ROLLING MEADOWS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
April 16, 2009
General Membership Meeting

General Business
Meeting was called to order 6:35 pm by President Hanson. Officers and guest Adria Ehly, East Community Police Officer, were introduced.

Adoption of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda by Darold Lowe with second by Merl Maiers. Passed.

Approval of the Minutes of January 15, 2009
No corrections requested. Jim Schuhart moved approval with second by Teresa Northrup. Passed.
              
Elected Officers' Reports

President Hanson
Street Resurfacing scheduled to begin on/after April 27 on Shearwater, Bob-O-Link, Hummingbird and Goldfinch. Bob talked to the city manager responsible for supervising contractors. Copies of 2009 and 2010 plans for street resurfacing in RMNA area were provided. Some residents reported they never received notices sent by the City regarding the work to be done. Discussion.

Newsletter sent out electronically the week before the meeting did not include nine articles submitted. These were provided as a handout. Tim Klaben apologized and noted that he was able to obtain two additional months of free access to www.ConstantContact.com, so the second issue was also published without cost.

Kennedy Park landfill - RMNA residents recently received a letter from Ald. Cnare regarding the infilling of the old seasonal ice skating rink area with material from the dredging of the mouth of the Yahara River and other soils. Bob went over and looked at the site, then communicated with Ald Cnare, requesting assurance that the known toxins discussed in the letter won't end up in the groundwater below the site. No response to date. Discussion.
 
Home Invasion Prevention - Guest Speaker: Adria Ehly, East Community Police Officer

Officer Ehly shared a "Nine House Model" suggested by MPD. Get to know your immediate neighbors --the households on each side of your house, the three houses across the street from you and the three houses behind you. Know the occupants by sight and name. Share phone numbers. Be aware of their general routines. Know what types of cars they drive, etc. This will help you recognize unusual events and vehicles.

Off. Ehly discussed the two types of violent crime/theft common in residential areas like ours; thefts from homes and cars. She had reviewed cases in the area. Of the reports of burglaries where the house was locked, no entry was made. Of the theft from auto reports she reviewed, five were unlocked cars, four were from items outside the car and only two were from locked cars.               

Off. Ehly pointed out that home invasions are almost always targeted homes where drugs and money from drug sales are known to be present. She urged RMNA residents to be more concerned with residential burglaries and thefts from autos, and pointed out that while we do have incidents of both they are much more prevalent in other parts of the city and county. Again, lock your doors and report suspicious activity to 9-1-1.

Crime Prevention Suggestions:

Cars - Keep locked. Keep valuables out of sight. Keep in the garage, when possible.

Homes - Lock your doors. Remember to keep windows locked. If you want ventilation, you can buy inexpensive, easily installed devices to allow you to lock partially open windows at hardware or home improvement store. Note: Crime Prevention Officer Frank Chandler (266-4238) can come assess your house and offer suggestions to improve safety features.

If you experience a crime:

  • Don't touch anything.
  • Call 911 immediately.

9-1-1

If you call 9-1-1, please be patient. There are only five lines going in to the cal center. If you get a busy signal, call back immediately. Be patient and answer the questions put to you. They must follow a protocol to be sure to get all the needed info. Know that there are two people involved in responding to your 9-1-1 call. The first person receives the call and obtains the needed information. The information is passed to the dispatcher who assigns the call to police and or other emergency services.

Discussion and comments followed. President Hanson reported he has requested someone from 9-1-1 system to come speak at an RMNA meeting. He has not yet received a response.

Vice President Matt Hornbeck
Proposed Rolling Meadows Welcome Sign - Matt and Bob have begun researching what is required to obtain a sign. Money is available through city grant sources. From contact with other neighborhood associations (NAs) the process is a long one. Bob presented photos he took of several different sign styles purchased by other NAs. Matt reports there are many things to be considered before sign selection and sighting, and NAs contacted offered advice on how to make our applications more likely to be successful.

Many questions were asked about signs, siting and the process to obtain a grant to fund the sign(s). Additional info provided: Unsure how much money is available. Other NAs report the whole grant process takes 8-9 months, needs approval from several city departments and Common Council. We will need three bids. Most recent grant cycle deadline was last month, so we have time to get ready for the next grant deadline. Landscaping would be required as part of the site. RMNA would be responsible for ongoing maintenance (sign and landscaping) and any future repairs. Public property (street boulevard) is usual site for such a sign. Commercial property with permission of the owner was used for one Heistadt NA sign.

Matt requested volunteers to assist with the project. He will report progress at the next meeting.

Treasurer Teresa Northrup
No charges to the RMNA checking account. Previous balance of $730.55 remains.

Secretary Mary Polancih
Received several additions to the roster of members. These have been added to the email list for the newsletter. Received several inquiries from residents which were forwarded to the appropriate officer for response. Continue to receive communications from city departments and community agencies. Many were forwarded for use in the newsletter.

Reports of Standing Committees

Safety Committee - Sue Allen
(Absent) No report.

Dog Park Committee - Julia Nabor
(Absent) No report.

Traffic Committee - Jim Shuhart
Discussion of the proposed pedestrian island on Acewood and Bob-O-Link. Brian Lange made inquiries and discovered that money is still in the city budget for a project at that site, but no other info was available. Brief discussion.

Community Committee - Bob Hanson
Bob reported he has moved Newsletter Committee and Finance Committee into this committee so he can have fewer committees to oversee.

Old Business

Adding Business membership to RMNA Discussion. Bob reported he was told by city staff that the last RMNA was approached by area businesses who wanted to become members. __________ reported back in the 90's city staff encouraged RMNA to include only residential area when the RMNA boundaries were redrawn to include the Portland Parkway area. Discussion. Bob will meet with met with Ald.Cnare to try to get more history and info. He was urged to get suggestions of both the positives and negatives of such a change.

Committee Participation

Members for all committees are need. Contact any officer for more info or to volunteer.

New Business

Drugs in Our Neighborhood
Bob referred to the info offered by Officer Ehly and reminded neighbors to call police with information. Discussion. Bob advised that there is a concern that if you accuse an individual of a crime, (rather than just reporting what you observed) the accused has the right to know their accuser. It was pointed out that police seldom make arrest based on one complaint, but usually based on accumulated information and direct observations.

Earth Day
RMNA will sponsor a clean-up at McGinnis Park on Saturday, April 18, starting at 10 am. We will pick up trash. No tools are needed. Bob has made arrangements with Streets & Sanitation Dept. They will provide gloves and bags, and will pick up refuse collected.
 
Other Business/Announcement
Polancih shared info from Sustain Dane (www.RainforDane.org ) about their ongoing RainReserve Rain Barrel program and also a new project this year to provide Dual Flush Toilet Tank Conversions. The conversion kits can covert any toilet, even the modern 1.6 gallon per flush toilets, to dual flush. This can allow a homeowner to save huge amounts of water each year. Kits cost $55 plus tax for the do-it-yourself kit, or $125 plus tax if installed for you. To get more information or purchase kits, contact info@RainforDane.org or 316-6844
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.

 

ROLLING MEADOWS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
January 15, 2009
Neighborhood Meeting

Present:
Baxter Exum, Tim Klaben, Kelly Maly, Jim Schuhart, Beth Robertson, Susan Allen, Lyle Hasenberg, Marlene Hasenberg, Julie Naber, Vern Maiers, Merl Maiers, Darold Lowe, Teresa Northrup, Matt Hornberck, Mary Polancih, Bob Hanson

General Business
Meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm. President Hanson introduced elected officers. 

Adoption of Agenda
Motion to approve by Lowe, seconded by M Maiers. Agenda adopted.

Approval of the Minutes of October 15, 2008
Minutes were read by Secretary Polancih. No corrections. Motion to approve by Lowe, seconded by M. Maiers. Minutes approved.

Elected Officers' Reports

President Bob Hanson
Brief report on 2008 Mayor's Neighborhood Roundtable Meeting held on Saturday Nov. 8, 2008 at Warner Park Community Center from 8 am-12:15 pm. He pointed out a display of information from the meeting and urged neighbors to take copies of any documents of interest. Urged anyone interested in a topic or issue to get on the appropriate committee. Ald. Cnare said she will appoint anyone who steps forward. Generic application forms were provided. In future, forms are available from the City website, Pres. Hanson or Ald. Cnare.

Public Works Projects will affect Rolling Meadows neighborhood from May to November this year. Many of our streets are scheduled for resurfacing. Many of us got special assessments notices. Merl Maiers volunteered that he talked to the city workers surveying his street. They were told to measure any curb or gutter that is out of alignment. Criteria is later used to determine whether individual areas will actually be replaced. They also related that, on Bobolink at least, the plan calls for the sewer to be replaced with a new style of sewer. Brief discussion.

Pres. Hanson mentioned at one of the sessions of the Neighborhood Roundtable Meeting it was mentioned that Rolling Meadows area is in middle of the 10 yr. cycle of review of city streets and structures. Question was asked: If the city is going to resurface, are they going to replace sewers at the same time or wait? Pres. Hanson plans to attend the informational meeting of 1-21-09, and that is one of the questions he intends to ask.

Last Fall, Pres. Hanson attended a meeting where city designated dog parks ere discussed. There is a large amount of money designated for dog park development. The city intention is to get a designated dog park within walking distance for everyone. Money for development of these parks comes from fees paid for their use. Question was asked: Is the city asking for neighborhoods to designate areas that can be funded? Answer: None in our neighborhood are currently under consideration, though Kennedy Park was mentioned for consideration at that meeting.

Vice President Matt Hornbeck
VP Hornbeck reports Alliance Church has volunteered use of their meeting room for RMNA meetings into the foreseeable future. Since Matt is a member of one of the congregations; he has been given a key. Future RMNA meetings will be held on Thursdays, in the lower level of the Alliance Church. Suggestion was made that we set a meeting that people can anticipate, i.e. the second Thursday of the month. Pres. Hanson indicated that we would attempt to do that.

Treasurer Teresa Northrup
RMNA has money! Pres. Hanson and Treasurer Northrup moved the money from the old account held at Chase bank to Associated Bank branch on Cottage Grove. The bank provided a no fees account. Bob and Teresa are both approved to sign checks. As of 12/31/08 the balance was $730.55.

Secretary Mary Polancih
One of the big issues at the first RMNA meeting was to get a RMNA newsletter up and going. Tim Klaben stepped forward and volunteered to put together an electronic RMNA Newsletter. He proposed to the officers using www.constantcontact, a website with which he is familiar. Polling of the attendees indicated that all present had received the electronic newsletter and that was how they knew of the meeting. Recipients were asked to make copies and get them to interested neighbors. This is a temporary attempt to meet the need of those neighbors not having email or not yet "connected" to RMNA.

Reports of Community Leaders

Alderperson Lauren Cnare
Unable to attend. No report.

Old Business

Adoption of Bylaws (1994)
Copies of the 1994 RMNA Bylaws were made available to attendees. Officers' recommendation was to adopt for immediate use and make considered changes in the future as needed.

Motion by Darold Lowe: Adopt the Bylaws of 1994 using a current neighborhood map (provided by City of Madison). Seconded by Maiers. Brief discussion. Motion passed without amendment.

Newsletter
Editor Tim Klaben explained he arranged a free 60-day trial to use the Constant Contact website to produce the first issue that went out to all available email addresses. The trial expires on Feb 8. License fees to use the site after that will be about $20/month. We will receive a 15% discount if we pay for a full year up front. Brief discussion. Suggestion was made that the newsletter can be put into pdf format to create a print version to share with others. Tim mentioned that the site license will allow us to send out blasts and to survey and collect circulation and site use statistics automatically.

Discussion of the past difficulties RMNA faced when all households received print newsletters but not all paid dues. Several present remember feeling the inequity of that system.

Motion by Lowe: Move we pay for website license for 2009. Seconded by Maiers. Passed.

Tim has also started looking into developing a website. He as identified a list of available domain names. He believes we could get a website registered and running with very little expenditure. Brief discussion. Consensus was that additional research should be done and reported to the officers.

New Business

Committees
Immediate need is for a Newsletter Committee and a Finance Committee. Hope is that committees will be formed to address topics or issues as they become important. They will be expected to do the needed research, develop action plan and identify funding needs. They will bring action plan to the officers and/or membership, with recommendations. Once action plans are approved, they will be expected to carry out the plan and report to the membership periodically. Pres. Hanson asked for individuals to sign up for committees and indicated sign ups were provided on the side table. Neighbors were urged to get involved in something they cared about changing or preserving.

Note: After the meeting, Tim Klaben, Beth Robertson and Kelly Maly volunteered to form the Newsletter Committee, and will also look into feasibility of the website. Darold Lowe volunteered to join the Finance Committee.
 
RMNA dues
Brief discussion. Consensus was to table discussion of dues until we have the organization up and running. Rationale was we need to prove to neighbors that we are going to be viable and develop a track record as an organization before we start charging dues. We can keep expenses low for now. Once the website is up and running it should be possible to get advertising enough to fund communications-newsletter, both electronic and print, and website.
 
Other Business/Announcements
None

Schedule Next RMNA Meeting
Next meeting will be April 9, 6:30-8:00 pm at Alliance Church in the lower level meeting room.
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:02 pm.