Thursday, July 2, 2015

Welcome new officers!

With a new fiscal year, we welcome new officers to the GHNA. For those who missed our annual meeting in June, Chuck Macklin is our new president and Jeanne Novotny is our new member-at-large. 

Our other officers are Anne Haynes as secretary, Jeff Morris as treasurer, and Claudia Lindman as member-at-large.

We also voted on an amendment to the bylaws to only require 30% of Votes to be present to reach quorum. This amendment passed. The bylaws can be viewed at

Other business discussed included:
  • Proposed amendment to remove the requirement to readopt the bylaws annually. Article VI currently requires the bylaws to be reviewed and re-adopted each year. The officers will need to draft language for the amendment and publicize it ahead of the next meeting so it can be voted on.
  • Proposed amendment to reduce quorum to 20% or 25% of Votes. Those present felt more discussion was needed on this issue. 
  • Introduced possibly adding procedures for proxies to the bylaws. This would be most useful if all items for voting were presented ahead of time, including having candidates for each office announced prior to the meeting. We will start an email discussion and a discussion on Nextdoor on this issue.
  • The idea of holding electronic meetings was considered. This would provide a way for those who are unable to physically be present to join the meeting via some sort of technology. We will start an email discussion and a discussion on Nextdoor on this issue.
  • Meagan Eller spoke to Miah Michaelsen, Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts, about adding a mural to the railroad underpass on Smith Road. There are two possible ways this could happen: 1) If the neighborhood is interested in making this a neighborhood project, we could apply for a Neighborhood Improvement Grant. (Past grant projects can be viewed here.) The grant would require work and some equity on our part, but we would have more say in the process, including the artwork. Miah would be able to help with a lot of the details, like getting permission from the Indiana Railroad, finding an artist, etc. 2) If the neighborhood doesn't want to take on this project, we can contact her about adding it to the city's long list of improvement projects. It would likely take longer and we wouldn't have as much (any?) say in the artwork, but we would not have any responsibility. There is at least one other railroad underpass on the west side for which there is interest in a similar project. It is possible that beautifying all the underpasses or at least several could be a larger project and might bump it up the list. We will start an email discussion and a discussion on Nextdoor to discuss the pros and cons of each option.
  • Anne Haynes brought up the idea of applying for a Neighborhood Clean-up Grant. While we would provide the volunteers to do the cleanup, HAND would provide dumpsters, a chipper, and other needed equipment. We will start an email discussion and a discussion on Nextdoor on this idea.
  • Molly O'Donnell from the Monroe County Energy Challenge spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting. They have an Energy Mobile that they can bring to neighborhoods. Here is a description of the Energy Challenge and the Energy Mobile from Molly:
"The Monroe County Energy Challenge ( is a collaboration between several public, private and non-profit partners in Monroe County to compete in the Georgetown University Energy Prize. We are one of 50 communities competing over a two year period for a $5 million award for the community which best: 
"1) fosters innovative approaches to energy efficiency, 2) educates the public on energy issues, and 3) grows the market for products and services which enhance energy efficiency. 
"Our goal is to reach 80% of residents and achieve a 10% reduction in natural gas and electricity use in 2015 & 2016 as compared to 2014. Monthly usage from every resident's gas and electric meter is sent directly to Georgetown by the utilities, so every residentially-metered property is included. With 2/3s of city housing and half of the County being rentals, this can seem a bit daunting. Neighborhood associations have been helping distribute our Task of the Month fliers (sent via CONA Google Groups) and have been inviting us to attend their meetings, block parties and picnics. 
"The EnergyMobile, purchased with a grant from Vectren, is stocked with weatherization supplies and accompanied by trained volunteers (our "energy ambassadors"). We will be going into neighborhoods throughout the county to help people assess their homes, and suggest, and in some cases, remedy issues that cause energy to be wasted. We would let your neighborhood association officers know when that will take place there, and distribute door hangers the week before.  
"FYI: Also included in the Challenge are municipal buildings in Bloomington, Ellettsville, Stinesville and Monroe County and all area public, and several private, K-12 schools. Thanks to a grant from the Joyce Foundation, teachers are being trained to use energy assessment tools, like thermal camera, and will encompass energy efficiency topics into their curricula. And the municipal partners received a grant from the State Office of Energy Development to make infrastructure improvements including converting to LED lighting."