December 6, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes 12-06

December 6th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am
East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

The opposite of poverty is not wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice.

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jeanne Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Macalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Present board members: Jenny Bjorgo, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz, Earl Simms
Absent board members: Jeanne Howard, Ali Macalin, Cesar Prado,
Members: Brad Pass, Alfonso Cruz

10:00   Introduction:
  • LL offered to serve as chair.
  • By consensus, meeting as a committee of the whole.
  • Approval of Agenda: by consensus, agenda is approved.
  • Approval of the November 1st EPIC Board Minutes: by consensus, minutes are approved.

·       $50,000 to the pool, press release; published in the Alley. EPIC to issue a press release to other news venues.
·       Budget Hearings on Dec. 10th. Most important issue: there is not enough money for neighborhoods to run a successful organization ($65,000).

10:15   Self-Evaluation- Discussion
 Three months ago the board reviewed board self-evaluations to consider whether such evaluations could help board members improve their personal performance. There are many examples available, and there are a variety of focus’ that can be incorporated (specific vs. general, and more.) LL presented a document for EPIC’s consideration, which was amended for use later in the meeting.

QUORUM ACHIEVED: Ratified previous Motions

10:30   Audit Results:
  • Segregation of duties
  • Check Reconciliation
  • Financial Statements

The total financial audit cost $3,600, and CP spent four hours meeting with the auditor. EPIC is part of the contract and should receive a copy of the audit report. The auditor was very impressed with our recordkeeping and practices, for such a small organization.

Reviewed and discussed with the auditor
  • Auditor suggested that EPIC show funds spent on specific events on the financial statements so they match the board votes to spend funds.
  • Both the CPA, and EPIC’s Treasurer are reconciling the statements every month. LL pointed out that the City also provides a third check on the spending of funds.
  • New Binder
    • Minutes going back five years (in print) and on web.
    • Past tax filings
    • Check Register
    • Contracts
    • Financials
    • Bank Statements
    • Bylaws & foundational documents
    • Policies & Procedures
    • Community Garden financials

10:45   Ambassador report

Linda and Will walked about 2 hours and met many new people. While we handed out EPIC materials, and met new people, we did NOT bring back contact information from new people that we met.

10:50  Bituminous Roadways, Smith Foundry, Roof Depot -  Flyering, PowerPoint, Articles,
                        1)  Inventory of polluting industries
                        2)  Put together available information on emissions from each one
                        3)  Available information on their permits and when they expire
                        4)  Learn what is needed by different agencies, City, County, MPCA, MDH, DEED how they  can help.
                        5)  What are the attitudes toward moving, (Are they profitable, do they have alternative locations that would not create injustices in other communities, is there economic development money available that would help them move. Do they provide valuable employment to locals,
                        6)  How much political clout do they have?
                        7)  Would an official “Health Impact Analysis be useful or just get in the way?
            Water Yard:
                        What type of vehicles, Diesel trucks are more polluting than gas vehicles. Sometimes the health impacts of vehicles going to and from a facility might be greater than the emissions of the facility itself. .
                        How much coming and going?
                        Number of employees and where do they live?
                        What do neighbors in present location say about their activities?
                        Consider other locations
            Actions: Petitions
                        organize a big group.
                        Write letters to elected officials, meet with owners.

Reviewed the PowerPoint and made some edits, as needed. Advertised the meeting on Thursday evening in the Alley, and distributed flyers throughout the neighborhood.

Talking points:
  • LL pointed out that EPIC is located at the intersection of Minneapolis’ highly touted light rail system, Greenway, Downtown, and more…why would the city allow such a large intersection off   pollution right   in the gateway of the city.
  • Slogan…Welcome to Murky Minneapolis.
  • CP commented that the city claims to be all about “equity”…and then they allow this.
11:10   Lissa Jones Report
            Read aloud?
            Evaluate- Questions?

CP noted that the City cancelled both of the previous meetings, on the day of the meeting. We felt this was unprofessional and disrespectful to EPIC board members who had made arrangements twice to attend these meetings. EPIC sent them a letter saying so. To date, we have not received a response. The city is expecting a level of professionalism which they themselves are not willing to meet.

MG requested that EPIC receive the auditor’s report before meeting with Lissa Jones and the City, and that the City assures EPIC that the report submitted from Lissa on Friday, Dec. 5th, is the FINAL version of the report from Lissa Jones.

Some talking points:
  • Of 19 Interviewee’s; how many actually had significant interaction with EPIC?
  • No statistics regarding interviewee’s are included in the report.
  • Exposure to EPIC is unknown.
  • There is no data in the report.
  • No objective data in the report.
  • There are no conclusions included in the report.
  • Lissa Jones did not attend a single EPIC meeting. She may have viewed the June 12 meeting which is the meeting where all of this controversy with the city started.

Conditions to be met (June 27th letter) (the “reason” for the meeting.)

1. Adopt and Enforce a Code of Ethics; this was already part of EPIC’ Policies and Procedures. Have Robert verify that NRP already approved this document. Request approval of this document by NCR.

2.  Provide sufficient time for NCR staff to regularly report to the community. EPIC immediately complied with this condition, provided time for NCR staff to report. Request verification from NCR that this condition has already been met.

3. Be subject to an audit. EPIC immediately complied with this condition, and completed the audit in November, 2014.

MG: This report makes no claim to address the issue and complaints that were reported to NCR in June 2014. EPIC has never received copies of these complaints, and therefore, EPIC has no basis for adopting or agreeing with the conclusions drawn by NCR or the consultant Lissa Jones. EPIC believes that NCR staff  have financial, political and/or personal reasons for filing complaints against EPIC. NCR Staff, and CM Cano have not done anything to increase EPIC’s effective outreach to the community since July 2014, and in fact, caused damage to the cohesiveness of EPIC’s board by placing blame on EPIC’s board without due process, examination of the facts, or investigation of any kind, before issuing a verdict.

MOTION: (CP, RC) Send a fruit basket and thank you to NAME OF FIRM for reviewing and advising EPIC regarding Lissa’s report. Approved. Later decided this would/could be seen as currying favoritism, so decided against.

11:40   Final Community Vote for New Home Construction- EPIC Board has been supporting this NPP for a year to return to our empty NRP Phase II housing strategy. We need attendance at this meeting. This is our last vote for this long awaited project. PRG and GMHC have been ready to act on this. Note: this is not an aid to buy them as the language suggests. It is to build them.

11:50   Board Self Evaluation- discussion did not get off the ground. People had to leave early.

12:20   Adjourn