Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association

Minutes from the Annual Meeting
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Aloft Hotel

900 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

I.          Call to Order and Welcome

Board Chair Carletta Sweet called the annual meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.  Other board members in attendance were Gerry Ewald; Andrew Hauer; Denise Holt, Secretary; and Scott Parkin, Vice Chair. 

Sweet welcomed the audience and thanked the Aloft Hotel for the meeting space, Caribou Coffee for donating coffee, and staff member Christie Rock for coordinating the logistics for the event.

Sweet then highlighted DMNA’s 2008 accomplishments (as guided by and developed in its NRP Phase 1 Neighborhood Action Plan):

Under Crime and Safety:

Under Downtown Development:

§  Downtown Neighborhood Associations Leaders which is comprised of leaders from North Loop, Loring Park, Elliot Park, and the DMNA

§  East Downtown Council, the business organization for Downtown East and Elliot Park.  Sweet announced that the EDC’s holiday luncheon will be this Thursday, December 11, 12 noon at the Normandy Inn Best Western on South 8th Street and encouraged all to attend and join the organization

§  Industry Square Project Committee, the CAC to CPED for the Mill District.  Although recently disbanded, its efforts will continue through the DMNA

§  Live Minneapolis Saint Paul, an initiative promoting Twin Cities living

§  Minneapolis Downtown Council

§  Minneapolis Riverfront Corporation

§  2010 Partners to which $1,000 was contributed

Under NRP Implementation: 

Sweet noted that without the civic-minded efforts of the DMNA volunteer board, the support of its neighbors within the community and the NRP, none of these activities could have been achieved.  Then she extended her personal thanks to past and present board members, downtown neighbors and the NRP.

The Mayor welcomed the many familiar as well as the many new faces in attendance.  Then he thanked and acknowledged the important role the DMNA has played in helping to turn the collection of buildings in downtown into a neighborhood, particularly over the past few years when trying to fill all the new developments with residents, many of whom have never lived in Minneapolis.  It is one of the first cities in the United States to recapture all its population lost after World War II, currently more than 30,000 people, and with the assistance of the DMNA through its various programs, downtown has turned into a true community.

The Mayor then gave a brief overview of his goals and the programs and initiatives as they relate to downtown:  a safe place to call home (SafeZone, Downtown Improvement District); create economic opportunity by bringing more retail to downtown (Neiman Marcus has extended lease by  3 years, Target now stocks groceries, on a 4-year expedition with Best Buy to attract it to downtown, growth of farmers markets on weekends); build great spaces and places (Access Minneapolis, Marquette and Second Avenues Transit Project, Washington Boulevard, Bike Share Program); and lay the groundwork for the next generation (schools, libraries, innovation).

After the Mayor entertained questions from the audience, he again thanked everyone for coming and the DMNA for inviting him to speak.  For more information about the Mayor’s goals and programs, please visit his website at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/mayor/ or send your ideas and questions directly to him at rt@minneapolis.org as well as on facebook.

Lastly the Mayor advised that they are getting through the budget and believes, despite tough economic times, they are going to be able to deliver good services:  continue spending on public safety; hopefully a major investment in restoring the infrastructure; and funding neighborhood organizations.  It won’t be easy, but the City’s in a dramatically better financial position than it was in 2003-04.

After determining that most of the audience lives and works downtown, Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman re-iterated the importance of a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented downtown as the Mayor previously discussed.  Then she acknowledged the hard work of the DMNA board members and encouraged those who wish to learn how it functions to improve the neighborhood to step up and participate.  Lisa also discussed the challenges facing the historic budget the City is about to adopt; and whether the City Council will vote to allow the downtown business community to contribute $6.5 million annually for 5 years for cleaning, greening, and safety beyond the services currently provided.  Downtown homeowners and nonprofits will not be assessed but will reap the benefits of these services.  Lisa also advised that they will be re-funneling the proceeds from the Common Project TIF District to two top priorities:  50 percent (even more if she had her way) to repay the debt on the Target Center which frees up money currently being used from the general fund to pay for police, fire and public works; and 50 percent to the new version of citizen participation (approximately $8.5 million annually over 10 years) to fund neighborhood organizations’ administration and/or priorities.  Lastly, Lisa discussed the private-public partnership her office put together called Hennepin 2012 Partners to organize property owners along Hennepin Avenue to clean up the street, and the alignments of Hennepin and First Avenues including curb side bike lanes.

Lisa announced “Later with Lisa,” a free cocktail event on December 16 at the historic Normandy Inn Best Western.  Her special guest will be State Representative Margaret Anderson Kelliher.  Post cards were left for those interested.  For more information about Lisa and Ward 7 visit her at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/ward7/

State Senators Linda Higgins (District 58) and D. Scott Dibble (District 60), and State Representative-elect Bobby Joe Champion (District 58B) briefed the audience on legislative issues and distributed the Senate District 60 Newsletter 2008 Legislative Report.  The Minnesota legislature reconvenes on January 5, 2009 and they are already back working on the massive budget deficit.  For more information about each elected official, visit their respective websites at http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_bio.php?mem_id=1017&ls=85, http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_bio.php?mem_id=1010&ls=85, and http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/members.asp?district=58B.

IV.       Future of Minneapolis Neighborhoods Update by NRP Director Bob Miller

Bob gave a historical perspective of Minneapolis neighborhood organizations from 1989 to the institution of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program and the impact the flight of the middle class, the deterioration of the housing stock, and the loss of businesses had on their development:  from loosely structured organizations with small budgets (usually less than $3,000-5,000) to more structured organizations with dedicated resources available to implement priorities developed by respective neighborhood action plans.  As a result, there was a dramatic growth in participation (over 1,000 board members serving not counting committee members and other volunteers), residents changed the way they thought about their community, neighborhoods became more stable, and organizations invested heavily to improve their communities.  However in 2001 the tax revenue changed reducing the amount of revenue the NRP would receive.  Right now 97 percent of the DMNA’s total budget comes from NRP, not unlike many other neighborhood organizations.  The Mayor has proposed and the Congress will adopt $8.5 million for neighborhoods, but last year the NRP spent $9.4 million, so it will not have the same amount of resources as it had in the past.  The question is how to keep neighborhood organizations moving forward and addressing the issues they face with dwindling resources.  The City has passed the Framework for the Future.  Hence the NRP will eventually become part of a City department; this transition will take place between now and 2011 and will focus on City priorities.

After entertaining questions from the audience, Bob advised that post 2009 funds would not have housing stock restrictions as imposed in Phase I and II allocations.


V.        Elections to DMNA Board of Directors

Sweet introduced and thanked the current board and noted that both Denise Holt and Kim Motes were not seeking re-election.  Kim assumed the position of Managing Director at Theater Latté Da in Loring Park.  Denise, who still resides in Downtown East, will continue to represent the DMNA on 2010 Partners.

Thereafter, representatives from the Minneapolis League of Women Voters (LWV) moderated the election process.  There were four 2-year terms and one 1-year term expiring and six candidates to fill the 5 seats available:  Gerry Ewald, Paula Klimek, Corey Kline, Cory Olson, George Rosenquist, and Carletta Sweet. 

The LWV also took nominations from the floors.  There was one additional candidate nominated from the floor, Michael Catch. 

After closing the nomination, the LWV gave candidates the opportunity to comment about themselves and share their interest in serving on the board.  Due to George Rosenquist’s absence, Carletta Sweet and Andy Hauer spoke on his behalf. 

The LWV distributed, collected and counted the ballots.

VI.       Downtown Development Update

While ballot counting took place, Mary deLaittre from Groundwork City Building gave a presentation on the work of 2010 Partners and distributed  a Mission and Members document as well as a June to December 2008 Review document.  She indicated that the organization is a public/private partnership established to develop and market the “new” neighborhood around the new Twins Ballpark (i.e., Target Field).   Mary discussed the design recommendations and the organization’s work plan for the future. 

For more information about the Twins Ballpark, visit www.twinsballpark.org, and for more information about Groundwork City Building, visit www.groundworkcitybuilding.com.   

VII.     Announcement of Newly Elected DMNA Board Members

The LWV announced the people elected to fill the four 2-year term seats: Gerry Ewald, Paula Klimek, Corey Kline, and Carletta Sweet.

The LWV then indicated there was a tie for the single 1-year term seat between Cory Olson and George Rosenquist.  To break the tie, LWV conducted a hand vote wherein George Rosenquist received the most votes. 

Crime Prevention Specialist Luther Krueger explained how to sign up for the eCanvas Alert and to receive notification of other crime and safety issues, e.g.:  his Coffee Office Hours at the Central Library Dunn Bros every third Thursday; the Downtown 100 Court Watch monthly meetings; and Restorative Justice.  He then introduced the other Minneapolis Police Department First Precinct representatives in attendance:  Lieutenant Matthew Clark, who covers Sector 1 located west of 3rd Avenue South; and Lieutenant Kathy Waite, who covers Sector 2 located east of 3rd Avenue South.  Luther can be reached by phone at 612-673-2923 or by email at Luther.Krueger@ci.minneapolis.mn.us and for crime maps and statistics go to www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/crime-statistics/codefor/.  

First Precinct Community Attorney Lois Conroy announced that both the Minneapolis City and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Offices have been partners for over a decade with Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA), a leader in community conferencing, and acknowledged its Executive Director Jennifer McDonald who was in attendance.  Lois also explained RJCA’s new Pre-court Diversion Program wherein they directly recruit offenders to join the program.  For more information about RJCA visit their website at http://www.rjca-inc.org/.

Then Lois presented a PowerPoint presentation on the new Downtown 100 Pilot Program which was established to reduce crime in the Downtown area by bringing all stakeholders (including Hennepin and Minneapolis Attorney’s Offices, Hennepin County Probation, Minneapolis Police Department) to the table to formulate solutions for chronic offenders.

Thereafter, Lois thanked the DMNA for providing seed money and supporting this program.  For more detailed information about this program, contact First Precinct Community Paralegal Lynn Hedblum by phone at 612-673-5423 or by email at www.lynn.hedblum@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

 

Due to time constraints no Downtown Identity report was given; however the new website was displayed and demonstrated throughout the meeting.

 

X.    Adjournment

Carletta Sweet congratulated re-elected and newly-elected board members and thanked everyone for coming to the annual meeting.  She also encouraged people to attend DMNA Land Use Committee meetings on the first Tuesday of the month, and board meetings on the second Tuesday of the month. 

For more information about the DMNA, please contact its Neighborhood Coordinator Christie Rock by phone at 320-583-4573 or via email at christie@hutchtel.net or info@thedmna.org.   

Being no further business, the annual meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2009.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                           Secretary