Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, January 14, 2003
800 LaSalle Avenue South, Suite 131

I.          Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Mark Moller called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m.  Other board members present were:  Andrew Hauer; Leslie Hirsch; Tom Hoch; Kim Motes; Gene Nessly; and Carletta Sweet.  Due to illness Dee Cotten was unable to attend.  Nonboard members in attendance included:  Debbie Evans, Linden Hills neighborhood; Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward Councilmember; June Harmon, financial consultant; Barb Lichness, NRP staff; Ellen Nigon, Skyway News journalist; and Christie Rock, DMNA coordinator.

After introductions, Mark announced the following:

 ¶   CCNP’s annual meeting on Tuesday, January 21st, 6:00 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church

 ¶   Downtown Council’s annual meeting with Mayor R.T. Rybak, on Tuesday, January 28th, 12:00-1:45 p.m. at the Minneapolis Marriott, Grand Ballroom at a cost of $35 per person or a table of 10 for $350.  The keynote speaker will be Governor Tim Pawlenty.  Kim and Gene advised that they would be attending.

Christie then distributed DMNA’s 2003 board calendar and schedule of visits by the City Councilmembers representing downtown.

Barb announced that she was contacted by a representative of the group that will be bringing to Minneapolis this summer the Great River Energy Bicycling Festival and that they would be holding a news conference on Friday, January 17th at 1:00 p.m. to announce the event.  Barb will be attending as the group was very anxious to meet the neighborhood and find a way to involve DMNA.

II.        Q&A with Councilmember Lisa Goodman


Lisa announced the following:

 ¶   The first 2003 Lunch with Lisa on Wednesday, January 22nd with Dr. Evan Mauer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and 7th Ward resident, who will discuss the Eternal Egypt exhibition, the MIA expansion, and his vision of the future of art in Minneapolis.  Since invitations were mailed, board members where encouraged to sign up if they did not receive it.

 ¶   Completion of her 2002 newsletter that will be going out within the next week or two.  Board members were encouraged to notify her office if they do not receive the newsletter since it includes a survey regarding city resources and the allocation of those resources.

 ¶   The Downtown Council’s speech before the IGR Committee that day about its top priorities for the City, i.e., downtown nuisance crimes and livability issues.  The Downtown Council is taking these issues seriously because DMNA, Loring Park, Elliott Park and the North Loop expressed their concern and willingness to work in partnership with the City on these issues.

¶    Her advocacy for the rejection by the City of the RFP issued by McCaffery for the Stimson Building project since the proposal did not list who the commercial tenant would be, the proposed use for the second level is at best speculative, and the discrepancies related to the costs involved (i.e., the $3 million spent for the relocation of previous tenants as well as the rehabilitation costs over and above the $3 million purchase price) that the City may not be able to fully recoup.

Lisa also mentioned that McCaffery will be announcing at the end of the week six new tenants (i.e., an interesting mix of retail, entertainment, nightclub and service establishments) for Block E.

III.       Neighborhood Revitalization Program

Based on the City and State’s current financial crisis, and as a result of the meeting Mayor R.T. Rybak and Council President Paul Ostrow held with neighborhood leaders on Saturday, January 11th, as well as a subsequent meeting of neighborhood leaders and residents held on Monday, January 13th, Mark submitted a motion in support of the NRP.  In response to said motion, Lisa distributed and explained her chart listing funding sources for community development activities.

Lisa advised that the only key decision the City Council will make in its meeting on Friday is whether to continue the HRA levy (an excess levy above and beyond those levied for property taxes which was enacted for the first time last year) that raised $4 million for 2003, of which $2 million was dedicated to affordable housing and $2 million to economic development and job creation as recommended by the McKinsey study adopted last year.  Since the City has a $55 million budget deficit over the next 5 years, approximately $12 million will need to be cut annually for each of the 5 years from the $260 million general fund budget.  Furthermore, since the general fund budget only pays for police, fire and public works, there is no way these services could be held harmless if the legislature is correct in requiring a $45 million cut to local government aid.  Therefore the current proposal reduces the HRA levy by $2 million in 2004, and eliminates it altogether in 2005 and recommends moving the $4 million to either the general fund side of the ledger or to the community development side of the ledger.  The outcome of Friday’s meeting will set in motion on how to distribute the approximately $33 million.

Lisa also explained that bonds were issued to pay for NRP for Phase 1 and any neighborhood that hasn’t spent its money can still do so since those funds are available.  However, Phase 2 was paid for through tax increment funds generated for the downtown district.  Since the legislature made changes to the tax increment law, only two-thirds of the tax increment funds are available and those are being entirely eaten up to pay off the bonds for Phase 1.  Lisa also stated that they’re desperately looking for ways to continue the functions of NRP.  The City is willing to put up money out of its general fund or levy or community development to fund NRP and the thanks they’re getting is that it’s not enough.  The bottom line is that the vast majority of Lisa’s constituents believe community development is important and should have a citywide approach.  The CPED structure proposed by McKinsey would encourage neighborhood involvement and create a whole department of former NRP, MCDA and planning department staff who would function like a community council.

After further explanation from Lisa regarding the financial realities of the City, the motion in support of the NRP was opposed 6 to 1 with Mark abstaining.

Debbie Evans from the Linden Hills neighborhood spoke about her support for the continuation of NRP and distributed a neighborhood resolution as background and postcards addressed to Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Councilmembers for board members to fill in if they so desired.

IV.       Minutes from November and December 2002

The consideration of minutes from November and December 2002 was postponed to the next regularly scheduled meeting on February 11, 2003.

V.        Financial Report from December 2002

June submitted the Budget vs. Actual as of December 2002, and the Wells Fargo check register from December 1-31, 2002.  Barb then explained how the board owed $7,956.24 to the NRP for an old Citizen Participation contract that was not fully spent.  After discussing options for resolving the matter, Mark moved and Carletta seconded to debit the 2003 administration budget by $7,956.24 to close the old Citizen Participation contract.  Tom amended the motion to include that adequate documentation will be provided.  The motion as amended passed by majority vote with Andy abstaining.

Barb distributed for the benefit of the new board members the NRP Primer, the 1990-2000 Progress Report, and the 2000 Progress Report.

VI.       Land Use Committee Report

Andy explained that the LUC met on Tuesday, January 7th and supported the updated concept as presented for the proposed MacPhail Center.  Mark moved and Carletta seconded to support the updated concept and design.  The motion was carried by majority vote with Gene abstaining.

Christie then distributed the response she received from Daniel McCaffery regarding his Stimson Building proposal.  It was agreed that although the City Council would be voting on the proposal, DMNA should still invite him to present and answer questions at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

VII.     Election of Board Officers

After nominations were submitted and votes counted, the following were elected as board officers for 1-year terms:

Tom Hoch, Chair

Kim Motes, Vice Chair

Gene Nessly, Treasurer

Carletta Sweet, Secretary

June then requested approval to submit the requisite Wells Fargo’s banking account authorization forms.  Andy moved and Carletta seconded to approve.  The motion was carried unanimously.

VIII.    DMNA Committees

The board discussed Mark’s email dated January 13th regarding DMNA Committee Structure in 2003.  As a result, it was agreed to retain the Land Use Committee, Andy to serve as its chair, and to meet for the time being on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.  Membership is open to all.

With respect to priorities for 2003, Tom suggested conducting one-on-one conversations with each board member to ascertain their perspective and interests.

IX.       Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2003.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary