Facilitator: Jon Flint, Ward 4. Note-taker Lea Terhune, Ward 4.
6:45 PM - Greetings and Sign-In
7:00 - Introductions, Announcements, Ground Rules, Agenda
..........Anyone who would like to make an announcement, please do so at this time.
7:15 - NPA Business – Minutes, June assembly; vote on Leddy Park woodlands management resolution, present "no dg in LP resolution" for consideration, endorsement of The Mural Project," nomination of Helen Hossley, ward 7.
7:20 - Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials
........(Councilors, Legislators, Commissioners, Board Members, Steering Committee members, etc.)
7:30 - Open Forum for Residents
...........Brief statements of neighborhood/city interest or concern. Blurt requested -- words that relate to the mural.
8:00 - Program:
~CarShareVermont, Karen McNeil Saille announcing the pod location in the North End, and providing details about how car sharing works.
~Good News Garage, Carmen George, Ward 7. Wheels for Work, and a great deal for donors.
8:50 - Reflections: Statements of thoughts/ideas that came up during the meeting.
Times are approximate and flexible.
WARD 4 & 7 JOINT NPAS, JULY 16, 2009
Facilitator, Jon Flint
Helen Hossley, school board commission opening in ward 7; Lea Terhune introduced Jenny Davis, CCAN staff assistant to the NPAs; Jenny Davis announced that The Buzz will be emailed to anyone who signs uo for it; Ron McGarvey announced a clean up of Leddy Beach.
RESOLUTION – UPDATE WOODLANDS MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR LEDDY PARK?
Jon Flint asked residents to review the resolution proposed regarding woodland management in Leddy Park. Linda made a motion to table the motion. Greg Jenkins seconded the motion. Nancy Powers clarified that there have been changes to the original motion, and Jon suggested that the changes be posted on Front Porch Forum.
Jon introduced Jamal Reid, who will speak later about the North End Mural Project.
ELECTION TO STEERING COMMITTEE
Linda Deliduka nominated Helen Hossley to the steering committee. Phil LaVigne, second. Helen explained that she is a former member of the NPA, enjoys civic engagement, and is glad to see so many people attending the assembly. Ward 7 members voted to support the motion, which passed.
RESOLUTION – NO DISC GOLF IN LEDDY PARK
Larry Solt introduced a resolution that disc golf is NOT appropriate for Leddy Park. It is a separate resolution from the woodlands management plan. It will be posted on Front Porch Forum, and will be voted next month.
REPORTS FROM ELECTED/APPOINTED OFFICIALS
Mark Larson, State Rep from the North End, reported on the work of the budget committee of the House. Revenues are down $26 mil, the Gov has to present a plan, joint fiscal committee meets on the off season to address money issues, Mark is on that committee, and welcomes anyone’s ideas or questions. Mark thinks the free-fall is slowing and we may see the economy begin to recover soon. Mark explained the public health care option, how VT has this model with Catamount and Blue Cross, allowing people to buy in to something like Medicare or Medicaid. Jenny asked about the botrtoming out of the economic slump, and asked if the projected $28 mil might be less if the economy improves? Mark said the projected loss would only be less if the recovery was faster or stronger. Jenny asked if the difference would be made up by additional taxes? Mark said the Joint Committee does not have the power to propose legislation, but they could shift funds or propose use of the rainy day fund. Lea suggested it is a rainy day. Mark said there is agreement not to use those funds unless there is reasonable assumption that there is an upturn. Mark explained that this recession is unprecedented outside of the great depression.
Russ Ellis reported that the late City Council meeing this week was embroiled in discussion of whether to raise salaries of city employees. Russ thought the administration should come out to the NPAs and make a case for the increases. The rationale is that of 170 non-union positions, 46 positions are not competitive in salary. Example – we lost 3 top engineers in BED because they were underpaid by something like $40K a year, and they can’t be replaced at the salaries that are offered. Asst. Chief Administrative Officer of Finances is said to be underpaid by $40K, so we can’t hire for that position. Analyst said that it is likely that the city would save more money than the increase if we had a good p0erson in that position. People in Ward 4 are not convinced because the report just came out and there has been no opportunity to look at it. If the salary increases for these 170 employees were implemented, there would be savings in the retirement funds because reduction in reduction in reimbursement would be matched by increase in salary. On a $200K house, you are paying an extra $20 this year for the retirement fund, and this is likely to keep going up. So, Russ is reading the report,. Larry asked what the response of councilors was, and Russ said he proposed that the administration make presentations at each NPA, which the administration did not gobble up. The motion was to continue to review the report, and Russ thought it would be a good topic for Neighborhood Improvement Night. Lea asked when it would be voted by Council. Russ said the administration wants to vote now, and wants the decision to be in effect July 1. Mark asked about what is being done if we have lost engineers? Russ said the fine administrator in BED is getting the job done, perhaps hiring outside people, Russ isn’t sure. Steve Norman asked how paying positions more would cut down on contributions to the retirement fund? Russ said the average of the last 5 years would replace the last 3 years, which is how it is not. The accountants tell us this would be significant. Question about 401K? Russ said employees are strongly against this. Police can retire after 20 years, and the 401K plan would reduce their benefits considerably, as compared to the guaranteed benefits they have now. The police want the retirement benefits to stay the same. Lea said the All-Wards Steering Committee is meeting next week, and she would pass along the idea of proposing the salary increases as an NIN presentation.
Greg Jenkins urged residents to contact the School administration and ask for the Budget Task Force to continue to play an active role in discussing issues.
Jon introduced Jamal Reid, who will be leading a Blurt to gather ideas about the North End Mural Project. Jamal explained his background in hip hop music, and aerosol art and how he got connected with Jenny and Lea. Nancy asked Jamal how people could find out when the painting will happen? Linda said it would be posted on Front Porch Forum, and there is a Facebook page. Helen asked what aerosol art is – spray paint art, kids with painted fingers. The goal is to create a team of artists who will be painting murals in the city. Steve Norman announced that ACE Bibens in North End and Colchester has donated paint and Jamal hoped to have the project completed in August. Artists would be doing the design, and anyone who wants to paint can come out and participate. Jon called for a motion to endorse the project. Linda Deliduka, Larry Solt, motion and second. Unanimous endorsement. Jon initiated the blurt by asking for ideas and images that people would like to see in the mural - community, recreation tennis walking cycling walking birding swimming sailing trees softball Champ EATower, different seasons, elements that happen around the site, surroundings, nature, trees, walking trails, mountains, shopping, community, proud of our community, gardens, kids, music, happy people, different ages, food, culture, creamees, walking down the trails, connectivity, candyland, diversity of Burlington. Jamal encouraged people to post additional ideas on Facebook at NE Miural Project.
Linda Deliduka is concerned that the Miller Center was closed this summer, it is staffed, but the teen center is not open. There are programs, but the drop in center is closed. Kids have more unsupervised time in the summer, and we need to work to get money to open the drop in center in the summer.
Nancy Powers said the resolution she brought to the last meeting, and asked for input, and she has a final resolution tonight. Confusing to vote on two different resolutions. Nancy isn’t sure about the process but she wants to know how to eliminate the draft resolution and vote on the revised resolution. Jon explained that it is tabled. Further updated resolution has changes and residents need time to discuss it and go over it. Front Porch Forum can be used. Jon said we screwed up on the postings, Linda said the first version could be voted down at the next meeting, and vote on the new one in. Greg said that changes at 4:30 on the day of the vote is not enough time for people to review it. If it had been posted a week before, people would have had time. Chuck clarified that there are two separate resolutions – one about woodlands management in Leddy Park, and the other is about NO disc golf in Leddy Park.
Carmen George, Ward 7, explained Good News Garage. It was recently featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. GNG accepts donations of cars and repairs ones that are a good fit for low income people who need transportation. Others are sold to raise money to support GNG. Carmen explained that 10 Chevy Impalas, worth 18K each, were donated, and 2 will be given to VT families. If you know a family that has a compelling story about how receiving this acre would make a significant difference in their lives, there is an application at the web site. Two cars are going to the Neighbor Keepers program. Greg asked about tax credits for donations, and Carmen explained how Sen. Leahy was influential is keeping the benefits of the tax credit. How many cars are given? Last year 157 were repaired and given to families, with 25 vans for van pools. How is the value decided? The owner declares the value, based on the Blur Book. GNG accepts any car in VT, and they tow for free. The garage has 8 lifts, and they take cars, trucks, boats, riding lawn mowers. Things that can’t be used for traveling are sold. Carmen told about a person who recently received a car, a woman who was in a crash and when she could return to work, she needed a car to get to the job and take her child to day car.
CarShare VT, Annie Bordan. They are a new non-profit, launched last year with 8 vehicles, mission to provide a network of cars that people can use without owning the car. Members can reserve a car, without the high costs of owning a car. People only pay when they drive, and the results are that people drive less, walk/bike/bus more frequently, and save a lot of money. There are currently 300 members sharing 8 cars, and the 9th car will be located in the North End. There are now 10 members who have to take the bus downtown to use a car. The car will be based at the shopping center, except in the winter when plowing requires that the car move. A member can use any of the cars in the city. Employers sign up as well as individuals, so employees can bike/walk/bus to work and have access to a car during the day. It saves on parking. There are cars at UVM and Champlain, and they expect to add student members. Gas, insurance, repairs – everything is covered by the hourly rate. Suggested alt parking spot is the Miller Center, Thayer School where Senior housing will be built. They plan to add a truck, and there is strong demand for it. Lea suggested CarShare work with GoodNewsGarage to get good used vehicles. Annie said their service compliments GNG, and issues of insurance and reliability of the vehicles calls for new cars, and hybrid cars. Nancy asked about the process – sign up on line, $30 application fee to add you to the insurance, make reservation, hefty late fees. Ratio in Burlington is 25/1, members to cars. Car ownership encourages driving more; CarShare members drive less because they have to plan, make a reservation, and consider cost. People reduce their driving by as much as 50%, and replace the need for a family to have a second car. Utilization – fleetwide average of 3 hrs per day usage, per car. Goal is 6 hrs per day. Reciprocal agreement outside VT? Yes, about 20 other non-profit car share programs, and you can use a car in another city. Driving record? You have to be 18, with a spotless record if under 21. Over 21, all you need is 2 years of clean driving record, no more than 2 moving violations, no alcohol incidents. You can take the car to Canada and Mexico, and be covered by the roadside insurance. Some people take a car for as long as a week, and the rate changes. Some people use the share car for long distance instead of renting a car because the share car is fully insured, and fee is cheaper than the federal reimbursement rate. No date yet for the launch of the North End pod. There will be a hybrid, but there are no hybrids available now. Help get the word out in your neighborhood. We’ll be posting updates on Front Porch Forum. Planning to host a pot luck BBQ at Leddy Park.
Greg Jenkins said a new neighbor [Sen. Sanders] knocked on his door, and asked about Greg’s electric vehicle, and drove it. There will be more electric vehicles available in the near future.
Jenny Davis said the community policing survey identified drugs and graffiti as high priorities and the NE Mural Project is a prevention project on a number of levels. Long term, Jenny encourages people to write grants for more community murals, possibly an All-Wards collective grant to have a mural artist on salary to organize more projects like this in the city. Larry talked about other murals in the city that beautify the city.
Nancy Powers suggested there be designated areas where artists could have freedom of expression, a place for open expression. Jenny urged people to work on a grant to maker this happen.
Lea praised Carole LaVigne for helping recruit a student artist. Phil LaVigne made us aware of the community policing survey. The mural project we endorsed has leadership and design review because we are using private property in a public area.
Linda is concerned that the Armory is not being used enough, and we need to get ownership of people who live out here before there is graffiti. Phil said the cost is reasonable, and well worth the investment if it results in prevention of
Lea reminded people of the Aug NPA BBQ, that our City Councilors will be cooking and serving, that all food and utensils will be donated, and we don’t want money, just labor from our City Councilors. The last two years we gave “Good Neighbor Awards.” And this year we’re going to give FAVORITES Awards in the North End, to be announced at the BBQ. Send ideas to our web siter, just google NPA Ward 4 and 7.
Chuck reminded people that LIVE at 5:25 on Aug 17 will feature Jenny Davis, and how our NPAs work together with the city.