February 2014 Meeting Minutes

Called to Order: 7:26pm, Feb. 25th

Location: The Chicken Box, 1 W North Ave.

-Lovely Lane Church was not open for us (first time this has happened)

-Ben Stone offered The Chicken Box, Station North HQ, for our use.

First Item: Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer not able to make it tonight. No report this evening.

Next Item: CVCBD report:

CVCBD Budget Meeting: March 11 6pm St. Phillip & James Church, basement.

Bob Brent: Posted report on Nextdoor. Budget asks for a lot more money. Would be applied primarily to safety, from 60 (wo)man hours to 240 per week. Open board meetings every 2nd Tuesday (except in March).

Councilman Stokes – Not a fan of the benefits district or how it’s managed. “It’s a mess.” Same promises made a year ago. Budget should be set up to take care of the needs of the citizens. Crime & Safety should be #1 priority. Barclay, Harwood and other communities not currently represented well.

Benefits District has to be renewed every 5 years. This is 5th year. Could either be renewed as is, renewed with amendment, or not renewed. Mid-April there will be a meeting on the benefits district. Stay tuned.

Sharon Guida – Important if you care about the benefits district budget to attend the meeting to voice your opinion. Poor attendance in the past.

Find this years budget, last years budget, and next years proposed budget at www.charlesvillage.org. Also weekly crime alerts mailing list sign-up on the site.

Sharon encourages new faces at the Walkers on Patrol (check Nextdoor for more info). Also looking for block leaders.

Block Leaders meeting: March 27, 6pm @ 2434 St Paul St.

Next Item: Report from John Schneider, Chairman of ISED Committee

Group engaging over next couple weeks in data gathering project of businesses & enterprises. Complementary project also underway by MICA. Volunteers welcome for survey project and committee! OGCA committees are open to join.

Ira w Greater Homewood offers training for surveyors.

Next Item: Update from Jeanne Knight on Social Services Saturation Committee

Tomorrow night Feb 25th at the Lab School, 6:30, is a 60 day check-in meeting. Subcommittees working on “good neighbor agreement” to change behavior and state and local legislation to limit saturation. This is new effort, very complex and just getting off the ground.

Next Item: Revision/Amendments to OGCA By-Laws – Jane Shipley

By-Laws set the tone for the organization. Required to incorporate which is required to get a bank account. Very important to READ THE BY-LAWS! and the draft circulated by Jane and come to the next meeting with suggestions.

Reach out to JaneShipley@gmail.com with suggestions or to get a digital copy of the draft amendments.

Next Item: Proposed Expansion of Station North A&E District

Ben Stone – President of Station North Arts & Entertainment District

Past two years been discussing expanding boundaries of Station North to incorporate Old Goucher, Penn Station, and parts of Remington. Several reasons: already running events north of SNAED boundaries. Some people asking for SNAED promotion. Admission and Amusement tax exemption. Income Tax Subtraction Modification for artists living in and selling work in the district. Assessment rate freeze for developers renovating buildings for artistic use.

Clarification: SNAED is not the District itself, it is an org that operates within it. W/o funding SNAED would disappear but district would remain.

No special tax for joining the A&E District. SNAED gets most funding from local, state, and sometimes national foundations. Close relationships with Charles North and Greenmount West Community Associations. SNAED doesn’t get involved in neighborhood politics, goes along with wishes of community associations. Provides letters of recommendation.

Final Friday public program. Penn Station Flea Market. Nothing in OG now b/c it’s not part of the district. Won’t move all their stuff up to OG if we join, but possibility of promoting our work.

Budget around $400,000 each year. Open Walls mural project alone $100,000. Good at doing things on the cheap.

Kris Northrup: Any chance a vote or voice could be made by SNAED on something within OG at odds with the desires of OGCA?

Ben: Can’t make promises or an MOU (memorandum of understanding). Can take it to the board. We’ve never taken a position on development.

Mateusz: Many bodies have taken unofficial positions.

Ben: never done it before and would hurt our credibility if we did. Talk to Don Donahue (Charles North president) & Dale Hargrave (Greenmount West president) about their experience.

Chris Shipley: Confusion is SNAED is not a community organization or neighborhood association, which we’ve had conflicts of interest with in the past. What projects has SNAED supported or spearheaded in the past?

Ben: Station North started in 2002, SNAED nonprofit a few years after. Goal was to promote arts and businesses already here.

We now run our own programs, closing off streets for public events. Also mural/art projects and national conferences. Final Friday concerts. Flea market. Art market.

Now running spaces like the Chicken Box. Gonna start running pretty large events soon. Building a children’s play space. Just launched a CSA (community supported arts) program.

Try to represent the artists view on things, often varies from rest of the community. Advocating changing state law on A&E districts. Try to bring more money in from outside Baltimore.

Kelly: if district expands it’ll still be a two-employee operation. will your resources be stretched too thin? What percentage of SNAED funds do you expect to devote to OG?

Ben: Good question. Can’t make any guarantees. Growing fast, with work for at least 3 or 4 people already. Expansion first, then we can figure out how much funding will go to OG.

Question: Who is the A&E district really for? Who are we encouraging to come into our neighborhood and use it?

Ben: Split our time between people already here, homeownership counseling programs, etc. Other half we try to get people to come from outside to enjoy the arts and restaurants.

Only 80 or so artists statewide have taken advantage of the arts district tax  incentives.

Kris: Would we get board representation? What is makeup of the board?

Ben: Mike Mullen is Chair of the board. 15 people in total. Business owners, residents, and others with strong interest in the arts. Presidents of the local community associations on board. New neighborhoods wouldn’t necessarily get a seat. Decided by board. Board has to do significant fundraising, need to be careful who they invite to join.

Board is in favor of having someone from OG on the board but wants to have control over who that is.

Ben is a member of Central Baltimore Partnership Board and Steering Committee.

John Schneider: How do you handle conflict resolution with existing communities?

Ben: There has been conflict in the past. Example: Spruce-up grant conflict between SNAED and Charles North. Found some middle ground and are going at it together. Noise issues b/c of outdoor programming. Have moved things around, identified better spaces, nothing too contentious, though.

Bruce: The issue remains that there doesn’t seem to be a formal conflict resolution process. We’ve been burned in the past.

Ben: Agreed, but unsure how to go about it.

Kelly: We’re just now figuring out what our identity and assets are in Old Goucher. We need a little more time to figure out how this relationship will work, and more firm safeguards. Not just about how you’ve dealt with neighborhoods in the past, how does SNAED deal with a community with a large, active homeowner population? An MOU would be very helpful.

Chris Shipley: Obviously mixed opinion on this. Possible middle way: take a vote to proceed with certain conditions.

Kelly: It’d be better to be able to meet with the SNAED board before taking a vote to answer as many questions as possible. I’m still a bit skeptical b/c if we decided to be against it we’ve been told they may move forward with it anyway.

Ideally we’d start working with Station North now but hold any firm decision until the October filing deadline. No need to rush.

STRAW VOTE:

1) Writing a letter immediately supporting the expansion w/o meeting with SNAED board.

2) Waiting until after meeting with Board and determining how relationship would work.

Result: Even split.

Bob: If this did get delayed til october how would it effect the chances?

Ben: Personal concern is leadership changes. No guarantee that the agreements made now will hold until everyone gets on board.

MOTION from Jane Shipley: To accept SNAEDs assistance in filing for an expansion of the A&E District while putting on hold any official relationship with SNAED.

Jeanne Knight seconded.

SUBSIDIARY MOTION taking precedence from John Schneider: To postpone vote until after meeting between SNAED board and OGCA Steering Committee.

Kris Northrup seconded.

8 in favor

7 opposed

Motion passes to delay vote until after board meeting.

Meeting Adjourned at 9:15pm