Ghent Neighborhood League
Meeting Minutes for 2/18/08
Due to the February meeting date falling on Presidents’ Day, there was a dearth in board presence as well as membership. GNL President Mike Spencer had to travel to Washington on a job assignment. First Vice President Sharon Plawin conducted the meeting in his absence; she also took minutes of the meeting.
Board members present:
Board members absent:
City council members Barclay Winn and Dr. Theresa Whibley attended the meeting as guests.
Joe Maus, chairman of the membership committee, could not attend the meeting but sent word that the membership renewal notice was printed and would be mailed on Tuesday. He e-mailed board members a sample of the renewal letter and a printout of the most recent GNL database showing members who had renewed as well as those with expired memberships.
After discussion, the board suggested a membership application be mailed to all property owners living in the GNL area to encourage additional membership. Such a mailing was considered worth trying and it was suggested that its outcome be measured. It was determined that the best vehicle would be the next GNL newsletter with a special promotion and form inviting new as well as renewed memberships. It was suggested that sector reps could deliver in some areas. The board asked that the membership committee and newsletter editor work out details and carry out the initiative.
There was discussion concerning earlier availability of the agenda. According to a previous board vote, members are to receive an agenda five working days before the next meeting. It was suggested that the next month’s agenda be addressed at the end of the monthly meeting and be made more specific. Also mentioned was the need to put out the league’s meeting signs throughout the neighborhood to alert people to the meetings. The board voted 7:1 to purchase new meeting signs for a yet undetermined amount.
Board chairman Paige Rose gave her report:
– Two new sector reps, Mary Pohlhaus for the Hague area and Susanne Williams for sector 2. Reps still needed for area between Colley Ave. and Hampton Blvd.
– E-mail notification for serious crime or neighborhood alerts have been put into effect with the help of Police Officer Routon and Susanne Williams, who is serving as the communications “point person” for the GNL.
– Working to publicize sector rep contact information on both the GNL website and future GNL mailer. Mrs. Barbara Everett, a Ghent resident and agent with Rose&Womble, has volunteered to help fund a future mailer.
– Meeting with Ms. Moravia Ebong, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator with the Norfolk Crime Prevention Unit, is being set up for future GNL meeting.
– Looking to organize Sector Rep block parties to celebrate neighborhood “Quality of Life” and to encourage GNL membership
– Greening of Ghent on March 14 is an opportunity to promote GNL membership. There was some discussion as to co-sponsoring the event next year. In the meantime, BarBara Murphy and Sharon Plawin volunteered to staff a membership booth at the event this year if agreeable to Ghent Business Association.
– The Dog Park for upper Stockley Gardens is progressing. $20,000 has been raised and pledged. Council members Winn and Whibley voiced their support and indicated the city could help.
– There was brief discussion concerning the GNL’s Homeless Proposal for a central feeding and care area to resolve the homeless issue in Ghent.
Officer Routon reported on the new crime alert system. Arrests have been made in the graffiti incidents in the area. One GNL board member requested crime reports in the future.
Christ & St. Luke’s Guild House
GNL member Andria McClellan gave an update on the upcoming demolition of the Guild House. Some elements are to be preserved for the new structure.
Community Improvement Committee
Board member Dennis Russell answered questions previously raised concerning the city’s occupancy permit program and codes enforcement.
Archiving GNL minutes
Former GNL President Pat Clay said he has boxes of old GNL minutes and corporation documents which need to be archived. He said a UVa. researcher had contacted him requesting documents about initial efforts to make Ghent a historic district. Mason Andrews recommended Peggy Hale for the job. They could become a permanent record in the Sargeant Memorial Room at the Kirn Memorial Library.
Nominations Committee for 2008
There was a reminder that the Nominations Committee needs to be appointed (see additional notes at bottom of minutes).
Problem of GNL meetings falling on holidays
It was suggested we address this issue.
Set agenda for next meeting at end of monthly meeting
One suggestion was that we invite the new city assessor to discuss house assessments or someone to discuss zoning issues.
GNL Bylaws on naming Nominating Committee
1) The Nominating Committee shall be formed no later than eight weeks prior to the May Annual Membership meeting. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the Immediate Past President of the GNL, two (2) members in good standing of the GNL and two (2) persons appointed by the President (to include the President if not standing for re-election). The Nominating Committee is responsible for seeking qualified candidates for each position up for election on the Board of Directors. They shall request nominations from the membership based upon participation in meetings and demonstration of particular interest or skills appropriate for the Board of Directors. Nominations will be accepted from any member in good standing if received by the Nominating Committee at the official GNL post office box not later than April 1 provided that nominations specify the office sought by the nominee. The committee shall request nominations from the membership by notice in the January and February GNL newsletters and by concurrent notice on the GNL website. The committee shall report on its progress to the Board of Directors at the February meeting and, at the March meeting, shall present a slate of officers and directors to be listed on the election ballot along with other nominations.
Submitted by Sharon Plawin, first vice president