Summit Neighborhood Association

Board of Directors Meeting

July 17th, 2017


Present: Erik Christiansen, Anneliese Greenier, Ethan Gyles, Anne Holland, Tom Schmeling, Sharon Lee Waldman

Absent: Kim Clark, Lee Clasper-Torch, Sandra Lee, John Pettinelli, Laura Ramsey, Emily Spitzman, Dean Weinberg

Guests: Lt. Joe Donnelly of Providence Police, and Lauren Vunderink, the Sol Smart Advisor for the City of Providence

Agenda: No additions to agenda were proposed, but Ethan invited Lt. Donnelly to speak first.

Minutes: Approval of minutes postponed to the end

Police on the East Side: Lt. Joe Donnelly is one of the five district lieutenants in the city, overseeing 25 officers and 5 sergeants on the East Side. He distributed his card in case board members need anything, or would simply like to keep him informed. The East Side station is located at 250 Brook St.  It is not open 24 hours, but that office is where they officers receive their assignments. Lt. Donnelly discussed continuing problems with property crime and things residents can do to protect themselves.  He explained that the Camp St. substation is not functional, the police are not using it, and they have no plans to use it again. The year 2016 was the lowest in several years in terms of break-ins, after 2015 was very high. Discussion followed and covered many specific questions.  Lt. Donnelly said to email him or call parking enforcement if anyone sees cars illegally parked overnight, and to call Nathan Urso, traffic engineer for Providence about help for slowing traffic on 10th St. or elsewhere. He mentioned that the city currently employs 385 officers, but should have about 440.  The new academy class will boost the numbers to over 400.

President’s Report: Ethan notes that the big events last month were the candidate forums. Went very well, all agree. Both forums were well attended, with over 150 people each. Library forum was also packed, so three packed forums in the neighborhood. General election will be held on August 16th.

Treasurer’s Report: Britt is absent, so no treasurer’s report this month.

Newsletter and survey: The newsletter is being printed now, then the survey will go up with newsletter distribution.

Community garden: Dean and Kerry are both absent.  It is unclear what is happening with the SNA plot.  One leftover plot – by design for SNA to handle.  Add to agenda for next month to make sure someone does something with it.

Events Committee: Dean is absent.  Ethan says that Britt is unable to organize the yard sale this year.  Anne volunteered to take her place.   Discussion about continued working with Mt. Hope, following up on the cohosting of the candidate forum.   One possibility for coordination is Billy Taylor Day in late August.  Ethan will follow up with Hope association to see what they might need.  All agreed it would be good to come up with some other event that would get Summit people over there or vice versa.

Ongoing business:  Keep Summit Beautiful signs – Dean will update in August.  Lippitt Fountain – feedback was mostly positive on the replacement compass plaque.  Ethan will send to the Parks Dept.  Then it will be sent to the fabricator.  Will be bolted from the bottom and in cement.

New business: Mark Weber and Gary Harris wanted to speak about contractor list and fire alarm box improvement. Neither is present.

Minutes: were emailed to everyone today.  Barring further edits from email, Ethan moves to approve, Erik seconds, all vote to approve but Tom abstains.

Adjournment: Tom moves, Erik seconds to adjourn formal business and hear the presentation from Lauren Vunderink, SolSmart Advisor from PVD Office of Sustainability, about solar power.

Lauren first mentioned that Michelle Peterson, intern, is overseeing a new compost bin program.  Solar in Providence: the state goal is to reduce GHG by 80% by 2050; the city hopes to be carbon neutral by 2050. Rhode Island has 1,176 solar workers, and is 36th in US for solar jobs, or 10th in per capita solar jobs.  SolSmart designation for PVD, because of its solar friendly zoning, easing the permitting process. Lauren explained how solar panels can reduce electricity bills, take advantage of federal tax credits, etc. while also support local clean energy economy and reducing one’s carbon footprint. Guide to Going Solar available online at Sustainpvd.com or on the city website’s sustainability page.  The website also has information about consumer protection. Discussion followed about the merits of owning vs leasing solar panels and the deficiencies in Rhode Island’s community solar program, which has a very low cap of only 30 Megawatts.