Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newman Park Neighborhood Association August Board Minutes

Minutes for Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board Meeting, August 23, 2008 at Cinco Puntos Press, 701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX.

In attendance: Becky Ayala, Lee Byrd, Lynn Coyle, Lisa Degliantoni, Becky Friesenhahn, Sergio Guerrero, Abbie Majerczyk and Jim Tolbert.

President Lynn Coyle called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.

New board member, Abbie Majerczyk, was introduced. She replaces Diana Erickson who recently resigned from the Board.

Sergio Guerrero gave a report on the recent Neighborhood Coalition Summit. He and Jim Tolbert attended. The name of our Association did not appear on the list of Neighborhood Associations. Jim was tasked with making sure that Mark Alvarado and Bill Sparks are made aware of this oversight.

Jim recommended that we begin attending Coalition meetings on the third Monday of every month. He said that he would attend as often as he could.

Jim Tolbert brought up the Neighborhood Leadership Academy. It was decided that the Academy was good for new Associations who weren’t as familiar with City government. It was agreed that we are pretty knowledgeable about the City departments and that they are pretty familiar with us.

The Board next heard a report from Jim about the Traffic Calming/Greening Committee. The Board discussed the proposed traffic changes at Wheeling. Lynn said that she would attend the follow-up meeting at the City regarding this change. Becky Friesenhahn urged that others attend as well.

The Board also had a lengthy discussion about planting more trees in the neighborhood. Lisa Degliantoni and Sergio Guerrero said that they would assist with a grant proposal through the West Texas Urban Forestry Council to the Neighborwoods Tree program sponsored by the Alliance for Community Trees.

The Board next discussed the upcoming September 13th music in the park event. Lee remarked that the City will soon have a program that will pay for neighborhood association concerts. Lee was tasked with finding a band for September 13th.

At the end of the meeting, the following calendar in preparation for the 13th was agreed upon:

Prior to September 4 Band Selection
Thursday, September 4 Info to Becky F. for Flyer
Translation into Spanish by Sergio
Monday, September 8 Flyers Distributed

The Board briefly discussed the Halloween event. It was agreed that the event should be expanded to include other activities. As Halloween falls on a Friday this year and not on a school night, it was suggested that Trick or Treaters could return to the Park for a scary story.

The Board continues to be concerned about the deterioration of the McKee Mansion (2630 Richmond). Lee will contact Gary Williams at the El Paso Community Foundation to see if they have interest in the property. She also mentioned contacting the McKee Foundation as well.

Becky Friesenhahn next reported on the last Neighborhood Improvement Program update. She and Jim met with Lorrine Quimiro in the Neighborhood Services Department on August 13th. Final placement of benches, tables, exercise stations, etc. were discussed. Flexibility was given to City engineers for the best possible positioning of items. Becky left Lorrine a copy of the engineering drawing from the Parks Department showing where the new swings would be placed. An onsite meeting at Newman Park will be scheduled. We are on the fast track and should see the improvements completed by spring of 2009. Becky also asked that the City take responsibility for engineering estimates if too much. A major contention with the City centers on the fact that 50% of the grant for neighborhood improvements includes engineering/permitting costs. A $50,000 grant is in essence only a $25,000 grant.

Lynn asked Board members to consider that future events in the Park be advertised on a banner in the Park similar to one used at Madeline Park. A twice yearly printed bi-lingual newsletter was also suggested. It was also suggested that an event flyer be sent out to the e-letter list prior to an event. Becky Ayala will check to see if Americorp or other groups will leaflet the neighborhood for us.

Meeting adjourned at 9:32 a.m.

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