Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012 Annual Meeting and Block Party

Saturday was our annual meeting and block party. After a brief delay, we reached quorum and were able to call the meeting to order.

In attendance were Meagan Eller, Chris Eller, Julie Fox, Bruce Lockwood, Sonya Bystrom, Jessica Savarese, Gillian Field, Bonnie Fisher, Jeff Morris, Anne Haynes, Donna Jaques, Kevin Jaques, Jill Terhune-Andrews, Jeanne Novotny

1st order of business was elections. Three offices were up for election, for 2-year terms running July 2012-June 2014. Anne Haynes was unanimously elected Secretary. Jeff Morris was unanimously re-elected as Treasurer. Jessica Savarese was unanimously re-elected Member-at-Large. They will join Meagan Eller, President, and Gillian Field, Member-at-Large, on the Steering Committee.

2nd order of business was readoption of the Bylaws. A change to quorum was proposed. Quorum is currently defined as 10 Votes present. Proposed change is

"GHNA meetings shall have quorum of either 10 Votes or a majority of Voting households present, whichever is fewer".

The temporary amendment was approved unanimously. It will become permanent if approved at the 2013 annual meeting. The Bylaws were readopted unanimously with the temporary amendment.

Officer and committee reports:

  • Jeff Morris reports that the treasury has $199.16, including dues and reimbursements submitted on Saturday. $100 of that is from receiving the HAND Team of the Year award. We opened a bank account in order to cash the check and to handle GHNA funds in the future.
  • Chris Eller reports that we are still collecting cans. We earn about $30/trip; we've collected fewer cans lately. 
  • Julie Fox organized the collection of gifts a family the neighborhood sponsored at Christmas time. She would like to continue this project each year.
  • Gillian Field organized the ice cream social last fall in conjunction with Mark Trotter's kids' games. All were in agreement that it is worth doing again; she will coordinate with Mark to pick a date this fall.
  • Jeff Morris organized our annual pizza party. It went well and everyone enjoyed the event.
  • Jessica Savarese organized a neighborhood clean-up. Neighbors volunteered to pick up litter on each of the streets in the neighborhood. There was little trash this year, an improvement over previous years.
  • Meagan Eller organized the neighborhood yard sales. About 10 families participated. 


New business:
GHNA received the HAND Team of the Year award at the Blooming Neighborhoods Celebration. Part of the award was $100, as already reported by Jeff Morris.

Concern has been expressed regarding some properties recently sold or currently for sale in the neighborhood:

  • Of concern are the empty lots for sale by the Staats family. Two of those lots were purchased by neighbors with adjoining properties. There are still several for sale. Meagan Eller contacted the Parks and Rec department about the possibility that some of the space could be retained as green space, as a city park, either with or without a playground. Many neighbors have expressed interest in seeing more trees planted on those large lots. 
  • Also of concern were 2 houses along North Grandview which were apparently bought by the owner of Bell Trace. According to Darlene Meyer, she and other property owners were approached privately. She did not sell, but the houses on either side of her did. Meagan Eller contacted the city Planning Department to find out if any plans had been submitted and what the process is if there is a request for a zoning change. Properties in the neighborhood are currently zoned as single family residential. Planning dept reports that no plans have as yet been filed. If plans were submitted, Bell Trace would have to contact us to set up a neighborhood meeting about the plans. A Planning dept staff member would also attend. Adjacent properties and properties adjacent to the adjacent properties would also receive notices in the mail about any upcoming hearings. In short, it appears that there is nothing currently being planned and that we should receive notice if that changes.


In regards to the $100 as noted above, we now have money to decide how to spend.

  • Jule Fox proposed a banner, possibly 2'x4', which could be used at future Blooming Neighborhoods celebrations to decorate our table. She noted that most other neighborhoods had such banners. Estimated cost could be $75. 
  • Jessica Savarese thought that seemed expensive for something we would only use once a year. She prefers the idea of using the money toward dog poop bag dispensers, as has previously been discussed. Since we have funding, we could skip the grant application process, although we would still need approval from Public Works to attach dispensers to street sign posts. (Previous estimate of cost to make 6, using the Bryan Park neighborhood design, would be ~$160.)
  • Bonnie Fisher proposed that everyone think about ideas to use the $100 and submit them to the officers so the officers can then decide how to use it, with a September 30th deadline. Bonnie's motion was approved.
In regards to dog poop problems in the neighborhood, it may be due to the increasing number of college students and others living in the apartments surrounding the neighborhood. They may not realize they need to clean up after their dogs. 

Gillian Field brought up the idea of requesting traffic calmers in the neighborhood, possibly just speed bumps at the 2 neighborhood entrances, rather than throughout the neighborhood. She has noticed a number of unfamiliar cars driving fairly fast. It was noted that the speed limit is currently listed as 30 mph, although that should decrease to 25 mph once new signs are posted (http://bloomington.in.gov/media/media/application/pdf/9862.pdf). Pros: Traffic calmers might reduce people using the neighborhood as a cut-through. Cons: we would end up punishing ourselves by having to go over speed bumps daily. Due to a lack of sidewalks, bump-outs or chicanes could make the streets more dangerous for pedestrians by forcing them into the line of traffic. Jeanne Novotny will check with the police department if they are the ones who do the mobile speed sign and if we can have it in the neighborhood at some point. (If they are not the right department, we will try to find out who does administer those and make the same request.) 

On that note, the meeting was adjourned so we could enjoy the block party on such a beautiful Saturday.

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