Minutes - 2/2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:25 PM


Historic Streetcar Station

1224 North Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, MN 55103

Tuesday February 16, 2010

7:00 PM




Directors present:  Scott Baker, Chris Bedford Pete Bolstad, Barbara Clark, Barbara Frick, Chris Harkness, Leah Johnson, Jon Knox, Karl Koch, Mike MacDonald, Chris Martineau, Marcy Micek, Marsha Milgrom, Dolores Rufenacht


Directors excused: Matt Schmitt


Staff/interns present: Rhonda DeBough Insook, District 10 Community Organizer, Nick Smith, Goodwill/Easter Seals Intern


I. Call to Order 7:00


II. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda


Johnson asked if item IVF should be open or closed, given staffing information may be confidential.  Board agreed by consensus that typically hiring, firing should be closed to non-board; otherwise it remains open.


Agenda approved with motion by Knox, seconded by Koch.




A. Board Chair Report


Johnson reported two workplans were drafted.  Board will look them over.


B. Treasurer’s Report: January Financial Statement Review


Statements were reviewed and accepted with Koch motion, seconded by Knox.


C. Election for Open Board Seat: Sub-District 3


DeBough reported no bios were received to fill the Subdistrict 3 vacancy by Barb Frick.  Nominations were taken from the floor:  Ken Kunkle nominated Barbara Frick.  Frick had resigned but was asked to return.  She had served as the Lexington-Larpenteur Ad Hoc co-chair and was asked to reconsider.  Frick was elected by Subdistrict 3 members by acclamation. 


D. Appoint new Chair of Lexington/Larpenteur Ad Hoc Committee


Barb Frick was elected to serve in the spot she had vacated, with Martineau move, seconded by Clark.


E. Update from CRPTIP Ad-Hoc Committee


Bolstad reported the Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan (CRIPTIP) Ad-Hoc committee elected Dennis O’Rourke as District 10 representative, with Sally Worku as alternate.  Two meetings have occurred, and the first meeting of the full CRPTIP has occurred.  Meetings will continue of the “PAC” – the constituent group determined by Kimley Horn consultants – for the next six months, first Monday of each month 3:30 to 5:30 at Como Park Visitor Center.


O’Rourke gave a brief on the initial meeting. A total of six employees, two district and two ward members, along with a State Fair and private (Comotown) representative. Ten objectives were prioritized, which were pre-identified, and an 11th added.  O’Rourke asked that District 10 members provide their independent prioritizations, distributing and collecting the same form used by the PAC. 


Bolstad would like to see additional avenues to solicit District 10 residents’ input, such as block clubs, recreation centers and its Environment committee.  A page specific to the CPRTIP Ad-Hoc Committee has been posted on the Web. Koch mentioned this may be the most important initiative of District 10 this year.


F. Update about District 6 Residents’ Concerns and Collaboration with District 6


Harkness gave an update on the residents of Lexington Ave area interested in joining District 10.  Como Monitor wrote a story about the request.  District 6 board and Land Use chairs sent a letter to residents with a copy to District 10’s board, unanimously denying the request.  However, the District6 community organizer is interested in working on multiple interests beyond this request.


Community member and immediate past District 10 chair David Arbeit spoke about the history of the issue.  Historically, community council funding had been based on population.  Arbeit had spoken to City officials in the past.  Both councils would have to agree on any change. Ramsey County Commissioner Janice Rettman also spoke about the establishment of district councils, whose purpose was to create community interest beyond specific issues or neighborhoods. Community member and previous board member Ken Kunkle spoke of the need to reach across boundaries to share common interest around safety.


Panod Klongtruatroke read a statement.  Concerns are:  1) transparency.  2) parliamentary procedures/majority vote; and  3) structure/oversight.  Board member Clark requested a copy of the letter.




A. Review, Amend, Approve January Minutes


No changes were made to the full board minutes as submitted.


B. Committee Updates


Land Use:  Chair Chris Harkness asked for clarification:  previous Land Use minutes reflect a request to establish an ad-hoc committee to update Midway Small Area Plan.  Is an action item needed?  The board agree it was.


Safety:  Co-Chair Karl Koch clarified that a $2,500 not $3,500 COPP grant was likely.  Also the subdistricts were mistakenly mixed:  Sub 1 is 3 and Sub 3 is 1.


The Environment Committee announces a neighborhood clean up will occur the first part of April as well as the Como Lake cleanup.


Fund Development Committee Chair Chris Bedford reported that a request was made to be fiscal sponsor for a poetry workshop, as noted in minutes.   The total amount is something less than $1,000.  Timeline is May 2011. Fiscal sponsorship is different than fiscal agency. A contract would be developed based on deliverables.


Questions include how much oversight is needed.  In the past, the issues have risen; major points are:  legal liability and administrative responsibility.  City grant funds may not be used for not non City recognized grant activities.  Errors and omissions insurance must be checked.  Other organizations may be better suited (Springboard, etc.)  A policy would be needed, as precedent is established.  Bedford will forward to the board information about fiscal sponsorship.


Secondly, a consulting group handles pro-bono strategic planning.  Deadline is the end of the month.  The question was how extensive a strategic planning effort the district would like.  Board agreed to give Bedford approval to draft several scenarios in terms of time commitment.  Board will vote by email.


Neighbor Relations Chair Chris Martineau announced the next committee will be about noise in the neighborhood close to Comotown and possible sound barrier.  First step is a brainstorming from neighbors in the area.   Then other resources will be tapped.  Ultimately Martineau would like a consensus by District 10.  Other items were possible partnering with Northwest Como Recreation Center on a new playground.  Additionally Ward 4 Councilmember Stark is interested in establishing a permanent advisory group to Como Park.


C. 2010 Budget Review


Micek asked about 1) printing broken down by newsletter; 2) budgeting for raises and benefits; 3) core versus extra expenses; misc. is a bad label – if it is interest income, specify.


Johnson suggested staff conduct cash flow duties rather than Treasurer.  Clarification that the accountant writes checks which requires two signatures.  Equipment purchases include a laptop and new phones. Harkness proposed the need for a projector.


Fundraising goal is close to $2,500 for each of eight committees.  The question is whether to bifurcate the two primary funding streams:  City (fixed) and discretionary items.  A more detailed format will be created.  Previous format change took place in summer 2009. In general the City frowns upon partially funded activities.   Board agreed by consensus to table the budget until next meeting, agreeing one budget is needed.


E. Staff Report


DeBough reflected on the past year, including utilizing five interns and producing a welcome brochure.  Seven events were organized, including four new ones.  A first annual art crawl will take place July 24th; also a Streetcar event will take place March 21.  Committees had a lot of activity and gained community participation.


A new intern, Nick, has been working with the CHEEP program mainly.


F. Discussion on Staffing Structure


Johnson explained the staffing situation when the new board was established in October, offering a situational analysis, key questions, observations, challenges and recommended changes. The bookkeeping function is critical.  It is currently five hours a week.  Staff is still in the process of putting together schedules with the accountant.  


Suggestion was made to have process discussion at the next Executive Committee meeting.   Board members in general would like more transparency and multiple perspectives.   Job descriptions are in the board packet.  The question is what is needed.  Some would like an externally facilitated, goal oriented conversation.


V. Action Items


A. Approval of 2010 Budget  


Discussion over budget presentation:  fundraising stretch goal versus traditional budget.  Approval of 2010 budget tabled by consensus.  


VI. Adjourn 9:38


Meeting adjourned: motion by Milgrom, seconded by Knox.


District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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