New Members Welcome
Election of executives
Priorities for 2022
Meeting ID: 868 4752 0630
Waban Area Council
Meeting Minutes January 13, 2022 7:30pm
Held via Zoom
WAC: Chris Pitts, Rena Getz, Isabelle Albeck, Sallee Lipshutz, Dinah Bodkin, Megan Meirav, Bill Bracken, Drake McCabe, Sumukh Tendulkar, Bob Jampol (retiring), Dr Ronald Marcus (retiring).
City Council: Bill Humphrey
Community: John Mordes, Jeremy Freudberg,
Oath of Office WAC councilors must submit Oath of Office to City Hall and new members of WAC will receive from City Hall booklet of rules and regs for all individuals holding public positions. CP explained Open Meeting Law whereby all WAC discussions, particularly those on substantive policy matters and all motions and votes must be held in a public forum. All meeting agendas must be posted on Newton’s electronic posting board 48 hours before meeting is to be held. Chris shared the by-laws posted on WAC website.
WAC Membership: Council said good bye and thank you to departing members Dr. Ronald Marcus, Bob Jampol and Tom Elkind. New members of WAC, Drake McCabe, Sumukh Tendulkar and Bill Bracken, welcomed. Members elected via ballot or write in brought the WAC membership to 8. Discussion then followed between CP and SL as to the mechanism whereby Rena could be brought in as the 9th member. She did not run for WAC because she ran for City Council and garnered over 8,000 votes. A motion to appointment Rena passed unanimously. The Council then also appointed her (without a motion) unanimously.
Election of Officers: Slate consisting of Rena Getz, President, Chris Pitts, Vice President, Dinah Bodkin, Secretary and Isabelle Albeck, Treasurer, passed unanimously.
Burning Issues from the Community Jeremy Freudberg, alternative member of traffic council, introduced himself in the chat box. Tom Elkind, although no longer a member of WAC, will continue to update WAC on bike lanes. Zoning will be a big issue going forward. Aqueduct Trail will be on WAC February agenda. Andrea Downs and Bill Humphrey will participate. Many, not just abutters, have volunteered for committee hoping to settle problem of blocked aqueduct trail (see previous WAC minutes for description of issue).
Sumuk: Need for greater vitality in Village Center. Some discussion of businesses that have been there a long time and are thriving, ie Waban Frame-It, Waban Market, Waban Hardware. Dyno-Mutt also seems to be doing well. Corner store has had high turnover but currently is occupied by a physical therapist who is doing well. Suggestion made that a Waban business be featured at each meeting.
Greater Outreach Only 1/2 of the 1000 mailchimp messages that CP sends out monthly are opened. Many Wabanites are unaware of WAC and what WAC does, even unaware of the WAC website. CP mentioned historic plaques which people from WAC and WIS are working on. Hoping that Village Day in May will not be cancelled due to Covid.
Fundraiser: WAC has only $545.75 in the treasury. Some alternatives, ie pet show, discussed. Sumukh enjoyed high tea in Boston Public Library and suggested a similar event at Waban Library Center. All present loved the idea (when omicron numbers are lower) and agreed it would fit Waban’s character well.
CP: Need two executives and one member to approve email blasts before they go out to the community. Some members are not receiving the blasts, CP may ask them if they have received and it so please approve. Meeting agendas must be posted to city electronic board 48 hours before mtg takes place.
WAC Budget: CP suggests RG create a budget which would include a catchment area mailing. Members of Highlands Area Council have discussed their mailing with us. Some ideas discussed as to the design of the mailing, and how to catch residents’ attention. That is a budget item of aproximately $3000 and the historic plaques are another budget item. So fund raising can be justified. Possible silent auction on Village Day; that was very successful previously. CP: WAC members have a newtonma.gov email address and city matters should be discussed using that email address. Best to keep WAC business separate from personal email. If WAC email is linked to your personal email, the personal email can be subject to FOIA requests. Instructions for using government email will be sent by Chris Sullivan.
Meeting Minutes for October and November approved. Very short meeting in December described on WAC website. Does not need approval because letter in question was unanimously approved.
Area Council Elections: IA: Rewrite catchment area maps? CP: dovetails with concerns about area council elections. Has been in touch with other area councils. Possible create a sub committee formed from several area councils. Or task force.
IA: Braeburn Country Club has put up fences which make it impossible for kids to sled there. Club has special tax status and should be usable for residents during the winter. RM: the problem is that there is a liability issue. IA called Braeburn but her call was not returned. Bill Bracken has a friend who is founding member of Braeburn Country Club and possibly can be called upon to help with this issue. RM had once complained to Braeburn that when they flew the American flag at night, a light needed to shine on it. And….following RM’s complaint, a light was installed! The Angier flag is lit at night, but there is no light at Lincoln Field (CP: too expensive).
Meeting adjourned at 9:08pm.
Respectfully submitted by Dinah Bodkin, Jan 23, 2022