Saturday, June 4, 2005

EPIC Board Meeting - June 2005

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


Mary Gonsior (MG), Hannah Lieder (HL), Linda Leonard (LL), Carol Pass (CP), Albin Dittli (AD), Rosie Cruz (RC)

Directors Present for a part of the meeting: Rosie Cruz (son’s graduation; attended executive session of the meeting.)

Directors not Present: Andy Engebretson (out of town), Cynthia Aguirre (family matter), and Earl (job interview)

Observers: None

Meeting was called to order at 9:13 by CP. Agenda was distributed. MG was designated as recording secretary. Quorum was established (5 directors present.)

CP read EPIC’s Mission Statement at the outset of the board meeting.

MG announced that her daughter, Amber, gave birth to a healthy baby girl on May 27th; Chlöe Lynn Keller.
EPIC was instrumental in accessing the following grants for the Hispanic Baseball League: Weed & Seed, $3,150.00; MN Twins grant for youth, $1,000.00.
EPIC was instrumental in accessing the following grants for the Phillips Cedar Corridor: Weed & Seed, approx. $1,500.00; Ryan Brueske, is looking into the purchase of a surveillance camera.

EBM Meeting place
RC has offered her garage for a meeting place for EPIC board meetings in July and August. The Hispanic Baseball League currently holds their meetings there and there is sufficient space and equipment. The board accepted this offer. A discussion regarding opening the board meeting to the public and the costs associated with publishing minutes, motions and meeting dates and locations in local papers resulted in the following action item: AD will investigate the cost and feasibility of publishing EPIC motions in Southside Pride and/or The Alley.

The minutes from the last Board Meeting (5/7/2005) were read and approved. Updates were reported on the following action items from the May Board meeting.

Treasurer’s report
CA has obtained the financial records and checkbook for EPIC from Margaret Kirkpatrick. LL will work with CA to ensure that the paperwork required to update the signatures for the checking account are obtained by Thursday’s GMM. LL will inquire whether Margaret Kirkpatrick’s signature is required to update the signatures on the checking account.

Policy adopted for signing checks.
Three signers will be designated on the checking account. All checks $100.00 and more require two signatures. AD asked how the bank would know that two signatures were required on certain checks. LL and CA will investigate and report back.

Fiscal Agent
In May, CP contacted Seward neighborhood. We haven’t received a response yet from Seward. In May, CP contacted Mount Olive Church. Mount Olive Church declined EPIC’s request to serve as fiscal agent.

CDBG grant for future funding of organizing activities of EPIC
(No report. From May EBM: CP will write a CDBG grant for future funding of organizing activities of EPIC.)

The annual fee for the PO Box was paid by Brad Pass and mail continues to go to the PO Box. CP has been picking up the mail, but will cancel the PO Box and request a refund. 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 Application
CP and AD are working on transferring our previous 501(c)(3) application data to the new IRS application format. The board will meet for one hour on June 18th to determine whether it is feasible to complete our reapplication ourselves. If not feasible, Charlie Ravine, attorney with MAPS will assist EPIC for a fee of $350.00.

Losses and Insurance
In May, CP reported that EPIC 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 was working with a private attorney to try to recover lost records and property. Minneapolis police assisted EPIC in recovering records from David Fisher, however, records from 2004 have not been found. Additional updates were reported during executive session, later in the meeting.

In May, AE and AD reported being 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.

In June, AD reported that he had responded to the resident regarding the Robert Thompson matter. The resident was very appreciative of his response.


NRP’s Relationship to EPIC
We know that individuals are communicating directly with NRP regarding EPIC activities. The previous EPIC board mistakenly communicated to the community that NRP is the “administrator” for EPIC and NRP has reinforced this mistaken notion through their past actions and statements.
This misunderstanding regarding EPIC’s relationship with NRP has trickled down into the thinking of other neighborhood organizations including PPNA.

While members are free to initiate inquiries and make suggestions regarding EPIC activities and actions, NRP (or other organizations) should initiate communication with EPIC when receiving these inquiries. In addition, NRP has a duty to direct EPIC community members to the EPIC organization for the purpose of addressing their concerns and suggestions.

CP proposed that EPIC board send a letter to NRP and other organizations who have received inquiries from EPIC community members. This letter would call attention to NRP’s professional responsibility to allow EPIC to conduct its own business and operations, and direct NRP to respond to the public regarding NRP policies, procedures and business only. The letter would direct NRP to communicate with EPIC about these inquiries, and direct the public to EPIC for a response. NRP should not respond to the public regarding EPIC policies, procedures and business.

MG proposed an additional general letter, introducing EPIC board members. The letter would address the same issues. This letter would be sent to organizations with which EPIC desires a partnership or working relationship.

CP and MG will each draft a letter and present to board members by email.

Greenway Land Use Overlay Plan
HL proposed that EPIC ask Margaret Kirkpatrick to represent EPIC on this committee. They hold one meeting per month.

Board Training
CP requested that Directors read again the articles that were distributed at the May EBM.
Financial Malfeasance and Nonfeasance: Ten Pitfalls Boards Should Avoid.
Off the Shelf 1: How to Ensure that Your Strategic Plan Becomes a Valued Tool.

Executive Session – December resignation letter from former Board Directors
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
CP will speak with Corcoran neighborhood and find out which office provides training for survey protocols. LL proposed that EPIC conduct a test survey to evaluate the efficacy of the survey. The survey still needs to be translated into Spanish and Somali.

Franklin Station Town homes
MG will contact David Berg, President of the Association and invite residents to send a resident to EPIC meetings. MG will ask for a copy of their meeting minutes that discuss residents request to the City of Minneapolis to remove parking restrictions on 24th Street.

Commodore Bar
EPIC residents, Midtown residents and Minneapolis police are concerned about safety issues related to the burned-out Commodore Bar. EPIC will write a letter to Dean Zimmerman and Gary Schiff asking for immediate action in taking down the building. A copy of the letter will be sent to Inspections, 3rd Precinct, Midtown Phillips Neighborhood, and the owner.

Crime and Safety
Court Watch, Weed & Seed, and Tech Team have all reported problems with properties on the 2400 block of 16th Avenue. In addition, police are trying to address problems related to the bushes surrounding 2447 16th Avenue.

Condominiums on Bloomington Avenue
Efforts to acquire one last property on the east side of the 2900 block of Bloomington Avenue are not going well. The developer has requested a letter of support from EPIC for public condemnation of the property.

Townhouses on Bloomington Avenue
Sherman Associates is scheduled to start soon on the additional townhouses being built on the east side of the 2800 block of Bloomington Avenue.

Condominiums on Cedar
Private developers plan to break ground on 20 condos at 29th and Cedar Avenue. The development includes underground parking, balconies on the greenway and units are already selling.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior, Secretary
June 4, 2005
2526 18th Avenue S, Apt. #5

No comments: