May 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

SRG Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at Soulard Station

Meeting started at 7:04 p.m.

Members present: Mike Ziemann, Beth Bennett, Bill Clendenin, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Nancy Kelly, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker, Alicia Stellhorn

Members absent: Jeremy Mehrle, Gary Toribio


·         Parlour Tour Committee chairman Jeanne Kirby and members Leah Sutphen, Miriam Press, Jim Price, Julie Price, Billy Tomber, John Wallace

·         Beautification Committee chairman Richard Eaton

Parlour Tour Committee Presentation:

Members gave a PowerPoint presentation to explain their roles and procedures, compare the performances of recent years and share what they have learned from past tours.

SRG President Mike Ziemann asked about the timing of selecting and announcing homes for the tour. He said that this past year the tour roster was full early, then in need of homes, then too full, causing confusion on the SRG Board about the true picture. He said the SRG Board and Parlour Tour Committee need clearer lines of communication. Committee members agreed.

Luann Denten and Beth Bennett expressed concerns over the handling of two homes that were recruited for the tour.

Denten said that one household had been the first to sign up but was later told they were no longer needed. John Wallace said that the homeowners had expressed to him that they hadn’t really wanted to be on the tour. When others stepped forward, the first homeowners were told they didn’t need to be on the tour, he said. Wallace said he had apologized to the homeowners after he learned they were upset.

Beth Bennett said that she had talked another homeowner into being on the tour and that she had asked that the homeowner not be asked to withdraw but that occurred anyway. John Wallace said he apologized for that situation as well.

Mike Ziemann said that one member of the Parlour Tour Committee needs to be the person who speaks for the committee in regards to who is on the tour and who isn’t. John Wallace said that the committee president is the person who decides what homes are on the tour, and manages the list of homes that might be on future tours.

Jeanne Kirby said that once the roster of homes is set, homeowner liaisons John Wallace and Neal Thompson take over communications with homes on the tour.

Kirby said that it was unfortunate that some homeowners’ feelings were hurt but she noted that the 2014 event was a huge success.  

Jackie Parker said the deadline for the Parlour Tour Committee edition of the Renaissance is Nov. 5, and that the paper would be out before Thanksgiving, when ticket sales begin in earnest.

Beautification Committee:

Richard Eaton presented the committee’s proposed budget.

Alicia Stellhorn informed Eaton that the city Forestry Division will be talking to the Beautification Committee about the threat of emerald ash borers to trees in Soulard Market Park.

Eaton said the Beautification fundraiser on May 19 at Molly’s was a financial success, with income of $9,200 to $9,400. He said Marybeth Wallace and Molly’s owner Luke Reynolds said they would pitch in to ensure $10,000 was raised.

2016 Fiscal Year Budget:

The SRG Board reviewed proposed expense and income for the various committees. As we near the end of the 2015 Fiscal Year, more actual figures will be known and slight adjustments will be made in the proposed budget. A vote on the budget is scheduled for June 13.

Mike Ziemann said that because of the unpredictability of Mardi Gras, the Board might want to view the SRG’s booth as a small neighborhood party rather than a fundraiser. If we make money, fine, but if we don’t, it’s not a setback.

Ziemann questioned whether the budget should continue to include $100 for the purchase of food and beverages for SRG Board members during their monthly Board meeting. He said the money could be used for a wider community purpose. SRG president-elect Bill Clendenin said he objected to alcoholic beverages being purchased with the money. Sean Cochran said that when he “hosts” the meal, he purchases food with the $100 and buys any alcoholic beverages with his own money. Several Board members said they didn’t consider it extravagant to have an allowance of $100 for Board members’ dinner at a 7 p.m. meeting that lasts several hours. Several Board members come straight from work. A motion to continue spending $100 for food and beverages at the monthly Board meeting was approved 7-1.

Treasurer’s Report:  Alicia Stellhorn presented the report.


Old Business:

Soulard School Soiree:

The Board voted 8-0 to officially approve the donation of $500 and a free rental of Soulard Station for the Soulard School Soirée, which was held May 17 at the Boo Cat Club, 812 Union Blvd., 63108.

Membership Drive:

40 new members were recruited at the SRG Membership Social on May 6 at the Great Grizzly Bear, 1027 Geyer Ave.

The New Member Social will be at 6 p.m. June 11 at Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St. The social is in place of the regular monthly Membership Committee meeting. In past years, committee members brought home-prepared food, but because of the smaller size of the committee, food will be ordered this time. Members of other SRG committees are encouraged to be present to greet the new members and explain the various committee roles.

Tap ‘N’ Run:

Mike Ziemann said that having the run pass by Howards in Soulard at 2732 S. 13th St. – as some had desired – would have caused “choke points” and disrupted traffic on South 12th Street. He said the course as designed is logical. (See course map)

Jackie Parker said efforts are underway to secure picnic licenses for the beer stations. Alicia Stellhorn said that she could help in getting Forestry Division approval.

Volunteers are being sought and can sign up online.

Mike Ziemann said he had not seen any mailings to residents informing them of Tap ‘N’ Run, as race organizers had promised. (The week of May 25, 1,000 letters were subsequently distributed along the race route and to all those within the route’s footprint by Big River Race Management.)


Bill Clendenin noted that community presence at the sentencing hearing of S.J. had led to him receiving an actual sentence. Clendenin thanked those who attended and encouraged people to attend a sentencing hearing June 5 involving a 2013 armed robbery.

Luann Denten thanked Clendenin for “bringing this program to the forefront and leading our community.” Mike Ziemann said Clendenin and the neighborhood residents who attended the sentencing hearing had “almost singlehandedly contributed to these guys not being on the streets.”

MGI Board Candidates:

Mike Ziemann encouraged SRG Board members to talk to candidates Sean Cochran and Jackie Parker and to then share their input with him. Ziemann said he would also be talking to the two candidates and would use then Board’s input before appointing one to the MGI Board.

Board Retreat:

The Board retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 13, with the first hour devoted to the 2016 FY Budget. The retreat location is to be determined.


Luann Denten said a first order of Soulard flags would have to be for at least 25. She’ll get an image of one of the 3-foot-by-5-foot double-sided flags with Mardi Gras colors.

Mardi Gras Foundation Grant/Video Cameras/Proposals

Since Anheuser-Busch InBev has said it will pay for the installation of the entry markers, Alicia Stellhorn will approach the Mardi Gras Foundation to see if it will reallocate the money it had set aside for the entry marker project.

Bill Clendenin said that, subject to approval, he will become a commissioner on the Soulard Special Business District. That group will work with the Soulard Business Association and SRG to come up with a plan for cameras. Clendenin said that one or two other people from the SRG should be on the working group. A meeting will be held Tuesday, May 26, at Molly’s.

The application process has not yet begun for the next round of MGF grants. Nancy Kelly will ask the Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis to write a letter of support of our MGF application, since the Boys’ Club was a successful recipient last year.

New Business

Website Updates:

Mike Ziemann noted that information on the website calendar is not always current. (The website calendar has subsequently been updated by Jackie Parker beginning with June 2015 click here.)

STL Youth Jobs Partnership:

Ziemann circulated a letter from Rebecca Ritter of the SLATE Missouri Career Center outlining a program in which the city and state pay wages for young adults ages 16 to 24 to work summer jobs. Board members did not see an immediate fit with SRG needs.


Mike Ziemann noted that Officer Joseph Calabro recently had a posting on NextDoor seeking the donation of tools. Luann Denten said that the American Legion’s request for donated flower pots for its parking lot had no results. The SRG Board voted unanimously to donate $500 so that the Legion can purchase pots.


1216 Sidney Street Zoning Hearing:

Mike Ziemann informed the Board that the CC Abundant Life Church at 1216 Sidney St. had successfully appealed a city zoning ruling and was given permission to have a gravel parking lot for five years rather than a paved lot. Steve Parker said that he and Jackie live next door to the church, and that considerable landscaping and maintenance improvements were made immediately after the congregation’s recent purchase of the building.

Board Reports:

Residential Promotion:

The Soulard Garden Tour is being sponsored by St. Louis Homes Magazine.

The second annual Bastille en Vogue fashion show begins at 6 p.m. Sunday July 12 at Franco, 1535 S. 8th St. Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at


The New Member Social will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St. Forty new members joined May 6 at the SRG Membership Social at the Great Grizzly Bear.

SRG Night at the Gateway Grizzlies Game is Saturday, Aug. 8. Tickets are $35 a person and includes shuttle ride to and from game, ticket to game, beer at the ballpark and free admission to SRG’s own private after-party at the OZ nightclub prior to its regular nightly opening.


Plans call for four attached townhouses to be erected on the empty lot at South 9th Street and Soulard Street. The units are to have three to five bedrooms and start at $499,999.

The old, marble-faced Clark Rowley house at South 12th  and Lami streets has been sold.

Construction on the Lafayette School site apartment project is scheduled to begin in mid-July. Plans now show the parking entrance will be off Ann Avenue. See plans

Soulard Station:

The Board expressed its strong support for Vicki Morris and her performance in running the station.  

Communications Committee:

The Renaissance should be out for delivery on Friday May 22. (The Renaissance has subsequently been delivered to area businesses.)


National Night Out is Tuesday Aug. 4. A case of beer will be donated for blocks holding National Night Out parties. In past years, four or five blocks held parties. Last year, it was down to one or two.

New Business:

The opening of Henry’s restaurant and bar, 825 Geyer Ave., has revived the idea of having new business sign a "good neighbor agreement." Board members discussed the history of the agreement and the general idea of using it again. Click here to see good neighbor agreement

Luann Denten said the SBA and MGI boards had met and are discussing concerns about the spinoff business being run by Tim Lorson and Brian Wahby. They want to ensure there are no conflicts of interest in that work and what is done on behalf of MGI.  Lorson is to respond to the concerns at the next MGI meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.