Attending: Laura Lewis, Becky Reyna, Aaron Grossman, Robert Cox, Jack Perkins , Deb Keller
Neighbors: Bruce Karney, Ronnie Falcao, Brian Roundtree
(1) Call to order and presentation of minutes. Chair Laura Lewis meeting to order at 7:40PM. Secretary Robert Cox presented copies of the minutes for the previous month’s meeting. A vote on approving the minutes was held, and the minutes were approved by a unanimous voice vote.
(2) General meeting: Laura mentioned that since City Hall was not available on February 22, we would need to find an alternate location. Laura noted that the multi-purpose room at Landels Elementary School on Dana Street would be available for a cost of $45. As an alternative, we could explore using the Senior Center , but the Landels location had the appeal of being in the neighborhood and walkable for most residents. A formal vote was taken, and all voted in favor of the Landels location. Laura noted that Starbucks had agreed to provide coffee for the meetings, and that BevMo is willing to provide bottled water. It is possible that we might ask Whole Foods or Smart and Final to provide snacks. Sandwich boards would be placed around the neighborhood, and members of the steering committee could volunteer to set up the chairs for the meeting one half hour before the meeting. There would be two main parts of the meeting: Scott Ward’s presentation for the redevelopment of the parcels to the east of Minton’s Lumber, and the discussion of the bylaws amendments. Jack Perkins suggested that we do the Scott Ward presentation first, because it would be of more general interest. Laura agreed with Jack’s suggestion. Bruce Karney noted that the text of any bylaw amendments should include the section of the bylaws that is being amended.
(3) Mixers: Deb Keller said that some steering committee members had been discussing the possibility of newsletter advertising discounts to restaurants that sponsor mixers. She also floated the idea of a best mixer contest. Jack Perkins asked if the newsletter had received restaurant advertising in the past, and Bruce Karney replied that it had. Becky Reyna noted that Deb and Laura had checked into six restaurants in the area, and that the idea of combining mixers and ads was met with some interest. The group noted that the Metro has a restaurant listing section, something that motivated restaurants to take out ads. In the past, most of the newsletter ads were for a term of one year. The group noted that cutting the term of the contract to three months could help in generating more restaurant ads. As to the idea of voting for the best mixer, the group was divided on whether it was a good idea. Becky asked how the voting would be done. Deb Keller suggested that it could be done at the end of the year. Some suggested that a restaurant might be less inclined to continue advertising with us or offering mixers if they did not win. Deb noted that at the current time, both Sakoon and Cantankerous Fish had expressed interest in holding mixers. Jack Perkins suggested that we also could seek ads from less expensive restaurants, like Tina’s Kusina. Brian Roundtree noted that two key ingredients for the success of a mixer are alcohol and enough space for a large crowd. He said that Chez TJ has a new chef now, but that they are pulling back on their visibility until they find their culinary voice.
(4) 501c3 status: Deb, speaking for Carter Coleman , noted that a bylaw amendment with a conflict of interest clause would need to be adopted for OMVNA to get 501c3 status. The clause would state that steering committee members who have business interests that could affected by a steering committee vote would need to sit out of that vote. Laura noted that any bylaw amendments would be presented at the next general meeting and then voted on at a subsequent meeting. Robert suggested that the full text of all of the bylaw amendments be sent to the OMVNAsc mailing list, so that they could be reviewed and editing suggestions could be made.
(5) CERT. Aaron Grossman noted that the OMVNA CERT trailer needs name updates, as Ronit Bryant’s name is still on the trailer. Aaron asked that the CERT budget be increased from $500 to $600. Ronnie Falcao noted that it would be appropriate to make a detailed list of what we wanted to provide for the money. It would be good to note whether splints, burn kits, and large bandages would be available. Aaron noted that it would be useful to have a list of local nurses who could volunteer in the case of an emergency. Laura suggested that Aaron come up with an itemized list of items and write a formal proposal. Jack suggested a CERT corner in the newsletter. Aaron agreed that it could be a good idea. Laura suggested that there may be doctors who would be willing to participate in CERT, but Aaron said we should feel them out to get a sense of their willingness to participate. Brian suggested that family photos showing families with their preparedness kits could be an effective way to remind people that they need to get their kits together. Families bringing these photos to the ice cream social could be offered extra ice cream. Right now, Aaron has only 40 CERT volunteers, and he would like more. Laura and Jack volunteered to join the CERT team. Of all things, Aaron noted that having food and water was the most important.
(6) High Speed Rail. Robert has been in contact with those working on the environmental document for the high speed rail. This group has offered to send a team to discuss our concern after the alternatives analysis has been released. Robert suggested that this group come and speak with us as part of a general meeting presentation in the second quarter of this year. Bruce Karney noted that it would be best to have general meetings announced in the newsletter and to have them no sooner than three weeks before the newsletter announcing them has been distributed.
(7) Newsletter. Natalie Bitton has volunteered to help Deb with the newsletter. An extra ad or two would be welcome, as the first newsletter of the year had 12 pages and ran $200 over budget. Deb has downloaded a free copy of Adobe N-Design and has been working with it. Brian noted that once OMVNA receives 501c3 status, it will be possible to get software discounts.
(8) Downtown Liason’s Report. The group discussed the downtown revitalization project, the funding for which is about to be ended. Laura noted that certain areas had received incentives to improve the facades for their buildings due to this project, and that parking garage improvements has also been made. Bruce noted that as a result of the project’s thirty years of funding, that the downtown area’s blight had almost completely disappeared.
(9) Treasurer’s Report. Deb handed out the treasurer’s report with statement of income and expenses on behalf of Carter, who was not there.
(10) Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 8:47PM.
– Robert Cox, OMVNA Secretary