Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from April 9, 2002 Board of Directors Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, April 9, 2002 at DMNA’s office located at 800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 131, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.       Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Mark Moller called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.   Other board members in attendance included:  Larry Calhoun; Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Tom Hoch, Vice Chair; Gerry Spry, Treasurer; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary.  Others in attendance included:  June Harmon, financial consultantg; Rick Johnson, Project Coordinator, Downtown Library Project; Natalie Johnson Lee, 5th Ward Councilmember; CPS Luther Kruger, Downtown Command; Ellen Nigon, Skyway News; Mike Rollin, Community Organization, CCNP Restorative Justice Program. Shawn, Greater Twin Cities United Way.

The Chair announced the following:

      Will Murden had indeed moved to Florida, and as a result of the vacancy, asked Ellen Nigon to place an ad in the Skyway News announcing the position.

      The downtown Councilmembers have worked out a rotational schedule for the remainder of the year to attend DMNA board meetings.

      On April 11 there will be a redistricting meeting at Minneapolis City Hall, Room 317 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

II.        New Central Library Project Update

Rick displayed the proposed floor plans and advised that it has been resolved that the new library will be built on the current library site.  They are half way through the first schematic design phase and are looking to have an unveiling of the final design in late August/early September of this year. In order to begin construction on the current site, part of the collection will be moved into the old Federal Reserve building (i.e., Marquette Plaza) and will function as a library, and the remainder of the collection will be sent to other outlying locations. 

The first floor will have two major entrances, one off of Nicollet and the other off of Hennepin Avenue; a 5-level atrium; contain high traffic departments (i.e., children’s department, popular fiction, circulation, video cassettes); areas opened beyond normal library operating hours (i.e., a café/coffee shop, bookstore/gift shop, enclosed transit station with some retail); a loading dock; and an entrance to two levels of below-grade parking. 

The second floor will have skyway connections onto Nicollet Mall, to the north and eventually to the south (depending on the costs associated with each); the business section; and a much more modern, multipurpose auditorium space overlooking Nicollet Mall that also would be available beyond normal library operating hours.

The proposed planetarium would be on located on the second, third and fourth floors with a rooftop observatory, however the funding is up in the air.  The art and music sections would be located on the third floor; history and social sciences on the fourth floor; and administration, galleries, special collections on the fifth floor.

III. Q&A with Councilmember Natalie Johnson Lee

Addressing the recent redistricting issue, Natalie expressed that downtown belongs to the whole city and by creating “one downtown ward” you turn it into a “silk stocking” district wherein one councilmember is given a tremendous amount of power and an attitude of exclusivity is created as opposed to developing a connection with the individual groups and organizations in the immediate surrounding areas.  Andy then moved and Dee seconded that DMNA approve a resolution favoring multi-councilmember representation of the downtown area.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Addressing the issue of whether there is a conflict of interest for being a board member of CCHT and a board member of DMNA voting on NRP funds to be allocated to CCHT housing projects, Natalie advised she would forward the matter to the city attorney to resolve.

Addressing the issue of public urination and urinals, Natalie advised that she just received a report on the topic and was becoming more familiar with the matter.  She also advised that DMNA should tie it to a public health issue because there may be ways to bring in funds as part of a public health awareness campaign.

Addressing the purpose/point of neighborhood involvement and review on development projects, Natalie advised that community input is valuable and encouraged neighborhood organizations to be proactive and to weigh-in on developments projects.  She suggested that to have more impact on city council decisions going forward it is imperative to develop a relationship with all councilmembers in order to become familiar with their voting patterns/political agenda.  She also suggested that any correspondence to a specific councilmember gets copied to all councilmembers to ensure the entire council is aware of a specific issue.

IV.       Committee Reports

1.  Staffing.  Gerry advised that she still plans to draft a memo to city officials requesting their suggestions on obtaining a staff member with city/NRP experience.  Barbara Lichness however has the job description and is expected to post it in the NRP Link.  

2.  Finance.  Gerry updated the board on its financial situation (see Attachments 1a to 1f).  Action on this report was postponed to the next regularly scheduled board meeting.  Gerry also advised that the 2000 audit is done and that copies were mailed to all board members.  The 2001 audit is beginning and that she will be collecting the necessary information required.

a.   Suite cleaning.  Gerry moved and Andy seconded to contract bi-monthly suite cleaning at $65.25 per cleaning (see Attachment 1g).  The motion was carried unanimously.

b.   Phone costs.  Gerry advised that all outstanding costs related to DMNA’s office phone have been resolved.

c.   Insurance.  Gerry advised that to qualify for funding from NRP, DMNA must carry four types of insurance (see Attachment 1h).

3.  Governance.  Tom asked those who had not sent in their corrections/additions to the proposed changes to the By-Laws to do so at their earliest convenience.

4.  Land Use.  No LUC meeting was held and therefore no report was given.

5.  Public Relations.  Postponed to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

V.        Old Business

1.  CCNP Restorative Justice Program.  Mike Rollin came to familiarize the new board members with the background of the program and passed out the pertinent materials.  He advised that the program has been handling cases for close to 5 years and that at the end of April 2002 would have handled their 300th case.  Within the past year representatives from Stevens Square, Loring Park, Elliot Park and Whittier have been meeting to talk about crime and safety concerns of the neighborhood and to revisit the recommendations of the 1995 roundtable held with community members, law enforcement, city and county attorneys to ascertain what has been implemented thus far and what improvements still need to be made.  Mike advised that this is an opportunity for DMNA to become involved and encouraged those interested in doing so.

2.  Crime and Safety.  Luther Krueger updated the board on the current crime situation in downtown.  He also advised that despite recent budget cuts they will be able to have the “chief’s beat” in the Warehouse District again this summer.  This program was started in 1996/97 calling for additional investigators to walk beats in the “hot spots” throughout the city during the summer months.  Due to the major activity that occurred in the Warehouse District in 1996, necessitating calling in response cars from other precincts, it was decided that the one place in town where this program would have a measurable affect is in the Warehouse District.  Given the favorable response to the program in 2000-2001, the chief agreed to institute it again this summer. 

3.  Board minutes.  Action on the August 2001 to March 2002 was postponed to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

VI.       New Business

The Chair briefly met with the Downtown Council and asked for an update on the kiosk project.  Todd Klingle advised him that although they have a new design and are ready to put one in City Centre that Public Works has not been cooperative and if they continue to be uncooperative they would probably give up on the project within the next couple months.

Dee announced that she has been appointed to the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee to the Mayor.

VII.     Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Signed and approved by

_________________________                                                          _________________________
Chair                                                                                        Secretary

Attachment 1a

Attachment 1b

Attachment 1c

Attachment 1d

Attachment 1e

Attachment 1f

Attachment 1g

Attachment 1h