Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association Board Meeting
Date: December 7, 2021
Time to Call Meeting to Order after Quorum: 7:06 PM by President Scheiderer
Board Members Present: Charles Scheiderer (President), Toni D’Eramo, (Treasurer), John Lillehei, MD (Secretary), Jacquelynn Brown, Fran Davis, Tyler Ecklund-Kouba, Sue Westerman, Craig Wilson, Jennifer Wirick Breitinger, Anne Nelson, Robert HinckOther Attendees: Lisa Goodman, Inspector Katie Blackwell, Jennifer Waisanen, plus 21 others for a total of 35 on the Zoom Meeting
Minutes of November 5, 2021 LHNA Board Meeting
Motion carried to approve the minutes
Minneapolis City Council Update
7th Ward Council Member Lisa Goodman gave a neighborhood update. Zach Schultz, Lisa’s campaign manager, is now her Minneapolis City Council Office Associate. His area of expertise is climate change and economic inclusion. Lunch with Lisa is January 26, 2022. The Minneapolis City budget of 1.6 billion dollars included Mayor Frey’s proposal of $192 million in spending for the MPD for 2022. On December 3, 2021, Mayor Frey gained sole oversight of 10 city departments for the first time in Minneapolis history. He has put forth a series of work teams to address topics including public safety, police reform and economic revitalization. Lisa will be involved, as Mayor directives and appointments require City Council approval as the legislative branch.
The Minneapolis Holidazzle will return for winter 2021. On Friday December 10th, there will be an opening to showcase the Art in the new Public Service Building.
Lastly, the new Minneapolis Impound Lot has opened at 50 Van White Memorial Boulevard.
Minneapolis Police Crime Update
Fifth Precinct Inspector Katie Blackwell gave an update on the frightening escalation of carjackings and home invasions throughout Minneapolis and most recently several incidents in Lowry Hill. The carjackings occur most often between 6-7PM during the week and anytime on weekends. The peak age of the perpetrators is 18-21 and they tend to work in groups of two to four. There was a robust conversation between Inspector Blackwell and Zoom participants. Everyone in Lowry Hill is frightened for personal and family safety, especially after dark. Unfortunately, we all are aware that even when follow all of the safety recommendations, we can still can still become a victim. This is a summary of the report.
The carjackers often park and wait for their appropriate victim. They may watch you leave a local grocery store, follow your car home, and as you start to unload groceries, approach you with a gun and demand your keys, car, wallet or purse, and you unlocked cellphone. This can occur wherever you park your car: street, driveway or even in your garage with garage door open or after closing.
They may be parked on the street, waiting for anyone in a car to park anywhere and then accost you. During the meeting, a Lowry Hill resident gave a chilling carjacking account of being confronted after driving into the garage, garage door closing, then suddenly and unknowingly surprised by two individuals, one holding a long gun, then calmly demanding purse, car keys, to unlock cellphone, before driving off with the car. THESE ASSSAULTS CAN BE OVER WITHIN A MINUTE OR LESS.
Carjackers most often quickly ditch the stolen vehicle, use stolen cellphones to access banking information, and use stolen credit cards to quickly purchase food and goods before they are cancelled.
Recommendation if carjacked ,robbed while walking or for home invasion
Inspector Blackwell emphasized to never resist or fight the assailant(s) as your life is more precious than your valuables. Some who have fought back have been seriously injured. Give them your money, credit card, keys, car or any belongings they ask.
CALL 911. ATTEMPT TO REMEMBER FACE, CLOTHING OR ANY IDENTIFYING DESCRIPTION YOU GIVE POLICE. The police or police detective may ask for a piece of clothing for forensic analysis (including DNA) and security camera imagery.
She emphasized vigilance, presence and undistracted awareness of your surrounding. If a car seems to be following from the grocery store, call 911 and don’t drive home, so that the potential assailant cannot follow you home. When you drive home to park, wherever that may be, look around, if a car is parked on the street with occupants in, especially at night, then again don’t get out of your car, drive past, and then call 911. Some individuals will drive into their garage with car still locked, close the garage door and then exit their vehicle.
Never park your car and remain on your cellphone, as this has been an all to frequent robbery or carjacking scenario. Never leave valuables or anything in your parked vehicle.
Keep home doors locked at night as well as exterior, porch and motion lights activated, and keep valuables such as purse wallet, backpack or laptop out of window viewing. Potential home invaders do not like bright outdoor lights or security cameras.
Police Prevention/ Social Prevention
Inspector Blackwell stated they are providing more Police squad cars to the Lowry Hill Neighborhood. Resources are limited. 21 more Minneapolis Police Cadets will soon be graduating. The police have started a robbery suppression detail. There is a new Joint Task Force to charge and hold repeat carjackers in the juvenile system or adults charged with felonies, and incarcerated if convicted. She emphasized the importance of Victim Impact Statements in charging these individuals.
Longterm solutions involve investment in youths at risk by investing in afterschool programs that include sports. The Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association investment in the North High School Polar Booster Club for the Track Program is a good example.
Treasurer Chair Toni D’Eramo presented the report. As of 11/30/2021, there are $36,690.58 in Community Participation Program (CPP) Funds. Of these Funds, $10,000 is committed to the North High Polar Booster Club for the Track Program, $10,000 for bronze history plaques in Thomas Lowry Park/ Seven Pools, and $5000 for LHN signage.
This leaves approximately $10,000. Of this, we owe the City of Minneapolis $4,200 for repayment of a previous advance to LHNA, $3,400 for 12 months of 2022 advertisements in the Hill & Lake Press, and $2.400 to cover December 2021 bills.
For 2022, the LHNA preliminary budget is $23,000 that may change depending upon the City Budget.
Crime and Safety Report
Crime & safety Chair Sue Westerman introduced our Zoom Call participant, Jennifer Waisanen. Jennifer is the temporary Crime Prevention Specialist for the 5th Precinct MPD. She is the liaison for neighborhood crime and provides statistics to the Crime & Safety Committee. Currently, Sue sends crime data to LHNA Block Captains, who in turn notify their neighbors. There was discourse on methods to provide better crime and safety information to all in Lowry Hill. Toni has been posting the recent egregious carjackings and robberies on our LHNA website. Any Lowry Hill neighbor can go to the website, fill in their first name and email to receive timely and pertinent information.
Tyler Ecklund-Kouba addressed the 6 Policy Forms mandated by the City for the LHNA Board that he has customized for our Board needs.
Motion carried to approve these forms.
All LHNA Board Members must complete the Conflict of Interest Annual Certification & Disclosure Form. The completed forms can be emailed to Tyler who will securely store them on Dropbox.
Discussion ensued on the Equitable Engagement Plan, The City will begin to score the LHNA on how we reach and engage renters, including renter participation in our sponsored events.
Regarding the advertisement in the December Issue of Hill & Lake Press,
Toni stated it will include information on supporting the North High Polar Booster Club Track Team fund raising effort, safety tips, and an announcement of the January 4th, 7PM LHNNA Zoom Board Meeting, as well as a reminder for Lowry Hill residents to sign up for e-news.
The Board also discussed future management, improvement and efficiencies of the main LHNA email subscriber list, and ‘Know Your Neighbor” email list. Both Toni and Sue will address this.
Chair Fran Davis stated there were no current zoning related issues.
Events Chair Jackie Brown related the success of the November 22nd Zoom Meeting, “ Meet Your Principal” that she moderated with Craig Wilson. Thee meeting showcased North High School Polar Track Program, with guest speakers Principal Mauri Friestleben, Assistant Principal Steve White and Track Coach Skoglund. The event is available for viewing on YouTube.
Communication & Outreach Committee member Tyler Ecklund-Kouba presented an update on Lowry Hill signage. There are 23 potential spots for the new gateway signs. The total bill for everything is $2,600.
Craig Wilson, Neighborhood Priority Chair, spoke about the to date funds raised for the North High Booster Club for Track equipment. The current goal is $42,000. LHNA has will provide $10,000, Kenwood Isles Association $5,000 and $7000 has been raised thus far in private donations.
The Park Board will utilize the $10,000 for the development and placement of the 3 bronze historic plaques in Thomas Lowry Park/ Seven Pools with Craig’s help.
Old and New Business
On December 1, 2021, all 15 LHNA Board Members voted yes to approve the November 9, 2021 Motion: Support projects that improve the public realm in and around Lowry Hill through targeted investments in landscaping, street furnishing, and related infrastructure. Projects may include, but are not limited to the Douglas Median Landscape Project and the Fremont Mount-Mount Curve Triangle Landscape Project. Funds may also be used for other improvements to other public spaces within the neighborhood. This may include increased signage and neighborhood improvements to our public spaces. Further, projects also may include support for public institutions, such as schools, that are part of the Lowry Hill Community. In addition, reallocate a total of $24,798.70 of CPP Funds to that Priority. The revised language and motion was 1st published in the November 9, 2021 LHNA Board Meeting Minutes, 21 days prior to this December 1, 2021 vote.
January LHNA Zoom Board Meeting, Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 7:00 PM
As there was no further business,
Meeting adjourned by Charles Scheiderer at 8:56 PM by a motion carried.
Minutes submitted by John Lillehei, MD
Secretary, LHNA Board