October 9, 2014

General Membership Meeting Minutes 10 - 09

October 9th, 2014, 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

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Board Members Present: Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Earl Simms (Family emergency), Cesar Prado (work), Ali Micalin (event) Jean Howard
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Laura Dale, Maggie Ewing, Kyla Sisson, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Michael Green,
Guests: Karen Notsch (MPD),

6:35            Introductions:

·      Greetings and Introductions
·      Approval of Agenda (MG, KS; approved with corrections.)
·      Approval of September 11th, 2014 minutes (MG, LD) with corrections: review and update names under attendance, based on sign-in sheet.; with addition of Louise’s comment added to 7:15 Motion… “Some members who opposed this plan stated that the plan didn’t reflect the survey results.” And change “diverse person” to “person”.

7:00             Neighborhood Update on Crime (moved up from 7:10)

East Phillips stats: What we’ve seen since 9/1, 11 robberies, 1 was aggravated (used a weapon. The things wanted the most were cell phones and cash. 5 burglaries, including 1 business, 3 at night. Larcenies – 19 (theft) including 5 motor vehicles. Narcotics – 9 reports; prostitution – 3; disorderly conduct – 53. The crime is showing up around the edges of EPIC, but no patterns appeared.

Code 4 areas include Bloomington & Lake, and Chicago & Lake. Cert Unit has done multiple things along Lake St. and surrounding blocks, and making prostitution and john arrests, car to car transactions, tagging for loitering with intent, etc.

Christine McPhereson, 911 supervisor, regarding non-English speaking crime reporting. CP followed up and made a request that the “language request” get moved up to the top of the menu.

MOTION: (MK, CP, Approved) EPIC will send a letter to 911 supervisor to make the first option on the menu, do you want to have another language, such as Spanish, Somali.)

MOTION: (MG, JB, Approved) EPIC will meet as a committee of the whole.

Probation officer reported that most of her subjects are from West Phillips.

7:15            Parking and Crime issues on 2800 blocks 16th Ave. (Moved up from 7:45)

Michael Green presented that there is a parking problem on the 2800 block of 16th Ave. A transit handicapped space was placed many years ago where a resident is no longer residing. City has said they

can’t remove the space, but the police don’t actually enforce it. There is an auto repair facility on the street that regularly parks vehicles on the street, on the bridge; construction crews are parking in the street; there are over-occupied properties; there are now no-parking signs along 29th Street; the no-parking sign on the bridge has disappeared; the Greenway Heights building presents an additional source of cars on this street. Some residents are interested in critical parking (residents receive permits to park on the street.) MGreen intends to work with neighbors to pursue this type of parking; MGreen also wants to address the missing signs problem. 

See tape for discussion, questions, etc.

MOTION: (MG, JB, Approved with 1 opposed.) EPIC will write a letter asking, if parking is illegal, and if it is unwise to park on the bridge, and the neighborhood is complaining about parking on the bridge, will the City please replace the no parking signs on the bridge?

7:00            Announcements:
·      CLEAN SWEEP! This Saturday, 9:00 am, Welna Hardware Parking Lot, 24 Bloomington       Ave. Get your FREE T-shirts, gloves, bags, Coffee, Donuts, Orange Juice and clean Phillips       with your neighbors!
·      EPIC Garden Harvest Party: Next Saturday, October 18th, 4:00 pm at the Garden, Music,       Food, Roast Marshmallows over the Fire, Meet neighbors.
·      Financial Statement distributed; please take home and there will be a presentation on finances next month.

7:20             Implementation of NPP Crime Strategy:
·      Ambassador Program Start Up: Meeting, Progress Report, Packets, Vests, Walkie- Talkies, Volunteer

LL reported that there was one meeting with 6 people present. The vests presented last month are being printed with the EPIC logo and the group that met had a presentation from Don Greeley (completed training), and CP ordered a resource book for ambassadors that can help with resident communications. If anyone wants to be part of the Ambassador program, Jenny and Will are co-chairing this group.

CP noted that the Ambassador program is not the same as a crime patrol (which some EPIC residents will participate in. Safety officer commented that crime patrols should alsways notify police when they will be out on patrol  Noted that Lt. May is probably the point person.

·      Progress on 25th Street Beautification Barrier

The 16th Ave block club are in favor of keeping the barrier and want to participate in some way; they are willing to help keep up a barrier. Doug Vander is the coordinating this for the block club.

CP went to 10th & Lake St. and took photos of a “berm” that was constructed – this is a permanent barrier and it looks really nice. It is probably no more expensive than purchasing planters. Proposed that we ask for what we REALLY want

QUORUM ACHIEVED: Rosie Cruz arrived. 8:00 PM. Motions previously passed are approved.

7:35            EPIC Home Loan Program must movefrom Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) which is closing their Lending Center in November, to Greater Metro Housing Corp (GMHC), which has offices near by for loan processing.

MOTION: (CP, MG, Approved.) EPIC will move their home loan program dollars from CEE to GMHC.

8:05            Final Vote for the Pool: (Moved above 7:45 Parking)
Needed to receive match from Mdewakanton Sioux. The other Phillips neighborhoods will also be kicking in the same amount. EPIC voted on these funds in July, but a second, confirming vote was delayed due to other urgent matters, and by NCR putting a hold on EPIC funds. We have received letter from Daavid Rubedor confirming the availabilityof this money and we have been now informed that these funds are already in an appropriate fund in our NRP Phase I moneys (Parks & Recreation.)

MOTION: (CP, MK. Approved unanimously.) EPIC will designate $50,000 from Phase I NRP dollars as a matching fund, to fund the renovation of the Pool at the Phillips Community Center. the Minneapolis Park Board for the East Phillips Pool.

7:45            Parking and Crime issues on 2900 blocks 16th Ave. Moved after 8:05 item by membership’s consensus.

·      Parking,  crime, properties.
o   2930 16th Avenue, property has multiple problems.
o   2908 16th Avenue, many prostitutes using this property as a business.
o   Problem addresses – Karen Notsch (MPD) believes that these properties are being worked on. Morning, children catching buses; need more police presence (6:30 – 9 am) 29th St.
·      Remove benches on 16th and Lake, full of prostitutes using these benches. (Lake St. Council doesn’t want these removed. The old City Inc building – will remove the benches, and cutting off the electricity. He is checking into getting more lighting on this spot.
·      Parking lot of salvation army – folks are bringing mattresses and camping out. (it wouldn’t hurt to send a letter – if they are not making changes that are needed. Ask Salvation Army to close the parking lot at night. Manager is resistance to previous requests.
·      Another parking lot – abandoned vehicles.

·      Contact the board for The Salvation Army.
·      Speed bumps (16th, 17th, Bloomington) – cost about $12,000; another solution might be to do Murals on the Street, slows traffic down and calms things in other neighborhoods.
·      $1 houses – rehab and increase home ownership, rental units.
·      Fill vacant lots on these blocks.
·      Citizen’s patrol.
·      Survey homeownership on these blocks and try to analyze if this is impacting long term issues.
·      Engage the people who live there – have focus groups on these blocks, invite residents to attend EPIC meetings.
o   Ambassadors could maybe door knock.

Contact EPIC if you are interested in participating in any of these suggested activities.

Willing to discuss the bigger problem of incorporating rental issues into conversation in EPIC.

8:15            Preparations for Clean Sweep- For those of you not familiar with Clean             Sweep, this is the one             event all the 4 Phillips Neighborhoods do together. We have been doing this for over 10 years.

Distributed flyers, please invite and organize your neighbors and friends to participate.

MK: after clean sweep, join patrons at the Franklin Library to celebrate 100th anniversary.

SH: after clean sweep, indigenous people’s garden is having an event.

8:30            Roof Depot Building and Land Sale:  City wants to buy for Relocation of Public Works Water             Distribution Center. What do we want in that very transit heavy site. More heavy industry?             Neighborhood Response?? Tour of current existing Site?

CP presented that the East Phillips plan for this area going back many years shows this area to be completely residential. This is a high transit area and this should be apartment buildings or other residential property near the highest transit intersections in the city. Parents have asked EPIC for help in getting rid of these industries here, as they are dispersing pollution in our neighborhood.

8:45            An Office for EPIC

We have been seeking an office for some time; we want a building that is not hard to see/find. It looks like Mark Welna is ready to restore the building across the street (not the OLD hardware store), and rent to EPIC. There will be two units eventually on the first floor. CP is working on bringing a lease agreement to EPIC’s board for approval.

8:50               Adjourned

October 4, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes 10 - 04

October 4th, 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

“Nothing will work unless you do”.
                                                                                                -Maya Angelou

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jeanne Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Macalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Present board members: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz
Absent board members: Earl Simms (Son’s event), Cesar Prado (working), Jeanne Howard, Ali Macalin (EID),
Members: Brad Pass
Guest: Shirley Heyer

MOTION: Meet as committee of the whole. (MG, LL) Approved.

10:00             Introduction:
·       Approval of Agenda with additions: Board Training. (LL, CP) Approved.
·       Approval of the September 6th EPIC Board Minutes (CP, LL) Approved with correction to p. 2, (*) “When a beautified barrier is installed, consider inviting The Banyan to take responsibility for maintaining the barrier.”

MOTION: EPIC will form a committee to implement the Garden Diversion project in the CPP/NPP Crime and Safety Budget (2014).  (CP, LL) Approved.

Goals for the Garden Diversion Project:
o   Beautified Barrier
§  Planning committee: Mary, Doug, Carol, Brad
·       Approved EPIC design to submit to the traffic department.
·       Ask Naomi to sit on the committee to represent The Banyon.
·       Find a representative from adjoining blocks.
·       Linda will take pictures of examples.
·       Coordinate with streetscape project in Midtown.
·       Public works is okay with this.
·       Traffic dept. needs an form completed and a plan. (Doug).
o   Will give guidance on material
o   Need to consider snow material
§  Flower Pots at Maria’s
·       Someone came up with a forklift truck and trailer and stole them all.
·       New project on Franklin, bolting them down
·       Speak to Ventura Village to ask about this.

 Announcement- We are out from under the frozen funds thing, 
but we haven’t seen Lissa Jones’ report. She has not interviewed the people we suggested. NCR wants to have a meeting where we all get together in a room.
CP: we shouldn’t do this until we see the report, after Lissa Jones interviews the individuals we suggested.
LL: Lissa told LL that in her contract she has a limited amount of time and money to do this project and wasn’t sure if all these people could fit into her contract, but Lissa would do her best to speak with those individuals and amend her report at some point, on her own time, after the contract is done.???
BP: that means it would not be part of the official report; that doesn’t make sense.
 LL: I don’t want to misrepresent what she said; she offered to somehow interview the people that LL forwarded to her. CP staed
CP: this became an issue because Robert Thompson, when CP said she would sue if necessary, RT had told LJ from the outset to choose people from both sides of the issue to interview. This contradicts what LJ previously told LL and makes made CP realize that NCR is changing the story to try to create the impression that their actions were fair and unbiased, which they were not in fact.
LL: LJ interviewed only the people named by Carrie and Alondra. CP and LL articulated to RT that this was not unbiased.

CP demanded documents related to this action, citing MN Data Practices Act. She did receive them, and needs to review them. CP threatened to sue NCR, after consulting an attorney. CP also spoke at the NRP Policy Board, citing NCR letters, in order, making demands of EPIC: David Rubedor’s letter of June 27th, EPIC’s letter agreeing to all demands, the final DR letter where he agreed to unfreeze EPIC funds. After agreeing to all DR’s demands immediately, EPIC heard nothing from DR for 2.5 months. No one responded to inquiries regarding EPIC funds. In the interim, NCR put this claim of apparent wrong-doing on public television and claimed that there had been due process in their actions against EPIC. There was no due process, because there was no policy or process available. NCR doesn't have one.

 CP stated that this should NEVER happen to another neighborhood and demanded that NCR write policies to prevent it. David Rubedor admitted that his office had mishandled the situation, but stopped short of an apology. DR unfroze our funds and apparently told RT to write policies addressing situations when neighborhoods have disagreements with NCR.

CP stated that she personally will not finished be with this until no other neighborhood has to go through this.

JB arrived: 11:08

·       Garden Meetings:
Next steering committee is Saturday, March 7, 2015; 9 am at EPPCCC. The next membership meeting is Saturday, April 11th, 2015, same time and place.

·       Phillips Clean Sweep, Saturday, October 11, 2014. 9 am at Welna’s parking lot.

·       EPIC Garden Fall Harvest Party. Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 4 pm in the garden (17th Avenue).

10:15    Progress on CPP Program: CPP Plan: What is being implemented

EPPCCC’s computer lab has the highest use by the community by double of all the parks in Mpls. Plans include upgrades to high-speed internet service, and wi-fi;

Bridging the Digital Divide: Plan to implement Computer Literacy Program
EPIC will implement a program with Megan Muffett, Americore Volunteer, to teach classes at East Phillips Park; EPIC needs to invite folks to sign up. This is being implemented through EPIC’s East Phillips Park Programming Partnership.

Plan to implement Financial Literacy Project: Wells Fargo
Another program will begin to implement Financial Literacy at EPPCCC. Community Action Financial Literacy has closed down their program; there may only be one other program in Saint Paul. This is being implemented through a EPIC’s East Phillips Park Programming Partnership.

MOTION: (MG, LL) Approved. Whereas EPIC’s committees, East Phillips Park Programming Partnership and the Garden Committee are committees whose work is ongoing and permanent, therefore, EPIC formally recognizes them as Standing Committees to be included in the EPIC Bylaws.

Task Forces & Committees
Garden Diversion Project (Barriers/25th Street)
Ambassadors (Ad-hoc committee)
Housing Committee

10:30        Change in EPIC Home Loan Program: We need to move our Home Loan Program. We were informed this past month that Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) will end their Loan Office and close their Lending Center. CEE is getting out of the business. The other neghborhoods that havae these loans are all going to put them in to Greater Metro Housing Corp (GMHC). They have offices near by for loan processing…much easier to reach than CEE. No one else really does this. We should vote to move our loan program to GMHC and then should inform CEE that we will be moving EPIC’s Loan Home Programs to Greater Metro Housing Corp (GMHC).

CP asked board members to print a copy of the CPP Plan and put it in their board binder,. CP distributed a Summary of the EPIC/NRP Phase II Action Plan (serves as a guide for Neighborhood Priority Plan.

MOTION: (LL, JB) Approved. Move $35,000 from Objective 1 to Objective 3 to cover the cost of Greenway Heights balconies ($35,000). Leave the remaining $5,000 in Objective 1, strategy 1 (loans for home repair).

MOTION: (LL, JB) Approved. EPIC will move all funds remaining in Goal 2, Objective 1 and 2 to Greater Metro Housing Corporation (GMHC) to be administered according to the current contract with CEE.

We have about $105,000  (Objective 1 and 2) in our housing goals and we need to move it because CEE is closing most of their housing program, and other neighborhoods are moving their funds. The best option for EPIC, based on research, is Greater Metro Housing who has an available loan officer and resources right on Cedar Ave.

11:05        Preparations for Clean Sweep – For those of you not familiar with Clean Sweep, this is the one event all the 4 Phillips Neighborhoods do together. We have been doing this for 6 years. My apologies, I missed putting on the proposed agenda the need for EPIC to put in our share of the cost of the Clean Sweep budget. Each neighborhood is to put in $1,000 a piece to pay for the trucks and other expenses. The Board is allowed to pass motions for up to $1,000 without a vote at the community meeting.

MOTION: (CP, LL) Approved. Funding: $1,000 to pay for trucks for clean sweep.

MOTION: (LL,JB) Approved. Funding : $150 to pay for posters.  
11:45        Office for EPIC

Asked Mark Welna, and he agreed. We need to decide to move ahead with this. This is a great location, and there really isn’t another location available. Easily accessible, has security. Funds for an office are in EPIC’s CPP budget for 2014 – 2016.

MOTION: (LL, JB) Authorize EPIC’s chair to pursue a lease agreement for office space at 24XX Bloomington Ave.

11:55      NPP Crime Strategy: Meeting, Progress Report, Next Steps

Ambassador Task Force met with Don Greeley in September. Will and Jenny agreed to co-chair. Don gave us materials we can carry along to distribute. Brad designed an EPIC logo and is arranging to have vests printed (costs are approximately $5 per vest.) All attendees at the meeting were approved. People are free to start, but EPIC hasn’t notified the community that we are doing this. LL needs reimbursement for vests and notepads. CP ordered a Handbook of the Streets (research piece), and are assembling an overall packet for ambassadors to carry. Contact: Will Gillian, Jenny Bjorgo.

12:10        Final Vote for the Pool Fund.
EPIC passed a motion in July to approve funding of $50,000 for the pool. David Rubedor sent EPIC a letter stating that we didn’t need an extra neighborhood vote for these leftover Phase I NRP dollars, since this was a plan modification that was approved by the entire neighborhood; the funds are sitting in a “Recreation Fund.” However, the neighborhood approved these funds for soccer fields, but the funds were not needed for that project, and the funds have been sitting with the Park Board all this time. Because EPIC’s funds were frozen, the 2nd vote on the July motion wasn’t held. Time is of the essence, as the Shakopee matching funds could be lost. CP proposed we explain this to the community and we present the 2nd motion to the October membership meeting. This 2nd vote is legal, and in accordance with our board.

Quorum achieved. Rosie Cruz arrived. 12:11 pm.

MOTION: (MG, RC) Approved. CP will invite Dean Duvolis to come to the October meeting, lead the discussion and request the 2nd vote for the $50,000 matching grant for the pool.

MOTION: (MG, JB) Approved. Ratify the previous motions of the committee of the whole.

12:20            Roof Depot building and potential land sale to City for Public Works Water Distribution Center.

CP just received notice about a week ago that the City wants to purchase the Roof Depot building and put the water distribution center there. It suggests truck traffic. Alondra Cano has said she is not sure we want to do this. CP spoke with Steve Kotke, with the city asking what is involved, can it be made environmentally sensitive, and explained we want the whole industrial complex out of our neighborhood. The intersection where our main thoroughfare’s and LRT join, should be housing and this plan suggests a higher industrial center, and could negatively impact our need for housing in this area. We need to form a task force to work on this. Goal: study the situation and the impact, inform the community, to suggest a goal/path, to help determine what the community’s response should be and execute the planned community response.

·       EPIC has a community plan that specifies residential as our commitment/goal.

12:25            Board Self Evaluation & Training

Discussed implementing an individual board member self-evaluation which will be completed periodically by board members. Mary will work on a form that is specific to EPIC’s board responsibilities.

12:30    Adjourn- consensus