The Blog

McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 5/09/17

i Jul 22nd No Comments by

Board Meeting/General Membership Meeting:  May 09, 2017                                               Approved June 27, 2017

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting called to order by President Walter K at 6:00 pm.  Board and audience introductions followed.

Quorum sufficient for proceeding with general membership meeting.

 Board Members Present (10): Walter Kroll, President; Elizabeth Stevens, Treasurer; Tawreak Eddington, Asst

Treasurer; Lamont Clemons, Art Jones, Nick Panteleakis; Lorenzo Gaines, Giselle Vizcarrondo, Paul Swenson,

Ben Swan, Jr

Board Members Not Present (5): Lloyd Creswell; Bryan McFarland, Vice President; Synthia Scott-Mitchell,

Secy/Clerk; Elizabeth O’Gilvie; Damian Phillips, Asst Sec/Clerk

Administrative Staff:   Elizabeth Lederman

Neighborhood Members & Guests who signed in:  Alice Swan, Luz Swan, Cora Swan, Susan Roche, Ed Kelly,

Anastasia Lederman, Jennifer Kroll, Samantha Kroll, Jesse Lederman, Alan Stearley, Mike Stevens, Brandi

Gamble, Sylvia Staub 

Guest Presentations:  Jesse Lederman, Arise for Social Justice


  • Jesse Lederman, Arise—Distributed a survey on behalf of Pioneer Valley Planning Commission for the development of the City’s Climate Action Plan. Implementation of plan will reduce pollution by 80% over the next 30 years and will prepare neighborhoods for weather emergencies.  Meeting participants filled out surveys to provide input and feedback about their own practices and what would be helpful to them.


  • Paul Swenson, Chair, Bylaws Committee
  • Explanation of Process
  • Over the past year, the Bylaws committee conducted a thorough review of the Bylaws which were written in 1976. The basic document was sound, and was updated to include current practices, and to include guidelines for situations that have since come up in recent years and were not addressed in the current bylaws.
  • The overarching goal of the revision process was to reflect the fact that MNC is a membership organization and the Board is a representative body serving that membership. Significant changes are included in the revision to strengthen capacity building, improve the Council’s ability to better service its members, and provide more inclusiveness.
  • Questions
  • Rep Lorenzo G asked for clarification on how many meetings a member must attend in order to qualify for serving on the Board of Directors.
  • Amendment Proposals by Section
  • The Bylaws Committee offered two amendments. The first, a clarification on the term of office for seats on the Board from a previous election cycle which are vacant or filled by appointment, Article III, Sec IV [B].  (See permanent record in Bylaws Committee Report for complete text and amendment.)  

MOTION: (AJ moved) to accept the above described amendment as presented; (ES seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.

  • The second amendment offered concerned the procedure for appointing members of the Election Commission, Article III, IV [C]. (See permanent record in Bylaws Committee Report for complete text and amendment.)

MOTION: (ES moved) to accept the above described amendment as presented; (BS seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.

  • Motion to Approve Revised Bylaws in their Entirety
  • After brief a brief discussion about the overall revision and how it would be implemented, Chair Paul Swenson brought forward a motion for approval.
  • MOTION: (ES moved) to accept the revised Bylaws as amended, with the proviso that subsections pertaining to the election process which had already occurred during the current fiscal year be implemented at the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1; (BS seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous with one abstention.  (See permanent record in Bylaws Committee Report—the highlighted subsections in the proposed revision indicate those items included in the proviso.)

 NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor

  • Alan S and Elaine A, the owners of the Able Place sober houses on Bowdoin Street and St James Avenue came forward and requested a letter of recommendation from the Board. They stated that they were suing the City for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, in relation to Code inspections conducted by the City at their properties, and that they wanted to use the letter as part of the documentation for their lawsuit.  The Board response was that in order to entertain the request, proper notice would have to be sent out to the neighborhood prior to the meeting at which they formally presented their request.  Some Board representatives suggested that it was doubtful that such a request was within the purview of the Council, since it involved litigation about City procedures.  Request to be reviewed by Executive Board.


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

Pres Walter K submitted the minutes from the 4/11/17 and the 4/26/17 Executive Board Meeting.  Rep Paul

S offered a correction, noting he was absent from the previous meeting and was included in those present. 

MOTION: (PS moved) to accept the minutes as presented with the above correction; (TE seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.

  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)

Treas Elizabeth S reporting that the current bank balance as of 5/09 is $993.56.  Today she received the CDBG reimbursement for second and third quarters in the amount of $4079.65.  No formal report submitted.


  • Newsletter
  • Communication Committee Chair Ben S reporting that today is the deadline for submitting articles, but will accept contributions through the coming weekend. Discussion about whether to include McKnight candidates who are running for various City offices.  Consensus reached that it is too early in the process to do so, since the submission deadline for nomination papers is not until August 1, and it would inadvertently promote some candidates.  Agreement that candidates can still purchase ads. Publication date for the newsletter is June 1.  Total ad revenue to date is $675 with about 20 ads.
  • Block Party Planning
  • Eagles Club is providing ice. Ben S to pick up.  Community Engagement Committee will do photo booth for the kids.  Newsletter will promote event. 
  • Budget for block party still uncertain. $125 so far–$75 in table fees, $25 gift card from Big Y, $25 contribution from Paul S.  Last year’s budget was $1100 which included $700 for Moe’s Hot Dogs who provided hot dogs, cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn.  Porty potty was $125.  Remainder was for hamburgers, condiments, water, etc.  Without Moe’s, it will probably cost around $700, if a small fee is charged for food.  If the food is free, the amount will be doubled. 
  • Board members were given copies of donation letters and asked to continue to request donations—one letter for sponsorships in larger amounts, and one for individual donations of food or cash. Rep Lamont C said his business will still be donating around $500.
  • Lots of non-profits have signed up for tables, and several musicians have volunteered to entertain.


  • Nominating Committee Appointments
  • Rep Paul S appointed as Chair, with committee members Rep Nick Panteleakis and Jennifer Kroll.
  • Community Service Awards
  • Nominations to be solicited from the general membership. Recipients will be selected at the next Executive Board meeting.  All Board representatives welcome to attend meeting and participate in selection.


  • Rail Trail Chair Elizabeth S presented a letter for Board approval to be sent out to Clifford Avenue and Monmouth Street residents as a follow up on the Rail Trail clean-up asking them to remove any dumping that was coming over the back fences of their properties. Rail Trail Committee will also be asking the City to post no dumping signs along the length of the trail.

MOTION: (LEC moved) to approve the letter as presented; (PS seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.

  • Adjournment: MOTION: (PS moved) to adjourn; (BS seconded); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.

 Submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 6/27/17