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

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