Board Minutes April 2015

6 May

EWANA Board Meeting

April 8, 2015

Minutes

 

In Attendance: Adam Chase, Mandy Chase, Stephen Edge, Ted Figura, Jason Mann, Kirk Weir.

Absent were: Rich Lee and Joshua Martin

 

Minutes of the February 4, 2015 EWANA Board meeting and the February 10 EWANA neighborhood meeting were approved and will be posted. Ideas for future projects generated at the committee break-outs at the neighborhood meeting will be appended to the neighborhood meeting minutes. Stephen Edge will forward notes from the Infrastructure and Transportation section.

 

Ted informed the Board of progress on the Haywood Road Sidewalk Art project. The Sidewalk Art Committee met on March 16 and the Board was copied on the email to Committee members summarizing that meeting. Adam asked about input needed from the Board. Ted said that one major item was the maintenance agreement to be signed by EWANA and the City. Two issues that need particular attention qre the question of liability and how to handle graffiti. Ted recommended that anyone placing art within the frames that the City will install sign a waiver holding harmless both EWANA and the City. Ted did not see a need for EWANA to obtain liability insurance.

 

Ted said that the City would remove any graffiti placed along the sidewalk but that EWANA would be responsible for graffiti removal within the frames. There was a discussion about responsibility if and when graffiti was placed both inside/on the frame and on the sidewalk outside the frame. How this situation would be handled needs to be clarified in the Agreement.

 

Kirk suggested that the Agreement include a provision that EWANA would have a certain number of days from written notification from the City to remove graffiti and after that period the City would remove it. If EWANA does not remove graffiti within the frames, the City will do this but their method would destroy the frame. A question arose about whether EWANA should let the City remove the graffiti and just replace the frame. There was also a question about who would be notified and there was agreement that this should be the Chair.

 

There were also questions about what methods would be acceptable to the City to remove graffiti. A suggestion was made that EWANA find out from local businesses how they remove graffiti and explore contracting for graffiti removal. Ted suggested that the best graffiti prevention was to have the frames filled with art as soon as possible, since empty frames would invite tagging.

 

With regard to general maintenance, it remains unclear how often this will need to be done and this will ultimately be learned from experience. The Board requested that EWANA ask for free rent of a small storage space at a City maintenance building for maintenance supplies (stain, stencils). The Board also requested that the Committee explore how other communities maintain their sidewalk art.

 

There was also a question about how the sidewalk art would be maintained if EWANA ceased to exist. Ted said that the Agreement is currently drafted so that if this were to occur, the City would take over responsibility and would be able to do what they wanted with the sidewalk art (i.e. maintain it or destroy it).

 

Adam brought up the issue of fundraising for the project. EWANA will need to purchase supplies for the installation of the art by local artists and will also need to have funds for maintenance. Adam told the Board that there had been discussion at the Sidewalk Art Committee meeting about paying artists. Although a number of Committee members were in favor of this, opinion was divided. The opinion of Board members and former Board members on the Committee was that it would be best if the artists volunteered. However, an idea that combines non-monetary compensation with fundraising is to produce a brochure that features the artists and contains advertisements paid for by Haywood Road businesses. The brochure could be distributed at Haywood Road businesses and other venues and would also be on-line. The Board requested further development of this idea. Adam will put a proposal together regarding a promotional brochure.

 

A fundraising event was also discussed. Adam reported that he had discussions with a Haywood Road business owner about such an event in which 10% of the businesses sales would be donated to EWANA. This is a concept that could be extended to other Haywood Road businesses. Alcohol would be available or not available depending on the business. Adam suggested that proceeds go to EWANA generally, not to the sidewalk art project specifically. However, this would provide EWANA with funds to support the sidewalk art project. The idea of a block party was also discussed but some members of the Board thought this should be a separate event.

 

Kirk then reported that he had met with Greg Schuler at the City. Greg said that the north side of Craven Street will be open by the end of April. However, he said that it may be the end of the year before the Craven Street project is completely finished. Ted remarked that this may affect the timetable for the sidewalk art project. Ted will check with Robert Kun regarding this.

 

Kirk also reported that the City is in favor of lowering the speed limit on Amboy Road to 35 mph and that it is on the City’s agenda with NCDOT to communicate that the speed limit had been changed in the wrong direction. Kirk also said that he had opened a discussion to make Richland Street sidewalk eligible, which would mean that when the lots for sale on that street are developed, the City would make the developer install sidewalks. Kirk also expressed concern about the future development of properties on Beecham’s Curve, the vacant property next to Mountain Valley Spring Water, and Builders First. Kirk said that these properties need to be classified as Tier III in order for there to be community input accepted before development is approved by the City. Kirk will explore the process for requesting this.

 

 

 

 

Adam reported that the Safety Committee had requested an hour at the next neighborhood meeting for a police presentation. The Board noted that EWANA had a police presentation at the last two neighborhood meetings and that there needed to be demonstrated demand for help setting up neighborhood crime watches if another presentation is to be scheduled. The Board agreed that if the Safety Committee could provide evidence of streets wanting a crime watch, this could be put on the agenda. Jason noted that plotting the addresses of EWANA members could be helpful in targeting streets as potential crime watch areas. Jason will prepare a map plotted with EWANA member addresses. This would be done without attaching names to addresses.

 

Adam returned the discussion to fundraising. Adam suggested using a mailer to canvas the EWANA neighborhood to get more people involved in EWANA.   This would be more efficient than distributing flyers door to door. The Board agreed that this should be done prior to the summer pot luck. The Board also thought that EWANA needed to rebrand itself with a logo. The Board agreed that this would be a topic for another meeting.

 

Adam reported that he had met with Steve Cooperman, who is occupying the former Wee Wiggles day care center. Adam reported that Cooperman was unaware of EWANA and offered to organize the neighborhood and to create a vision plan. Adam thanked Cooperman for his offer and told him about the efforts we have been putting forth as a community, that we are working on a vision plan for the neighborhood already and that he would be welcome to attend our community meetings. Adam said that Cooperman was leasing the space and offering to provide space within the building to any business or organization that would build its own tenant improvements. Adam said the current condition of the building does not fit the current needs of EWANA and, as a volunteer organization, we do not have the time or money to invest in changing the condition of the building. Adam said that we would be happy to consider the space and that he would let Mr. Cooperman know if something came up that made sense for EWANA.

 

Adam reminded everyone about the meeting hosted by CAN on visioning on April 13 at 7pm at the Oakley Community Center on 749 Fairview Rd. He encouraged all Board members to attend. The City is about to update its comprehensive plan and neighborhoods with vision plans will have those plans taken into consideration by the City.

 

Adam said that he felt more comfortable selecting a new Board member at the next neighborhood meeting through the volunteer process, rather than through Board appointment as stated in EWANA’s by-laws. The Board agreed and EWANA will ask for a volunteer to serve on the Board (to fill the position left vacant by Sarah Carew’s resignation) at the next neighborhood meeting. If no one volunteers, the Board will then appoint someone.

 

Adam said that both Mandy and Ted had noted that EWANA neighborhood meetings fall on the same day as City Council meetings and they had recommended changing EWANA’s regular neighborhood meeting date. The Board felt that it would be best to hold the meeting after City Council meets rather than before. The Board agreed that neighborhood meetings would now be held on the second Wednesday of May, August, November and February. The next EWANA neighborhood meeting will be on May 13 from 6pm to 8pm. The next EWANA Board meeting will be on May 6 from 7pm to 9pm. Jason will host the meeting. Adam recommended that the Board use email to plan an agenda for the neighborhood meeting prior to the Board meeting, which will be used to finalize planning.

Mandy asked about the status of the Adopt a Highway program, noting that we should reach out again to Ava Carr to find out whether the program has officially been approved for EWANA. Mandy will email Ava concerning this.

 

Jason noted that barriers to engagement keep many people from participating in civic affairs. He recommended finding ways for EWANA to lower barriers to engagement. Adam noted, positively, the relatively large turn-out at the last neighborhood meeting where the main topic was committee participation. Ted noted that mailers are a way to grow our membership without the burden (barrier to engagement) of door-to-door organizing.

 

Action Item Summary

 

New Action Items

 

  • Adam will post, or cause to be posted, the minutes of the February EWANA Board meeting and of the February EWANA neighborhood meeting.
  • Ted will prepare draft minutes for the current meeting.
  • Ted will ask the City how local businesses remove graffiti and what methods are acceptable to the City. Ted will ask Robert Kun whether the delay in completing the Craven Street project, potentially till the end of the year, will delay the Haywood Road sidewalk project. Ted will also ask Robert Kun whether the City could provide free space to store sidewalk art frame repair materials. Ted will explore how other communities maintain their sidewalk art. Ted will continue to convene the Sidewalk Art Committee to draft an EWANA-City maintenance agreement for the Board’s review and to make recommendations concerning other sidewalk art decisions (frame placement, color, sidewalk art policy, sidewalk art cost estimate, etc.).
  • Stephen will provide Ted with idea recommendations from the Infrastructure and Transportation Committee discussion at the February neighborhood meeting (the list had been recently found).
  • Adam will prepare a proposal developing the idea of using a promotional brochure featuring sidewalk artists as a fundraising device.
  • Kirk will explore with the City how to obtain a Tier III designation for properties along Beecham’s Curve, next to Mountain Valley Spring Water and Builders First.
  • Kirk will continue to monitor the City’s discussions with NCDOT about lowering the speed limit on Amboy Road.
  • Adam will inform the Safety Committee members that they should promote the idea of a crime watch and gather evidence of interest from residents in organizing a crime watch on their street in order to place an hour session with the Asheville police on the agenda for an EWANA neighborhood meeting.
  • Mandy will email Ava Carr to see if EWANA is approved yet for an Adopt-a-Highway program along Haywood Road.
  • Jason will plot EWANA member addresses on a map for Board and general EWANA use.
  • Jason and Adam need to figure out the admin roles for the EWANA website.
  • All Board members will try to attend the next CAN meeting on April 13.
  • All Board members will discuss, via email, topics for the May neighborhood meeting.

Hold Over Action Items

  • Rich, within the next month, will brief Stephen on the Treasurer duties, transfer files and jointly set up a checking account at Asheville Savings Bank.
  • All available Board members will attend the Festival of Neighborhoods on March 15.
  • Stephen will investigate how other small organizations have used a fiscal agent.
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