Minutes of June 2022 LHNA Board Meeting

Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes – DRAFT version to be approved at LHNA September meeting.

Date: June 7, 2022

Location: Zoom

Time to Call Meeting to Order after Quorum: 7:09 PM by President Charles Scheiderer

Board Members Present: Charles Scheiderer (President), Thomas Regnier (Vice-President), Toni D’Eramo (Treasurer), John Lillehei, MD (Secretary), Vickie Gilfillian-Bennett, Fran Davis, George Montague, Tyler Ecklund-Kouba, Sue Westerman, Chad Harkin, Robert Hinck, Jennifer Wirick Breitinger, Anne Nelson, Jacquelyn Brown-Baylor, William Goodnow, David Bjork, Nate Morris

Other Attendees: Council Member Lisa Goodman, Inspector Katie Blackwell, and seven more Neighborhood Zoom Participants.

Minneapolis City Council Update
7th Ward Council Member Lisa Goodman presented a neighborhood and city update. The next Lunch with Lisa is Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at Seven Points in Uptown (formerly Calhoun Square). Business owners will discuss the future of Uptown. Minneapolis City Council Members continue to consider uses for the City’s remaining $43 million of American Rescue Plan funding. In late May, they unanimously agreed on more funding for business assistance in cultural districts, culturally specific communications in the East African community, and street lights for the Stevens Square neighborhood.

Minneapolis Police Department Update
5th Precinct Inspector Katie Blackwell gave a crime update. There were 3 carjackings in Lowry Hill in the month of May. A gun was presented or implied at all 3, all perpetrators were male, and the victims were female. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings, stay off mobile phones when entering /exiting cars or idling, and if possible, try to remember a description of the carjacker for investigators. The prime time for city carjacking is 5-9 PM and tends to be near the 4 main corridors for rapid escape: Franklin Avenue, Lagoon Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, and Lyndale Avenue. Inspector Blackwell thought that despite a recent increase in crime, ongoing Lowry Hill police car presence through the Minneapolis Safety Initiative has helped prevent ‘strings of crime’ in Lowry Hill.

Minutes of May 3, 2022 LHNA Zoom Board Meeting and In Person May 25, 2022 Annual Meeting at the Walker Art Center
Separate motions carried to approve both minutes.

Crime and Safety Update
Crime and Safety Chair Sue Westerman discussed the May 1-May 31, 2022 Crime Statistics in Lowry Hill. In addition to the 3 carjackings addressed by Inspector Blackwell, there were 6 thefts from cars, 3 burglaries of business, 2 catalytic convertor thefts, and a theft of a package from a home stoop. Sue plans to analyze and present Lowry Hill Neighborhood crime trends for 2022 compared to 2021. The funding for the 4 additional neighborhood cameras was addressed at the Annual meeting and again at this meeting.

President Scheiderer stated that NRP (Neighborhood Revitalization Program) Funds could be utilized to pay for the 4 surveillance cameras once the majority of Lowry Hill residents vote in favor, with a minimum of 25 affirmative votes. Each camera is $7,000 for a total of $28,000. LHNA was recently repaid $94,000 in NRP Funds that it loaned to Propel Nonprofits for affordable housing. LHNA will reallocate $28,000 of these repaid funds for these 4 cameras. The July 16, 2022 Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social would be a tactical venue to inform neighbors of these 4 cameras and hopefully garner enough written votes to allow use of NRP Funds.

Election of Officers
Nominations Chair Fran Davis presented her report. Two motions followed:
Motion carried to elect Charles Scheiderer to a 2nd term as President.
Motion carried to elect Sue Westerman as Treasurer.

Toni D’ Eramo was unanimously thanked for her service as Treasurer and service to the LHNA Board as was Bob Hinck.

It should also be noted that Thomas Regnier stated he has withdrawn as acting Vice-President and John Lillehei, MD stated he has withdrawn as acting Secretary. Both will remain on the LHNA Board. As such, both Officer Positions are open to all existing Board Members that will hopefully volunteer to fill these 2 Positions before our next LHNA Board Meeting in September 2022.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Toni D’Eramo presented her final report for the period ending 5/31/2022. As of May 31, 2022, Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association has $43,107.60 in our Checking Account. We have a liability of $10,000 that is held for the Thomas Lowry Park/ Seven Pools Bronze Plaques.

Onboarding Plan for New Board Members
The 3 new LHNA Board Members are Nate Morris, David Bjork and William Goodnow. As there are no Board Meetings in July and August 2022, there will be summer informational and expectation meetings for the new members in venues such as Sebastian Joe’s.

Zoning Update
Zoning Chair Fran Davis presented a brief report. 1218 Summit Avenue Variances: The Zoning Board of Adjustment has denied the two variances. Homeowner Varun Kharbanda was present at the Zoom Meeting this evening and stated he has withdrawn his variances so the Zoning Board has postponed the meeting of June 23, 2022 on the 1218 Summit Avenue Variances.
Peris Hill: Director of the Peris Foundation, Carla Godwin, addressed questions and concerns about Peris Hill including trash disposal behind the building and a small, quickly abated fire started by a resident’s disposed cigarette.
35 Groveland Terrace: The Nor-Son Construction Company has installed motion- activated lights on the townhome construction site in response to recent concerns of loitering and trespassing individuals.

Events Chair Jackie Brown-Baylor discussed the July 16, 2022 Ice Cream Social, the tactics for the Fishing Event, Neighborhood Garage Sale and other fun, social events that will be posted on our LHNA website: http://www.lowryhillneighborhood.org. Communication Chair Tyler Ecklund-Kouba will also place advance ads in the Hill & Lake Press for the Ice Cream Social and other Lowry Hill Neighborhood social events throughout 2022.

Other Issues

Communications Chair Tyler Ecklund-Kouba led a discussion on an issue/incident that unfortunately divides our Lowry Hill Community rather than our wish for a neighborhood that embraces and unites our collective belief for tolerance, peaceful harmony and respectful dialogue. The Board conversation addressed collective brainstorming, wisdom and the best response and path forward.

CPP (Community Participation Program) Form:
Motion carried to direct President Charles Scheiderer to complete the CPP form as required by the city.

Thomas Lowry Park Bronze Plaque(s) Indemnification Clause Agreement by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board: this agreement clause is onerous and problematic for placing all future injurious liability on the LHNA in perpetuity from the yet to be installed bronze plaques in Thomas Lowry Park. Motion carried to allow President Charles Scheiderer with whichever LHNA Board Member(s) he assigns, to examine and negotiate the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Bronze Plaque(s) Indemnification Clause Agreement and subsequently allow a LHNA Board email vote on the final negotiated agreement. 

As there was no further business,
Meeting adjourned by President Charles Scheiderer at 9:04 PM by motion carried.

Minutes by John Lillehei, MD
Secretary, LHNA Board