Date: February 7, 2023
Time Meeting Called to Order after Quorum: 7:05PM by President Charles
Board Members Present: Charles Scheiderer (President); Sue Westerman (Treasurer); William Goodnow (Secretary); Jackie Brown-Baylor; Fran Davis; Tyler Ecklund-Kouba; David Bjork; Jennifer Wirick Breitinger; Chad Harkin; Thomas Regnier; John Lillehei, MD.
Other Attendees: Council member Lisa Goodman, LT McCree, Scott Graham, and several other neighborhood Zoom participants.
Minneapolis City Council Update
Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman provided an update. Lunch With Lisa will be held on 2/22 and will discuss the Downtown Vitality Work Group. In March, Lunch With Lisa will be held on 3/29. City staff are supportive of the Dunwoody Organization Request. The Minneapolis 2040 Plan went into effect. The zoning districts have been redrawn but the uses of the various districts has not been decided upon and there will be a public comment period. Visit minneapolis2040.com for more information. Lisa asked residents to call 311 about snow removal, potholes, and people disobeying parking restrictions.
Minneapolis Police Department Update
5th Precinct Inspector Katie Blackwell was unable to attend but Lt McCree provided an update. In January in Lowry Hill, there were zero robberies and nine auto thefts. Auto thefts typically occurred when vehicles were left running to warm up. There were two burglaries and an arson as well. Lt McCree reported a new class of 10 officers just graduated from the police academy, however the Police Department is losing about 10 officers per month.
Crime & Safety Update
Treasurer Sue Westerman provided an update. December was the lowest crime month that Lowry Hill has seen since Sue started tracking crime events. In January there were 16 incidents with car and car part thefts being the main contributors. There was an incident at Franklin & Emerson in which a victim with a cell phone was assaulted. Otherwise, for the 90 days prior to this meeting violent crimes, carjackings, and robberies have been scarce. The Safety Walking Group was discussed. Sue is planning to start doing walks in April after the ice and snow melts somewhat. Sue planned to set up a Zoom call with neighbors interested in the walking group.
Treasurer Sue Westerman provided an update. Sue reviewed the LHNA budget for 2023 (please see January minutes for a detailed overview of the LHNA 2022 budget). For 2023, we have ~$10,000 from the neighborhood network fund and ~$9,118 from the Equitable Engagement Fund. Our budget for 2023 is about $10,000 lower than it was in 2022, however as detailed in the January minutes many of our 2023 expenses were prepaid out of the 2022 budget. Of special interest to many board members was the prepayment of advertising expenses to the Hill & Lake Press. The details and rational for the prepayment is covered extensively in the January 2023 LHNA Board minutes. LHNA also has about $40,000 in cash currently and donations at the end of 2022 were strong. We discussed the Hennepin Crossroads landscaping project as Greenspace Minneapolis asked us to contribute $3500 to the maintenance of the Hennepin Crossroads. In general, there was agreement that $3500 is beyond our means due to the reduction in funding from the city in 2023 but we might be able to afford a lesser amount.
Events Chair Jackie Brown-Baylor provided an update. Jackie suggested we buy t-shirts and provide flashlights for the walking group. She pointed out that the walking group could fall in the category of events as well. Palio is scheduled for 2/26 from 2-4pm. The budget was $500 for each neighborhood a significant amount of which went to printing laminated signs for the sandwich boards. There will be collection jars for the Ice Skating Rink set out in exchange for the Park Board waving the permit fee of $500. Chad offered to provide firewood for the bonfires at Palio. The North Polars are hosting the relays on 4/25 from 2-3pm and Jackie suggested we provide some free advertising. She is thinking of having a Thomas Lowry Park Pride Day and starting a “Green Team” of kids who would come to Thomas Lowry Park and do some cleanup for a day (plant plants for example). Jackie suggested we consider providing an award to a resident. She asked for a $500 budget for the Green Team. The next event after that will be the Ice Cream Social. Sue suggested food trucks at events. Jackie came up with a figure of $6750 cost for all of our events for the year including the annual meeting.
Sue Westerman made a motion to allocate $4000 of the 2023 budget to support events (excluding expenditures for the annual meeting) which may be used variously (for example to fund entertainment, materials, incidentals, permits, tents, food or food trucks). The motion was seconded by Jennifer Wirick Breitinger. In discussion Sue mentioned this is in alignment with the Neighborhood Engagement Plan. The motion carried unanimously.
Communications Chair Tyler Ecklund-Kouba provided an update. Tyler did some research into merchandise but decided that it was a large enough project that it required a separate volunteer as it is a large discussion with many decisions to be made about types of merchandise, designs, styles etc. The advertisements in the Hill & Lake Press will be created by a contact at the Hill & Lake Press from this point forward (Christopher). Tyler expressed that he disagrees with the prepaid spending to the Hill & Lake Press and intends to do less cost saving work as a result. The email list is strong with a high open rate.
Zoning Chair Fran Davis provided an update. There are four variances from Dunwoody, they are essentially moving their signs arounds. No board members expressed concern so Fran plans to send a note to the City indicating no objection.
Carla Godwin of Peris Hill is still looking for renters and has several empty units available and asked that board members spread the word.
Donation Committee Update
Donations Committee Chair Nate Morris was unable to attend and did not provide an update.
Approval of January LHNA Board Meeting Minutes: Fran Davis motioned for approval which was seconded by John Lillehei. Motion passed unanimously.
Scott Graham attended the meeting. He is running for Lisa Goodman’s City Council seat and made a brief statement to the board.
Fran Davis asked for volunteers to step up to the Vice Presidency of the LHNA Board as Chas is nearing the end of his tenure.
The Annual Meeting is coming up. A venue needs to be decided upon, for example the Scottish Rite or The Walker. Will Goodnow, John Lillehei, Thomas Regnier, Jennifer Wirick Breitinger and Fran Davis volunteered to help organize the annual meeting. The Walker was expensive in 2022.
LHNA: Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association
MPD: Minneapolis Police Department
HLP: Hill & Lake Press
NNF: Neighborhood Network Fund
EEF: Equitable Engagement Fund
As there was no further business,
Meeting adjourned by President Charles Scheiderer at 9:20 PM by motion carried.
The next LHNA Board Meeting will be held on March 7, 2023 at 7PM.
Minutes by William Goodnow
Secretary, LHNA Board