Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from March 12, 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, March 12, 2002 at DMNA’s office located at 800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 131, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.       Call to Order and Introductions

With a quorum present, Mark Moller called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.   Other board members in attendance included:  Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Tom Hoch, Vice Chair; Gerry Spry, Treasurer;  and Carletta Sweet, Secretary.  Larry Calhoun had an excused absence.  Board member Will Murden did not attend.  Others in attendance included:  June Harmon, One Stop Shop; and Ellen Nigon, Skyway News.

II.     Announcements

The Chair announced that June Harmon, who was highly recommended by Barb Lichness, was hired on a contract basis to assist in the organization of the financial records, help complete the outstanding items for the 1999-2000 audit, and help prepare for the 2001 audit.

June advised that she has run her own business, One Stop Shop, for 10 years.  She is a financial consultant and an NRP Specialist.  June’s background also includes 38 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping, chair for the economic development committee of the Powderhorn neighborhood, and member of the advisory accounting committee for Minneapolis Prep College.

The Chair then advised that no downtown councilmembers had been invited to the meeting as he wished to establish a rotation schedule to avoid having all three at the same meeting unless a specific topic required otherwise.

On February 27th the Chair attended a conference between neighborhood organizations, Mayor Rybek and councilmembers in the Harrison Neighborhood Center regarding city services, setting city priorities and how the city should fund NRP Phase 2.  The Chair promised to forward any documents resulting from this event to board members.

III.    Committee Reports

1.  Staffing.  Mark and Gerry met to address the three staffing functions considered imperative to DMNA’s future operational efficiency:  an accountant/financial consultant (resolved by the discretionary hiring of June Harmon); a neighborhood coordinator; and a public relations/marketing person.

After comments were made regarding allowing board input going forward before hiring occurs and approaching recruitment more innovatively, the Chair advised that one of the next steps would involve recommending a budget for DMNA’s NRP approximately $60,000 administrative dollars.  In addition, Gerry will draft a memo to seek input from the city on methods for pursuing staffing assistance.

2.  Finance. Mark advised that the final audit for the years 1999 and 2000 would be mailed soon.

Gerry is in the process of bringing DMNA’s insurance status up-to-date by seeking three bids for comprehensive general liability, hired non-owned auto liability, employee dishonesty, and DNO. 

3.  Land Use.  Mark, Larry and Gerry attended a LUC meeting on Tuesday, March 5th to review Hell’s Kitchen and Chipotle’s request for liquor licenses.  The Chair moved and Gerry seconded to approve both liquor licenses.  The motion was carried unanimously.

4.  Governance.  After Tom explained the purpose for his modifications to the By-Laws he had emailed to the board on March 9th, he asked members to forward their comments/changes to him within the next couple weeks in order to prepare for a more formal board review of the proposed amendments.

No issues were raised regarding team norms.  Gerry will obtain a poster-size copy for office use as well as a laminated letter-size copy for board meetings.

5.  Public Relations.  Mark drafted an outline for the marketing/public relations program to aid in developing a RFP to send to a combination of small shops (i.e., one to two people businesses) and large shops seeking pro bono assistance (see Attachment 1). 

IV.    Old Business

Conflict of Interest

The Chair advised that the interpretation he received from Barb Lichness regarding the NRP Conflict of Interest policy would prevent Dee, Andy and Carletta, due to their CCHT board membership, from voting for DMNA NRP funds going for CCHT projects.  Tom advised that it is the responsibility of each board member to read and understand the policy and to police themselves regarding potential conflicts.

Approval of minutes

Carletta advised that no changes were proposed for the minutes for August; the minutes for October were re-submitted to reflect the removal of two board members (i.e., Rebecca Hentzler and Eric Mitchell); and the minutes for November were re-submitted to reflect that Will Murden was elected to a 1-year term.  Given these changes it was agreed to postpone approval of the minutes to the April 2002 board meeting.

V.     New Business

Liaision Reports

Dee updated the board on the activities of the Restorative Justice Program and advised that the number of overall program cases for the past quarter was 36, 27 of which were within the downtown area.  These cases included drinking in public, public urination, and drug-related charges.  She mentioned that at the conference she attended, there were four offenders, one of which was a diabetic woman who was denied access to a number of establishments she tried to gain entry to relieve herself.  Dee also advised that there are now two open seats on the advisory committee that need to be filled by March 31, 2002.

Andy updated the board on the function of the Skyway Advisory Committee.  They meet six times a year to approve the skyway system being constructed in the city of Minneapolis.  Committee members are appointed by public works and the city council.  However, due to limited funds available and the number of buildings going up, they’re not looking at a huge number of new skyways.  A year ago they approved two connecting to Block E:  one from the City Center and the other to the Target Center.  Proposed skyway connections are presented to SAC and must adhere to its design criteria.

Tom updated the board on the function of the Hennepin Advisory Board.  It is a long-standing board formed to oversee the development along Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica to the Mississippi River.  Tom explained that HAB, which meets monthly, basically provides the legal review for development interests to ensure statutory compliance.

Carletta updated the board on the function of the Industry Square Project Committee.  It is the citizens advisory group of the MCDA for the Mill Ruins area.  ISPC meets every 2 months and reviews all development projects within the area bounded by the Mississippi River, 3rd Avenue South, Washington Avenue to Portland/5th Street South to Chicago Avenue/7h Street South to 11th Avenue, and 35W.


The Chair advised the board that Will Murden moved to Florida without advising the board.  After a brief discussion on what action to take if the need should arise to fill his position, the board decided to make an earnest effort to ascertain his whereabouts by the next board meeting.

V. Adjournment of Board Meeting

The regularly scheduled board meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Signed and approved by

_________________________                                        _________________________
Chair                                                                                 Secretary

Attachment 1

[Outline for Marketing/Public Relations Program]