Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from August 13, 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, August 13, 2002 at DMNA’s office located at 800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 131, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.       Call to Order

With a quorum present, Mark Moller, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.   Other board members in attendance included: Larry Calhoun; Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Leslie Hirsch; Tom Hoch, Vice Chair; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary. Gerry Spry, Treasurer, was unable to attend.  Others in attendance included:  Nedal Abdul, Swervo Development Corp; Sue Jahn, North Loop Neighborhood Association; Barbara Lichness, NRP staff; and Ellen Nigon, Skyway News; Christie Rock, DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator; Al Smith, former DMNA board member and Downtown West resident.

II.        Review of Professional Services Contract/
            Recommendation to Hire DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator

Due to the impending hiring of a DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator, the Chair moved and Leslie seconded to approve the professional services contract drawn between DMNA and Christie Rock (Attachment 1) to which he recommended one revision:  under “Billing and Method of Payment” section, third to last sentence of paragraph to read “within fifteen days of receipt of the statement” instead of “within thirty days of receipt of the statement”.  The motion as amended was approved by majority vote.  The Chair then moved and Dee seconded to hire Christie Rock as DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator.  The motion was carried unanimously.

Thereafter the Chair welcomed Christie Rock to the board meeting and allowed her to introduce herself and expound upon her relevant experience for her new position with DMNA.

III. Visitor Presentations

607 Washington Avenue Project

The Chair advised that he had already met with Nedal Abdul as a Land Use Committee representative and approved the project (Attachment 2).  Nedal apprised the board of the proposed mixed-use, brick and timber development at the corner of Washington and Portland Avenues.  This higher-end project will contain first floor commercial/retail space (where Architectural Antiques and Sawadee currently occupy), and 15 units containing 2,000 to 6,000 square feet and priced from $500,000 to $1.5 million, all privately funded.  Each unit will have two underground parking stalls.  The existing surface parking will remain but will be enhanced with appropriate landscaping.  Nedal also advised that he has submitted an application for conditional use permit and a site plan review and zoning variance.  Andy moved and Dee seconded to approve the project as proposed.  The motion was passed unanimously.  The Chair advised that an approval letter would be sent to the Planning Department.

National Night Out

Al Smith sought reimbursement for expenses paid out of pocket for this year’s National Night Out.  The Chair explained that he had asked both Al Smith and Sue Jahn to submit specific invoices/cancelled checks totaling not more than $500 for non-food related items so that he could then bring a motion to the board for approval.  Since no receipts/cancelled checks had been received thus far, it was recommended that Al do so before the next regularly scheduled board meeting to ensure timely reimbursement.

NRP Update

Barb Lichness advised that:

      The $300,000 for the Historic Theatre District has been contracted, and in fact is almost ready to be repaid.

      The $36,000 for the thermal imaging equipment for the Fire Department has been contracted.

      The $60,000 for the Seniors Center has been issued.

      The funds for the Restorative Justice program are in process with Stevens Square Community Organization coordinating on DMNA’s behalf.  These funds will be contracted to the DMNA admin budget.

      The Planning Department cancelled the Word Mural Signage project; however the Downtown Council agreed to take the project on with DMNA’s approval.  As a result, Barb will cancel the contract with Public Works and develop a new scope of service for DMNA approval to submit to the Downtown Council.  In the meantime, the $50,000 returns to the strategy line for potential redirection.

Regarding the affordable housing strategy, Barb advised that as a result of conversations she has had with the Chair about the concerns she has with board members of DMNA who are also board members of CCHT, brought a Conflict of Interest Policy (Attachment 3) letter to clarify NRP’s position and recommended to those board members to declare such conflict, recuse from participating in the development of funding guidelines, refrain from participating in the RFP process to solicit bids from potential developers, and refrain from the selection process of developers who will receive these funds.  If CCHT does not intend to apply for these funds, then there’s no conflict.  Barb said the process would consist of:  working with a DMNA task force to gain guidance into what direction DMNA would like to head; then working with MCDA staff to draw up a draft of basic guidelines based on MCDA criterion since it will be contract manager for these funds.  The task force will refine the guidelines with MCDA staff for development of the RFP.  The RFPs will be submitted to all appropriate developers.  After receipt of the RFPs, bids will then be solicited and reviewed by appropriate MCDA staff.

After further discussion, although two of the three CCHT board members were satisfied with the clarification of the Conflict of Interest Policy, Andy indicated that he would pursue a more in-depth rationale.

IV.       Committee Reports

1.  Staffing.  The DMNA Coordinator candidate was hired in the instant meeting.  The Chair indicated that there were four other finalists and would mail their rejection letters.   

2.  Finance. Main expenses incurred were for the advertisements related to recruiting and hiring (Attachment 4).  All is quiet on the audit front.

3.  Land Use.  See Visitor Presentation section above.

4.  Governance.  Proposed amendments to By-laws postponed to next regularly scheduled meeting.

5.  Public Relations.  The role Christie should play in this area and events in which DMNA should participate to be determined.  

V.        New Business

Liaison Reports

The Chair advised that a good public relations connection would be the Downtown Action Network.  Larry also recommended connecting with the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

Meeting Dates/Times

After a brief discussion, the board agreed to continue holding monthly board meetings on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. except for the September meeting when an election is held, more specifically, next month’s meeting to be held on Monday, September 9th at 6:30 p.m.

VI.       Adjournment

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

Signed and approved by

_________________________                                                          _________________________
Chair                                                                                        Secretary or Board Officer

Attachment 1

[Professional Service Contract]

Attachment 2

[607 Washington Avenue Project Renderings]

Attachment 3

[NRP Conflict of Interest Policy]

Attachment 4

[F2002 Preliminary Budget vs. Actual as of June 2002]