April 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

21 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – April 18th, 2017

7:10 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • All accounts in good standing

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • No major updates. However, the season has arrived for an uptick in construction activity in general.  Every construction site has a placards on it with contact info to report issues.  Or, call the RRC.

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

  • 80’s Prom Remix!!!!  Saturday, 4/29/17 –7pm
    • Buy tickets in advance through Eventbrite; $25 in advance, $30 at the door
    • Prizes for best couple, best hair, best costume, prom King & Queen
    • Donations from local businesses for prizes and food
  • Golf Outing – Friday, June 9th, 5pm – tickets will be on sale soon!
    • Skyway Golf Course. Putting contest for non-golfers
  • Van Vorst Farmer’s Market – Begins Saturday, 4/22
    • VVPA will have a table out there to solicit new community members into the VVPA – volunteers are welcome for this weekend or other weekends throughout the summer

Guest Speakers

Councilwoman Candice Osborne

  • Parking Meeting Update – Attendees: Candice, Mayor, Parking Director + rep from each neighborhood association
    • Preliminary ideas/goals, need to be flushed out
      • Reduce zones downtown to a single zone.
      • Increase hours of enforcement 7am – 10pm w/ 2 hr window
      • Issue with non-residents parking (construction workers, Manhattan workers, etc.) can be helped via a Muni-meter.  Idea is if you have a zone sticker = no payment req’d; no-sticker = payment req’d.  Don’t want to out-price other residents in other parts of JC.  Needs to be coupled with enforcement and technology
      • Considering demand pricing.  Example: put in license info and if you are a JC resident, you get 2-hrs for free, but a non-JC resident may pay $20.
      • Need more municipal parking lots!  And need to give consideration to how permits are given to employees of local businesses
      • Additional thoughts from community:
        • City needs to advertise the parking that exists so that people know where to go
        • Turn federal lots (section 8 housing) into city municipal lots?  Candice to follow up
        • Permit parking or rentable spots in new construction building
      • Next parking meeting May 23rd
  • Reval
    • Asked for someone from Company performing Reval to come out to discuss this process at each of the downtown community meetings
    • Goal of rates going into effect 3rd/4th quarters of 2018
    • Everyone is being reassessed (regardless if Tax Abatement property or not) – impact for abated properties will depend on how the abatement is written
    • Asked valuation to take into account flood zoning
    • Will state funding formula change?
      • She will be meeting w/ the state to discuss
      • Funding comprised of two elements: Abbott funding (State Law) plus state adjustment aid, which is the piece that could potentially change.  Have to stay tuned for any information.
    • Estimated rate – assessed value X 1.8% – 1.9% [Note: this is for estimating purposes only – these numbers should not be construed as official!!]
      • Example: $500K Assessment è1.8% – 1.9% would be $9,000 – $,9500
      • Example: $1M Assessment è 1.8% – 1.9%  would be $18,000 – $19,000
    • Community Concerns
      • The City can lessen the impact on citizens by bringing down whole city budget (shrink departments through attrition, etc.).  Or, can the new rateables help bring down the cost to the rest of the city?
      • What impact will this have on property values?
        • As your taxes go up, the value of your property could go down. This is market dynamics
      • Tax Appeals in droves will be a certainty
        • Potential option: 5-year rolling reval?
        • State law needs to change!
      • Civic JC put great info up regarding the tax appeal process
  • Redistricting for voting purposes
    • Can only be done after the consensus (per law)
    • She will be meeting with the county to draw it out so that it can be thought about in advance.   Possibly need to reallocate?
  • Miscellaneous Updates
    • Candice working on an app with department of public safety

Councilman Jermaine Robinson – Ward F

  • Trash – he is trying to respond to concerns about trash in the neighborhood.  One option is to adjust street cleaning time (option came about based on community feedback)
    • Community asked that he consider input from all impacted: teachers, residents, businesses, etc. before any decisions made
  • Gun Violence in Ward F
    • Met w/ Director Shea and Mayor re: enforcement related to recent murder – was in hospital on Easter with the 10 year old who was killed.
    • Bail Loophole: unless classified as danger to society you are out w/in 48 hrs.  Illegal handguns are not considered reason for holding people.
    • Part of the issues is community won’t help the police – fear of being known as a snitch / fear of retaliation
    • Police are not always trusted in the community
    • Trying to convince the experienced officers that know the streets to go back out vs. sending only rookies out to walk the streets.  What can city do to incentivize this?
    • All community is encouraged to attend East District Captain Meetings to hear info, voice concerns – 4th Tuesday of the Month
    • What more can we do as citizens of the city?
    • Can we re-open the gyms to give kids a place to go?
      • City council trying to work with board of education on this issue, but not in City’s control

Kevin Williamson – Director of Recreation

  • He wants to have conversations with the communities in order to make the city’s recreation programs better
  • Recreation programs (after school activities) and schools (safe environments) are reasons that could keep families in this City
    • Sports = safe haven.  Want to make recreation more inclusive: example art, civics, etc.
    • Program: School 15 – learning about being on the “good” side of the law, instead of being on “bad” side, as well as career opportunities in law enforcement.
      • Will track the kids to see what progress takes place over their lifetime: 7th grade to 12th grade.  Helping them finish high school?  Get into college?
      • Mentoring program opportunities available
    • Will designate Ward Captains for each community.
    • Need to cross pollinate city a bit more and help integrate all across the city.
    • RecDesk will be a link in the JC website for information on the options available
    • All inclusive – programs geared towards adults and kids

New Business

  • Angelo working w/ RRC to help immigrants with citizenship applications
  • Mercer Street Stoop Sale – June 17th (Rain Date: June 18th) – Contact Lorraine to participate or for information
  • Recap of parking meeting with Parking Director Mary Spinello
    • Department understaffed – need to hire more, good people
    • Envisioning overlap schedule (example: 6am – 2:30pm; 2pm -10pm) with 14-15 officers downtown area
    • Difficulty ascertaining which buildings downtown have parking so that residents don’t get on-street parking when they aren’t allowed
  • Director of Innovation – Brian Platt wants input:
    • Wireless kiosks – What is the purpose of this? Community want more information on this.
    • Catch basin graffiti art – to try and draw attention to anti-litter campaign
      • General consensus – not in favor of it because it will attract more graffiti. Instead:
        • Reconstitute the “stop the drop” campaign
        • Enforcement of the anti-litter ordinances would help also
        • And, each neighbor can help out if they see issues – report or talk to your neighbors to help address

Adjournment – 9:15 pm

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