Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Reiche Community Room
Board members present: Jennifer Defillip, Ian Jacob (president), Christine McHale (vice-president), Michel Michaud, Elizabeth Parsons (secretary), Clifford Tremblay
Others present: Jenny Anastasoff, David Argitis, Jim Barr, Eli Dale, Norris Dale, Wells Lyons, Lin Parsons, David Marshall, Chip Martin, Janet Mishoe, Susan Nelson, Anne Pringle, Pamela Shaw, Ed Rea, Penny Stevens, Spencer Thibodeau, Kirsten Thomsen, Gwynne Williams
The meeting was called to order at 6:36 PM.
Minutes from November’s meeting were accepted as written. The group briefly discussed best methods for distributing the minutes so that they are as widely accessible as possible. Some new strategies will be tried in the coming months.
The WENA checking account stands at $884.09. This includes a $500 donation from the Morse Hill Trust. The WENA swim fund contains $3,091.01. This sum includes $450 raised from the yard sale in October. This report was accepted as given.
Board Member Reports
Pamela Shaw reported on behalf of Rosanne Graef who was unable to attend the meeting. Pamela called the group’s attention to the carol singing around the neighborhood on Sunday, 20 December. Additionally, she, Rosanne, Holly Lord, and a few other WENA members have begun working on an aging in place initiative for the West End. This follows on Holly’s raising the possibility at a WENA meeting earlier this year. Anyone who is interested may contact Pamela or Rosanne who are coordinating any WENA involvement as part of our Together WECAN training/community building initiative.
Recognition of David Marshall’s Service
With David Marshall stepping down from his position as District 2 representative on the City Council, Ian invited a number of neighborhood association past presidents to make some remarks of appreciation. Those who spoke included:
- Ian Jacob, current WENA president who also read some remarks prepared by Rosanne Graef, past WENA president
- Anne Pringle, president of the Western Promenade Neighborhood Association
- Chip Martin, past WENA president
- Leana Good-Simpson, past WENA president
Ian then presented a Formal Recognition of David Marshall (the text of which may be found at the end of this document) and Dave offered a response. He thanked WENA for giving him the privilege of serving and said the experience had taught him much. He also extended his best wishes to Spencer Thibodeau who won election to the District 2 seat in November.
The group welcomed back David Argitis who has returned to work after a three-month absence due to being hit by a car while on duty. Since David is still catching up on his duties, he made only a short presentation noting in particular that major/violent crimes in 2015 have come down 8% over 2014 and 22% over 2013. He credited such innovations as the text-a-tip program for contributing to this positive trend. A brief question and answer session followed Dave’s remarks.
Joy Place Update
Todd Alexander reported that Joy Place (the property across from Reiche School) is now under contract. He brought some drawings of a redesigned structure based on discussions held since he had last updated the group on this project. The new design calls for a somewhat smaller structure: 30 units for sale ranging from approximately $175,000 to $425,000 depending on size (1, 2 or 3 bedrooms). A brief discussion of matters pertaining to the proposed project followed.
Resolution to Reduce Number of Board Members
Following on discussion last month, Ian presented a written resolution to change WENA’s requirements concerning the number of directors. The resolution called for reducing the total number of board members from nine to seven. The reason for this proposed change arose from WENA’s overall reduction in size from a decade or more ago—a smaller board would be more representative of the size of the group. Having a smaller number of board members would also help ensure that those recruited are dedicated to the work and that a quorum may easily be reached for board business. The motion to accept the resolution passed on a voice vote with no objections or abstentions.
Board Member and Officer Elections
Elections for 2016 officers and board members were then conducted. A few people serving in these positions during 2015 had chosen to step down. These included: Rosanne Graef, Mitch Mason, Christine McHale, Jeanne Swanton, and Judy Witherell. Since one position on the board was still open, Ian called for nominations from the floor. Wells Lyons was nominated and agreed to run. Voting by paper ballot was conducted by Lin Parsons and Janet Mishoe. At the end of the procedure Ian announced WENA’s 2016 board as consisting of:
- Leana Good-Simpson
- Wells Lyons
- Chip Martin
- Michel Michaud
- Elizabeth Parsons
- Pamela Shaw
- Clifford Tremblay
Ian Jacob was re-elected to a second term as president and Jennifer Defilipp was elected as vice-president.
- Wells Lyons announced that volunteers are being recruited to help shovel snow for anyone in the neighborhood who might need some assistance this winter. Contact him if interested.
- Liz Parsons brought thank you cards for all retiring board and officers and invited everyone to sign them.
- Following on several coyote and fox sightings in the West End, Jen Defillip said she is working on getting a wildlife specialist to come speak the group. The objective of the presentation would be to help us better understand how to co-exist with our non-human neighbors.
WENA Moving Forward Report
Ian reported on his effort to collect member comments at each of the previous three meetings. He had used a method of evaluation known as “start, stop, continue” and reported the top five suggestions in each category. These included:
● Snacks and refreshments at each meeting
● More member and neighborhood outreach
● Presentations about issues facing Portland as a whole
● Monthly fundraising initiatives
● Advocating for issues facing the West End
● Letting presenters go on too long
● Member apathy
● Political and/or development presentations
● Focussing on City Hall issues
● Monthly presentations (of all kinds)
● Keeping meetings in the allotted time
● The intro game
● Neighborhood and community involvement
● Informative and interesting meetings
He thanked all who participated and said that the suggestions will be reviewed by the officers and board members beginning next month. He also agreed to prepare the entire list of results for posting on WENA’s website.
The meeting adjourned at 8:01PM with everyone being invited to remain for fellowship over shared holiday treats.
Recognition of Dave Marshall
Former District 2 City Councilor
Whereas, Dave Marshall was a City Councilor in the City of Portland, Maine representing District 2 that encompasses the West End for nine years;
Whereas, during that time and in his role as our City Councilor, Dave Marshall distinguished himself as an advocate for the same principles to which the West End Neighborhood Association commits itself;
Whereas, Dave Marshall, has sat through many meetings of the Council, Boards, Committees, and neighborhoods to listen to the residents of the West End;
Whereas, Dave Marshall has chosen to spend more time with his wife, Whitley, and spend more time pursuing other interests;
Now, Therefore, the West End Neighborhood Association recognizes and thanks Dave Marshall for his contribution as a Councilor for the City of Portland and for his representation of and dedication to the interests of his own neighborhood, the West End, at City Hall and elsewhere;
his support of the Association; and for his admirable sense of civic responsibility.
The Board of Directors, Officers, and members of the West End Neighborhood Association express their gratitude and extend best wishes to Dave Marshall for continued success in his future endeavors.
Resolution adopted on the 10th day of December, 2015.