The Downtown Neighborhood Association Board of Directors met at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 13, 2009, in the Florencia condominium at 100 Beach Drive NE.
Board members present were president Marilyn Olsen, treasurer Allan Brockway, secretary Timothy J. Baker, and members Mike Johnson, John Harte, Gene Ormond, Marlys Meckler, Dick Freeburg, Joe Pugliano and Peter Belmont. Absent were Marie Stirling and Sydni Shollenberger.
Secretary – Minutes from the previous board meeting were approved as posted on the association web site.
Treasurer – The most recent financial report, also posted on the web site, was distributed by Mr. Brockway. It was moved by Mr. Johnson and seconded by Mr. Ormond that the report be approved. The motion passed unanimously.
Friends of Mirror Lake – Ms. Olsen reported to the board on a proposal by some residents living near Mirror Lake to create a group called Friends of Mirror Lake. This would be patterned after Friends of Williams Park, a park-improvement group that was formed by various stakeholders in the park, including DNA. As discussed so far, the new group would be separate from DNA, but would work and cooperate with the association. It was suggested that a new group might not be needed, and that a DNA committee devoted to Mirror Lake might be a better way to go. Ms. Olsen will continue to talk with the interested residents.
Baywalk proposal – Ms. Olsen outlined to the board the proposal that the city is considering to revitalize the Baywalk shopping area. Among the proposals is for the city to make some $700,000 in improvements to the parking garage and other public areas, aimed at improving security and esthetics. The most controversial part of the proposal is the request from Baywalk management that the sidewalk abutting the south side of Baywalk proper be privatized. This would put the sidewalk under the control of Baywalk management, which claims that in the past its business was seriously hurt by a series of protest marches held there, mostly against the war in Iraq. Management claims that it won’t be able to attract new tenants unless it controls the sidewalk.
There was a lively discussion of this proposal among the board members. Ms. Olsen sent the matter to the DNA Planning Committee for more discussion.
Porch Parties – Ms. Olsen also updated the board on an idea that DNA begin to hold “urban porch parties,” as an association social activity. Other neighborhoods have been successful in attracting new members through periodic porch parties.
Parking Lots – Ms. Olsen told the board that city officials continue to talk about amending the zoning ordinance to allow more surface parking lots Downtown. DNA will continue to oppose any new lots in the residential areas of Downtown.
Mr. Belmont reported on the status of the Waterfront Park Centennial Committee, which is planning a series of events to celeberate the 100th anniversary of the city’s Downtown waterfront parks.
Mr. Harte, who chairs the DNA parks and environment committee, reported that DNA has been chosen for the third time as one of the neighborhoods where flowering trees will be planted under the Mayor’s tree program. This year the trees will be planted at the entrance to Demens Landing. Neighborhoods must submit applications to get these trees, which Mr. Harte has done for the past several years. The board thanked him for this successful effort.
The meeting adjourned at about 8:30 p.m.
Timothy J. Baker
March 16, 2009