Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from September 9, 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 Monday, September 9, 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 6:35 p.m.   Other board members in attendance included: Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Tom Hoch, Vice Chair; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary. Larry Calhoun; Leslie Hirsch; and Gerry Spry, Treasurer, were unable to attend.  Others in attendance included:  Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward Councilmember; June Harmon; Todd Klingel, Downtown Council; Ellen Nigon, Skyway News; and Christie Rock, DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator.

II.        Q&A with Councilmember Lisa Goodman

Lisa distributed the 6-page executive summary (Attachment 1) and 4 pages of frequently asked questions and answers (Attachment 2) about Focus Minneapolis (a/k/a the McKinsey report).  The report, which was commissioned by the Mayor on a pro bono basis, looks at the City’s development priorities and makes recommendations about how to streamline development, regulatory services, planning, zoning, NRP, etc.  Lisa advised that the resolution to adopt the report was voted down in Way and Means today by both Zerby and Johnson Lee, along with Johnson and Colvin Roy because they do not want to reorganize the City.

There are three components to the plan:  make housing and economic development the priorities within the city (a recommendation of McKinsey’s which they are adopting); create an elaborate and accountable evaluation process; and reorganize the NRP, development and planning regulatory services into one large organization called Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED).  The resolution would authorize the Council to set up CPED, hire a Director, and hire the Division Directors.  Then to resolve all the other issues they would put together small working groups of interested stakeholders to determine what path to go on to make it happen.  But Niziolek introduced a motion to eliminate the reorganization and to ask the head of planning, NRP and MCDA to put together a work team to discuss other ways to reorganize the City.  Lisa advised that this is the fourth attempt to reorganize the MCDA and none of them have ever gone through.

Lisa advised that the next steps would be to set up working teams in four different areas – legal, policy integration, personnel, and legislative areas – to get more people involved in going through all of the first order issues to help make recommendations.  In the meantime the City Council has earmarked 6 full days for strategic planning prior to October 16th to define affordable housing and economic development.

Responding to whether DMNA should partner with the Downtown Council to improve the perception of safety within downtown, Lisa advised that the Downtown Council held a meeting on livability and crime issues that a number of neighborhood folks were involved and thinks that a joint campaign/discussion about the issues of downtown safety, livability and part two crimes are worth pursuing.  It is an opportunity for the downtown neighborhood and the business community to work together.  Another opportunity for DMNA to loop into would be the Mayor’s “What’s the Rush” program to help create a more positive image.

Responding to whether Hennepin Avenue will be turned into a two-way street, Lisa suggested DMNA strategize with other constituents (i.e., Downtown Council, downtown residents and workers, Hennepin Avenue Business Association) to bring it about because Public Works is resistant to change so much so that they went out and got the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to write a letter opposing the change due to air toxicity levels and got the head of Metro Transit to write a letter opposing the change due to bus backups.

Lisa announced that Lunch with Lisa would be moved from September 24th to probably breakfast on October 2nd somewhere downtown to accommodate Cesar Pelli’s schedule who will speak on the design of the new Central Library.  

III. Visitor Presentations

Kiosk Project

Todd Klingel advised that the kiosk program that was launched in 1998 is coming to a close because the Downtown Council is no longer in a position to fund the ongoing costs.  In 1998 the board approved an allocation of $100,000 for the project, and Public Works set up a contract with the NRP to facilitate the project.  Then it sat for 2 years.  The Downtown Council tried to push it through but this past spring Public Works advised them they no longer wished to be involved and suggested they go directly back to NRP and DMNA and start over which he did.  However, since that time, the Downtown Council is no longer able to fund the ongoing costs and, according to NRP regulations, DMNA cannot fund ongoing costs.

IV.       Committee Reports

1.  Finance. June Harmon submitted the F2002 Preliminary Budget vs. Actual as of July 2002 (Attachment 3). 

2.  Land Use.  The LUC met and considered two projects:  Nick and Tony’s restaurant located on the ground level at 50 South 6th Street (the new Dorsey & Whitney building); and Brighton Development’s 4-phase, 244-unit (owner and rental) residential development on Parcel D bounded by Second Avenue South, Chicago Avenue South, Washington Avenue South and Portland Avenue South.

The Chair moved and Andy seconded to approve Nick and Tony’s application for a liquor license.  The motion was carried unanimously.  The Chair also moved and Tom seconded to approve the site plan and the conditional use permit for the proposed development on Parcel D by Brighton Development.  The motion was carried unanimously.

3.  Governance.  In addition to the proposed changes already received, Tom pointed out several substantive changes to the Bylaws for clarification:

Article VI, Section 5, third sentence:  Four seats shall be open for re-election in years ending with even numbers . . . four seats shall be open for re-election in years ending with odd numbers.

Article VII, Section 1, first sentence:  The Board of Directors shall hold monthly meetings at a time, date and location established by resolution of the board.

Article VII, Section 2, second sentence:  Include email as one of the means of notification.

Article VI, Section 7, second sentence:  A Director may be removed from office, with or without cause, by a majority vote . . .

Tom will incorporate the foregoing proposed amendments into the Bylaws and redistribute to the board for final vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

V.        Old Business

Annual Meeting

A discussion was held to ascertain date, time, location, agenda and guests for the annual meeting to be held in November.  Those with additional ideas were encouraged to email them to Christie.

Word Mural Project

Christie advised that the consensus is this project will not go forward as originally intended and suggested after conferring with Barb Lichness to reallocate these funds ($50,000) along with the funds from the kiosk project and any other unused funds back into the plan to re-strategize.  Christie suggested that the board could pursue a project along similar lines (e.g., a walking tour).  The Chair advised that to reallocate any of the funds would require a plan modification.

VI.       New Business

Affordable Housing Fund

Christie advised that she does not believe the City of Minneapolis has conducted a study to determine the need for affordable housing in downtown, and after conversations with the NRP, MCDA and the Planning Department has ascertained that no cohesive agreement exists to deal with the issue.  As a result, Christie suggested hiring a consulting firm such Maxfield Research to conduct a housing study to determine what the housing need is for downtown Minneapolis (Attachment 4).  Christie recommended Maxfield based on her recent experience with them on the housing marketing analysis they conducted for Hutchinson.

After a lengthy discussion, Mark asked the board to think more specifically about what it wanted to achieve in preparation of the next board meeting.

VII.     Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Signed and approved by

_________________________                                                          _________________________
Chair                                                                                        Secretary or Board Officer

Attachment 1

[McKinsey’s Report to the Mayor and City Council]

Attachment 2

[Frequently Asked Questions about the McKinsey Report to the Mayor]

Attachment 3

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

Attachment 4

[Letter to Rick Fenske, Maxfield Research Inc. dated September 3, 2002]