January 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

Board Business Meeting — Zoom

January 7th, 2021 — 6:30-8:30 PM

DRAFT MINUTES

WCNO Attendees: Sherry Breedlove (Acting Chair), Eric Hoffer (Secretary), Vamsi Grussing (Treasurer), Monica Colberg, Kevin Aldwaik, Jeff Schmidt, Shannon Glenn, Maria Ahlgren, Tiara Brown, Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight (Executive Director), Em Matson (Communications Coordinator)

Community Attendees: Alexis Covey, Jane Riley Best, Jon Aga, Krystin Eldridge, Freddy, William Walsh, Rochelle Washington, Lyn Fair, Amanda Dobbs

6:32 PM Acting Chair, Sheree Breedlove, called the meeting to order

6:34 PM Approved Agenda & Time/Location of Next Meeting (2/4/21 @ 6:30pm) 

6:37 PM Reviewed December 2020 Minutes. Approved unanimously.

6:40 PM Acting Chair reminded the group that we will be electing two new board members, then opened the floor up to any further nominations for those positions. No additional nominations. 

WCNO Communications Coordinator, Em Matson, shared the voting procedure (including Survey Monkey Link) for anyone who had yet to vote and announced that voting would close at 7:30pm.

6:45 PM Board candidates shared 2 minutes about who they are and why they are running for a board seat. 

Candidates who spoke: Alexis Covey, Jane Riley Best, Krystin Eldridge, Lyn Fair. [full video available on facebook and by request]

7:05 PM Treasurer’s Report shared by Vamsi Grussing. 

Full report available upon request, but Assets are at $34,918 with $15,756 cash on hand. 

COMMENT from Board Member, Kevin Aldwaik: This level of reporting and clarity is best he’s seen in years and is grateful for the work of the Treasurer.

7:20 PM Executive Director’s Report shared by Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight

Full report available upon request, but highlights include:

E.D. attended nearly every committee meeting, though such responsibilities will be divided between her and the Communications Coordinator moving forward. Lots of work around budgeting/finance and the housing committee. Several meetings with the city around Neighborhoods 2020 and its impact on WCNO’s 2021 budget (Jun-Dec, specifically). Other admin and project work, including researching and sharing information around the Blue Line, Upper Harbor Terminal, and Baldwin Square. Working with the Communications Coordinator on a Communications Plan and Newsletter template.

COMMUNITY REQUEST from Project Jamar Saving Me to rent desk space from the WCNO office for $250/month, on a month-to-month basis. BOARD DISCUSSION followed, including ensuring we have the capacity to sublease, what is a fair market value, and what is our mission. 

MOTION (by Kevin A.): That WCNO lease one desk and surrounding space to Project Jamar Saving Me for $250/month on a month to month basis, with details and restrictions determined by staff and approved by the Executive Committee. APPROVED unanimously.

7:40 PM Committee Reports [Full reports available upon request]

Youth and Family Committee is hosting Bingo night, ideally monthly! REQUESTs donations and sponsorships from the community for prizes. Jane Riley Best volunteered to help find community sponsorships. Forming a youth advisory committee–please spread the word, and remind the youth there will be pizza!

Communications/Outreach Committee is leaning into block clubs and would like to help build a bridge between neighbors and law enforcement. WCNO must review its previously passed language around its relationship with police after the murder of George Floyd before engaging with that work too much.

Housing Committee is discussing ways to get emergency rental assistance to community members. Envision (https://envisioncommunitymn.org) was briefly introduced–a tiny-house style community of affordable housing birthed by people experiencing homelessness. They would like to build on the large lot just south of 42nd/Fremont. Envision will have community presentations on 1/19 at 6:30pm and 1/23 at 1pm, in addition to filling the next housing committee meeting on February 10th at 6:30pm. 

Finance Committee shared procedural goals for 2021 and highlighted the updates it has made so far. Informed the board that WCNO will be moving its Quickbooks hosting over to TechSoup, saving money in the process [no approval necessary].

8:00 PM E.D. described WCNO’s existing “priorities” as it relates to our by-laws and NRP contracts. 

Currently, we have very general language around outreach, resident advocacy, communications, housing, and community participation. If we want to add to it (such as the potential Youth Education Opportunity priority), it requires a board vote OR whole membership (community) vote if the financial implications are over $25,000.

8:10 PM         2021 Budget DRAFT (January-June): V. Grussing

We do not know the Neighborhoods 2020 implications for the budget beginning in July 2021, so the budget was created through June. Both Revenue and Expenses budgeted at $46,608. Full budget available upon request.

8:15 PM E.D. and Eric shared about the request for WCNO to sign on to the initial letter of support for the proposed Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act for Minneapolis. 

In short, TOPA would give tenants the first opportunity to purchase the building (at fair market value) from their landlord if the building was put up for sale.

Discussion included a lot of support. Some meaningful questions around supporting landlords as well as renters, plus the lack of concrete details around the potential bill.

MOTION (by Eric): For WCNO to sign on the TOPA letter of support with other neighborhood organizations. MOTION APPROVED (6 yes, 2 abstain, 1 no).

8:25 PM WCNO staff and Executive Committee researched mediation possibilities with the Conflict Resolution Center of Minnesota. After discussion, it was agreed that WCNO would pursue mediation that included every board and staff member, following CRC’s process including at least one full-group session. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training is present in the mediation process, but WCNO agreed to seek specific DEI training upon the conclusion of the mediation.

8:30 PM WCNO welcomed new board members, Krystin Eldridge and Kenneth Frazier.

8:31 PM Adjourn 

*In a closed board meeting, immediately following this one, the WCNO elected Sheree Breedlove as Chair and Krystin Eldridge as Vice Chair. Vamsi Grussing and Eric Hoffer remained Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.

Respectfully submitted by Eric Hoffer, WCNO Secretary.

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