June Meeting

Location

Waban Library Center
United States

PRE- WABAN AREA COUNCIL MEETING - ANGIER COMMUNITY& Construction Team MEETING – 7:00-7:30pm

WABAN AREA COUNCIL MEETING: 7:30PM (FIRM TIME)

Approval of Minutes of May 8, 2014 Waban Area Council Meeting

BURNING ISSUES: From the Community (5 minutes total)

WABAN ISSUES: Updates: (10 minutes)

1. Add-A-Lane update – Sallee and Maureen

2. Angier – Construction team meeting with residents, starting at 7pm, a half-hour before our scheduled meetings. Maureen, summarize June meeting.

3. Zervas – John Rice and Steve Siegel

4. St. Phillip Neri – Sallee (Alexandra Ananth)

5. Issues that impact Waban (John, Brian and Deb)

6. City Engagement Officer – Communication from the Mayor’s Office

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS AND TASKS: (20 minutes)

1. Introduction of Meaghan Maher – Newton Engagement Officer

2. The Waban Health Center – introduction of Michelle Skerry

3. Zoning Relief Panel Discussion sponsored by WAC on May 1. Visits to web-based video; numbers, demographics? NewTV debut? Chris Pitts

4. Newton Consolidated Plan continued development. Public meeting schedule remaining. Timeline for plan completion. Meaning for residents of the City. Relevance to Waban? Fill out priorities survey contained therein.

http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/58778

5. Friends of the Quinobequin (5 minutes) – Report of activities during May and future plans - Maureen

6. WAC Silent Auction update. (5 minutes)- Sallee

7. Communication Research update- Joe

8. Community Outreach and WAC Organization – (5 min) Start process with signature petition for enlarged WAC catchment area. Part of plan for canvassing to create mechanisms to poll our constituents. GRASS ROOTS! (Kathy, Rena and Andreae)

9. How should we proceed in terms of financial management of WAC funds? Options offered by David Olson. Other Councils? WIS? Other possible actions (Docket a new item?)

10. Buy a brick fundraiser for the Waban Library Center. Should WAC buy a brick?

 

COUNCIL ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONALITY: (35 min)

Functionality: Open Meeting Law and facilitating communication -- among council members, city hall and residents.

Action Choices: What makes something an actionable item? Forms of actions we wish to take?

1. Policy positions:

A. demolition delays

B. zoning reform or perceived use changes (e.g. Mary Ellen Rd.)

C. letters and e-mails (e.g.: signed Council letter on Consolidated Housing Plan)

D. WAC sponsored forums

These four choices above imply information collection.

2. Direction of constituents to relevant resources. Documenting on our website! Chronicling series of events in attempting to resolve problems or offer direction.

3. Automatically updated information now on our website and/or sent by Google-Group:

A. Friday Packet – agendas, committees, land usages, dockets, etc., updated every Friday.

B. Planning and Development Department weekly report (e.g. Special Permits).

C. Docket Digest (Council Member Andreae Downs’ interpretation of the important stuff in the week ahead in City Government).

4. Long range perspective items we might add to our website:

A. Funding calendars for City and State annual budgets with dates for public input;

B. The 5-Year Comprehensive Plan and its yearly updates with dates indicated for public comments.

5. Should we encourage long term engagement (post-constructions) between WAC and the schools? (Should we ask that PTO liaisons be appointed by Angier and Zervas PTOs to attend WAC meetings?)

6. Joining with other Area Councils to promote a joint position.

Please be prepared to discuss your ideas on these issues.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. Tour de Newton greeters needed in Waban Center on June 15 to greet cyclists. E-mail Jerry Reilly at jerreilly@yahoo.com (notice double “r” in the e-mail address)

 

 

NEW BUSINESS: To speak at July 10 meeting: 1) Candace on Planning for Waban, 2) Larry Cash on Add-A-Lane and 3) Bill Paille on Beacon Street and new traffic count results.

ADJOURN: Next Waban Area Council Meeting: Thursday, July 10, 2014, 7:30pm – Location –WABAN LIBRARY CENTER.

(Angier Community & Construction Team Meeting at 7pm, preceding WAC meeting on July 10.)

Now that we are back home in our wonderful Waban Library Center, we encourage you to contribute to the Newton Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Waban Library, by bringing non-perishable food items when you attend our monthly meetings!

The location of this meeting is handicap accessible, and reasonable accommodations will be provided to persons requiring assistance. If you need a special accommodation, please contact John Lojek, at least two days in advance of the meeting: jlojek@newtonma.gov or 617-796-1064. For Telecommunications Relay Service dial 711.

Links and Supporting Documents for 6/12/14 Waban Area Council Agenda:

1. To support discussion on buying a brick for the Waban Library Center Patio Fundraiser

http://www.wabanlibrarycenter.org/category/giving/

2. To support discussion of the ongoing development of the next 5-year Newton Consolidated Plan, Chris Steele has provided the following update:

Newton’s Consolidated Plan

While Newton is often thought of as an affluent community, not all residents of the City enjoy the high standard of living that comes from a comfortable income. As a result of this, the City of Newton receives federal funding to address the needs of low income individuals and neighborhoods that have lower income households.

What is the Consolidated Plan

The City of Newton receives federal funds to address housing, economic development, human resources and other issues for low-income and households and communities. In particular, Newton receives funding under three programs:

  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program

  • Emergency Solutions Grant

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HID) requires that the city update and file its consolidated plan every five years on how these funds will be spent. The plan needs to include:

  • Assessment of needs

  • Strategic Plan to meet these needs

  • Guiding document for allocating federal funds

  • Opportunity for the community to set spending priorities for the next five years

The City’s last plan ran from 2010 to 2015. The city is currently in the middle of collecting data for the 2015-2020 plan. While several initial public meetings have already been held to bring the community up to date on data, further presentations will be held in the fall to review the needs assessment, formulate objectives and strategies, and provide a hearing for the actual draft plan.

The Programs

The three programs contained in the plan are:

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The CDBG was established in 1974 to develop viable urban communities through decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities.

Historically, Newton has used its CDBG funds to pay for:

  • Housing (54%)

  • Program Administration (20%)

  • Human Services (15%)

  • Neighborhood Improvements (6%)

  • Access (5%)

 

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

The HOME program was designed to provide decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing to lower-income households. It is also explicitly designed to operate with private sector partners and leverage their direct participation.

In order to administer HOME funds, Newton is the lead member of the West Metro HOME Consortium and is responsible for distributing funds to 13 other communities (Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Framingham, Lexington, Lincoln, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, Waltham, Watertown, and Wayland)

Emergency Solutions Grant

The ESG was designed to support operations and services of homeless shelters, prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless, and rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families.

As with HOME, Newton is lead agency for a Continuum of Care, which serves people facing housing instability. Brookline, Waltham, and Watertown are in the same Continuum of Care network.

Background – The City’s Data

The City’s Planning Department has provided a full set of background data on Newton’s current situation for:

  • Population Change – Including projections that show that population under age 15 should remain stable. However, population age 65+ will increase from roughly 13,000 in 2010 to over 20,000 by 2030

  • Income – Newton’s median household income is $113,416. 6.2% of our population is below the poverty line, and 20.7% are qualified as LMI (low or moderate income)

  • Neighborhood Statistics – For the purposes of CDBG, the City identifies census block groups with households in the LMI category. Through this analysis, the City has identified 8 block groups in Nonantum, Newton Corner, and Newtonville with over 25-27% LMI households for additional CDBG focus and attention

  • Persons with Disabilities - In 2012, 5,988 individuals or 7% of the Newton population reported a disability.

  • Housing Projections – The overall household size (number of individuals in a household) is projected to decline. As a result, even though Newton’s population will only increase by 5% from 2010 to 2030, the number of households in Newton is expected to increase by 10% and demand for housing units will increase over this same time by 11%

  • Housing Cost Burden - HUD guidelines recommend a housing cost burden of no more than 30% of gross annual income. Currently, 17% of Newton Households have a housing burden of 30% or greater, and 12% have a cost burden of 50% or greater.

3. To support discussion of our Communication Research Update, Joe Corkery has submitted the following information:




 

 

Mailchimp

Constant Contact

Price

Free for < 12,000 emails (subscribers * messages) sent per month (maximum of 2000 subscribers)

$20 per month for < 500 subscribers

 

$10 per month for unlimited emails for < 500 subscribers

$35 per month for 501-2500 subscribers

 

$15 per month for unlimited emails for 501-1000 subscribers

Pre-pay for 6 months to receive 20% discount. Pre-pay for 1 year to receive 30% discount.

 

 

 

Customer Support

Self-service through knowledge-base. No telephone support for free customers, but live 24 hour email and chat support.

Phone, chat, email support for business customers during M-F during business hours. Email support on weekends.

 

 

 

Feature Comparisons

Unlimited free-storage for images

Free for up to 5 images

 

Autoresponders for a fee

Free autoresponders

 

Auto-post to Twitter & Facebook

Auto-post to Twitter & Facebook

 

 

 

Integrations

Wordpress, Twitter, Magento, Salesforce, ZenDesk, BigCommerce, Drupal, Mandrill, Eventbrite, Google Analytics

Outlook, Facebook, Salesforce, ACT!, Quickbooks, Wordpress

4. To support discussion of how we should proceed in terms of financial management of WAC funds, see documents e-mailed by the following people copied below:

A. David Olson response May 27, 2014 to inquiry from Sallee Lipshutz

B. Sallee Lipshutz – inquiry to three other Area Councils June 9, 2014

C. Srdj Nedeljkovic – NHNAC – response to SL June 9

D. Groot Gregory - NHNAC – response to SL June 10

E. Joy Huber – Newtonville NAC response to SL June 10

F. Anil Adyanthaya – NUFNAC response to SL June 10

G. Michelle Weinfeld – Beautiful Newtonville response to SL June 10

H. Susan Huffmans – NUFNAC response to SL June 10

I. Ron Mauri – NHNAC response to SL June 10

 

A. David Olson - Response May 27, 2014 to inquiry from Sallee Lipshutz

“Sallee,

Sallee I am copying Jim Reardon, the City Treasurer on this e-mail.

I spoke with the Comptroller, David Wilkinson, and if the Waban Area Council would like to use the City’s Tax ID number, the account must be set-up by Jim Reardon through the Treasurer’s Office.  Funds would be deposited through the Treasurer’s Office and be accounted for in a City Revolving Fund.  You would make deposits and payments from the account through the Treasurer.

The creation of the Revolving Account must be approved by the Board of Aldermen and I can docket the request today (today is the docket deadline) if you want to go this route.  You will be able to deposit funds into the account as soon as Jim is able to set it up, but won’t be able to expend from it until the Board approves it.

Jim - David Wilkinson has set up the new revolving fund and if the Waban Area Council goes this route, any funds should be deposited to XXXXXXXXXX.  As soon as the Mayor and Board authorize the revolving fund spending, he will post an expenditure budget for them.

Sallee – If you would like to use the City Tax ID and revolving account, I would need to know what limit you would like on the revolving account.  Revolving accounts must have a realistic amount that you expect to deposit and expend each year.  If you make a guess now, and it is too low, the amount can be adjusted by the Board down the road.

Your other option is to apply for the Waban Area Council’s own tax ID number.

Let me know what you would like to do.

David”

 

B. Sallee Lipshutz – Inquiry to three other Area Councils June 9

“Dear Newton Neighborhood Area Councilors:

The Waban Area Council is in the peculiar position of having money and not knowing exactly where to put it. I don’t mean what to spend it on, but actually where to put it as a deposit! We have several options that we can pursue, one of which is to cooperate with the Waban Improvement Society and deposit it through them. Another is to open an account with our own Tax ID. We are not sure we can do that, even though you can see that David Olson indicates that we can in the attachment above. We can go through a revolving account with the City Treasury (yuck). What do you all do?

We observed the Programs and Services Committee speak to this issue last year and remember that they did not reach a conclusion one way or another. It was tabled until the Legal Department would receive a determination from the State. Meanwhile, we are in limbo. We are asking Amy Sangiolo for an update on the item that was discussed last fall in her Committee and we will forward her response to all of you.

Sallee Lipshutz

Waban Area Council

rrcexec@regulatoryrresearch.com

617-965-1379”

 

C. Srdj Nedeljkovic – NHNAC – Response to SL June 9

“Hi Sallee,

The NHNAC has a free account with the Village Bank, conveniently located in both the Highlands (on Winchester Street) and in Waban.

The account has free checks, no fees, and can be accessed by designated members of the Area Council.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Best,

Srdj”

 

D. Groot Gregory - NHNAC – response to SL June 10

“Hi Sallee,

I spoke to Raina on Sunday and gave some advice. It looks like the best option would be to get a tax ID based on David's email. I would use the organization type "Civic, social and fraternal organizations otherwise exempt from tax." For the dollar volumes that an AC will have, there is generally no tax fillings needed anyway.

Groot Gregory

Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Council”

 

 

 

 

E. Joy Huber – Newtonville N AC – Response to SL June 10

“Hi,

We are not in the fortunate position of having any money, but we hope to some day.  I've forwarded your e-mail to our treasurer Stephen Bart, and the treasurer of Beautiful Newtonville, Michele Weinfeld.

Joy”

 

F. Anil Adyanthaya – NUFNAC – Response to SL June 10

“Hi Sallee,

The Upper Falls Area Council also has an account with that same Village Bank branch.

Best regards,

Anil”

 

G. Michelle Weinfeld – Beautiful Newtonville – Response to SL June 10

“Beautiful Newtonville is a 501 (c) (3).  We have a line item in our budget for the NAC. I think it makes sense to turn your money over to the Waban Improvement Society, if they are a non-profit and willing to keep your funds as a line item in their budget, and if your mission is in agreement with their mission.  That way your contributions can be tax-deductible. I've never connected with Steve Bart, so I'm not sure what the treasurer of the NAC does.

Michele”

H. Susan Huffmans – NUFNAC – Response to SL June 10, 2014

“And as I remember, we used the city’s tax id number, not one of our own. “

I. Ron Mauri – NHNAC Response to SL June 10

“Hi,

If Newton does not like the idea of the ACs having independent accounts, perhaps the thing to do is set up parallel 503 non-profits with the AC officers as the board and only members. A quick board mtg could occur after each AC mtg as needed and you would not have to coordinate w/ a separate organization (WIP or the NV Beauties). The downside is some formal setup and reporting would be needed. Maybe the 3-4 ACs could hire one lawyer to set it up (group rate) and after the first report it should be pretty routine.

Just an idea.

Ron”

 

J. Inquiry to Alderman Sangiolo by SL – June 9

“Hi Amy:

Did your Committee ever resolve the procedures to be recommended for Area Councils to maintain and disburse funds to carry out Council programs and mandates? I believe the Legal Department was going to contact the State on this matter. Was that ever done and, if so, what was the result? We have a Waban Area council meeting on Thursday and would like to be able to update our Council as we now have a Treasury as a result of a Silent Auction we carried out on Waban Village Day.

Thanks in advance.

Sallee Lipshutz”

 

K. Alderman Amy Sangiolo – Response to inquiry from SL June 10

“I have not received word that we were ti take this up.  I thought we were still waiting for the law department.  Will check today”

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 7:30pm

 

Waban Area Council

Meeting Minutes June 12, 2014, 7:30pm

Members in Attendance: Barbara Bower, Andreae Downs, Rena Getz, Sallee Lipshutz, Maureen Reilly Meagher, Christopher Pitts, Kathy Winters (members are referred to by their initials).

Aldermen in Attendance: John Rice, Brian Yates, Deb Crossley

Other City Officials: Steve Siegel, Newton School Committee

Other Attendees: Michelle Skerry (Waban Health Center), Isabelle Albeck, Judi Burten, Leena Peck, Helen Goldberg, Gretchen Friend, Patrick Maher, Marilyn Broyles, Beverly Bernson, Judy Kohn, Carole Grossman, Janet Reider, Pete Reider, Nancy Greenwald.

  1. Minutes of May 8, 2014 meeting approved by unanimous vote.

  1. Burning Issues from Community.

  1. Sidewalk in front of 1538 Beacon St. has been closed for some time. Ald. Rice and AD will follow up on this.

  2. Discussion of poor condition of paving on Quinobequin Rd. and of speeding on the road.

  1. Add-A-Lane update. DOT presentation will be posted on website. Stoplights will be introduced along Rt. 9 during first phase of construction. Completion of entire project is slated for January 2019. Bill Paille is scheduled to attend our next meeting.

  1. Angier Construction Team Meeting. Summary of Angier meeting held at 7pm. Tree cutting along T tracks is nearly complete. Abatement process will occur on June 30. Mid-August demolition will begin.

  1. Zervas Update. Steve Siegel reported that the feasibility process is under way. City is formally seeking to acquire the three properties along Beacon St. Ald. Rice summarized discussions happening at the Zervas Building Committee meetings. Steve Siegel said two issues appear to be resolved as far as the design: new Zervas will be 24-classroom school, and two or three of the properties along Beacon St. will be acquired. Other than that, all issues are still in play. Discussion of traffic issues and safety problems with a drop-off loop. Ald. Rice and Steve Siegel urged people to voice concerns about any aspects of the project with the Zervas Building Committee quickly. Steve Siegel explained that the decision to expand Zervas relates back to the City’s Long Range Facilities Plan completed in 2007. That plan concluded that each school building renovated in the future would result create a capacity in the mid to upper 400s. It is a 20-year plan designed to expand capacity throughout the system.

  1. WLC. Voting will move to WLC. Parking lot will be paved over the summer and handicap ramp will be put in.

  1. St. Philip Neri. No news to report.

  1. Ald. Yates reported that the City budget has been adopted by the Board of Alderman and signed by the Mayor.

  1. Waban Health Center. Michelle Skerry of Waban Health Center introduced herself to the community. WHC is under new ownership and they look forward to being part of the community.

  1. Zoning Relief Panel. Video of May 1 zoning presentation will be on NewTV. It is available for viewing on website. CP will email Newtonville Area Council and let them know they can link to the website. KW will email Candace Havens and ask if they will provide a link.

  1. Newton Consolidated Plan. Information on the plan is posted on our website. There is a survey residents can fill out regarding priorities for the consolidated plan. The survey is linked on our website.

  1. Friends of the Quinobequin. Rep. Balser informed MRM that there is a $250K insertion into a bond bill for improvements to a path from Rt .9 to Washington St. along the parkway. MRM provided an update on request to Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation for matching funds for improvements to the path.

  1. Silent Auction Update. Raised $2800 through the silent auction. Diane Khalaj, owner of Walnut Market in Newton Highlands, did a lot of work on the auction. MRM noted that SL single-handedly pulled the auction together.

  1. E-Mail Systems. Motion to use Mailchimp as our email system. 5 of 6 members present voted in favor, MRM abstained.

  1. WAC Catchment Area. RG, AD, and KW will work on issue of expanding/defining catchment area.

  1. Community Outreach. CP suggested that if we have something that is of urgent need the WIS could email its list of 3000 plus and offered to be the point person with WIS for that.

  1. Financial Management of WAC Funds. RG suggested we obtain our own tax ID number and open a bank account. Motion carried by unanimous vote of members present to obtain WAC tax ID number and open a bank account.

  1. Buy a brick fundraiser for the WLC. WLC is building a patio and raising funds by selling bricks. 8x8 brick costs $100, big brick is $200. Unanimous vote to buy a large brick. Will decide later what to inscribe on the brick.

  1. Ald. Deb Crossley discussed the City budget and zoning reform. General discussion of issues relating to zoning and planning in Newton.

  1. Waban Future Planning Project. Discussion of CP’s work on Vision of Waban Project and how to proceed within or outside of WAC. There was disagreement over how CP can proceed with his work on this project and how WAC work in general can be accomplished in between meetings. SL felt the Waban Future Planning Project should proceed as a committee with her participation as ex officio member. MRM asked that CP copy the entire council on all correspondence regarding any meetings on the project. Other councilors disagreed with both approaches. All councilors expressed a desire to devote a future WAC meeting solely to functionality. No decision was made as to whether to use our next regularly scheduled meeting on July 10 for that purpose or to schedule a second special meeting between now and July 10.

  1. Adjourn, 10:33pm

Respectfully submitted, Kathy Winters

Comments

The weather has made a slight impact.  Work was halted for six snow days thus far.  The project schedule allowed float for five snow days, so one day will need to be made up.  The construction team is confident that it will not be a problem to work extra hours to make up the lost time.  Once the weather is better, they will start ten hour days, plus Saturdays.  Work time will be from 7AM to 5PM, as set by the town.

The steel is going up as planned.  Soon the building will be wrapped.  This will allow the building to be temporarily heated for indoor work, such as pouring the concrete for the floors, to begin.

Angier has been designed to have solar panels on the roof.