14 people attended the meeting: Brian Anderson, Carl Baumann, Ulrike Dieterle, Linda Fahy, Beverly Flaigan, A.M.Fuller, Barb Gerloff, Melanie Kranz, Tom Popp, Ken Raffa, Anne Raffa, Cheri Swenson, Jason Valerius, Liz Vowles,
Ken Raffa called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. Everyone attending the meeting was introduced. Neighbors brought cookies and candy to share. A thank you from Ken for the goodies.
Liz Vowles moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Cheri Swenson. Minutes were approved unanimously. Ken said that Alder Chris Schmidt could not attend tonight because he had a City Planning Commission meeting already scheduled. Ken asked if everyone at meeting was on the SVCA list server and if they could check with him after the meeting. He’s had some difficulty sending out the agenda and would like to update his list.
Agenda Changes and Additions
Ken passed out the agenda. There were 2 requests for changes: Rike wanted time to discuss a neighborhood watch program and Cheri wanted to report on "The Friends of Hoyt Park" meeting. Both items were added to New Business.
A. Hillside Terrace Block Party: Fairly well attended for a first time party. Neighborhood is talking about making it an annual event and finding some corporate sponsors for food and drinks.
B. Halloween Party: Big success this year. Some discussion whether it’s appropriate to take pictures of the children there because of security reasons.
C. Treasurers Report/Brian Anderson: Bucky Books are now available for $35. $12 goes for the SVCA membership and $23 for the books. Contact Brian if you want a book. Our recommended amount for membership is usually $15. There was a short discussion about publishing names in newsletter of people who have memberships. People seemed to agree it was OK as long as it was only names and no addresses were included. Some suggested including a survey of interests in the fall newsletter because we’ve done that in the past. Further questions and discussion on the costs of adding inserts to the newsletter and selling ads to local businesses. Brian said SVCA has a balance of $4100 at the BMO bank. After we repay the amount owed for the Bucky Books our balance will be around $3663. Ken thanked Brian for his good work and wanted to make sure the minutes reflected this. Thanks Brian!
D. Barb Gerloff-Chairman SVCA Editing Subcommittee/Hoyt Joint Neighborhood Plan: Barb presented a hand out of proposed edits to the Neighborhood Plan put together by the SVCA subcommittee. She defined their purpose and explained their 3 main areas of concern. She also stressed that this was not an oppositional document but an attempt to define areas of concern and offer other ideas. Melanie Kranz talked about the “pocket neighborhood” concept as an interesting idea to present to architects and city developers. Jason Valerius mentioned Middleton Hills and Grand View Commons as interesting newer areas of development that were more neighborhood friendly. Rica asked about the current status of Mt. Olive and a discussion followed on the availability of the property and costs of the land as well as city restrictions of any sale. There were more comments that we should continue to think outside the box and look for alternatives to the Mt. Olive property. Do we need a land trust or could there be a philanthropic purchase? Rica asked Ken if he could get Chris Schmidt involved to help us because he would have a realistic view of the possibilities and where the city would be.
Ken thanked Barb and her committee for their hard work in putting together a good report that offered other viewpoints and alternatives. He also said he appreciated all the edits Jason made to the original plan, particularly after long and tedious meetings. And he thanked him for showing great patience and consideration for the concerns and comments of the neighborhood people at the meetings.
A. Green Madison: Cheri Swenson talked about the energy program sponsored by Green Madison and encouraged everyone to investigate it while funding was still available. Having an energy check first, improving insulation, replacing old furnaces and thermostats are a few things that might be needed. There might be cash back incentives for some of the completed work.
B. Friends of Hoyt Park: Cheri talked about the "Friends of Hoyt Park" meeting she had attended and encouraged everyone to get involved. Their membership drive is coming up soon. Brian Anderson suggested putting information about it in the newsletter.
C. Neighborhood Watch: There was some discussion on having a speaker to address this topic. Molly Thompson is our police rep and could probably talk about this at one of our meetings. Sunset Village is a large area and we would probably need to choose block captains and divide into zones and set up email/phone contacts. Ken asked if it would be helpful to set up a subcommittee to get this going or would a speaker be enough. Rica said she’d be willing to be a block captain. She’d like to have an article in the newsletter about how a neighborhood watch could be started. Ken asked her to write something up. There might be information from other web sites that would be helpful. Rica said she’d also contact the police dept. for information on how to do this. All this will have to be done in stages.
D. Ken asked if we had more ideas for future meeting speakers. Tom Popp mentioned SAIL which stands for “supporting active independent lives” and would be a good topic. Other ideas were for talks on how to deal with the emerald ash borer and for a detailed presentation on setting up a successful Neighborhood Watch Program.Ken thanked everyone for coming and the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
Linda Fahy, Secretary