Called to order: 7 p.m.

Members present: Jim Barfoot, Grant Dulgarian, Anneliese Greenier, Vishal Jain, Kerry Kohring, Daniel MacLellan, Michael McGlynn, Britt Page, Sheila Perlow, Lee Pichette, Joan Retsinas, Sharon Waldman, Dean Weinberg.

Members absent: Sierra Barter, Chris Bull, Daren Bulley, Mary Ann Rossoni. Peter Sandby-Thomas, Thomas Schmeling,

Advisors present: David Kolsky, Martha Fraenkel (former board member)

Guest present: Alan Edoward (Citgo station manager)

Opening remarks (Dean):

Notes that this is first meeting of new board, thanks everyone who made annual a great success. All board members introduce themselves and Sheila urges use of nametags at public events. Dean reiterates the three responsibilities of board members; 1) to attend meetings 2) to deliver newsletters 3) to grab a project and get involved. He cites concerns of rejuvenating membership committee, reviewing advisory board and organizing events. Updates: music festival grant submitted Friday; community gardens groundbreaking expected in spring, but steering committee needed, including members of community; “Tar Hill” building under construction on North Main Street, LA Fitness moving into Sears building, Dollar Store into Gold’s Gym and Job Lot into Shaw’s. Notes that Smithfield Avenue two-way conversion is on schedule. Coming events include yard sale, fall cookoff, Easter egg hunt, photo contest and Hope Street festivals.

Jim reports that at annual meeting he questioned candidates about homelessness and notes that Sen. Gayle Goldin is seeking support for legislation. He suggests representatives make presentation to board, which Dean says should be limited to about 10 minutes.\

Sheila introduces Alan, who says service station intends to rebuild, although schedule not yet set, and declines board offer of help. Grant suggests coverage in newsletter.

Minutes (Kerry as secretary pro tem)
February, moved by Kerry, seconded by Sheila, approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s report (Anneliese)
Thanks Harriet Hemphill (previous treasurer) for help, says newsletter and annual meeting expenses came too late for inclusion in report. Grant seeks breakdown in door income versus mailing, plus separate on T-shirt sales. Discussion of need for more revenue, perhaps linked to membership incentive, which is referred to membership committee. Grant also suggests letter to past members for renewal, Jim cites influx from tables at events. Dean says new budget needed, asks that Harriet be included in preparation. Anneliese moves acceptance of report, Jim and Lee second, unanimous approval.

Membership Committee
Michael volunteers to lead, says better knowledge of current makeup needed. Jim offers data-base input. Joan reports Hope Street merchants struggling and no membership incentives coming from them. Michael suggests consultation with other neighborhood groups and Dean stresses need to represent changing nature of Summit. Sheila and Dan join committee.

Snow-shoveling program (Britt)
Working perfectly because “shovelers are awesome.”

Newsletter committee (Kerry)
Everything on track, with flexibility in scheduling subject to event selection.

Photo contest (Joan)
Planning meeting set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Three Sisters shop. Miriam Hospital offers to post photos in lobby or conference room and to be drop-off point. Monica Anderson of Miriam suggests sale of photos to benefit some community project and offers some sort of event linked to judging. Joan envisions late June timetable, possible digital process next year. Dean suggests display at Rhode Guide on Hope Street, Citizens Bank also suggested.

Easter egg hunt
Former board member Anthony Arrigo unable to coordinate, no one else interested.

Hope Street Spring Fair
Dean reports merchants seeking SNA participation and urges something big and unusual. Sharon volunteers to explore martial-arts demonstration.

Yard sale
Main question is format: 1) historical, church-centered with army of SNA volunteers 2) at individual houses in neighborhood 3) church-centered with participants bringing items to SNA-provided tables. Lively discussion of “magical” neighborhood experience versus church-centered “critical mass” with no need for personal advertising plus lack of traffic at isolated locations. Hope Street merchants wary of pulling customers away from stores, seek some sort of coordination. Jim moves option three, Sharon seconds (with daughter’s support), unanimous show of hands approves. (Dean seeks additional input of members not present.) Britt and Peter chair committee, Anneliese and Joan join.

Election candidate forums
Dean urges inclusion of every contest in city and state that affects Summit, especially primaries. Question arise in lively discussion about possible schedule conflicts with other forums and SNA music festival in August. Two session proposed but decision postponed to April meeting.

New business
David advises that lots happening that affect East Side, such as Interstate 195 land-use decisions, rezoning ordinance debate, changes to Kennedy Plaza downtown, Thayer Street developments, continued utility work, RIPTA schedule and route changes and candidate forums at other venues. SNA board members invited to David’s birthday party April 19 at Minerva’s restaurant.

Grant urges scrutiny of massive changes proposed to city’s zoning ordinance, all of which are posted online. He asserts that every change over the years “makes it worse” and cites series of public presentations being scheduled. The city’s planning commission is developing an East Side presentation and Grant urges inclusion of consultants who have helped formulate plan. Dean to request that consultants be included.

Adjourned: 9 p.m.
Kerry Kohring, secretary pro tem.


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