Minutes February 2017 SRG Board Meeting

Date:               February 15, 2017

Location:        Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St.

Officers in Attendance: Beth Bennett, Bill Clendenin, Luann Denten, Venessa Kobrin, Scott Plackemeier, Neil Putz, Christopher Schwarz, Billy Tomber

Officers Absent: Gary Toribio, Wade Weistreich, Mike Ziemann

The meeting was called to order at 7:11 p.m. by President Bill Clendenin

Old Business

1. Elections

    A huge thank you goes out to Molly’s and Luke Reynolds for allowing the SRG general membership to utilize Molly’s for our general membership meeting. Sts. Peter and Paul parish was unavailable due to last minute and unforeseen reasons.

    Elections were not discussed at the February general meeting.

    The bylaws call for an announcement of elections to the general membership one month prior to the elections themselves. This would be the March 2017 general membership meeting. There are five positions up for elections this year:

President Elect - this is a three year total commitment. One year as President Elect, one year as President, and one year as Past President. This commitment includes all general and board meetings. Wade Weistreich is the current President Elect, Bill Clendenin is the current President, and Mike Ziemann is the current Past President.

Secretary - this is a one year commitment. The position is up for election annually. This commitment includes all general and board meetings as well as minutes for each. This position results in one of the main communication tools for the SRG as a whole, meeting minutes. There is a time commitment outside of the meetings for preparation, review and dissemination of the minutes. Venessa Kobrin is the current Secretary and has indicated interest in running for the
position again.

Treasurer - this is a one year commitment. The position is up for election annually. This commitment includes all general and board meetings in addition to an average of five hours per week communicating with committee chairs, paying bills cutting checks and monitoring the finances of the SRG. This position also includes the responsibility of taxes for the fiscal year that one is elected for. Christopher Schwarz is the current Treasurer and has indicated that he would like to continue in the position and will run for the position again.

Director (2 positions) - the Director positions are two year terms. The time commitment includes as general and board meetings. Luann Denten and Beth Bennett are the current Directors whose seats are up for election.

2. Soulard Station Transition (Jay Morris)

    Jay Morris is attending on behalf of the Soulard Station Committee. The members of the Station Committee will not be continuing in the capacity of a committee. As the person who did the rehab of the Station, Jay is volunteering to stay on as a person who can advise regarding repairs and maintenance of the building.
    Vicki Morris will wrap up inventory of tangible items by the end of February. Jay Morris will compose a list of maintenance projects that should be completed, regardless of the future of the Station.

    The Board once again thanks the Morris’ for all the hard work and effort that was put into rehabbing the Station and operating the Station.

    The Station will remain available to all committees, SRG members, neighborhood associations and outside non-profits. The priorities of the SRG are the neighbors, the neighborhood and ensuring that the non-profit status of the organization is protected. More information will follow.

    Christopher Schwarz motions that he Soulard Station committee become dormant effective immediately and an ad hoc committee composed of Venessa Kobrin, Neil Putz, and Beth Bennet will be formed for calendar management, creating policies, creating a policy specific to priority of usage by SRG members and neighborhood organizations, utilities decision making, usage decision making, maintenance, daily operations, budgeting and any other necessary decision making.

Second: Beth Bennett

Passed: All

    Venessa K. motions to change the phone number that the alarm company calls for any issue to the President or President elect and the Station Liaison, effective March 1.

Second: Christopher Schwarz

Passed: ALL

3. Website Updates

    Venessa Kobrin joined the Com Com and she will have full rights to the website for updating and management purposes.


    Luann Denten indicated the important of spending time with the other non-profit groups within Soulard. A social will be arranged for members of the SRG/SSBD/MGI/MGF/SBA/CID after Mardi Gras.

5. Past President Cocktail Hour

    Christopher Schwarz indicated the importance of institutional knowledge within the neighborhood and the SRG and suggested the Past President Cocktail Hour be revived. All agree and hope to see this tradition return in the coming months.

6. Donations to the SRG

    Venessa Kobrin indicated a need for a standard regarding donations to the SRG. This standard should not only include a documentation and receipt process, but also a use policy for donations. In the last several months the Beautification Committee has secured the donations of several statues, with the intention of replacing them in Pontiac Park. The implementation of a standard In-Kind Donation Acceptance Policy protects the donated item, the SRG, as well as providing a receipt for the donator.

    In a practical example, Venessa K. described the generous gift of the Terra Madonna statue. Without a document such as the one proposed, issues could arise if the SRG decided to move the statue from Pontiac Park to another location in the neighborhood. The policy being proposed places the logistics of donations in the hands of the Board. This policy also defines a donation to the SRG as just that, a donation to the Soulard Restoration Group and not a specific committee, person, or chair.

    Venessa K. motions the following: As a non-profit organization we are generously donated tangible items on a regular basis and there needs to be a policy in place to protect said donations. Venessa Kobrin motions the adoption of the “SRG In-Kind Donation Policy,” upon review and acceptation of the verbiage by Bill Clendenin.

Second: Billy Tomber

Passed: ALL

The SRG In-Kind Donation Policy will be included as an attachment to the minutes and thusly will be disseminated to the general membership.

New Business

1. Proposed Mosque in McKinley Heights (Rocco Danna)
    Rocco Danna, a practiced architect and rehabber, is here on behalf of the McKinley Heights Neighborhood Association regarding a mosque that is being built in McKinley Heights. According to Mr. Danna, the Preservation Board made decisions regarding the building without a quorum. These decisions that are in contention are the placement of the mosque in relations to the streets and maintaining adherence to the established historic code. Specifically, the building is sited behind the parking lot and not street-side. The entire building is diagonally set on the lot. Originally it was a building without windows, but now is a brick building with windows.

    The project has been preliminarily approved by the Preservation Board but still has to have full approval prior to permitting.

    The mosque cites safety concerns as the reason for the footprint of the building. The McKinley Heights Neighborhood Association is questioning the validity of the parking lot in front of the building making the site safer.

    It was noted that it is unusual for one neighborhood association to seek support or dissent for a project by outside neighborhood associations.

    The McKinley Heights Neighborhood Association is seeking the support of the Soulard Restoration Group to support the proper application to and adherence of the historic building code.

    The Board is going to review the matter further before determining whether or not to write a letter of support. Any such letter would communicate full support for a mosque at the location, subject to applicable historic code.  Jay Gibbs will compose a draft letter of support of the historic code and present it to the Board for consideration.  

2. Neighborhood Leadership Academy

    Venessa K. and Chris S. were previously scheduled to go to the Neighborhood Leadership Academy in the fall but it was cancelled. Now it is rescheduled for March. They will attend and there will be a call to the committees for two additional attendees.

Treasurer Reports

    The Treasurer presented several reports for review by the Board. The Treasurer is also continuing quarterly, pre-and post-event meetings with committee chairs.

    The Treasurer is also calling for the liaisons to meet with their committees and find ways that they would like to spend money that is accumulating. A huge issue that, as a neighborhood, we are currently facing is safety, and it was suggested that the Board encourage safety-related projects.  

    This also offers the opportunity for committees to present potential projects, along with their budgets, at the May meeting.

    A suggestion was made that the budget meeting be run by the Past President. Bill C responded that the new President needs to run the budget meeting as it sets forth the priorities of the new President and the new Board.    
    A reminder was made by the Treasurer that all bills or reimbursements need to be submitted timely and with the appropriate documentation. Bills that aren’t turned in within ninety days will need to be approved by the Board and are at the discretion of the Treasurer.

Res Promo, Beautification to all have their own Square accounts in the future which will provide autonomy for events, as well as streamline communication between the various committees and the Treasurer.

    Any other activity that requires a Square account will give the Treasurer at least two weeks lead time to establish.

Committee Reports

1. Communications and Fundraising (Billy Tomber):

    Fat Tire event will take place June 10, 2017. More details and a call for volunteers will follow.

2. Beautification (Luann Denten):

    There is a new watering system and future plantings will be water conscious.

    The annual Beautification Fundraiser will be in May at Molly’s. Information will be updated as available.

    Two checks were submitted by the Soulard Station. These two final outside expenses will be paid from the Soulard Station budget.

3. Code and Zoning (Beth Bennett):

    Two properties on 10th Street sold. One is being torn down and one is being rehabilitated. The two houses are next to each other and will be connected in the back, not visible from the street. These two homes will then be a single family residence.

4. Membership (Beth Bennett):

    There is still a need for hosts for the socials! Venessa K. and Christopher S. will be hosting in March. Please reach out to membership if you are interested!

5. Residential Promotions (Luann Denten):

    The Second Line Stroll will be taking place on Fat Tuesday!

6. Safety (Scott Plackemeier):

    SSBD met earlier this week and is issuing a new request for proposals (RFP) from security companies.

7. MGI (Billy Tomber and Gary Toribio):

    No report at this time.
8. Parlor Tour (Mike Ziemann/Billy Tomber):

    No report given.

9. Soulard Station (Neil Putz):

    Report covered in previous segment.

10. Vices & Virtues (Luann Denten):

    The Ball was AMAZING and the committee is already looking forward to next year!


Venessa K. motioned to adjourn, Neil P. seconded and the meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.