Thursday, May 12, 2005

EPIC General Membership Meeting - May 2005

Holy Rosary Church, 6:40-9:15 pm

Quorum: Carol Pass, Andy Engebretson, Hanna Lieder,
Albin Dittli, Rosie Cruz, Linda Leonard, Earl Simms

Attendance: The above-named directors and Brad Pass,
Lynn Mayo, Aden Awil, Jane Thompson, Darlene Flugge,
Alfonso Cruz, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Rachel Dittli, Lea
Berg, Ryan Brueske, Stephanie Allen, Dan Ward (Metro
Hope), Amy Brock (Corcoran Neighborhood Ass’n)

6:40 Carol Pass, president, convened the meeting and
asked people to introduce themselves.
Corrections to the Agenda:
1. Give 15 minutes to Jane Thompson in the reports
2. Give Dan Ward from, Metro Hope Ministries, time in
the reports section.
3. Lynn wanted a correction to page 2 of the last GMM
minutes regarding her concerns about Allina’s
administrative salary/benefit provisions.

Motion 1: Albin to approve the agenda; second Jane.
Motion carried.

Carol read the EPIC statement of Purpose

1. Third Grand opening at the new building, Plaza
Verde on Lake St. .
2. There is a grant writing class in Saint Paul and
some board members are planning to go to it.
3. Membership communication can be facilitated on a
website Ryan has created:
4. National Night Out requires requests for planning
events. The city will not be sending out information
to everyone. Block club leaders have to ask for it.
Lynn would like the information for this out on the

1. Neighborhood Funding conference at Harrison
Community Center on May 4th. Carol went. There are
efforts being made to diminish the funding to
neighborhoods. Carol made the point that EPIC needs to
join with other neighborhoods to continue to reinforce
the need and preference for local neighborhood
2. The Hispanic Baseball team received a $3150 grant
from Weed and Seed. Carol wrote the grant proposal.
3. NRP home tour, Carol went and was encouraged to see
people with a wide range of incomes doing great
restorations of ordinary housing.
4. Ryan is interested in receiving funding for a
research project for a model implementation of
security lighting.
5. Motion 2: Jane asked for approval to have Margaret
replace her as the Greenway Coalition Board
representative to EPIC. Margaret asked if anyone else
would be interested in the position, but no one
volunteered. Ryan seconded Jane’s Motion. Motion
carried. Compliments were given to Jane for a job
well done. Margaret does not want to be on the agenda
automatically, but will ask to be included on it.
6. Jane report that the Chicago bridge construction
keeps the greenway from opening early this spring.
7. Brad gave a brief description of the suspension
bridge design that is to be built across Hiawatha.
8. Brad announced that a public works committee, CLIC,
wants to put an asphalt heating plant on the corner of
26th and Hiawatha. The neighborhood needs to be aware
of this so that the people who have to live near it
can have a say in whether or not it should be built.
9. Ryan will include information about the
construction proposal on the website as well as other
current information.

Metro Hope Ministries (MHP)-Dan Ward:
MHP is a faith-based ministry for men on 28th and
Cedar. MHP is interested in starting a long-term
recovery ministry for women and children and they
would like EPIC to write a letter to NERC (the
neighborhood organization where the new women’s
ministry will be established) saying that they have
been good neighbors in East Philips. They are not
looking for affirmation of the new program, just a
letter saying they have been good neighbors. Several
people in the meeting gave positive feedback on MHP
based on their interaction with them.

Motion 3:
Jane made the motion to have this letter written for
Metro Hope Ministries; Seconded by Linda. Motion

Projects and Possibilities:
Robert Thompson, NRP neighborhood specialist, was
invited but could not attend.

EPIC Survey Report:
Albin described the purpose of the neighborhood survey
as being a means to find out more about the interests
of the community. The survey results will guide the
strategic plan for EPIC’s remaining NRP phase 1
funding of $200,000.00. EPIC will then be able to
write a budget that dedicates money toward the things
the survey shows the people of the community want to
see improved. Everyone will have some input regarding
the way the budget is written, The survey will be in
Engflish, Spanish and Somali, and board members will
individually go house to house to carry out the
survey. It will also form the basis for EPIC’a phase
one evaluation and phase 2 NRP plan.

Corcoran Neighborhood Executive Director:
Amy Brock gave an overview of the survey that was done
in their neighborhood. The survey was similar to the
EPIC survey and they found it very useful when
planning their year-long goals and budgeting. The
survey was also useful information for donors. Some
ideas she offered from their experience were:
1. Select 3 households on each block randomly to give
the survey to.
2. Make sure the survey distributors have had some
training so they are all consistent in how they
conduct the survey.
3. Put a time limit on when the results should be in.
4. Have the person who answered the door or an adult
living in the building fill out the survey.
5. Go in the evenings and on weekends when people are
Amy also discussed methods for how to start looking
for and obtaining funding. Corcoran found that donors
were most interested in programming and sustainable

Treasurer’s Report:
1. Cynthia was not in attendance, but Carol said that
Cynthia was still looking through the things she
received from Margaret.
2. Action Item: A review should be done at each GMM
of EPIC’s expenses and income from the previous month.
3. Action Item: EPIC’s reimbursement financial
policies should be documented and presented at the
next GMM.
4. Reimbursement from EPIC rules:
a) The original receipt needs to be turned in to the
board before 30 days after the purchase
b) Pres, Vice Pres, and Treasurer need to sign on any
amount over $100.

Community Garden:
1. Cynthia will be the EPIC board representative to
the garden committee.
2. EPIC needs to figure out how to pay insurance and
property taxes for the garden.
3. Action Item: The EPIC board needs to figure out
what fees it should be paying for the garden and put
it in writing.
4. Lynn said that there are currently 21 adults on the
17th Ave. garden and 4 on the 16th Ave garden.
5. Carol asked for garden minutes in general,
especially those showing when it was decided that the
garden would have membership fees.

Status of EPIC:
1. Carol explained that EPIC still does not have its
501©(3) status. She is working with Charlie Ravine, a
lawyer from Management Assistance Project for
Nonprofits, to reclaim the 501©(3) status. This would
not allow us to use NRP money, but it would allow us
to write grants.

Darleen said she would like to see coffee and a drug
patrol again on Bloomington in the mornings.

Motion 4:
Linda made a motion to adjourn, second by Albin.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Andy Engebretson

Saturday, May 7, 2005

EPIC Board Meeting - May 2005

CDBG = Community Development Block Grant
EBM = EPIC Board Meeting
EPIC = East Phillips Improvement Coalition
GMM = General Membership Meeting

Quorum Present: Mary Gonsior (MG), Andrew Engebretson (AE), Hannah Lieder (HL), Linda Leonard (LL), Carol Pass (CP), Albin Dittli (AD), Cynthia Aquirre (CA)

Residents Present: LaVerne Turner (LT)

Meeting called to order at 9:16 am.

Mission Statement
Copies were not available. Stated intent is to read the Mission Statement at the outset of each board meeting.

Foundation Center Proposal Writing Seminar, May 25, 2005, $195 per person. Linda Leonard is looking into attending.

EBM Meeting place
The board is continuing to search for a public venue in which to hold EBM.
Asked: Banyan House/Center School said no; Oliver, Hope churches said no; Salvation Army not open; Hi-Lake under construction.
Will ask: Little Earth, Green Institute, Peacemakers, Welna’s, Good Templars.

The Midtown Market and the renovated Franklin Library are celebrating opening day on 5/7/2005. Epic assisted both organizations financially. Directors are encouraged to stop by and introduce themselves as part of EPIC and say that we’re pleased about the success of the market and the library renovation.

Home Tour
Minneapolis NRP is a sponsor of the 2005 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour May 7-8; directors were encouraged to go on the tour.

AE and AD were asked separately by a resident why Robert Thompson, EPIC’s NRP liaison was “asked not to attend” the April GMM. Robert contacted EPIC and offered to attend the April meeting, as do other funding organizations such as Weed & Seed and Abbot. EPIC felt the April agenda was already full and invited Robert to attend the GMM at a later date.

Policy adopted to address general questions from general members.
If a director is asked about a decision and can’t give an answer based on personal knowledge, the director will bring the question before the board for clarification. The director will then respond to the general member in a timely manner.

Harrison Neighborhood report – Web site
This is an organization/group working to pressure the City for more funding. Go to their Web site, HYPERLINK "" to join, or send your email address to HYPERLINK "" CP will attend their meetings on behalf of EPIC.

Youth Summit
Sponsored by Weed & Seed, 5/21/2005 at Stewart Park, 2700 12th Avenue S. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. Discover opportunities for this summer, including camp, summer youth employment, and neighborhood activities. EPIC assisted the Liga Hispana Biesball in gaining funding for participating in the Youth Summit.

Garden Documents
Some directors asked questions about the community garden in the 2400 block of 17th Avenue. EPIC’s motion to purchase the land was passed on Jan. 14, 2002 and on May 9, 2002 EPIC paid $7,300.00 for the property and startup insurance. The Green Institute holds the land in trust for EPIC and the garden is open to all gardeners in East Phillips Neighborhood. There is a garden committee which must execute an annual working agreement with the Green Institute and a director from EPIC must sit on that committee. CA agreed to be on that committee as an EPIC representative.

Robert’s Rules
Excerpts from Robert’s Rules discussing committees and informal meetings were distributed to directors. A Fact Sheet from the internet, Effective Committees, was also distributed to directors.

In boards of less than 12 members, the directors may opt to use a less formal set of procedures for recognizing speakers, and may use consensus to make decisions.

There are two types of Committees.
Standing Committees - listed in organization bylaws
Special Committees
To investigate – these committees should include a diverse range of members
To carry out – these committees should include only those members that are in favor of the motion they are assigned to carry out.

Banyon House
The response from the Banyon house to EPIC’s request for meeting space included the reason that the members of Banyon House didn’t think EPIC was a “credible” organization. Directors carried on a discussion of the complaints and/or suspicions that might be communicated from members to directors.

Policy adopted for addressing complaints, and responding to criticism regarding EPIC’s actions and/or credibility.

If a complaint or criticism regarding EPIC’s actions and/or credibility is brought to the attention of a director, there is a duty of board loyalty which applies. If the director is able to provide clarification and defend the appropriate actions of the board, s/he should do so. If the director can’t give an answer based on personal knowledge, the director will document the complaint or criticism, obtain appropriate details and bring the matter before the board. The board will respond to the general member or the public in a timely manner.

Treasurer’s Report
CA will meet with Margaret Kirkpatrick and transfer the checking account signatures. The last statement available showed a balance of around $1,000.00. An audit will be conducted to determine how these funds may be spent. EPIC will develop a procedure for paying reimbursements.

Policy adopted for signing checks.
Three signers will be designated on the checking account. All checks $100.00 and more require two signatures

Fiscal Agency
CP contacted Corcoran and Seward neighborhoods. Corcoran declined and we haven’t received a response yet from Seward. CP will write a CDGB grant for future funding of organizing activities of EPIC.

Original receipts are required for reimbursements. LL will prepare a process and documentation policy.

EPIC will close the PO Box and pay a penalty for failure to return the key. The official address for EPIC will be changed to EPIC, c/o Carol Pass, President. CP will update the address with the MN Secretary of State.

Nonprofit Status
Charlie Ravine, attorney with MAPS will assist EPIC by tracking down our previous 501(c)(3) application with the IRS. Charlie is also available to assist in reapplying for 501(c)(3) status, if necessary.

Losses and Insurance
On March 11, 2005, several EPIC members went to pick up the EPIC computer from NRP offices. By telephone Rebekah refused to provide a password to log on to the computer. David Fisher, former President of EPIC, failed to keep an appointment with NRP to return records and property removed from the EPIC office. CP is working with the State Auditor to file a claim for losses including records, equipment, services, and costs to recover data from EPIC’s computer. LL is working with a private attorney to try to recover lost records and property from David.

Closed Session - records recovered from EPIC computer.
Minutes of this report and subsequent discussion are restricted due to privacy and confidentiality requirements and will not be made available to the public.

Task Force/Survey
After review a second draft of a community survey will be presented by email to directors for final approval. The final survey will be presented at the GMM for adoption.

Board Training
Handout article: Financial Malfeasance and Nonfeasance: Ten Pitfalls Boards Should Avoid.
Handout article: Off the Shelf 1: How to Ensure that Your Strategic Plan Becomes a Valued Tool.

Agenda for GMM
EPIC status update
EPIC property update
EPIC policies
Standing committees
Housing and Economic Development (Ryan Brueske)
Garden Report

The meeting was adjourned at 12:24 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior, Secretary