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