March 2021 Quarterly Meeting Minutes

Webber-Camden Neighborhood Organization

Board Business Meeting — Zoom

March 4th, 2021 — 6:30-8:30 PM

Attendees

WCNO Board/Staff: Sheree Breedlove (Chair), Krystin Eldridge (Vice Chair), Eric Hoffer (Secretary), Kevin Aldwaik, Maria Ahlgren, Shannon Glenn, Kenneth Frazier, Jeff Schmidt, Tiara Brown, Monica Colberg, Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight (Executive Director), Em Matson (Communications Coordinator).

Community Presenters: Amanda Wigen (Friends of the Falls), Bart Johnson (Minneapolis School of New Music), Chris Kartheiser (Mpls Public Works)

Board Candidates: Jane Riley Best and Chaz Sandifer

Several Community Members

Meeting

6:32 PM    Meeting called to order by WCNO Chair, Sheree Breedlove.

MOVED by Kevin A. to approve the agenda, including moving Agreements to after approving minutes and moving the sign-on letter (Friends of the Falls) to after the listening session. Seconded. Unanimously approved.

MOVED by Maria A. to approve the minutes from February. Seconded. Unanimously approved.

6:36 PM    WCNO Board Candidate Presentations

No nominations on the floor. Jane Riley Best and Chaz Sandifer each shared briefly about who they are and why they’re interested in joining the WCNO board. 

6:45 PM    WCNO Board Election Update/Instructions

Em explained the voting procedure, then provided the link for in-meeting voting. Results will be shared at the conclusion of the meeting.

6:50 PM    Community Presentations

For complete notes, see the meeting recording shared on Facebook.

Friends of the Falls – Amanda Wigen

Not yet ready for engagement around the design of the project, but is coming to WCNO because the potential project at risk. 

The Army Corps owns the property, and is recommending to Congress that they de-authorize the lot and look for a new owner (incentivized with payment). The Army Corps believes it’s not in the government’s best interest (financially) to maintain the property, and is not feeling the land meets the purpose of the Army Corps (which is navigation management). Army Corps had a meeting, and plans to have no vetting process in finding a taker.

The Falls is advocating for the Army corps to stay, continuing to own the structure and maintain the lock. Only the land around the lock should be transferred. They ask for WCNO to consider commenting, possibly using The Falls’ requested format. For individuals, there is a sign-on letter. 

QUESTION from Monica C. about the city’s involvement. The city prefers the army corps maintain building ownership and the property around it be turned over. 

QUESTION from Kevin A. about timeline. The Army Corps hopes to move quickly. 

QUESTION from Sheree B. about engagement with the Native/Indigenous community

Amanda added that Congress has already separated the property around the lock from the lock itself. The Falls didn’t know the army corps would try to sell the whole property. 

The Minneapolis School of New Music – Bart Johnson

Located on 40th/Thomas, Minneapolis School of New Music is a music immersion, public, tuition-free charter school. Starting with grades 6-8 enrolling in fall, and building one year every year until 6-12. Will start with 100 students total in 6-8, building up to 350 students by the time they’re 6-12.

MSNM values music as a holistic way to teach, build up young people, and foster creativity. MSNM is currently working on engagement. Their liberal arts curriculum will be steeped in music. Check out the recently-released music video or come by for a physically-distanced tour!

MSNM is focusing on kids who need access to music in recruitment. Amplify music and genius that’s already inside kids. MSNM is marketing with a podcast, a flyer, and through social media. 

Lyndale Ave. N. Pedestrian Safety Project – Chris Kartheiser

2022 Construction date. 7 intersections on Lyndale ave. N. It’s a High crash concentration corridor, so Public works particularly wanted to address the corridor. Up through 40th/Lyndale.

Discussion between s-curve and adding a median. Lots of community feedback and questions around traffic impact, no assessment to homeowners.

7:45 PM    Board Business

Kevin A. presented the Finance Committee Report

No questions. WCNO finances are lean, but stable. We are hoping to get more information from the city soon for 2021 budgeting.

MOVED by Kevin to motion to accept the reports, pending the audit by a Treasurer. Seconded. Unanimous.

Discussion around needing to update & clarify language of signers/owners of WCNO’s Wells Fargo account. 

MOVED by Finance Committee that Robin Lewis be removed from the WCNO Wells Fargo account, as she no longer serves on the board, and that Sheree Breedlove (Chair) and whomever is elected Treasurer be added as signers (aka “owners”) on the account.

[NOTE: In a closed board session immediately following this quarterly meeting, Jane Riley best was elected Treasurer of the WCNO Board] 

Communications Committee Formation

MOVED by Executive Committee that WCNO will form a Communications Committee, chaired by Eric Hoffer and made up of both board and community members, which will help shape the communications priorities and goals for the organization, as well as aid to the Communication Coordinator in carrying out those goals. Seconded.

Discussion: There continues to be a need to better monitor main email, and this should not fall on the communications committee. There needs to be clarity of duties with the committee and staff, as it related to communication. Suggested understanding of responsibilities: The Communications Committee will help set the tone for communications and serve as a brain trust for communications decisions. Em will still handle day-to-day and Patricia will be Em’s supervisor.

Approved. (8 yea, 2 abstain)

Financial Requests made to WCNO (from I. Augustine & Bishop Kemp) 

We briefly clarified questions around the requests for finances from I. Augustine and Bishop Kemp, respectively. WCNO agreed that we are unable to meet these requests until we know our 2021 budget levels (which we are waiting to be provided by the city). WCNO commits to sharing information and promoting the causes in the meantime, as well as following up with Ms. Augustine and Bishop Kemp when numbers come in.

8:10 PM    Community Listening Session

Sheree B. shared a brief summary of recent WCNO accomplishments. Eric H. facilitated community listening around these questions:

1. As we enter a season of strategic planning, what do you see as focus areas for WCNO?

2. Since COVID-19, what do you think are the primary needs of the Webber-Camden neighborhood?

3. What gifts does Webber-Camden have to share?

[Discussion notes taken by E.D. Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight, and full recording is available on WCNO’s Facebook page]

MOVED by Shannon G. that WCNO reclaim the beginning of the April 2021 board meeting for community listening (appx. 30 minutes), including more focus on the questions at hand and better publicizing the session. Seconded. Approved unanimously.

Friends of the Falls Sign-on Letter Discussion 

MOVED by Kevin A. to support Friends of the Falls advocacy on behalf of the city of Minneapolis to acquire the land around the lock and dam of Saint Anthony for the purpose of creating more, with the expectation that the Army Corps continue the maintenance of the structure and waterways as mandated by the US Congress.  WCNO will consult with the language provided by Friends of the Falls and draft a letter of support. Seconded. Approved unanimously.

8:50 PM    WCNO Board Election Announcement.

New board member: Jane Riley Best.

8:55 PM    Adjourn 

[NOTE: In a closed board session immediately following this quarterly meeting, Jane Riley best was elected Treasurer of the WCNO Board] 

Respectfully submitted by Eric Hoffer, WCNO Secretary, on March 14th, 2021.

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