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Downtown Neighborhoods Association
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Monthly Meeting
June 1, 2011
The June 2011 regular monthly meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval. Board members in attendance: Bob Yuhas, Sue Brych, Dick Deichsel, Holly Seibert, Reba Eagles, Robert Bello, Miriam Ortiz y Pino, Ric Higginbotham, Jacque Wright, Lindi Anderson, David McCain.

Two board members were not in attendance. Twelve other neighbors attended. Sign-in sheets are on file.

Acting Board Chair Miriam Ortiz y Pino called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Introductions were made. The agenda was approved with the addition of a report on movie crew activity from Anna Muller. The May minutes were approved. A discussion was held regarding the continuation of the “rotating chair” policy. Robert Bello moved and Jacque Wright seconded that DNA continue the practice. After some discussion Robert amended the motion to be limited to six months for now and to stipulate that each month there will be a voluntary chair and co-chair, and that the co-chair will be the chair the following month. Jacque Wright suggested that we
should have training for the position. A discussion then ensued regarding the “burnout” of permanent chairs, the problem of temporary chairs having to “reinvent” the duties each month, the problem of outside stakeholders not knowing who the contact person is each month, and the question of who goes to City hearings. Jacque Wright and Lindi Anderson requested to be exempted from the rotation because of Jacque’s duties as Treasurer, Tree Committee, Communications Committee, Home Tour Committee and maintaining the DNA Web Site, and Lindi’s duties as head of the Historic Tour Committee and the Communications Committee. David McCain was exempted because he needs to take the minutes. The motion passed. (NOTE: After the meeting, Ric Higginbotham passed around a sign-up sheet for people to volunteer as chair and co-chair for each of the next six months. Those names are appended to the minutes and the original sheet is on file.)

Jacque brought up the fact that DNA’s current policy is that all checks, regardless of the amount, require only one signature. After some discussion, Dick Deichsel moved and Robert Bello seconded that all checks should require two signatures. It was then brought up that requiring the chair’s signature could be cumbersome for the next six months because of our rotating chair period. So Dick Deichsel amended his motion and Robert Bello seconded that the secretary and the treasurer should be the signers until such time as we have a permanent chair. The motion passed. A brief discussion was held regarding the need to remove Miriam Ortiz y Pino as a check signer and add David McCain (as Secretary), so that only Jacque Wright and David McCain are on file as check signers with the Bank of Albuquerque.
Jacque Wright reported on the proposed budget for the $3000 grant from Bernalillo County for tree planting. As submitted to the County, the budget proposes to spend $2000 for trees and installation, $250 for an Arbor Day Workshop Presentation, $450 for Structural Pruning of Phase 1 and 2 trees, $200 for the printing of the “Tree Owner’s Manual, and $100 for Arbor Day celebration supplies.

Miriam Ortiz y Pino reported on Neighborhood Projects. Ric Higginbotham said that the City has funds that are proposed to be spent on projects that will benefit downtown. These funds are contained in the mayor’s “ABQ-the PLAN” proposal. Lindi Anderson pointed out that anyone can vote on proposals on the City’s website,

Bob Yuhas will get an updated list of block captains from the City for the Safety Committee. He will write an article for the newsletter with a map showing active neighborhood watches.

Holly Siebert announced that Tuesday August 2 is National Neighborhood Night Out. A discussion ensued and it was agreed that DNA would sponsor a potluck that evening in Mary Fox Park. We will work out the details at the July board meeting.

Dick Deichsel reported that there are no new Curb Appeal Places of the Month this month.

Lindi Anderson (Communication Committee) is aiming to have the next newsletter by mid-July, in time to announce the National Night Out two weeks in advance. Articles should be sent to Laura Bruzzese by June 18 ( Jacque Wright gave an update on the Board Google Group and neighborhood email list.

Lindi also reported as chair of the Tour Committee. She proposed that the first committee meeting for the May 2012 tour be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21. Jacque Wright has volunteered her home at 509 11th St. NW. The meeting will be a potluck. Lindi encouraged Board members and other neighbors to become involved in DNA’s biggest event. The tour grossed $11,500 in 2010 with expenses of $1500. Jacque Wright moved approval of an initial $500 budget for the 2012 tour. Robert Bello seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Robert Bello announced the second “neighborhood get-together” for Saturday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Café Lush on the corner of 7th and Tijeras. The purpose of these events is to provide a less formal venue for neighbors to ask questions, express concerns and hope fully get involved.

Robert then gave the zoning report, starting with Ann Gateley’s request for a permit to restore the shed in her back yard at 519 11th NW. Dr. Gateley was not present, but had submitted drawings. Several people commented that the current structure is in very bad condition. For the purposes of the historic overlay zone, David McCain and others noted that the shed is not visible from the street. David McCain moved and Jacque Wright seconded to approve the permit. The motion passed unanimously.

The next zoning item was the conversion of the abandoned church at 500 Marble NW into a fitness center. This item will go before the EPC at their July 14 meeting and Robert will provide more detail at the July 6 DNA meeting.

The final zoning item involved Lee Gamelsky resubmitting his proposal for 3 town homes on the vacant lot on 8th between Roma and Marquette. Robert suggested that the Board should discuss this project when we have more information about the revisions that Gamelsky is proposing. A discussion ensued regarding the role of immediate neighbors in the consideration of any project.

The board then considered a request from MaryEllen Hennessy to be reimbursed $50 for the lunches she provided at the recent window restoration workshop. Since the windows restored were on her own house,the board voted not to approve the request.
With no remaining business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
David McCain

sheet for rotating chairs:
Month Chair Co-Chair
July Ric Higginbotham Robert Bello
August Robert Bello Sue Brych
September Sue Brych Reba Eagles
October Reba Eagles Dick Deichsel
November Dick Deichsel Holly Siebert
December Holly Siebert Reba Eagles