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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monthly Meeting

May 3, 2017

The May 2017 meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at Lew Wallace School, pursuant to prior approval.


Board Chair Holly Siebert called the meeting to order at 6:55 p.m. Board members in attendance: Chan Graham, Alice Bergman, David McCain, Holly Siebert, Rick Miera, Minerva Camp, Asra Ahmad, Rowan Wymark, Israel Chavez and Noelle Baroody. Four board members were absent. (Note: the board currently has fourteen members after the resignation of Ric Higginbotham.) Eleven other neighbors and guest speakers also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.


Introductions were made. The agenda was approved. The April 5 minutes were approved.


Holly Siebert gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of April, income totaled $45.00 and there were no expenses. The April 30 balance was $24,607.70. The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file.



            New officers were announced: Chair- Holly Siebert, Vice-Chair- Israel Chavez, Secretary- David McCain.



Ric Higginbotham had previously announced his resignation from the board. He is often out of town and feels he will miss too many meetings.

Two neighbors expressed an interest in joining the board: Lucas Elliott and J.J. Mancini. Each briefly described his background and his interest in joining the board. After a board discussion, Lucas Elliott was elected. J.J. Mancini tentatively agreed to be nominated in August when Holly leaves the board after her baby is born. Lucas is a CPA and was elected to the position of treasurer.



            Sergeant Nicholas Sanders (761-8800, cell 259-3608, and Officer Rosenberg described the new APD Policing and Community Team. Part of this new program involves having a detective assigned to DNA with responsibility to investigate and respond to concerns from the neighborhood. Statistically crime is down in DNA. Sergeant Sanders announced a vehicle window etching event on Saturday, May 13 at AAA of NM, 10501 Montgomery NE. He also discussed how to obtain beat maps and arrest records, the effectiveness of speed limit signs, and how to report suspicious activity at particular addresses (242-COPS).



            Chan Graham ( solicited more content for the history project book. Minerva Camp will use her office equipment to produce three draft copies.



            Jade Rivera lives in DNA and is part of a team proposing to start a college preparatory K-5 charter school. (712-1927, No site has been proposed yet. The group hopes to open in the fall of 2018 with 60 kindergarten and 60 first grade students. The school will focus on literacy and math, and have a longer school day than regular APS schools. There were several questions regarding the funding impact on existing schools.


            Environmental activists have long complained about chemical ground contamination caused by dry cleaning chemicals from the Laun-Dry business on 12th just south of I-40. There will be a public meeting on Thursday, May 25 at the Sawmill Community Room, 1801 Bellamah NW.  Chris Isengard said there is a similar problem around 16th and Central, the site of a former transmission repair shop.


Rowan Wymark (for the Safety Committee) solicited new members of the Community Policing Council and described her positive experience when she attended the Citizens Police Academy. Bev Salas encouraged people to report suspicious activity to 242-COPS. She said that if several people report a particular problem, it is more likely that APD will respond.


Alice Bergman will shortly schedule a meeting of the Zoning Committee.


Chan Graham distributed written remarks about the status of the tree project: an organization called Tree New Mexico has received a grant from Councilor Benton’s office to plant 100 trees in the Wells Park neighborhood. Some of these trees will be smaller than the 2.5-inch caliper DNA planted with the PNM grant. Chan has received seven additional requests for trees in DNA. He has contacted Councilor Benton’s office about support for more DNA trees. Ric Higginbotham said that DNA has previously said we would pursue another phase of tree planting and we should do what we said. Daniel Gutierrez may write the grant proposal for the next phase.

Chan also announced that he would not pursue a PNM grant for solar streetlights or sidewalks after the negative responses at the board retreat. There was opposition to DNA pursuing too many projects at one time.


Rowan said the next newsletter would come out in July, with an announcement of the National Night Out in August.


No date has been scheduled for the Budget Committee to meet.


Chris Isengard announced that notZozobra would not be held in 2017.


Lew Wallace School will not be available for the June and July DNA meetings. Israel Chavez will contact the Albuquerque Community Foundation (Seventh and Tijeras) about using their meeting room.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.


Respectfully submitted,

David McCain