Minutes of December 2022 LHNA Board Meeting

Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association board meeting minutes.

Date: December 6, 2022

Location: Zoom

Time Meeting Called to Order after Quorum: 7:05PM by President Charles Scheiderer.

Board Members Present: Charles Scheiderer (President), William Goodnow (Secretary); Jacquelyn Brown-Baylor; Vickie Gilfillian-Bennett; Fran Davis; Tyler Ecklund-Kouba; David Bjork; Jennifer Wirick Breitinger; Nate Morris; Chad Harkin; Anne Nelson; Thomas Regnier; John Lillehei, MD.

Other Attendees: Barb Davis, Carla Godwin, Miriam Segall, Gary Baker, Mary DeDeaux-Swinton, and several other neighborhood Zoom participants.

Minneapolis City Council Update
Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman was not present due to her attendance of the City Council’s budget adoption hearing at 6PM this evening. Lisa will attend our next meeting on January 3, 2023. Lisa’s office did not forward notes to the board this month.

Minneapolis Police Department Update
5 th Precinct Inspector Katie Blackwell was not present due to a scheduling mishap but plans to attend our meeting on January 3, 2023. Inspector Blackwell did attend the Neighborhood Safety Meeting on November 28 with US Attorney Andy Luger. At the Neighborhood Safety Meeting, Katie and Andy discussed the fact that over 75% of carjackings in Minneapolis are committed by juveniles and only 12% of carjackers are eventually caught. The proportion of carjackings committed by juveniles poses a problem because the US Attorney does not have jurisdiction over juveniles. The MPD is working to identify juveniles that are repeat offenders. Gang initiation appears to be a factor in the prevalence of carjackings.

Crime & Safety Update
Treasurer Sue Westerman was unable to attend and did not provide an update, however President Scheiderer relayed her notes. The Neighborhood Safety Meeting on November 28 was discussed, specifically the idea of starting a safety walking program. A neighborhood in North Minneapolis has a walking program, led by Aileen Johnson, in which groups of 3-20 volunteers convene and walk around the neighborhood together for 1-1.5 hours during peak crime hours to deter criminal activity. The group in North Minneapolis has orange t-shirts for visibility, several members with training from the police department on de-escalation techniques, and organizational support from the police department. In November, the peak hours for crime in Lowry Hill were 5-7PM on Tuesday evenings and the timing of the walking program will be built around peak crime data provided by the police department. Sue Westerman is gathering names of potential volunteers for the walking program, and Chas S., William G., David B., John L., Chad H., Jennifer B., Thomas R., and Nate M. all indicated willingness to participate by show of hands. Chad H. has already organized an initial walk for his area of Lowry Hill near Thomas Lowry Park. Chad plans to convene a group outside of his home on the north side of Thomas Lowry Park on Wednesday 12/14 from 3-5PM. Board members agreed that the Neighborhood Safety Meeting was valuable to residents and should be held at least annually, and perhaps on a larger scale involving multiple neighborhoods. The meeting was not advertised in the Hill & Lake Press as it was not scheduled far enough in advance. Barb Davis mentioned that the annual event, which draws a large number of residents, may be a good forum to promote future Neighborhood Safety Meetings. At the Neighborhood Safety Meeting, residents contributed $875 of donations to the LHNA Board.

Motion to reimburse Sue Westerman for ~$200 of expenses related to the Neighborhood Safety Meeting: David Bjork proposed the motion, John Lillehei seconded. There was no discussion and the motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Sue Westerman was unable to attend and did not provide an update. It is likely that funding for neighborhood associations will be cut significantly in 2023. The plaque in Thomas Lowry Park is not up and we have not been billed. The Engagement Plan was approved by the City and comments were forwarded to the board. President Scheiderer reiterated that the Engagement Plan is meant to be a “living document” and can be changed if need be.

Events Update
Events Chair Jackie Brown-Baylor was experiencing audio issues during the meeting and was unable to provide an update verbally, however she sent an email on events issues to the board following the meeting.

The Ice Skating Event will be held on January 29, 2023 and will potentially be sponsored by Kowalski’s and Lowry Hill Liquors. The sandwich boards discussed in November have been ordered and paid for.

The paraphrased text of Jackie’s email update is as follows:

“We are finalizing signs and advertising for the 1/29/23 Ice Skating Event – below is where we are at. We as a collective of neighborhood associations (Lowry Hill, Kenwood, and East Isles) are concerned about our funds shrinking next year so we are planning to continue to work collaboratively on events whenever possible in the future.

All neighbors are encouraged to wear neighborhood colors in solidarity – we are the Lowry Hill Turtles. Each neighborhood will have a winter “parade route.” Lowry Hill neighbors will meet at the Episcopal Church at 1:45PM to march down to the warming house on Lake of the Isles together. The opening ceremony will be at 2PM and will start with some loud instrumental sound like a drum or horn. Three bonfires will be lit representing each of our three neighborhoods while also providing warmth. As part of the opening ceremony, a song will play and an ice skater from each neighborhood will compete wearing their neighborhood’s respective colors. A panel of judges will award a winner.

I’ll bring the bean bag toss, but we also need spectators. Bonus – the Parks Department waived all fees in honor of our partnership. Any proceeds will be donated to benefit the skating rink and Kenwood Park. We may have access to $2000 of past funds for this event – East Isles is confirming. We are also trying to locate the original banner.”

Motion to reimburse Rob Royal for $300 of expenditures related to the annual Thanksgiving pie delivery event: motion proposed by Jennifer Breitinger and seconded by Fran Davis. During discussion, Fran and Jennifer both discussed adding the pie delivery to our scheduled events annually as this year it was organized at the last minute. Motion passed unanimously.

Communications Update
Communications Chair Tyler Ecklund-Kouba provided an update. Tyler is planning to send an email to the board detailing a proposal for LHNA merchandising between now and our January meeting. Tyler is still looking for residents to profile for the LHNA newsletter and requested we submit recommendations (Carla Godwin later
suggested he feature a Peris resident at some point). The November advertisement in the Hill & Lake Press included the new QR code and was used for two donations. The Hill & Lake Press advertisements for December and January will feature the 1/29 Ice Skating Event. President Scheiderer suggested that the walking program (discussed in Crime & Safety) be added to the advertisements and volunteered to be listed as the contact person for inquiries about the walking program. Tyler asked that changes to the minutes be submitted to him directly so that he can update the website.

Zoning Chair Fran Davis provided an update on the variance requests for the 919 Kenwood Parkway single family home construction project. The City of Minneapolis recommended approval of the three requested variances though no action is required of the board at this time. The 919 Kenwood Parkway variance is the only pending zoning business currently.

Carla Godwin provided an update for Peris during this section, they have 40 total residents currently including 15 former foster youth. Peris is adding more lighting to the corridor between their building and Lowry Hill Meats and has adjusted their camera angles to include the street. The units damaged by fire in June are restored and reoccupied. Peris has formed a Youth Advisory Council and Carla offered the council’s volunteer services. Carla also offered to post advertisements for the walking program in the building.

Donation Committee Update
Nate Morris provided an update on his fundraising efforts. LHNA received about $600 in November. Nate added five people to the email list, forwarded the donation link to two, and sent two thank you letters for donations. “Crime” was the primary response Nate received to the “what would you change about the neighborhood” question. Nate is planning to do some door knocking and donation envelope distribution in December. Nate asked for permission to write letters to past donors soliciting donations.

Approval of November LHNA Board meeting minutes: David Bjork moved for approval of the November minutes and his motion was seconded by Fran Davis.

During discussion, Tyler asked that edits to the minutes be forwarded to him directly so that he can keep the LHNA website updated with the most current version of the minutes. Additionally, timely release of the minutes was discussed. Secretary Goodnow agreed to release the draft minutes for review on the Tuesday following the board meetings as a matter of course. Secretary Goodnow also agreed to institute a formal three-day comment period after which the draft minutes will be considered final. The motion was passed by unanimous vote.

Other Issues
The board needs a Vice-President who intends to become President next year. Chas is willing to discuss the job over (free) coffee or ice cream with anyone interested.

Congratulations to Nate Morris on getting married!

As there was no further business,

Meeting adjourned by President Charles Scheiderer at 8:30 PM by motion carried.

The next LHNA Board Meeting will be held on January 3, 2023 at 7PM.

Minutes by William Goodnow
Secretary, LHNA Board