Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
April 13, 1999 Board Meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, April 13, 1999 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room  253, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

With a quorum present, Monroe Bell, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Other board members present were Larry Calhoun, Dolores Cotten, Secretary, Sue Jahn, Ashu Kataria, Michael Murphy, Robert Saginaw, and Jonathan Specktor, Vice Chair.  Board members unable to attend were Al Smith and Carletta Sweet. Nonboard members also present were DMNA/NRP Coordinator, Scott Engel, NRP Representative Alecia Cox-Jenkins, and Council member Lisa Goodman.

The Chair first reported on several housekeeping matters – letters written to the Unbank Company, and Childrens First Incorporated expressing neighborhood support for their request for zoning or planning permission; application for Citizen Participation contract for downtown east/downtown west/north loop for year beginning June 1st; million dollar directors and officers insurance policy – and provided supportive documentation for board members' review.  Other matters for which the Chair did not have documentation on but expressed desire for the board to work on were:  Minneapolis Center for Neighborhoods affordable housing option meeting on April 22nd; Minneapolis 1979 Zoning Code's four meetings being held over the next month; and per memo from Ann Calvert of the MCDA, development of a Minneapolis Forum.

 The Chair indicated that there were three profoundly important matters on which the board must vote on that evening since they involved more than half a million dollars in tax money:  the contract with NRP for the First Step implementation phase; a proposed contract with Scott Engel as coordinator of the First Step implementation phase; and a resolution mandating a standing committee for the First Step implementation phase. 

These matters were deferred for later discussion in order to take action on the March minutes.  The Chair proposed an addendum (see attached Addendum) to replace paragraph 5 on page 2 under DMNA Audit of the March 9 minutes.  Michael moved that the Chair's proposed addendum be added to the March 9 minutes to give further interpretation of what transpired in March concerning the State Auditor's report.  Dee seconded the motion.  Dee also motioned that the proposed addendum along with the March 9 minutes be approved.  Michael seconded the motion and the March 9 minutes with the addendum were unanimously approved.

The Chair then summarized decisions recently reached by the Executive Committee that did not require board action:  until further notice, hold all monthly board of directors meetings in Room 310 of the Minneapolis Central Library; to expedite phone messages, change DMNA's phone number on the letterhead to Scott Engel's number; to hasten responses to incoming mail, encourage contacts at various organizations to use the Chair's home mailing address; appoint Carletta as recording secretary to prepare board minutes and other pertinent documents as the Executive Committee requires.

The Chair then introduced Councilmember Lisa Goodman who thanked Ashu, Monroe and Jonathan for attending the partnering session with Ryan Construction and Target.  Lisa announced that the City of Minneapolis would be conducting an NRP Phase 2 meeting on April 28, and that the City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission would be hosting a preservation week (flyers were distributed).  Lisa then spoke about the Fairmont Hotel (more commonly known as Broadway Books) situation.  It has 49 units of SRO units above and has been purchased on a contract for deed.  The owners have advised her that they plan to turn it into a boutique hotel.  Her issue is what's going to happen to 49 people, some of who are senior citizens, on fixed income, and disability-related problems.  Developments such as this served as Lisa's prime example for encouraging the board to seriously consider becoming more actively involved in the issue of affordable housing.  She believes protection of current downtown residents in lower cost settings, and providing additional downtown residential options are among the greatest needs for the city and for our full NRP plan.  The Chair expressed the opinion that this would be more of a focus in Phase 2 of the NRP plan.  Further addressing the outcome of the Save the Nicollet Mall effort, Lisa was of the opinion that we may not have gotten exactly what we wanted, but we got something we didn't know we wanted, something so much better – bringing the downtown neighborhoods together - DMNA, Loring Park and Elliot Park - working towards a common goal.

There being no additional questions of Lisa, she stated that she would continue to attend the board's meetings upon the Chair's invitation, but if others had issues they would like for her to address they could attend her monthly luncheon meetings, this month's host being Ted Mondale at the Acadia Café on April 28.  For greater accessibility to parking and public transportation, consideration is being given to holding Lisa's future meetings at St. Thomas.  The board thanked Lisa for her time and update, then she left.

The Chair then distributed the NRP First Step contract (approved by the Mayor and the City Council in January 1999) empowering the board with the responsibility of distributing and monitoring the use of approximately a half million dollars for the implementation of DMNA's respective programs.  A few of the people who had been working on this effort for nearly 4 years were present.  After some discussion about what funds - repeatable and nonrepeatable – would actually enter the board's checking account (e.g., in Year 1 up to $18,720 for salary of implementation coordinator and $6,780 for implementation facility/supplies repeatable for a second year, and an additional $25,500 for salary of housing coordinator nonrepeatable; $25,000 for the ambassador and marketing programs for which the board will be the contract manager) and what funds would go directly to a program recipient (e.g., $50,000+/- to the Minneapolis Police Department for cops on horseback and bicycles; $50,000+/- to the Minneapolis Public Schools for summer theatre programs; $166,000 to the Minneapolis Public Works Department for kiosks, additional skyway signage and welcoming materials), the contract was approved by unanimous vote.  Michael noted that despite this distinction (whether the funds entered the board's account or the program recipient's account) that legally speaking the board would be responsible for the whole bundle.

The Chair distributed the NRP Implementation Coordinator contract with Scott Engel (attached).  After some discussion, the contract as presented was approved without opposition.

Turning to the Implementation Standing Committee, no resolution was successfully made.  However, it was stated that in addition to the six nonboard members, Ashu and Larry would serve on this committee along with the Chair.  Scott updated the board on the first two meetings of this committee which no action required by the board.

With two vacancies currently on the board, the Chair requested nominations.  Three names were offered:  Bob Saginaw nominated Andy Hauer; Dee Cotton nominated Bruce Stillman; and Joan Willshire who was present, nominated herself.  Dee then withdrew her nomination of Bruce Stillman.  Jonathan moved and Larry seconded the motion that action on the nomination of Andy Hauer be delayed until Andy could be present and respond to questions put forth by members of the board.  This motion was defeated by a vote of 3 to 2, 2 directors having left and the chair continuing to choose not to vote.  Joan Willshire identified herself as a resident of the downtown neighborhood who had previously served as director and chair in the West Calhoun neighborhood, and currently employed in marketing at the Courage Center.  Joan's candidacy was approved with 5 affirmative votes and no negative votes or abstentions.  Andy's candidacy received affirmative votes.

Due to the recent mishap on the Nicollet Mall concerning Officer ________________, Officer Luther Krueger introduced to the board his new partner who would be serving the downtown community, Mike Frye, who has had recent experience in the Loring Park area.

The meeting was adjourned at _______

Addendum to DMNA Board Minutes of
March 9, 1999, page 2, paragraph 5, DMNA Audit

Monroe reported that the State Auditors have replaced "we do not express an opinion . . ." with "In our opinion, the financial statements . . . present fairly . . ." in the cover letter.  Undocumented expenses were reduced from $2,082 to $1,423 by the presentation of additional documents after preparation of the second draft.  The discovery of Association documents which had not been kept with Association records called for an eighth client response.  This is in addition to the seven responses reported in the minutes of October 27, 1998.  The eighth response, of which a copy is attached, was unanimously approved by the board.