Board Members attending: Monica Allison, Algernong Allen, Karen Allen, Dorothy Welch Berlind, Sean Dorn, Meg Ferrigno, Naomi Fiordimondo, Laurie Friedman, Michael Froehlich, David Hincher, Lisa Johanningsmeier, Theresa McCole Manzi, Ray Murphy, Beverly Rouse.
Board members with excused absence: Jessica Naugle McAtamny, Sheri McFarland, Sara Nissley.
Board members absent: Laura Raymond, Courtney Walton.
Guests: Seth Budick (UCD), Fatimah Muhammad (candidate for State Rep), Barbara Chavous & Rick Joseph (staff for Ms Muhammad) and Joanne Moritz (DrexelUniversity student).
Monica opened the meeting at 7:40. Board members approved the minutes of January’s meeting. There was no Treasurer’s Report.
Monica reported that Parks and Recreation has instituted a new fee structure for use of our parks in Philadelphia. A $500.00 deposit, and a mandatory contribution are being required of many users. It appears that groups like CPN may be exempt, but the policy is unclear. Monica is concerned about our jazz series. She and Michael will look into this and report at the next meeting.
Monica and Algernong will serve on the Jazz Committee; Monica requested that Board members who are willing serve with a particular focus on the membership table and passing the bucket.
Michael and Bev Rouse volunteered to plan the election meeting program.
Dorothy asked the Board whether they were interested in a CPN initiative in support of the Homestead Exemption legislation currently before the state legislature. She sees this as something that the whole community could support. Board members released her to research this issue and report back at our next meeting.
Ryan Spak introduced Maura Kennedy from L&I’s Strategic Initiatives program. She handed out an information piece on their Vacant Property Strategy and spoke briefly to that issue as it impacts our neighborhood. Board members had many questions, and a lively discussion followed. The Board thanked Maura for coming.
Monica reported that CPN collected 410 signatures for our petition and between 25 and 30 letters in support of Applelofts—thanks to Board members for their help! The Zoning Committee hand delivered these to the Councilwoman and the ZBA; we await a decision.
IRS Status: Michael and Karen will confer this evening to finalize the submission to IRS.
Baltimore Avenue Conversation meeting with the Councilwoman: David and Monica reported that the two of them and Maureen attended for CPN; Andrew Melony for City Planning; Sierra for Friends Rehab Project; Reverend Patterson and Dr. Smallwood for the Patterson Foundation; Roger Kern and Aiisha Hering-Miller for Commerce; Frankie Francis for Francis Funeral Home, Jannie Blackwell, Sandy Hayes, and Marty Cabry for the Councilwoman’s office. Both Rev Patterson and Mr. Francis want parking lots on the Avenue; neither City Planning nor Commerce want parking lots on the commercial corridor. The Councilwoman feels that the community must resolve this issue among themselves and make a plan to move forward. Monica has met with VictoryChurch and will meet with New Harvest to determine options for the funeral home to share in those parking lots.
Ray reported on the ad hoc group addressing development goals in CedarPark. The group wants to be proactive in determining how people in the neighborhood feel about development. They are considering a survey and interviews. Meg will work with Ray to involve block captains in the effort.
Seth reported that the PedestrianPlaza proposal for Florence and 48th Street was accepted by the City as a one year pilot project. UCD has made a substantial commitment to maintaining the site. Two meetings with immediate neighbors were held, and a public meeting was held at Calvary two weeks ago. Plans will be available on line and at the library. There are plans to resurface Baltimore Avenue from 48th to 52nd this summer which may delay the start of the project.
Monica asked our guests to introduce themselves. Fatimah Muhhamad is running for State Rep and Babara Chavous and Rick Joseph are on her staff. Joanne is at the School of Public Health at Drexel.
Property Housing Task Force: Dorothy reported that the Task Force met with Joe Sherick and Suzanne Stone of Sherick Developers. Suzanne will draft a proposal for projects in the Baltimore Avenue Conversation area that might be possible for us.
Scholarships: Laurie reported that donations for the Scholarship Fundraiser will be appreciated.
Block Organizing: Meg reported that she interested in block organizing and is beginning to make contacts. She envisions a brunch/workshop in the summer.
Zoning: Karen reported that Vientianne wants to expand into the old Mariposa space; CPN is sending a letter of no opposition. Lisa reported that the neighbors on South St Bernard Street have not received the proposal for 800 South St Bernard well; the Zoning Committee will likely support the neighbors.
Membership and Communications: Michael reported that he was unable to put together a Meet and Greet at Gojo’s. Laurie reported that March 1 is the date that we will drop members who have not paid their dues.
Park Improvement: no report.
Block Improvement: Monica reported that we anticipate a grant request from 4900 Walton.
Nominating: Naomi reported that the committee is working.
Education: Sara convened a meeting of the Committee; three people attended. Given that, they agreed that they would support the West Philadelphia Coalition for Public Schools rather than come up with a separate plan.
Lisa attended the UCD community police meeting; several arrests have been made in connection with recent crimes in the neighborhood.
Michael attended the First Thursday meeting; the topic was Economic Inclusion.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.
Dorothy Welch Berlind, Secretary