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MHCA Area Director's meeting minutes

April 2016 Area Directors' Meeting Minutes

jgchipault Saturday 25 of June, 2016
Midvale Heights Community Association Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 26th 2016 – 6:45 p.m. – Sequoya Branch Library

Area Directors present: Jim Thoreson, Ed Rogers, Wendy Weber, Jenny Chipault, Steve Fitzsimmons, Gregory Fischer, Paul Haskew, Mary Jane Armstrong, Peter Schell, Chuck Kreimendahl, Denise Lamb, Tim Trapp, Tom Jarvis
Other neighbors present: Bill Slater Jr., Ceri Jenkins

  1. Call to Order & Introductions - E Rogers
    1. Introductions done.
  2. Prior Minutes Review/Approval - Board
    1. We have two months' worth of minutes to approve because we did not have a quorum last month.
      1. J Chipault to amend the March minutes to make "bike pad" into "bike maintenance pad."
    2. Motion to approve February minutes, seconded, approved.
    3. Motion to approve March minutes as amended, seconded, approved.
  3. Treasurer’s Report - R Rotter
    1. R Rotter couldn't be here but he provided hand-out of treasurer's report.
    2. E Rogers gave it a quick scan. The only thing that stuck out was $200 spent for special events, which was for Music in the Park.
    3. R Rotter also previously gave E Rogers information on continuation of our insurance coverage, which would lapse June 1 is not acted upon. R Rotter has been looking into continuance and has information. Currently have general liability that we pay $651 for per year but, in talking with insurance consultant, while we could keep going at this same rate, we should get directors' and officers' coverage. It's not enough that our organization is covered, but we ourselves should be covered for any actions or mistakes we might make and that extra coverage would amount to $450. R Rotter was also able to get cover sheets for these quotes. E Rogers read them. These do not specify what's insured, they specify modifications to what's insured, lots of modifiers but doesn't specify what's going on. We could go one of two ways: we could trust that this is a good quote or we could have someone investigate an alternate quote. Our next meeting is in May so could get another quote and could go with that before our June coverage deadline.
      1. D Lamb asks if it's the same company
        1. J Thoreson thinks that 's what R Rotter said at last meeting
      2. G Fischer asks what we'd be worried about?
        1. E. Rogers reads from form: things such as membership and voting notice, policies issued by us, exclusion for harassment, molestation, sexual misconduct, terrorism.
          1. G Fischer says this coverage excludes molestation?
            1. Right.
      3. We should see what's actually covered
        1. E Rogers relays that R Rotter thinks we should get the extra coverage but we could request more information from him.
      4. J Thoreson asks if Jake Keyes (contact on insurance) could email the board.
      5. D Lamb wonders whether or not baseball league has own coverage
        1. Yes, and they sign a waiver
        2. E Rogers says general part of insurance includes a policy about baseball or softball. But that's just from a cover sheet.
      6. T Trapp says cover letter looks like we're changing companies.
        1. J Chipault recalls that our company was done doing business so they recommended us to another company
      7. MJ Armstrong will follow-up with R Rotter and talk to her agent to see what they say and ask Jake Keyes to email to the board.
        1. D Lamb suggests letting R Rotter know that we'll be contacting Jake.
      8. E Rogers says this will need an up or down vote at our next meeting because we don't want to be without coverage.
        1. MJ Armstrong says it's entirely possible that if we cancel we could get prorated money back if we decide to switch. She'll ask about that too.
      9. E Rogers asks to be cc-ed on any emails that are sent about insurance.
  4. Legislative Reports - Maurice Cheeks/Carousel Bayrd
    1. Not present
  5. Ash Tree Adoption in our Parks - E Rogers
    1. E Rogers recently joined Nextdoor.com and one thing that our neighbor, Ceri Jenkins, brought up on the site was an exchange about the trees in our parks, specifically the ash trees. You've probably seen the spray painting that's been done. E Rogers took pictures at Slater, Odana Hills, and Piper Parks. There was a lot of interest on the website and people wanted to know what could be done. Ceri lead the charge and got information from Madison Parks. To summarize, it sounds like these ash trees, if nothing is done, will die. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is in the city of Madison. There is a treatment protocol that the city has been reluctant to engage in; it's rather expensive if done city-wide. Parks has said it will create an adopt-a-tree program where individuals or organizations can request that certain trees be saved. Trees have to pass a certain threshold of viability. The trees marked with yellow paint are too small to save. Also, if trunk damage or if EAB has taken out over 40% of it already, it will not survive. We won't know which trees are savable until June because that's when enough leaves are out. The treatments are $10-$15 per diameter inch of trunk so for an 18 inch tree that's about $200. Each treatment lasts about 3 years. So we would have to do it again in 3 years unless another treatment comes out that's better. Essentially, Parks is leasing trees for the rest of their lives. E Rogers went to Segoe, Slater, and Piper Parks and counted the ash trees. He also took a look at Odana Hills Park but it merges with Odana golf course, which has too many trees to count. Slater Park is really going to be devastated by this; it has 9 ash trees that are disproportionately around the playground equipment which will remove shade from playground equipment and we already have a playground at Segoe Park that isn't shaded. If we don't act, we'll be losing some trees. C Jenkins and E Rogers communicated and it sounds like she'd be willing to help us by coordinating an effort by the neighborhood if people wanted to donate funds. She could help take the lead on something like this. Not sure how the neighborhood association would like to contribute. E Rogers says a lot of people not here tonight were on Nextdoor.com chiming in and saying they would like to contribute and would put money toward saving trees in our parks. There seems to be earnest desire to get this done.
      1. MJ Armstrong asks if there is any information about how long the EAB is expected to be problematic. Does it have a cycle?
        1. D Lamb understands that you have to treat it long enough for the EAB to move on to a different area and once it has killed all the local ash they would move on because there's nothing to eat.
        2. E Rogers says the chemical used is called TREE-age. Parks said each tree would need treatment for the life of the tree. Treatment was originally thought to be more acute but it seems Parks is satisfied now that TREE-age can last for 3 years. Parks will not be doing any administering of the pesticide, but instead they'll provide a permit for contractors who have city right-of-way paperwork already worked out and allow them to do it. There's 8-9 contractors with this type of permit.
      2. MJ Armstrong has a big tree and had it treated and it's doing very well. She was originally told it would need to be treated every year.
      3. D Lamb says all we have to do is pay these guys, we don't have to supervise?
        1. E Rogers says there are two steps: go to Parks and fill out the adoption form. Parks makes sure the tree is still savable, then you go to the private contractor and coordinate the work
      4. C Jenkins says the city has said a few neighborhoods have done a tree plan and with this issue it might be wise to do so. We could look at the 9 trees first and see what's viable and if they aren't viable then what might we want to replace them with. Someone at Nextdoor.com said we shouldn't have just one kind of tree and perhaps we should replace with fruit trees. C Jenkins is interested in that too. Realistically some trees will die, but C Jenkins think there's space here for thinking of a long-term plan.
        1. MJ Armstrong says in Slater Park we have 9 significant trees, so if we sort of did every other one, that would that be a significant thing to do or should we do all in one area?
        2. C Jenkins said Parks would be willing to talk with us about which trees. They've done a lot of work on terraces so they aren't new to this work but just new to this work in Parks. We could stand at the playgrounds in June and see what the shade looks like. Could wrap in planting of trees in Segoe Park into tree plan.
          1. They have marked every ash tree so it would be easy to see which ones might be gone.
            1. MJ Armstrong thinks small ash trees already taken down.
      5. E Rogers says Odana School Park has 4 ash shading the parking lot that he thinks are all marked in yellow. Parks says it's going to be slow-going taking them all down because have to remove 10,000 ash trees in the city of Madison.
      6. C Jenkins asks if we would want to pay someone to remove a tree and then be able to plant a new tree? The forester she talked to brought up that having a variety in canopy, different heights, would be good. Anyone who has to spend time pushing a kid on a swing would give some money to have some trees there.
      7. E Rogers thinks it sounds like we could ask neighbors to contribute, but as neighborhood association do we want to collect funds?
        1. MJ Armstrong wonders if we want to match funds up to a certain amount.
      8. J Thoreson asks if someone should come talk to us to provide more details.
        1. E Rogers says forester said he's be happy to talk to us. He lives down Midvale near Summit Woods Park. He could give presentation. Infected trees were found on Manitou Way and near the library so the EAB is here.
      9. S Fitzsimmons wonders about raising our membership fee from $15 to $20 and if we raised it we'd bring in $2000 per year for trees.
        1. D Lamb says problem is when would we add another $5 for this good cause, there'd always be another good cause. We've had good responses to putting line-items in the membership applications. Plus, we have sufficient funding. Midvale Heights could pledge and ask people to pledge and certainly people involved can pound on doors.
          1. Mary Jane thinks it would do well as a line-item on the membership form.
        2. J Thoreson says even if it's a separate meeting that the forester wants to do, J Thoreson would like to hear more about it. If we get the money and we're waiting what would we do?
          1. C Jenksins says the trees would be assessed in June but they have to be treated by August.
          2. E Rogers says we probably need to raise money before we know how many trees we'll be acting on. Say we lose 95% of our trees, we could do more treatments to ones that survive or we could allocate funds for planting new trees. As long as we're up front while collecting money then we're giving them a healthy canopy in their parks so if we're replacing trees that are gone, they'd probably agree with that.
      10. D Lamb asks, in theory, how many trees do we have to treat? In Slater, which is dark in summertime, could we live without some? If we put a line item in the membership form for donations and put a bucket out at the picnic then we'll know in July how much money we have and we can add MHCA funds to make up what we need.
        1. MJ Armstrong says when you drive by Slater Park there's always something going on there. It's a heavily used.
        2. J Thoreson asks if we can get a number from the park on how many could be saved
          1. E Rogers says they won't know until the end of June how many are affected.
      11. MJ Armstrong says it's treatment every 3 years so it's not like we'd have to treat every year
      12. D Lamb says they'll still be chopping down small ones so we could use money to replace those.
        1. E Rogers Parks is prepared with adopt-a tree program but when it comes to planting new trees, we'll have to coordinate with Parks Department landscape architects. They'll want to be involved.
        2. C Jenkins understood that they wouldn't do the planting if we were to replace trees. They don't have any funding for this.
      13. G Fischer point out that trees create a lot of property value.
      14. MJ Armstrong thinks this is a significant thing and that we should pick a dollar amount. And that we should have a tree plan. If we do $5,000 then that would get us through Slater Park trees and if we have matching funds maybe we could look at Odana Hills Park.
        1. E Rogers says line item on membership form is a no-brainer. We should add it there. E Rogers also likes the matching funds idea, with a cap.
        2. D Lamb says by August we'll know what contributions are going to be like so we'd have a sense of how much money we could invest every three years.
      15. W Weber asks if it would be helpful or confusing to have someone at that meeting with the forester to also talk about new tree planting.
        1. E Rogers says maybe ask Parks could send a landscape architect.
        2. W Weber says maybe they could talk to each other beforehand so they're both aware of what the issues are and we'd know what each departments would do.
          1. C Jenkins's impression is that forestry is operational and Parks is more about the planning. The west side Parks person would be the person to come. To have them both there would be great. That's another question she has; she's a long-term resident of this neighborhood and having worked with enough community organizations, she knows that being involved in a community organization is better than going rogue. Whatever happens with the Nextdoor.com group could be organized through this group.
        3. D Lamb asks if we could get someone for the May meeting? We could put the May meeting in E Rogers newsletter article so that anyone interested in hearing what these people say could be here.
          1. E Rogers will ask those people to see if we can get together a team willing to speak at our May meeting.
            1. C Jenkins asks if this would be more general information for the public.
              1. If yes, we'll broadcast and have the public come. We're all super enthusiastic when an enthusiastic neighbor takes up a good cause.
      16. J Thoreson asks if yellow and orange labels are decoded on their website; Segoe all the way to Hilldale is yellow.
        1. Think yellow is going to be taken down and orange is a maybe. Under 10" inches diameter or trunk damage or other diseases or under a powerline means that trees will be taken down.
        2. MJ Armstrong say it's not just ashes, she had a maple taken down.
        3. G Fischer thinks it's decoded on the city website
      17. T Jarvis asks how we get notified when they decide on the "maybes"?
        1. J Chipault says C Jenkins will likely be in touch with them.
        2. E Rogers might just call them mid-June
      18. G Fischer says there three issues: 1) are we doing the adopt-a-tree program, 2) do we want to set up an endowment fund, and 3) what is the city's plan for replacement of trees.
        1. C Jenkins says she doesn't think it will cost money to replace trees but it might take a while. There are 3 staff members to remove trees city-wide.
          1. J Thoreson wonders what the forestry tax line-item that's $3 is going toward.
        2. E Rogers says we should add a line-item on membership form (tax deductable), as for creating a matching fund scenario this is something to put a motion and vote on.
          1. MJ Armstrong motions that we create a matching dollar fund up to $5,000 to work on ash trees and tree plan going forward.
            1. J Thoreson asks where she got the $5,000 figure.
              1. MJ Armstrong says by taking trees in all the parks that E Rogers mapped and assuming $300 per tree, but there's still a lot of trees in Odana Hills that we could work on with matching funds. If we only spent some this year, then a couple years down the road, we would have money to continue treatment or planting.
            2. C Kreimendahl feels too uniformed to support the motion. The city has studied this extensively, they have a lot of information that we're scratching the surface on. C Kreimendahl doesn't know what long-term success of inoculation is, don't know what the answers of some of the other questions that were raised, don't know what $5,000 would do, if someone adopts a tree then would they be up in arms if we don't' select that tree. C Kreimendahl suggests that we have this meeting forthwith would be a good idea.
            3. J Thoreson suggests tabling the motion until we hear from the forester and have the follow-up meeting. Doesn't sound like city is sure how to tackle it.
            4. MJ Armstrong says we've been talking about trees in parks for years. Even if we don't' do any ash tree saving, it seems like a reasonable investment to make in our parks.
              1. D Lamb says us planting trees is a whole new can of worms.
                1. P Schell says didn't we try to plant trees at Segoe Park and they denied us.
                  1. E Rogers says we have to have consent of landscape crew at Parks. And there's also the wrinkle that only the neighborhoods of means get nice parks so that's why they're reluctant to take our money and plant the trees we ask for because other neighborhoods want trees too.
                    1. C Jenkins thinks since we're replacing ash trees it might be something different. It's not new in many parts of the country. Some people in Nextdoor.com were concerned about bees but ash trees don't flower, and kids won't be exposed to the pesticide because way it's injected. Think it would be helpful to talk to the city but she was pretty convinced. The research on this pesticide seems really sound.
              2. E Rogers says J Thoreson made an amendment to table the $5,000 motion.
                1. D Lamb seconds that.
                2. P Schell asks if we can do an amended motion without a dollar amount attached to it? Can we fundraise and let people know that we can keep money in our nonprofit account. And can keep the money for years until the next treatment is needed. Another thing we could provide is seed money for whatever treatment is needed. P Schell is picking up on the fact that there's a time-sensitive nature to this task and fundraising takes time. People in our neighborhood are passionate about this and we could raise money for years, but as an association we could provide seed money. P Schell is in favor of doing this, but not comfortable attaching a dollar amount. P Schell wants to remove the dollar amount and make a motion.
                  1. G Fischer reminds us that it's matching funds and could go up to $5,000. This is a time sensitive issue to set up an adoption plan.
                  2. MJ Armstrong thinks we should move forward with the tree plan.
                  3. D Lamb says we could float $5,000 to do it at the last minute and then fundraise to get that money back.
                  4. Decision to table matching funds discussion until after the May meeting.
      19. J Thoreson notes that we don't want to shoot down Nextdoor.com group, so they can feed us information.
      20. MJ Armstrong says a lot of people are using the parks and using them because their kids are little now. Would be nice to get an idea from the parks for new plantings.
      21. E Rogers will put it in the newsletter. Asks C Jenkins to communicate that there's no promise of anything yet from the neighborhood association but we are looking into contributing to the effort.
        1. C Jenkins asks if people can start sending checks to us?
          1. P Schell says there's an online form.
          2. J Chipault makes a motion to allow checks for adopt-a-tree program to be sent to MHCA in support of saving ash trees in Midvale Heights parks and planning for replacements those trees that will need to be removed.
            1. Motion passes.
  6. Neighborhood Picnic - C Kreimendahl
    1. C Kreimendahl has couple of people likely to coordinate the picnic this year. They are meeting this Saturday at 1pm at the library. There are probably 5-6 volunteers altogether, including people who signed up on the membership form. If you know anyone else who's interested, they don't' have to be worried about being asked to do something they aren't prepared to do. C Kreimendahl says we've all supported the picnic in the past and there's $2,000 in the budget for it. Last year there were some negotiations and we approved $1,200 but then HyVee said they'd have to adjust their price up. They talked to the manager at HyVee and whittled it down to what it had been before.
      1. D Lamb says HyVee check was $1,050 last year.
      2. C Kreimendahl suggests we approve $1,500 for spending on the picnic this year in case HyVee comes in higher.
        1. S Fitzsimmons notes that last year we ran out of food.
          1. C Kreimendahl thinks planned for 200 last year and it was well-attended.
      3. D Lamb says she'll put something in the newsletter and we'll send out postcards again to remind people, right?
        1. Technically everyone in neighborhood is invited so think everyone gets a postcard
      4. Date is June 23rd, Thursday. Rain date will be next Thursday, June 30th.
      5. J Chipault motions that we approve $1,500 to be used for the 2016 picnic.
        1. Seconded.
        2. C Kreimendahl says we don't usually vote on budget items but since it's a big ticket item, perhaps we should vote. R Rotter puts $2,000 in the budget.
          1. Motion approved.
  7. Summer Concert Series - D Lamb
    1. D Lamb sent letter to about a dozen bands. Some from neighborhood. She asked them to keep Saturday open as a rain date and got a lot of push-back on that, so trashing that idea. Last year we only did 2 concerts so would have been a bummer to be rained out, but this year we have 4 bands so if we get rained out on one it's not a big deal. Maybe could look for indoor venue to use in future years. We have to have a permit for amplification ($100 to city), paying $400 to each band, and they'll play for 90 minutes. Some advertising needs to be done; flyers to hand out at July 4th and the picnic and putting something in the newsletter.
        1. J Chipault asks about banner by the park.
          1. R Rotter says he'll print whatever we want.
            1. T Trapp asks if need permit?
              1. D Lamb says just put it up the day of or day before.
      1. J Thoreson will email his friend to see if could play
      2. C Kreimendahl asks when we hope to have commitments from the bands
        1. Two of them will do it. Is there some sort of one-page contract we should have them sign? ####C Kreimendahl suggests talking to Dave Blouin from Westmorland.
      3. E Rogers says to tag on to concerts, Make Music Madison is June 21st. This year it's on a Tuesday. E Rogers can only be there from 5:30 to 8:30, so he put up 3 one-hour slots for music and they filled up right away. If someone else wanted to start the show earlier, we could do that but need someone to babysit the inverter and make sure the bands leave on time. If not, he'll just show up at 5:30 and get things started. Don't' remember name of all the bands but we are 3 years running with the Sultan of Squeeze, but this year he's changed his name to Squeezebox Paradox.
        1. D Lamb got a request from church on Mineral Point, which are also hosting Make Music Madison and are serving food. Do we have an indoor venue?
          1. E Rogers says we are canceling in case of rain
  8. 2016 Membership Campaign - D Lamb
    1. E Rogers says the membership campaign will be coming up. His sense for this year's membership drive is that things went well last year so perhaps just do an encore but if others think that something needs to change, he's open to hearing about it. Current plan is to create a Membership Messenger, have it delivered by block captains to everyone on their block, and Tom did discount cards.
      1. D Lamb says we need new a line item for trees in the membership form.
        1. T Jarvis says we should remove Kids Clubhouse since that program has been discontinued.
          1. D Lamb took out Kids Clubhouse, added the neighborhood watch and music in the parks. We now have a master gardener working on Bison Prairie. There's an article on the prairie burn at Odana; Marcel Wuethrich wrote an article and took pictures for the Messenger.
      2. T Jarvis says E Rogers has brought up allowing people to register for multiple years at once, which would mean the form would need to be changed.
        1. E Rogers says we could try to push for this here or we could discuss via email. T Jarvis came up with good points such as what about one-time donations to line items? Or could we do subscriptions. What if someone leaves town, do we pro-rate? Questions that we could probably come to a consensus on but perhaps not this year.
        2. D Lamb says we used to have two-year memberships and we were out of money at the end of the second year. People move in and out of the neighborhood.
        3. T Jarvis says we're still collecting per year but people could pay for multiple years at a time.
          1. E Rogers brings up something like a magazine subscription that hits the credit card
            1. T Jarvis notes that might be hard to program on the website.
        4. J Thoreson thinks it could be nice, but logistics would be difficult and people might forget about us.
        5. D Lamb notes that we would still need to send discount cards for every year.
          1. T Jarvis is putting number and name on card and could put an expiration date.
            1. P Schell says could still send them a new card every year, which would help us reach people who just forgot to renew so this gives people a chance of "hey, we have your attention, do you want to just pay $45 now?" Would have to mark that they paid for future years.
              1. T Jarvis said might have to remind them when they're about to expire.
        6. J Thoreson asks if we should survey the association to see if people want it.
          1. T Jarvis thinks that 1-2 people have written in that they would like it. If 85% said they'd like a two-year membership, then we could prep for it
        7. C Kreimendahl echos P Schell's point that we do lose people.
          1. D Lamb says still would have a drive every year. For every person we lose, we'd get new people.
        8. J Chipault suggests we wait until next year
        9. T Jarvis says have added expiration to database.
  9. Announcements - Board
    1. E Rogers relays that Dave Blouin says Sunset Village has approved up to $500 in support of the July 4th celebration. Current budget projects double what they usually lose, so $4,000. Primitive Culture is the main band. They did get insurance for bounce house, dunk tank, and petting zoo.
      1. D Lamb says he wrote a newsletter article. She attended a July 4th celebration planning meeting. She thought it might be easiest if we're just responsible for one event, e.g., dunk tank. Has he said anything about fund raising and getting sponsors?
        1. E Rogers knows he brought up that we could use our connections to seek sponsors, but he hasn't given us target fundraising goal or a menu of options for sponsoring.
          1. D Lamb says our newsletter advertisers duplicate their newsletter advertisers up to about 90%. We could go around to people who accept our neighborhood card. She did make sure that sponsors of any amount would be on t-shirts made. She gets emails about the planning.
      2. J Thoreson makes a motion to donate $500 toward the Westmorland July 4th celebration.
        1. D Lamb says that, historically, the July 4th celebration has been funded 40% Westmorland, 40% Midvale Heights, and 20% Sunset Village so we might want to do $1,000.
          1. P Schell says 40% of $4,000 loss would be $1,600.
        2. J Thoreson amends motion to be $1,000.
          1. Motion stays at $1,000 and passes.
    2. There is a master gardener willing to take on upkeep of the Bison Gateway Prairie
    3. There is no one slated to take over the coordination of the neighborhood garage sale.
      1. D Lamb notes that it has been getting smaller year-by-year. Should we combine with Westmorland?
        1. C Kreimendahl will pass that thought along.
  10. Meeting adjourned at 8:42 pm.

Notes recorded by J Chipault, secretary