Board meeting minutes, Jan14, 2008

CRNA Board Meeting – Minutes
January 14, 2008

Attending–Board:  Annette Bak, Marilyn Barbera, Rodney Dionisio, Rev. Rudolph Garrison, Betty DiMarco, Marshall Hevron, Todd Leavitt, Judy Miranti, Cindy Morse, Llewelyn Soniat, Jerry Speir, Evan Wolf

Residents:  Lyn Adams, Pax Bobrow, Sandra Hernandez, Colby Johnson, Alice Anne Krishnan, Vincent Miranti, Anne Nicolay, Robbie Robertson


Treasurer Cindy Morse reported an account balance of roughly the same as last month, about $1500.

Education:  The Education Committee will be meeting next week “to pick up where we left off,” working primarily with Johnson and Priestley schools.  Pax reported that the request to Lowe’s, for them to provide needed shelving at Johnson, had hit a snag that we hope is only temporary.  She’s working on it.

Zoning:  Cindy reported on a problem in the 8600 block of Zimpel, where a developer is seeking variances for parking in the front yard and to build doubles on lots that are too small under the provisions of the zoning ordinance.  All the immediate neighbors have signed a letter opposing the variances.  Judy moved, seconded by Rev. Garrison, to support the neighbors in their opposition.  Passed unanimously.  The organization will write a letter to that effect.

Lyn Adams reported on continuing congestion problems in the 700 block of Dante.  The problem is the lack of parking for the myriad delivery trucks that service the two restaurants there.  Pax moved, seconded by Marilyn, that the association pursue establishing daytime only “loading zones” in that block.  Since both restaurants only serve dinner during the week, this should not affect their clientele.  Passed unanimously.  The organization will write a letter to the appropriate city agencies.

Todd commented on the property at Sycamore and Leonidas, the imminent demolition of which was mentioned in the notice of the board meeting.  Consensus: that particular house appears to be in very bad condition and of no great historical value, aside from the gingerbread features on its front.  It was also agreed, however, that we need to be more vigilant as the demolition pace accelerates.  Rodney offered to help keep track of such issues in the neighborhood.  We should also continue to communicate with Karen Gadbois, who tracks the issues city-wide and who called the Sycamore property to our attention.

Cindy reported on the proposal to put a “Pita Pit” restaurant at Magazine and Nashville.  Issue there was the classification of the restaurant, by the city’s “zoning administrator” as a “cafeteria style” restaurant, which is permitted in the Magazine St. zoning, rather than as a “fast food” restaurant, which is not (absent Council approval of a “conditional use.”)  Cindy moved, seconded by Marshall, that we support the Magazine St. neighborhood associations in their opposition to the classification.  Passed unanimously.  Note:  the issue was decided that day by the BZA, in favor of the restaurant, but there may be appeals.  We will express our support and concern to the neighborhood associations for whatever actions by follow in that regard.

Crime/Safety: At a committee meeting before Christmas, it was decided to concentrate our immediate efforts in dealing with NOPD on two “hot spots”—the grocery at Willow and Dante, that attracts a lot of loitering, has illegal dumpsters on the sidewalk, etc; and the HANO property at Cambronne and Hickory, which has appeared to be one of the centers of drug/gun activity in the neighborhood.
We have a trio of volunteers (Alice Anne Krishnan, Lesley St. Germain, and Evan Wolf) who have agreed to chair our newly revitalized committee in the coming months.
Pax mentioned an offer from “Taste Buds” at Oak and Dante to put up a community bulletin board that might include crime information.  There was some concern that posting such information so prominently could give a bad impression of the neighborhood.  We will continue to pursue the bulletin board idea, with decisions reserved for a later meeting.
The Carrollton United organization will have a meeting on Friday evening (Jan. 18) focusing on revitalizing the “Neighborhood Watch” program.  Cindy and Annette will attend that meeting on behalf of our organization.  Others are welcome.

Quality of Life – Todd reported on a new offer of free trees for planting in the neighborhood.  Details will be in the newsletter.

Newsletter–  Pax has almost completed our latest (and first in a long time) newsletter.  She has sold ads sufficient to make the net cost to the organization in the range of $2-300.  Cindy will help coordinate the distribution.  LARGE THANKS to Pax and Cindy.

Bylaws – Approval of the revised bylaws was taken up from the last meeting.  The issue of changing the name of the organization from Carrollton Riverbend Residents Association back to the “old” Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association was raised.  Rodney moved, seconded by Cindy, to make the change.  Jerry noted that he had previously objected on grounds that there might be legal complications with changing the name with the state, but that he had inquired about that and was convinced that was not a problem.  There will be a filing fee to make the change of $60.  Arguments “for” centered on indicating a change from the old adversarial relationship with some businesses that came out of the old Castellon pharmacy struggle and on the idea that “neighborhood association” conforms more with other associations.  Arguments “against” centered on the possible confusion that might be created and on the notion that there simply appeared no compelling reason to change.  The motion passed 6-2, with some abstentions.  We shall now be known as the Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association (CRNA).

Cindy moved, seconded by Rev. Garrison, to accept the bylaws as re-drafted, including the new name change.  Rodney questioned whether the provision for removing board members for missing three successive meetings was fair, but was assured that the provision says “may” not “shall” and that the board would be open to reasonable explanations, but that we also need a way to prevent quorum problems.  The motion passed unanimously.  Thanks to all who worked on the bylaws.

NEXT MEETING:  Monday nights have become a problem for some board members.  After discussion, it was decided that Thursday nights present the fewest conflicts (at least among those in attendance).  The next board meeting will be Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m (half an hour earlier).  Location to be announced.  Suggestions welcomed.

We referred discussion of the next General Meeting to the Executive Committee.


New name – same organization

Our name has just been changed to the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association. CRNA

Why? Perhaps because “neighborhood” sounds more inclusive than “residents”. It can accommodate businesses, for one thing. And it is in conformance with all the other “neighborhood associations” across our city.

For the time being the address of this blog will remain as it has been: CRRA. I will need time to determine the best way to change the name over so that no content is lost.