being included in any decision-making about the property since it is central to the McKnight neighborhood and of vital interest to residents.
  • MOTION: (BS moved) that the Council authorize a letter to be sent as described above; (ES seconded);  (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.

Adjournment:  MOTION: (BM moved) to adjourn; (ES seconded); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.

 To be submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 7/11/17