District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting
Historic Street Car Station
1224 Lexington Parkway N, Saint Paul, MN 55108
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
II. Board Introductions
Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Tom Eyre, Jackie Gulbranson, Curtis Stock, Tedd James, and Pete Bolstad
Absent: Mary Michalski, Dana Saeger and Debra Pursley
Staff Present: Ted Blank
III. Review, Amend, Appoval of Agenda:
Motion: Approve the agenda with the addition of potential nominations for the three open board positions from the floor (Moon-Stock) Passed.
IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:
A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox reported that in June, Rhett McSweeney will come to a D10 Council meeting to give an update on the status of the remodeling of the Traditions site (former Sholom Home).
B. Treasurer's Report: Tom Eyre reported that revenues and expenses were at 24% and 23% respectively for the year. We were awarded the Ward 4 COPP grant of $2,500. Our cash balance is strong, with 7 months of cash on hand.
C. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: None. No community members, who were interested in running for the open board seats, were present.
V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:
A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:
Motion: Approve minutes of the April 16, 2013, meeting with the correction of two spelling errors on “acclamation” and “Saeger” (Moon-Stock) Passed
Motion: Approve tonight’s financial statement (Harkness-Gulbranson) Passed.
B. Staff Report: Ted Blank reported that there has been a spike in garage break-ins, including in the Como neighborhood. Ted had lunch with Councilmembers Stark and Brendmoen. Ted is going to a NeighborhoodsUSA conference later this week. There were 52 paying participants in the neighborhood garage sale last weekend. Ted is not planning to survey the participants this year, because we did so last year. Ted is still working on getting a community garden for this year. It looks like the Almond-Snelling site will be available after all.
C. Items for Approval:
a. Agreement with Theo Woehrle/District Plan ad hoc Committee:
Motion: Approve the offer of $15/hour, up to $2500 total, for the continued professional services of Theo Woehrle for support to the District 10 Land Use Plan ad hoc Committee in the development of the revised District Land Use Plan. (Hinderscheit-Moon) Passed.
b. Employee Handbook Revisions: Linda Hinderscheit has finished revisions to the employee handbook, originally adopted by D10 in 2010. Revisions were made to sections IX (Conditions of Employment), X (Compensation and Benefits), and XIV (Grievance Procedure). The Executive Committee has reviewed and approved the revisions. The revised handbook was submitted for full board review before tonight's meeting.
Motion: Approved the revisions to the Employee Handbook. (Moon-Eyre) Passed.
c. Renewal of Directors and Officers Nonprofit Liability Insurance: Tom Eyre
Motion: Approve the automatic renewal and payment of a premium of $803 for the director and officer non-profit management liability insurance with Carolina Casuality Insurance Company. (Harkness-Bolstad) Passed.
D. Committee Updates:
a. Land Use: Kim Moon
i. Como Elementary School Electronic Sign Variance Letter of Non-support: The school district had requested a similar variance for a dynamic sign, larger than allowed by zoning provisions, in 2010. District 10 opposed the variance at that time as well. The sign does not fit into a residential area, especially one so near a major regional park. Some neighbors have sent letters of protest.
Motion: Approve the letter of non-support for the requested variance for an electronic, dynamic sign at Como Elementary to be sent to the Board of Zoning Appeals. (Moon-James) Approved.
ii. Hmong Sports Festival Letter of Support: The Lao Family has requested a sound variance for the 2013 Sports Festival. The variance is the same as that requested last year. No opposition was expressed at the May 7th community meeting. The Lao Family wants to be more inclusive and invites the neighbors to attend. Tedd James brought up the fact that many attendees get parking tickets in the restricted parking area west of Como Park. Ted Blank will contact the Lao Family to ask them to inform their attendees of the restricted parking area.
Motion: Approve the letter of support for a sound variance requested for the Hmong Sports Festival. (Moon-Stock). Passed
iii. German Immersion School Alley Vacation Letter of Support: The former St. Andrews site is being renovated for a German immersion charter school. The new construction requires the alley to be vacated. The plan was presented at the last Land Use Committee meeting.
Motion: Approve the letter of support for the vacation of the alley for the renovation of the former St. Andrew's school into a German immersion charter school (Moon-Gulbranson). Passed.
b. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness reported that there was a very productive community meeting on transportation last week. Many spots with problematic parking or traffic were identified.
c. Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Jackie Gulbranson reported that there were a couple new community members at the last meeting. The committee is discussing ways to engage the block club leaders to a greater degree.
d. Environment Committee: Curt Stock has resigned as chair. Dana Saeger will be the new chair. Possible topics for the Sunday Series were discussed. The committee is drafting a letter and requests that it be taken to the next CRPAC meeting. The letter requests that the city not grant special permits for vehicles at events to park on the grass in Como Park. Discussion followed. It was decided that Pete Bolstad will ask Kathy Korum and Mike Hamm to explain the reasons for granting exceptions to the city's policy of not parking on the grass. If there are not clear criteria, we may ask for clarification.
e. Executive Committee: Jon Knox reported that a letter of support had been approved by the Executive Committee and sent to the City Council. The letter is in support of Senior Investors, LLC, for its application for city funds for asbestos remediation and the updating of mechanical and electrical systems at the former Sholom Home site.
Motion: Affirm the letter of support that has been sent to the City Council in support of funding for Sholom Home/Traditions re-development. (Moon-Bolstad) Passed
f. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee (CRPAC): Pete Bolstad
reported that there was no meeting in May. The next meeting is scheduled for June 11th.
g. Boundary Change ad hoc Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that the committee co-chairs are searching for additional members. A description of the committee and its guiding principles were distributed. The committee has met 3 times and plans to meet every other week. The committee is looking to recruit community members for work they plan to begin in August. Information has been to District 6 to recruit applicants from the South Como area. Co-chair David Arbeit was present to participate in the discussion. Maps of some possible sub-districts were distributed for discussion. We currently have the smallest board of all district councils with the exception of one. We have the largest number of at-large members (nine, which includes the four officers). One of the guiding principles, which was suggested by the committee, is to have roughly the same number of residents in the sub-districts represented by board members (equal representation). The committee feels it is important to have two representatives from each sub-district. One seat is often empty, and it's important to have at least one representative from each sub-district on the board at any given time. Residents of a sub-district should represent that sub-district. Other board positions would be reserved for business owners or institutional representatives from anywhere in District 10. Other at-large positions would be limited to the officers. The advantages of having additional at-large members were discussed and supported by various board members. Pete asked people to contact him or David with questions or comments. Janice Rettman pointed out that phone communication with the residents of South Como will continue to be important, as many residents of that area do not have computers.
Motion: Approve the open and public recruitment of committee members to the Boundary Change ad hoc Committee. (Bolstad-Moon) Passed.
Ted Blank is drafting a COPP request for funding to Ward 5. The amount requested is $10,500 to cover staff time and communication costs.
Motion: Approve moving forward with the COPP grant application to Ward 5. (Harkness-Bolstad) Passed.
VI. Adjourn: Motion to adjourn was made at 8:45 p.m. (Moon-Stock) Passed.
Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary
These minutes were approved on 6/18/2013.