Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association
General and Board Meetings
Fair Grounds Black & Gold Room
December 10, 2013
Councilwoman Susan Guidry was our first guest to speak. She spoke of the Lafitte Greenway bids that were opened today and that the City Council moved an additional $1M to the project for lighting and other items. Construction should begin next year. She explained the enforcement procedure. The bike symbols for Esplanade Avenue should be installed by the end of the year. She is working hard to address the recruitment issues pertaining to the NOPD. She helped see to it that there would be a total of five recruitment classes this year (2014). She also worked with Councilwoman Clarkson to have a proposal to drop the domicile requirement for NOPD, NOFD & EMS recruits for one year. The primary emphasis in the city budget is safety issues. In response to a question about the Railway proposal she said that it would take 15 years to get it built along with a number of other time intensive issues. She said that the old Home Depot has been purchased by Rouse’s and will be retail. There is a continued traffic review with relation to the new Mid-City Market. Currently the city has only one traffic engineer and in response to that problem, she has budgeted for one additional full time engineer.
Officer Gill said that there were few complaints this month from the area. He asked for us to donate money or items to the 1st District Toy Fund. Toys for Tots is another program the 1st District is working with closely. They are trying to fund toys for 14 children. A motion by Dean Burridge to donate $300 to the NOPD 1st District for this purpose passed by unanimous consent.
Gaye Hamilton from the state Cultural Districts Program addressed the FSJNA cultural district and its two important tax benefits. Tax exemptions on original art and historic buildings were addressed. Historic buildings include commercial and residential. Our district went into effect on July 1st 2013.
Heather Pohnan, the representative from Energy Smart, spoke of their low income insulation program. It offers automatic discounts and rebates. There are programs for rebates for items such as hot water heaters and appliances.
Morgan Clevenger, FTNA President, spoke of the Fairzone Liquor Store issue. Their attorney has filed in court to overturn the BZA decision. Sara Stogner, a FSJNA member and attorney, has stepped forward to work pro bono to represent FTNA during this appeal.
Election of Board Members. A motion by Conrad Abadie was made to accept all nominated Executive Board Members by acclamation. Barabara Ferguson seconded. The motion all that were nominated passed with 24 votes in favor with one opposed and one abstained.
Treasurer’s Report was presented by Michael Cohn due to Mona McMahon’s absence. The report is on file.
Michael Cohn read a brief statement by Greg Jeanfreau in accepting his incoming term as president. The statement is on file.
Committee Reports. Brenda London mentioned the membership renewal. The Landscape Committee is working on placing the large trees we have been seeing on the bayou. Safety Committee Chair Jim Danner asked everyone to keep extra lights on as the Christmas season does have an uptick in property crimes. Charlie London provided an update on the 1311-13 Vignaud BZA waiver situation. Michael Cohn spoke on the Re-Bridge Project in that $60K has been provided for in the city budget. We need to have the bridges repaired this summer and he asked everyone to email their city council members. Rocky Seydel agreed to help write the CEA for the bridges to be fixed.
Linda Landesberg discussed the Refresh Project. They are trying to raise $18K to build a community garden immediately adjacent to the new Whole Foods, and has asked FSJNA to budget $500 for the project. Linda made a motion to provide $500 for that project. Dean Burridge seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion by Michael to adjourn passed unanimously at 8:09pm
Immediately after the Membership Meeting, Michael Cohn opened his final Board Meeting as president of this neighborhood association. The item for the evening was the election of fifteen advisors from a slate of twenty candidates. After a brief discussion and recommendation for Advisory Board member(s) nomination review, the following election took place.
The elected advisors are: Conrad Abadie, Suzanne Accorsi, Matt Amoss, Vincent Booth, Richard Cahn, R. Erich Caufield, Katie Gray, Layla Messkoub, Thea Morgan, Mike Pearce, Jennifer Pearl, Cynthia Scott, Nancy Shepard, Keith Twitchell and Bobby Wozniak.
A motion by Charlie London to pay for the mobile app for the FSJNA website passed unanimously. A motion to approve the $300 appropriation passed unanimously.
The minutes are reflected that Michael Cohn has done a wonderful job as president for the past two years.
A motion to adjourn passed by unanimous consent.
When strangers start acting like neighbors… communities are reinvigorated.
Neighbors are invited to attend the General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Fair Grounds Black Gold room. The Black Gold room is in the back on the left hand side.
Bring Your Non-Perishable Donations for Second Harvest
Egg Nog and Cookies will be served.
· Officer Kenneth Gill – First District Quality of Life Update
· Dan Shea – New Orleans Advocate
· Erik deVries – Cobalt Medical
· Heather Pohnan – NOLAWise/Energy Smart
II. Election of Executive Board Members – 2014
III. Treasurer’s Report
IV. Committee Reports/Updates/Actions
· Events/Fundraising Committee – update
· Membership Outreach Committee – update
· Landscape Committee – update
· Public Safety – update
· Zoning Committee – update
V. Old Business
· From Floor
VI. New Business
· Linda Landesberg – BCC Refresh Urban Garden
· From Floor