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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Annual Meeting

March 4, 2015


The 2015 annual meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Hotel Blue, pursuant to prior approval.

Board members in attendance: Miriam Ortiz y Pino, David McCain, Margaret Connealy, Reba Eagles, Dick Deichsel, Chan Graham, Sue Brych, Sandy Gregory,

Ric Higginbotham, Fernando Pizarro, Jeni Pope, Robert Bello, Rick Miera and Rowan Wymark. No board members were absent. 47 other neighbors and guest speakers also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.

Board Chair Reba Eagles called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. Introductions were made. The agenda was approved. The February 4 minutes were approved.

Dick Deichsel gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of February, there was $375 in income. Expenses totaled $764.21, including $459.85 for printing the newsletter and $272.65 for mailing the newsletter. The February 28 balance was $26,704.35. The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file. Dick also reported on the 2015 budget: DNA will have a deficit since there will be no biannual home tour in 2015. There are planned expenditures for parks, Halloween on Forrester, a donation to the Harwood Art Center and newsletters.



Three representatives from APD were present. Commander Donovan Olvera (250-2661, encouraged the community to report suspicious activity to 242-COPS.

Crime Prevention Specialist Scott Seibel described his free home inspection service (call 311) and said there are many low cost ways to protect a home from burglaries. For January and February, there were seven residential burglaries in the reporting area that includes DNA. He encouraged the meeting to watch out for our neighbors and said that residents are the best judges of the kinds of activities that are “normal” in their area. Door to door solicitors must have a City i.d. and can only work from 9:00 a.m. until sunset.



Councilor Ike Benton reported on the state and county funds that have been approved for mental health facilities for the homeless. He hopes the mayor will sign the Council’s ordinance approving funds for a walkability study. There will be a downtown traffic study from his set-aside funds. The renovation work on Mary Fox Park (14th and Roma) is scheduled to begin this summer.

During the councilor’s Q and A, there was a complaint about the homeless feeding truck on Sundays at Robinson Park (8th and Central). Benton said the program is probably legal so legislation would be needed to stop it. Anna Muller said the participants clean up the park each time they use it.

In response to a question about areas with no sidewalks, Benton said he can’t approve “spot installations” which are not part of a larger plan.



Joran Viers (with City Parks and Recreation) discussed several issues involving trees in urban areas. His position mostly involves trees in municipal parks. When tree roots cause sidewalks to be uneven, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to deal with the hazard. Once the sidewalk damage has begun, the damage is usually not easy to fix. It is much better to pick the correct size tree in the first place. In response to a question, Ike Benton encouraged mediation when a neighbor is upset about the condition of sidewalks on another neighbor’s property. Another neighbor complained that the City often completes projects (including landscaping) with bond money, but does not plan for the maintenance of the landscaping. Joran will get back to Reba Eagles with the procedure and personnel in City government for dealing with tree issues.



            Ric Higginbotham described the upcoming tree project, but first asked the audience to consider nominating homes for the 2016 historic homes tour. He discussed an article from the Albuquerque Journal, which described how trees positively affect property values in neighborhoods. Ric thanked Chan Graham for his work on a County grant application, which resulted in a $5000 award to DNA to survey the condition of trees in the neighborhood and plant trees on a “demonstration block”. Volunteers for the one-day survey should meet at the Harwood Art Center (7th and Mountain) on Saturday, May 16 at 8:30 a.m. The survey is scheduled to be completed by 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Once the data are collected, DNA will apply for a much larger grant to support the planting of trees throughout the neighborhood.



Sue Brych (chair of the Nominating Committee) announced that seven board positions were expiring at this meeting. Five of those seven board members have agreed to be re-nominated: Margaret Connealy, Dick Deichsel, Reba Eagles, Chan Graham and David McCain. Two board members have decided not to remain on the board: Miriam Ortiz y Pino and Bob Yuhas. Sue reported that Alice Bergman and Noelle Baroody had volunteered to serve in the two vacant positions. There were no nominations from the floor. The slate of seven candidates was approved by acclamation.


Reba Eagles welcomed the new board members and encouraged neighbors to attend DNA’s regular monthly meetings.



            Robert Bello reviewed the work of the board and the zoning committee over the past year, including decisions about the permitted uses of properties, modifications to buildings in historic overlay zones and residential parking permits.


Anna Muller described the work that has been done in the past year on Robinson Park (8th and Central) and Soldiers and Sailors Park (13th and Central). She thanked State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino and retired State Representative Rick Miera for their work in securing state funds for these parks.


Rowan Wymark solicited articles for the next DNA newsletter.


Reba Eagles described the work of other DNA committees.


Miriam Ortiz y Pino announced that the next event of the Downtown Discovery Club would be a tour, meeting in front of the KiMo Theater (5th and Central) on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. Lunch to follow.






The following businesses donated gift certificates for the drawing: Café Lush (two prizes), Pasion Latin Fusion restaurant (two prizes), Cocina Azul, Routes Bicycle Shop, KiMo Theater, Breaking Bad tour, Gambei Wellness, and Margaret Connealy.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:50.


Respectfully submitted,

David McCain