Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, July 13, 2004
800 LaSalle Avenue South, Suite 131, Minneapolis

I.          Call to Order

Tom Hoch called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Other board members in attendance were David Abele, Dee Cotten, Andrew Hauer, Gene Nessly, and Carletta Sweet.  Board members Kim Motes and Jodi Pfarr were unavailable.  Nonboard members in attendance included Emily Buehler and Jenny Buller, CCNP Restorative Justice; Lois Conroy, Minneapolis City Attorneys Office; Lisa Goodman, 5th Ward Councilmember; June Harmon, financial consultant; Sue Jahn, North Loop resident; Luther Kruger, 1st Precinct CPS; Christie Rock, DMNA Coordinator; Karen Swenson, Ground Works Minneapolis/Minneapolis Environmental Management; Lark Weller, Humphrey School of Public Affairs intern.

II.        Update from Councilmember Lisa Goodman

Lisa updated the board on the following activities:

·        “10 Greatest Days of Summer,” Minneapolis’ 65th annual aquatennial, from July 16-25, 2004.  Star Tribune advertising circulars listing daily activities and sponsors and “skipper pins” attached to over $250 value booklets were distributed.  Lisa advised how the Downtown Council took over this citywide festival when it went bankrupt and encouraged DMNA to reach out to the Downtown Council as a friend and partner on this event going forward.  Lisa clarified that for a variety of reasons the downtown block party will be held for only one night on Friday, July 16th and was moved from along Hennepin Avenue South to Washington Avenue South between Third and Hennepin Avenues South.  The Torchlight Parade along Hennepin Avenue will be held on Wednesday, July 21st, and the big “ooh aah” fireworks display will be held on Saturday, July 24th around the Boon Island area.

·        Resumption of Lunch with Lisa on Wednesday, July 28th, 12:00 noon at Tiburòn Caribbean Bistro, 1201 Harmon Place in the Loring Park neighborhood.  Guest speaker will be State Representative Margaret Anderson Kelliher who will give a briefing on this past legislative session.

·        Circumstances leading up to the termination of the Hey City lease and the entering into a short-term management and operating agreement with the Historic Theatre Group for the property at 824 Hennepin Avenue (temporarily named the Hennepin Stages).  A copy of the July 13th Request for City Council Committee Action was distributed for reference.

In response to inquiries, Lisa also updated the board on the status of the RFP for the Hotel Nicollet site, the acquisition of the Dolphin building for redevelopment into housing units, the acquisition of a Land Rover dealership by Downtown Jaguar and site improvements related thereto, and the unlikelihood of adult entertainment going into the Nikki site due to zoning ordinances.

III.       Consideration of June 2004 Minutes

The Chair raised the need to clarify and reconcile the intent of the board as stated in the Restorative Justice Program Update in the June 8th board minutes (under Section VII, Old Business) and the revised Scope of Services by and between DMNA and SSCO emailed to the board by Christie on July 7, 2004.  As a result the Chair will work more diligently with Christie and Gina of CCNP to bring a clearer understanding of appropriate next steps to the board for consideration.       

Thereafter the minutes from the June 8, 2004 board meeting were unanimously approved.

IV.       Consideration of June 2004 Financial Reports

June Harmon distributed and Gene Nessly explained the F2004 Budget vs. Actual as of June 2004; the Profit & Loss YTD Comparison statement for June 2004; and the Wells Fargo check register for June 1-30, 2004.  These financial documents were unanimously received and filed.     

V.        Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Grant/
            Star Tribune Demo Site Update

Karen Swenson updated the board on the storm water runoff demonstration project proposed for the Star Tribune’s parking lot bounded by 5th and Portland Avenues South and 3rd and 4th Streets South in the Downtown East neighborhood (for reference see attachment to Christie Rock’s June 8th email entitled Star Tribune Parking Lot Redesign).  Lark Weller, who has been conducting research for this project, distributed and summarized her July 13th report and the Metropolitan Design Center’s site options.  Karen also distributed and explained a draft of the Stewardship Fund Application Amendment that will need final approval from MWMO in order to proceed.  The board unanimously approved the draft amendment to the application.

VI.       National Night Out Update

Sue Jahn distributed a flyer and briefed the board on the upcoming National Night Out celebration on Tuesday, August 3, 2004 in front of the Federal Reserve Bank on West River Parkway.   Food will be served, music will be played, and prizes will be awarded.  The board unanimously approved to donate $500 of its Citizen Participation Funds for this event (check to be made payable to National Night Out and mailed to Al Smith) and requested timely submission of receipts related thereto.

VII.     First Precinct Update

The Chair relayed his frustrations regarding the chronic loitering problems (and the resulting intimidation to pedestrians) he has observed on Hennepin Avenue in front of the Metro State building and the actions he has taken to rectify it.  Luther Kruger concurred that this corner has been in the top 10 problem call areas since he joined the MPD in 1995 and that it continues to frustrate the MPD as well despite its 24/7 police coverage.  Actions suggested for DMNA to pursue to help resolve the problem included seeking removal of the US Bench via its contract with the City, and removal of the bus stop via Metro Transit to eliminate the legitimate right to loiter; calling 911; and instituting/maintaining dialogue with all relevant stakeholders (i.e., City Council, Metro Transit and Minneapolis Police Departments, property owners). 

Lois Conroy echoed the importance of calling 911 as a powerful tool for community members to use to resolve the loitering problem since resources are delegated by a 911 dispatch (“the squeaky wheel gets the grease”).  And, as a means to addressing another “hot” livability crime, Lois advised that she had conducted a seminar on July 1st for downtown businesspeople regarding trespassing.  She will be conducting these hour and a half livability crime seminars every first Thursday of the month. 

Lacking endorsement from the bench in assigning resources to a proposed nuisance night court program, Lois explained that the City Attorneys Office and the MPD devised an administrative hearing process of their own to address livability crimes that are currently ordinances by attempting to transform these ordinances into civil violations wherein citations could be handed out.  Her office will be gathering data at the end of July (third quarter stats) to analyze the program’s feasibility.  They are also working closely with the Restorative Justice Program to determine ways to gain cooperation from the bench in resolving these violations.

Lois advised that her office developed a 5-year prosecution plan wherein they will migrate to a paper-less prosecution system to improve case management, and create a community members website (to be implemented hopefully by the end of 2004) to route victim impact statements more efficiently to judges, public defenders and probation officers, etc.  They would also like to create a separate website for security officers to incorporate that information into the new case management system as well.  The entire system should be in place by the end of 2005.

Lastly, Lois distributed and explained two ordinances – Aggressive Solicitation 385.60 and Loitering 385.50, both of which went into effect on June 5, 2004 – rewritten to balance what current case law says regarding freedom of speech rights versus the community’s rights to be free from harassment.       

VIII.    CCNP Restorative Justice Program Update

Jenny Buller reiterated that Lois Conroy has been collaborating with the RJP on the nuisance night program/administrative citation pilot, then distributed and explained the update on payable and criminal cases (compiled July 12, 2004), and FY 2004 (July 1, 2003-June 30, 2004) report narrative.  Thereafter, Mike Rollins’ replacement, Emily Buehler, was introduced.

IX.       Land Use Committee Update

Andy apprised the board of his attendance at The Carlyle’s grand opening on Saturday, June 26th, the 39-story development to be erected at Third Avenue South and First Street South.  Sales have been so brisk that enough prospects are available to develop another project.

Andy informed the board of a hearing he became aware of before the Public Safety and Regulatory Services by Club Spin, 10 South 5th Street, on Wednesday, July 14th.  He will research this matter further as this project did not come before the board.

Lastly, Andy is still awaiting feedback regarding the ATM situation on Block E, and will research further the public accessibility questions he has regarding the sidewalk café on the north side of Block E.

X.        Other Business

Due to an unavoidable delay, Kim was unable to attend and give the plan modification strategies update.  However, Tom believes we are still pursuing the Stone Arch Bridge lighting project but there are questions on how to contract and who the entity is at the City that need to be straightened out.  Regarding affordable housing, Tom advised that Kim has been working with Dolly Crowther of CPED on a draft RFP scheduled for release by September 1st. When completed, Tom will forward the RFP to the board for review.  However, this go around the City will be charging 2 to 4 percent to cover their administrative costs related to the RFP process.

Lastly, Christie announced the proposed date of Tuesday, November 9th for DMNA’s upcoming general membership meeting and suggested, given the instant meeting’s focus on livability crimes, inviting Chief McManus, City Attorney Conroy and Inspector Allen to conduct a panel on public safety.  Christie also advised that she will be working on securing a venue and suggested the same space as last year’s meeting (i.e., the St. Thomas Law School).    

XI.       Adjournment

Thereafter the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2004.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary