CRRA Board Meeting Minutes – July 16, 2007

Attending–Board:  Annette Bak, Marilyn Barbera,  Gordon Cagnolatti, Betty Dimarco, Rodney Dionisio,  Rudolf Garrison, Marshall Hevron,  Todd Leavitt, Cindy Morse Julianna Padgett, Llewelyn Soniat, Jerry Speir, Evan Wolf

Residents:  Amy Borrell, Raul Esquivel, Beatriz Ocampo, Eric Odom, Doug Paulson, Jill Stephens

Guests:  Gregory Ensslen (Freret Business & Prop. Owners’ Assoc.),  Enrico Sterling (Councilwoman Midura’s office), Marilyn Kearney (Oak St.-Main St.)

Enrico Sterling, Director of Constituent Services for Councilwoman Midura, announced that he has been designated our staff representative in the Councilwoman’s office.  He can be reached at ejsterling@cityofno.com or 658-1010.  He fielded a wide variety of questions on issues including streetlight repairs, noise from commercial establishments, illegal parking, street repairs and the like.  One of his primary activities is helping citizens identify the right agency within city government to address a problem and following through until there is resolution.  He asked that, when we communicate with him by e-mail (preferred) that we include “CRRA” as part of the subject line so that he can sort e-mails easily into neighborhood folders.

Greg Ensslen, with the Freret Business & Property Owners’ Association, reported on his organizations’ efforts to create a new “Arts and Culture Overlay” for Freret Street, with a plan to attract live theatre, perhaps the old “Movie Pitchers,” a flea market/farmer’s market and the like.

Cindy Morse reported that KABOOM will be installing a donated playground at the Johnson School, 1800 Monroe Street, on July 26.  They need volunteers and tools (particularly wheelbarrows and shovels) and perhaps help with lunch and snacks.  If you can help, please contact Cindy at cmorse7@cox.net

Annette Bak reported that the Priestley school is now recruiting for the 2007-08 year for its architecture and construction curriculum.  Registration is open through August 3.  For at least the beginning of the school year, the school will continue to be co-located with the McNair Elementary School at 1607 S. Carrollton.  When its temporary buildings are available, the school will re-locate to its permanent site on Leonidas, awaiting the renovation of that building.  More information is available at http://priestleyschool.org
The school’s phone number is 504-324-7200.  Annette is on the Priestley board and can be reached at annettebak@chevron.com

Marshall Hevron reported on planning for our next general meeting/party at Palmer Park on Saturday, August 18, 4-7:30 (with August 19 as a “rain date”).  We plan to have a table set up for each of our committees, to inform participants of our activities and to attract new folks.  Food and music are part of the plan.  Anyone wanting to help with the day’s activities and/or to be involved in the planning should contact Events Committee chair Amanda Smithson at amandafsmithson@gmail.com

Gordon Cagnolatti reported on plans for a Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday, August 7 at 6:30 in the Castellon parking lot, in conjunction with the Oak Street/Main Street program.  We hope to have door prizes, activities for children, music, and the cooperation of both the police and fire departments.  Anyone wanting to help should contact Gordon at gcagnolatti@gmail.com  Part of this year’s Night Out program involves each neighborhood picking a particular intersection to target for improvement over the course of the next year.  Tentatively, the Leonidas and Hickory intersection is the choice for our neighborhood.

Annette Bak reported that the Bylaws Committee has made significant progress and should have a draft to circulate prior to our next Board meeting.  Issues that provoked the most discussion were a possible name change (perhaps from “Residents Association” to “Neighborhood Association”) and a possible boundary change to resolve overlap with the new Palmer Park Neighborhood Association.

Betty Dimarco and Todd Leavitt reported for the Quality of Life committee that, for rather complicated reasons, “truck routes” (or “no truck routes”) are presently unenforceable.  Despite that, we will continue to work with the Councilwoman’s office and others to attempt to reduce the number of large trucks on small streets.  Todd also reported on communications with other neighborhood organizations in the area about possibly improving the city’s “green laws” (primarily concerning the way that the city deals with trees on public property).

Jerry Speir reported for the Zoning/Planning Committee that the moratorium proposal re: major projects in the area (pending creation of a new zoning ordinance) is in progress.  Marilyn Barbera reported that, with the help of Councilwoman Midura’s office, there have been improvements in the way that the Riverbend Walgreen’s handles garbage at its back entrance.  Walgreen’s has also committed to replacing palm trees at its rear.

Julianna Padgett reported that ThinkNOLA and others are hosting a Road Home Unconference on Saturday, July 28, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center at the University of New Orleans.  According to their website http://thinknola.com/instiki/wiki/show/Road+Home+Unconference   “The Road Home Unconference is a participant driven, working event.  There will be no lectures from officials. Unlike the civic meetings we’ve all grown so weary of, there will be no lectures, you will not have to wait hours to speak for minutes. We’ll have a structured
working environment, where we can work together to find solutions to the delays and the shortfall.”

There will also be a “retreat” on city-wide “citizens’ participation” activities on September 7-8.

The next board meeting will be Monday, August 13, at 7:30, place to be announced (back at Asian Cajun if their room is available.)

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