June 6, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes 06-07

June 7th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:  www.eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers,
but most of all the world needs dreamers who do.”

Present board members: Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior, Earl Simms, Jeanne Howard, Cesar Prado
Absent board members: Rosie Cruz, Linda Leonard, Jennie Bjorgo, Ali Mcalin was delayed and came after adjournment
Members: Brad Pass

10:00             Introduction: Meeting was called to order at 10:12
·       Greetings and Introduction
·       Approval of Agenda – approved with addition of announcement for Little Earth.
·       Approval of the May 3rd Board Minutes (CP, JH) Approved.

Little Earth: There is a dispatcher on site from 5 pm to 7 am that monitors cameras and takes phone calls for emergencies or to report a crime. Police response is immediate. The phone number is 612-729-9361.

10:15    EPIC budget Report
·       Ledger – we reviewed our expenses to date and compared with the request form
·       CPP payment request form shows cost overrun in two places. Admin and NRP Expenses
·       Current Financial Position- we considered the amount of money remaining to EPIC in the initial CPP Budget.
·       Budget Changes- Robert Ts on changes, these are to be actions of the board.

MOTION: (JH, ES) Motion approved.
Fix Shortfall in Admin line and NRP Line from Outreach Line. Move $154.09 to NRP Phase I/Phase II. Move $4,141.17 to EPIC Admin.

After this last Community Organization Report Form for the 2011 contract, the remaining funds will all roll forward and fall under the spending requirements that are currently in force for 2014-2015.

Jean Howard requested an agenda item for discussion on community outreach to Little Earth. What is community outreach? This needs further discussion. The idea is that folks in Little Earth have no idea what EPIC does…

10:25            EPIC’s Financial Future
·       CPP Future Budget: Carol offered a possible budget...Allowing consserving some money for Priority Plans.Discussion and possible changes. Also a draft of the CPP Submission outlining the engagement part of what EPIC will do. Noted much of this we are already doing and will ramp up more for Priority Plans. Liked the flexabilty of the budget. Tentatively approved the draft budget and Plan.. Carol will incorporate changes and bring back for final approval.
·       What is available-Funds available and not allocated, $123,934 (CPP 2012, 2013) and $194,881(CPP 2014-1026) giving EPIC a total of $388,455 for use before the end of 2016. This money is available because we used our first 2011 CPP money for running the organization for three years and saved the rest, the $123,934 (CPP 2012, 2013).
·       Some possible projects, housing, Crime, Youth programs. EPIC worked on and passed a Partnering Policy to try to reach out to other organizations that do things with expertise where we can help with engagement. Some of these projects may need to be Priority Plans.
·       Look at NRP budget. Significant funding there also. Allocations in NRP Action Plan partially contracted and partially spent.
·       Considered other neighborhood budgets - Noted absence of dollars for Priority Plans.
                             -Different Typical Uses – SUN Neighborhood group Plan,  McKinley Neighborhood using NRP Action Plan for Priorities. Also be aware that most neighborhoods zeroed out the Priority Plan category. We need to know why that is and what are the implications of that. CPP Guide says you must allocate to Priority Plans if you want to do projects.  
                             -Connecting with NRP Phase II Action Plans , some neighborhoods with recent NRP plans are using the categories from those plans for using CPP dollars. Example: McKinley Neighborhood using NRP Action Plan for Priorities. The logic is that these involved quite recent surveys of Neighborhood opinion and by checking it now we can use them for Neighborhood Priority Plans. We held back on staff partly so we could do some of the things the Mayor’s taking of our funding money caused us to lose…capital projects. An example: EPIC’s NRP home building category is one, and is empty of funds.

July Board Meeting
We will try to reschedule the July board meeting to late June. EPIC will announce to the board members

10:45  EPIC SummerFest
            Events, Map
            Budget Needs: We can’t be certain of the cost. We were advised that we don’t always 
know who our  entertainment will be. Sometimes there are ‘no shows’ or replacements or groups cost more or less than stated initially.

MOTION: (JH, ES) Motion approved.
Set aside $4,000.00 for entertainment and other expenses for the EPIC SummerFest. Move $3,564.53 from Community Outreach to Events, added to the remainder provides $4,000 to cover these potential expenses.

Cesar discussed the Guatemalan festival where there were problems with food at the event last year. Working on a Northeast Minneapolis event for Ecuadorian festival.

11:05 Priority Plans:
            Crime Task Force – Crime is the top priority by far in the survey taken at the Annual Meeting. There were over 61 respondents coming from many ethnicities. Robert Thompson said this was a valid start for a first Priority Plan. We will proceed with writing it up,  submitting it with additional outreach and forming a task force.
            Other Priorities that had sizable support were more youth programming, more housing and more community events. They will need additional community engagement.
MOTION: EPIC will form a crime task force and public safety based Priority Plan.  (CP, ES) Passed

11:15  The Grievance Process
·      Where are we? The March 17th letter sent from the EPIC Board was presented. In it the board requested from Hannah and Kevin an account of what they believe is false information in the response to their grievances (i.e. stating clearly what they believe is not an acceptable response and why,…offering documentation of ‘collusion’, lack of ‘community input’ etc. )  This letter has not been answered. Additional Current Issues: The intervention of NCR Staff in the middle of our grievance process, and in so doing violating NCR’s own policy of nonintervention until the neighborhood process was concluded. This complicated and delayed our response.  Primarily, though, the EPIC Board does not believe it is possible to have meaningful negotiations without knowing what we are negotiating about. NCR staff may not be in a position to know all this and this is not their obligation. It is to be part of the effort of the EPIC Board to work this out with the grievants. This letter of March 17th, which came from the full board, was never responded to in any way other than Hannah stating that she ‘officially declined’ EPIC‘s offer of $10K and would inform her board. Hannah declined our offer of $10,000 to Mpls. Swims for fundraising, according to her letter regarding that issue, because the EPIC Board would not ignore our attorney’s advice that we only negotiate with Mpls. Swims board members other than Hannah and Kevin Lieder.  After that, they filed more grievances, each of which we believed became more trivial. Finally Hannah offered by email to drop the grievances against the EPIC Board in exchange for receiving $10,000 of EPIC funding. Board members responded with various remarks of serious concern.  CP cited our attorney’s letter of warning to not even consider such a deal. Since the money had been officially declined, EPIC’s effort to offer the money was ended and so this new proposal stands as a quid pro quo and would probably be illegal…in any case the attorney stated that such an action would disgrace both EPIC and Mpls. Swims with the City, the State and the Federal government. One of the new Board members remarked that this looked like extortion.  The other Board Members agreed.

·      Hannah’s offer to withdraw her and Kevin’s grievances in return for EPIC supplying Mpls Swims with $10,000, demonstrated to the Board how intimately this funding was connected with the grievances. Hannah stated at a meeting in spring that Mpls Swims was in grave financial difficulty. Some of the neighborhoods came forward to help at that same meeting and would have liked the opportunity. The offer was declined by Hannah. The Board decided by consensus not to respond to more grievances until Hannah and Kevin contact us and offer documentation and real evidence supporting the grievances they have filed already and make the effort to negotiate differences. A great deal of time has elapsed with no response from the Lieders other than filing more grievances. The board decided by consensus to do nothing more and just wait for a response.
12:15 PM            Adjourn