WECAN Board on Thursday May 3, 2011 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
Members present: Byron Ballard, Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Coleman, Joe Fioccola, Luke W. Perry, Joanne Skinner and Suzanne Willis. Members not present were: Bret Frk, Tom Gibson, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Mike Kenton, Yuri Koslen. Also present were APD Lt Jamie Crawford, Sgt Sean Aardema, Officer Jackie Stepp, Officer Josh Meindl, Sarah Nunez, Susanna Ronalds-Hannon and Pattiy Torno.
Luke called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. Introductions included length of residence in WECAN ranging from 'family in neighborhood since 1895', 28 years, 8 years, 5 years, 'since age 8' all the way to 3.5 weeks. The April Minutes were approved as published.
APD CRO Update: Community Resource Officer Jackie Stepp reported that the new Police Chief William Anderson places great emphasis on community policing. She announced a new protocol for handling homeless campsites: A seven day notice to move is given along with a card listing contacts for support services and a report is made. This aids in mapping sites to monitor, tracking calls for service and tracking individuals. The kickoff for this protocol was on April 17 at a site behind 12 Bones that included DOT and city representatives. She encouraged anyone noticing homeless camps to report them to the non-emergency police number 252-1110. Pattiy reported seeing a graffiti team dressed in black with black ski masks pull into her parking lot a couple of weeks ago also a homeless camp behind the red Anders Warehouse at the NW corner of Riverside at the Smith Bridge (Craven St./W. Haywood St.) Jackie relayed that the chief and the District Attorney were getting better at coordinating prosecution of graffiti tagging cases. Jessie reported a tent set up in the area behind her house on Knoxville Place. Following up on a previous issue of fence removal behind 12 Bones Jackie had been in contact with Beth Erickson who was more receptive than Kathy Conner but Pattiy reported that it had already been arranged for the Town of Woodfin to remove the fence and re-use it as soon as the property was officially transferred to the city. Jackie also announced that the S. French Broad neighborhood was going to meet regularly again every other month beginning on May 24 at 6 p.m. at Aston Park and was interested in arranging a social event with WECAN. Sgt Aardema requested that when calling police on the night shift to be as specific as possible with locations so they can find things like "people running into the woods" more accurately. Lt Crawford reported a Breaking or Entering that occurred the previous night on W. Haywood at Park Place. One suspect was caught and charged. She also advised that we would be seeing a lot more of the officers at meetings and in the neighborhood including supervisory personnel because the police are a part of the community, part of the family. Suzanne reported a tent on Jefferson and a female she saw most of the day at the bridge at Owens-Bell Park.
Asheville Buncombe Community Relations Council: Sarah Nunez began as their only staff three months ago. Since the 1950's the Good Neighbor Council was initiated by Governor Terry Sanford to respond to discrimination and race relations, locally since 1969 the ABCRC has strived to help communities solve problems. Since that time they have worked with HUD on fair housing issues, also on women's issues, youth scholarships, EEOC and other programs including honoring the Community Relations Officer of the year.( An honor that once awarded to Jackie.) But now they are re-visioning and embarking on a listening project to see what the needs of the community are, how they can help, acknowledging that structural racism exists at all levels of society what kind of discrimination issues are of concern. Pattiy brought up the issue of how property taxes affects our community with revaluations ever increasing the only value to neighbors is when you sell your property and move away which does not support strong communities. Sarah reported that the ABCRC is the only one in the state that is an autonomous 501(c)3 organization since most are city departments and while they do receive funds from the city of Asheville, Buncombe County and the Asheville Housing Authority they will be seeking other sources of funding. They are governed by an 18 member board. (6 each appointed by the City and the County and 6 at-large.) They meet on the last Thursday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at the United Way Building at 50 S. French Broad Avenue.
Roberts St/Speeding Issues: This is tied in with pedestrians and sidewalks on Roberts St and the 2005 City Sidewalk Plan but also relates to vehicles and buses speeding on Clingman Ave. Jackie will talk to Marsha and Luke will talk to Barb about these issues. Jessie identified problems at Hilliard and Clingman from 7:20-7:28 a.m.when the children are getting on the school bus and the rush hours 8-9 am and 5-6 pm. Asheville Transit will respond to complaints but what they need is a date, time, location and a bus number to investigate and address these issues. Jackie will contact Jeff Staudinger about a traffic study.
Green Opportunities Weatherization Assistance Training Team: Suzanna passed out a brochure. Their services include air sealing, insulating, duct sealing, weather stripping around doors, installing CFL light bulbs, water heater jackets and faucet aerators. Some services are available at no cost to qualifying income households. and other options are also available such as hiring the energy team, becoming a training home by paying for materials and getting labor free, or joining the 'Neighbor Saves" program to get trained with others to weatherize each others homes. Visit http://www.wnccgbc.org/neighborsaves/ for more information. or call (828)398-4168.
Clingman Circle Celebration: Pattiy updated the official city sponsored celebration plans: participants will gather at the car lot at Clingman and Hilliard at 5:30 and the brief window immediately after the 6:03 bus will include dignitaries at a ribbon cutting and procession with Boy Scouts trooping the colors, Asheville on Bikes, community groups showing their colors for a $100 prize, and a moving pa system to the traffic circle with a few speeches at a flatbed truck stage in the parking lot of FLS . The police will assist with a "rolling closure" and then a benefit will follow at the Grey Eagle with a silent auction and live bands playing. The funds raised will go to Asheville Green Works for "Green the RAD" to pay for plantings and maintenance and also to fund the "One Neighborhood Initiative" which will mentor neighborhood children in River District Artists studios. MHO has contributed $500. WECAN Walkers will be wearing polka dots. Clingman Residents will be asked to allow or decorate the Procession route. Pattiy emphasized the need for logistical organization and stage management for the brief time available for the procession.
DOT COA Conversation: Byron reported that on Friday April 27 a group met at the base of the Walkover bridge steps with Marsha and Chad Bandy from the DOT. He was friendly and open and is positive about a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ciy of Asheville to cover a range of issues including limited versus controlled access; cleanups; community gardens; and the kudzu hill on Clingman. The city can then partner with other groups such as Asheville Greenworks or WECAN under that agreement.
Communications Sub Committee: Pattiy will print or email break-out lists of addresses in the several blocks to the identified 'Block Jessies.' Still trying to get the pamphlets out.
The WECAN Garden Club will meet this Saturday May 5 at 9 a.m. to weed and trim at the corner of Hilliard and Clingman by the WECAN sign. We are assured that there will be a thorough cleanup of the length of the Clingman Circle Celebration procession from sweeping debris from the road and sidewalks etc.
Owens-Bell Park: Kiosk: Luke presented an illustration of the proposed addition.
New Belgian Brewery Meetings: Luke announced there will be two public input meetings on Monday May 7 and Tuesday May 8 from 5:30-7 at The Artery at 346 Depot St. There should be information about a timeline, proposed plans and community needs. We need to identify issues from WECAN: What will change?, How will they affect us?, When will things happen? Some ideas mentioned were economic sustainability, arts advocacy, walkability, and capitalist obscenity. Pattiy announced that infrastructure teams have been narrowed down to 5; that the materials from old buildings being removed would be 'recycled'. She suggested that we as a neighborhood try to figure out what is important to our future and get creative about what is doable from them and for the neighborhood. Concerns were raised about property values placing an unfair burden on us, keeping our neighborhood intact, workforce housing. The biggest issues impacting WECAN were identified as Clean air; Jobs and Noise during construction.
Friday May 4 at 3 p.m Reid Center Block Party . food and a DJ.
Mon May 7 at 5:30 p.m. New Belgium Community Meeting Artery 346 Depot St
Tue May 8 at 5:30 p.m. New Belgium Community Meeting Artery 346 Depot St
Thu May 24 at 6 p.m. S French Broad Neighborhood Meeting at Aston Park Center
Sat May 26 Avl Greenworks Cleanup day W Haywood/Hilliard Pepsi Billboard Area
Tue Jun 5 at 5:30 Clingman Circle Celebration
Meeting adjourned at 8:25
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.
Next BOARD Meeting 6:30p.m. on Thursday June 7.