October 18, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 10-18

October 18th, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center 
2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

EPIC Members: Kevin Lieder, Hannah Lieder, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Karen Clark, Joanie Essenburg, Margaret Weaver, Lauretta Towns 
Board Members Present: Carol Pass, JoseLuis Villasenior, Steve Struthers, Linda Leonard, Chiffon Williams
Board Members Not Present: Mary Gonsior, Jennie Bjorgo, Earl Simms, Rosie Cruz
Guests: Laura Chica, Doug Wise, Fausto Ortiz,

Margaret Kirkpatrick was asked to chair.

6:45            Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introductions
·       Approval of Agenda -  BP Moved CP Seconded - Passed
·       Approval of Minutes from EPIC 9/13/2012 General Membership Meeting – Add to EPIC Members present Brad Pass, Pat Fleetham. Add Steve Struthers and Chiffon Williams and Earl Simms to Board Members Present BP Moved, CW seconded - Passed
6:55            Announcements BP:
Ø  EPIC Community Garden Harvest Party, October 20th, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

7:10            Housing Foreclosure Contract with PRG Finished  – Doug Wise presenting,
Doug gave a recap of Board actions and the few changes recommended in the contract by the board are shown in RED. The Foreclosure Prevention Fund is the only one contracted separately with PRG. The others are contracted with CEE.
Carol explained that these programs (Rehab Loan, Home Buyer Assistance, Emergency Repair & Foreclosure Prevention Fund) will require EPIC to flyer & door knock to make sure that everyone in the community has the information necessary to apply.

            Board recommended MOTION.
 MOTION:   EPIC approves the contract with PRG to carry out our Foreclosure Assistance             Program. Passed

7:25            Update on the Pool and Mpls. Swims: Park Board Endorsement, approval of $350,000 Hennepin Youth Sports Grant. including the addition of a second shallow warm water teaching pool. Park Board recommended approval.

            EPIC Board recommended Motion: EPIC approves contract for $1,000 with Duane Proell, U of M Aquatic Center Facilities Director for 23 yrs. currently an Aquatic Consultant with Issacc Sports Group, which provides business plans for facilities like this.

Hannah: The Park Board, at their Oct. 3rd meeting passed the motion supporting acceptance of the Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant which provides necessary matching funds for the State Legislature’s  Phillips Community Center Pool renovation.
EPIC Motion is not necessary, because an anonymous donor wrote a check to Mpls. Swims to pay for the Business Plan so the vote tonight for $1,000 for the plan is not necessary.
She read a letter from Bruce Chamberlain commending Mpls. Swims and pledging MPRB support for the Pool project.

7:30    We acquired a quorum and endorsed the actions of the committee of the whole including approval             of the 10/18/12 Agenda and 9/13/12 GMM Minutes.

7:55            Partnering with A-POD, A Partnership of Diabetics to provide for our resident’s wellness. EPIC and APOD created a collaborative agreement to bring this program to our Latino residents.
CP introduced the APOD / Allina matching grant. The money will be used to provide a Spanish language component to APOD. The match will help EPIC in their relationship with Allina, it will help provide support for diabetic Spanish-speaking East Phillips residents and will expand the reach of the EPIC organization. EPIC’s role will be to help with outreach and EPIC will be recognized as a collaborating funder.
EPIC recommended MOTION:
MOTION:   to approve $2,500 to match with Allina to facilitate a program for Spanish-speaking  residents with health challenges.  BP Moved, JoseLuis Seconded
            -JLV expressed the importance of Diabetes awareness in the Hispanic community. He pointed out             the amount of chronic illness of this sort among Latinos since they have come to this country, especially in older and very young people and that this is a much needed effort.
            -Joani Essenburg stated she is not opposed to this, but asked how other neighborhood organizations such as Mpls. Swims, Banyan & etc. can get in line for EPIC money. She asked to amend the motion to  support A-POD to include a pathway for other organizations to apply for funding. BP, maker of the motion, declined to accept this as a friendly amendment suggesting it be proposed as a separate motion.
-Linda Leonard explained that the City guidelines for spending neighborhood money are very stringent and that neighborhood organizations operate as non-profits and not foundations, which pass funding to 501©(3)s.
-Carol Pass tried to explain that EPIC’s funding is essentially for EPIC’s operation and administration as an outreach of the city for citizen participation.  She also stated that such a motion calling for a general RFP is an action only appropriate for a foundation and not a Public Charity, a 501©(3) such as EPIC, She stated that she had checked with downtown staff repeatedly and they confirmed that such a motion as was being suggested was illegal. This was not acknowledged.

            A Motion to call the question was made and passed.
            The board recommended Motion to support A-POD then passed

        After the motion passed, the required quorum was lost with the departure of JLV. No request was             made to continue as a committee of the whole. The meeting became somewhat chaotic.            
The following motion was proposed by Joani E.

MOTION:  EPIC make available an RFP process to apply for neighborhood funding. Moved by Joani and seconded by Hannah.
            SS spoke in favor to formalize an RFP process to hand out EPIC funding to the neighborhood. 
            CP pointed out again that under City guidelines, it is inappropriate and actually illegal for neighborhood organizations, which are Public Charities, to act as foundations offering open RFPs in that fashion and that we would lose our IRS status as a 501©(3) if we did that. She stated  again that EPIC had repeatedly checked with city staff regarding this question. Hannah weighed in that the  neighborhoods had never helped her and that she had struggled for two years with no money. CP stated that EPIC had provided the pool project with $25,000. Hannah pointed out that that money was not for her.
            CP insisted that this was not a legal motion because it conflicts with IRS law on nonprofits. LL pointed out that there was no quorum and that the motion could not be made under those circumstances. Makers of the motion did not consider these statements and demanded the motion go forward. Substitute chair did not intervene, may not have heard LL or CP in the commotion.            
            JE & SS insisted on a vote. A voice vote proceeded and a claim was made by JE that the motion passed. No count was made. There was no quorum and no request for a ‘committee of the whole’.

8:40            What should happen to the Waite House Building??–Report on first and second meeting.  Discussion and idea sharing.
            The Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association received a request from the MPRB to oversee the process of how to dispose of the Waite House property in June.
            -CP gave a report on two meetings that were held for this purpose and expressed concern that no one beyond a few people in Midtown had been informed of this process for almost three months after this was announced by the MPRB, that the Midtown process was not an open and fair one,  pointed out that there was limited diversity, a that the only Latinos there walked out of the second meeting stating that the process had gone too far down the road without their participation so that there was no point in their attendance, which they did not experience as welcome. They had stated that they had wanted time to consider and put forward the needs and desires of their communities and that they had not known the process was even going on.
            -Fausto O:  has lived near Waite House for 15 years. Banyan relieved his fears of the neighborhood and would like Banyan to be able to purchase the building. He likes the many Banyan programs.
            -Laura C;  Has lived in the neighborhood for many years. The neighborhood was very unsafe. Her  son joined Banyan and she likes the safety and support Banyan provides. She would support Banyan’s effort to purchase the building. Another guest speaker supports Banyan.

            -Chiffon Williams: The neighborhood has changed. Many African Americans have left. Her house is the home of her effort to support unsupported youth that are currently left out. She called her Safe House.
            -BP stated that the disposition of the former Waite House Building is out of EPIC’s hands because of the decisions of the MPRB and our participation has not been sought or facilitated. It is being handled by the Park Board consultant  and a small number of people on the board of Midtown Phillips. Those of us who expressed additional interest have not been invited or informed of additional meetings.
            -CP pointed out that EPIC had passed a motion last month in response to various ethnic groups’ complaints to withdraw and restart the process or lengthen it to be more inclusive. She also stated that a critical statement requiring Midtown to include representatives of all various constituencies to be part of the decision making process was stripped out of the final RFP. CP also pointed out that EPIC’s motion was not aimed at any one organization wanting to acquire the Waite House property, but is a statement only about the fairness of the process, that this property was funded with Federal taxpayers’ monies and should be responsive to a wider more diverse population’s interests.
MOTION:  Joani E. moved: EPIC supports the Midtown process as it stands.
            -LL pointed out that there was no quorum and the building was closing. 
            -CP pointed out that this motion was contrary to the previous EPIC motion of the last month’s community meeting and the other would have to be rescinded for this to be put forward. People started leaving and it appeared people were not listening.
            Motion failed for lack of a second and lack of a quorum.

8:40            Land Use and Development Update: Updates were not discussed for lack of time.           

Ø  Alliance Housing, 2600 17th Ave. Meeting was scheduled with Alliance Housing.
Ø  2830 Cedar – Daycare Center, Contractor issues
Ø  Greenway Heights Apts. 2845 Bloomington Progress so far.

8:55            Adjournment