Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
August 8, 2000 Board of Directors Meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, August 8, 2000 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.    Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Jerrie Hayes, Chair, convened the meeting at 7:10 p.m.  Other board members in attendance included: Monroe Bell, Larry Calhoun, Dee Cotten, Secretary, Andrew Hauer, Sue Jahn, Carletta Sweet, and Joan Wilshire.  Board members unable to attend were Jack Becker, Janis LaDouceur, Al Smith, Vice Chair, and Roberta Webb-Streib, Treasurer.  Nonboard members in attendance included Scott Engel, departing DMNA/NRP Coordinator; Barbara Simpson Epps, interim DMNA/NRP Coordinator; Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward City Councilmember, and Douglas Gardner, Administrative Assistant; George Rosenquist, NRP Implementation Committee; and Scott Russell of the Southwest Journal.

No announcements were made.

II. Land Use Committee Report

Since no Land Use Committee meeting was held on August 1st due to National Night Out, no report was given.  However, the Chair requested additional nominations for Land Use Committee Chair beyond her nominee of Mark Moller, Acting Chair, election of which to be held at the next Land Use Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 5.  No additional nominations were offered.

III.  Finance Committee Report

Monroe distributed and presented the Finance Committee’s first request to change the 2-year administrative budget as found on page 6 of the DMNA NRP First Step Plan in order to facilitate the acquisition of office space.  This would be accomplished by reducing the staff expense item by $5,440, and the childcare expense item by $560, for a total of $6,000 available to be reallocated to the room/equipment rental expense item.  The Chair moved and Dee seconded to adopt the budget change as set forth in the Finance Committee’s proposal and to prepare an appropriate letter to that effect for Joe Horan’s signature.  The motion was carried unanimously.

IV. NRP Implementation Committee Report

Scott briefed the board on the police buyback program (i.e., bicycle, beat and mounted patrol) as it would run for the remainder of the year and sought board approval for the contract terms as stipulated in the written description included in the current meeting agenda package.  The Chair moved and Dee seconded to approve the contract terms, and the motion was carried unanimously.   

Andy presented a threefold proposal:  (1) to reallocate $50,000 from the Downtown Development master planning program to the Housing Committee and apply for matching funds in order to develop a downtown Minneapolis housing master plan; (2) to reallocate the remaining $10,000 from Downtown Development to the Public Relations Committee to promote the housing master plan; and (3) to reallocate marketing funds from Crime and Safety to the Public Relations Committee to promote DMNA.  Scott then explained what he perceived as the necessary steps to take to implement this proposal, that is, the First Step Plan modification process:  public notification via local newspaper, followed by a 30 days written notification to the downtown community, then DMNA board discussion and balloting.  After the Chain entertained questions and comments, Andy moved and the Chair seconded to refer the matter to the Housing Committee for further recommendations since it still has yet to meet and scope out an agenda.  The motion was carried unanimously.

The Chair then asked Scott to postpone the remainder of his report to after Lisa’s presentation to accommodate her schedule.

V.  Downtown Neighborhood Update from Lisa Goodman

Lisa advised that DMNA’s National Night Out, one of the biggest she attended, was a huge success and congratulated the board on its organization.  There were 43 events this year in the 7th Ward, an increase from last year of 8, and Minneapolis has consistently ranked in the top 10 of all cities in the nation in terms of participation.  Lisa then announced her next “Lunch with Lisa” on Wednesday, August 23rd (now moved to the fourth Wednesday of the month), 12 noon at the Acadia Cafe.  The topic will be the state of the Minneapolis Park system; Commissioner Vivian Mason will be there to discuss the issues and answer questions.  The topic in September will likely be the Walker expansion project, and the last meeting of the year in October will likely be a primer on the school board and library board referendum.  Lisa also announced that the City Council voted that day to put the central library plan on the ballot in November.  The plan will request $110 million from the public for the central library and $30 million for community libraries.  Lisa expressed major concerns about the plan because its current concept did not include housing on the library site, which she feels strongly in favor of due to the city’s housing shortage.  The concept for a 5-story library with housing on top received unanimous vote and has moved back to the implementation committee for discussion.  Lastly, Lisa announced the City’s passing of a graffiti ordinance (see Report Graffiti card she distributed) to increase the reporting of graffiti incidence, recognize it as a livability crime, and to centralize how calls are handled through the police department.  However, the provision in the ordinance concerning taxing citizens carrying graffiti materials was taken out.

Andy then advised Lisa of the difficulty pedestrians had accessing Nicollet Mall during the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) convention held at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis on July 21-25, and the failure of the Minneapolis Police Department to provide sufficient notification thereto.  Lisa stated that she felt the police department had done a fantastic job of notifying the business community and residents in the immediate area, however, she agreed that the communication was not as good as it could have been for the broader community.  Moreover, she felt that there were a lot of things that went right, and that the money spent was a good insurance policy against the many millions of dollars of damage that could have potentially occurred.  Lisa also stated that as a follow up to the public briefing for the City Council held on August 4th, there will be a public hearing on Wednesday, August 16th at 3:30 p.m. to allow citizens to testify about their experiences.

VI.  NRP Implementation Committee Report (continued)

Returning to his Implementation Committee report Scott advised the board that the kiosk program was moving forward nicely and that the steering committee had selected a Minneapolis firm to design the kiosk.  Scott also indicated that as a result of a 4-hour meeting they held earlier this month to establish objectives believes installation should occur by next summer, but that they would also be meeting with the MACOPD to incorporate their design requirements.

Scott then updated the board on the mid-June kickoff of the ambassador program held at the IDS Center that received coverage in the Star Tribune.

Lastly, due to his eminent departure, Scott introduced Barbara Simpson Epps, his proposed interim replacement.  Barbara then gave a brief summary of her 20+ year experience (past 12 years as an independent consultant, previous 6 years in corporate) with nonprofit organizations.  Barbara’s professional experience included, among other activities, serving as a grant reviewer for several national foundations (St. Paul Companies, Philips, and Eli Lilly), and as vice president for several local organizations (Women Venture, Regional Goodwill Easter Seal).  Thereafter, Andy moved, and Sue seconded to hire Barbara as interim DMNA/NRP Coordinator, subject to the terms and compensation to be negotiated with the Chair, and to appoint an ad hoc employment committee for the purpose of hiring a permanent DMNA/NRP Coordinator.  The motion was carried unanimously.

The Chair then thanked Scott for all the incredible work he has done during her tenure on the board and advised him that he would be greatly missed.

VII.  Other Business

North Loop Community Meeting Update

Joan briefed the board on Jackie Cherryholmes’s North Loop community meeting held at the Star Tribune Heritage facility on Wednesday, August 2.  Some of the issues raised and presentations given included:  Washington Avenue reconstruction disruption beginning February 2001; Franklin National Bank project; Kowalski’s grocery reconfiguration; creating a North Loop neighborhood organization; parking at the Park Board; and signage at Sex World.  Joan’s and Andy’s main takeaways were:  it was an excellent meeting, well-attended (90 to 100 people), well-represented (young and old), and that the residents of the North Loop are, indeed, interested and concerned about the activities within the neighborhood (as well as downtown) but are not desirous of forming a separate neighborhood organization since they are appropriately represented by qualified people on DMNA.

After entertaining further discussion, the Chair summed up by stating that in order to reach out to the different downtown constituencies and keep them informed of DMNA’s activities, the Public Relations committee proposed conducting satellite meetings in the respective neighborhoods and establishing a newsletter.

Housing Committee Update

Andy advised the board that his recent activities involved meeting with individuals (beyond interested board members) with relevant expertise to ascertain their level of interest in serving on the committee.  In conjunction with this effort, he has been developing the necessary tools the committee will need when they convene.  Andy then announced that the first official Housing Committee meeting has been scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2000, 5:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library.  The Chair also advised the board that she had executed the lease for DMNA’s office space in LaSalle Plaza, and that technically the board was in possession as of August 1, 2000.

National Night Update

Andy echoed Lisa’s previous comments that it was a huge success, and thanked Dee and Sue profusely for all their efforts in organizing the event.  Dignitaries in attendance included:  Phyllis Kahn from the 59th District House; Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton who mentioned the Skyway News article on Dee; Chief Robert Olson; Inspector Sharon Labinski; the SAFE Officer; and Councilmember Lisa Goodman.  Andy also advised that he has received “praises galore” from many in attendance and many willing to volunteer for next year’s event.

VII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Signed and approved by

______________________________                                    ______________________________
Chair                                                                                       Secretary

Attachments, if appropriate