Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
Board of Directors Meeting
November 22, 2011
Attendance: Larry Avila, Book Chrobak, Terrell Cole, Charlie Collier, Wilfredo Crespo, Lynea Derwis, Lou Gentile, Greg Huth, John Jenkins, Jeff Kip, TJ Lewarchick, Theresa Martin, Bruce Page, Barbara Tomasko, John Young
Staff: Robyn Sandys
Council: Kevin Kelly
Greg Huth called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm
Minutes from the September board meeting were presented and reviewed. Lynea Derwis made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Motion seconded by Lou Gentile. Motion approved by the Board.
Minutes from the October special board meeting were presented and reviewed. Theresa Martin made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Motion seconded by John Jenkins. Motion approved by the Board.
Jeff Kipp made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Motion seconded by TJ Lewarchick.
Lynea Derwis raised a question about what is the purpose of the WiFi lending library. It is a program that allows members to “borrow” for one week one of the 3 antennas generally needed by residents to access WiFi in their homes in order to determine which to purchase.
After discussion, motion was approved by the Board
Councilman Kelley also shared that there were times in the past year where he was concerned about the strength of the wireless signal, but that an upgrade/change was made and it now seems to be as strong as it should be for residents/businesses to consider it their main source for internet access. Discussion was had about the wireless program and the theory behind it for the newer members of the Board.
Discussion continued about various marketing ideas for the area to attract commercial tenants and the vision for the neighborhood. Robyn offered that OBCDC was having their first meeting with Twist Creative on December 12 to begin the process of doing some of the things that were being discussed and encouraged all board members to attend the meeting to give their input. John Jenkins noted that a study done in 2008 suggested numerous ideas for the area that were never done. He also stated that the 2008 report showed a 13.4% commercial space vacancy rate and it was probably double that by now. Councilman Kelley offered that the 2008 report was good for the data/numbers it provided, but that the suggestions presented were not viable for Old Brooklyn.
Robyn Sandys further reported that there has been great progress on the Altoona house, and they are ready to submit their first draw request to the city. The purchase of the Roanoke house is still in progress; waiting on the submission of the paperwork. Robyn will begin getting estimates for work in early 2012 so that work can begin once the Altoona house is complete.
Commercial: Robyn Sandys presented the “Buy Old Brooklyn” challenge to the Board and reported that they have almost $400 in gift cards from local businesses as prizes. She also brought up that Saturday, Nov 26th is “Small Business Saturday” nationwide in support of small businesses. John Young, as a member of COSE, talked about an idea for a card to use when buying from merchants in Old Brooklyn.
Robyn reviewed the latest meeting of “Old Brooklyn Buzz” that was held at Grace Church on November 17th. She said they have formed 4 committees, with the largest working on how to spur commercial grown in the neighborhood. Suggestions included workshops for business owners and a Cash mob – where a group of people decide to pick one store and pledge to spend a certain dollar amount at the store on that day. The next meeting is December 1, 2011 at Gyro Guys at 6:00 pm.
Jeff Kipp made a motion to accept the revision to the personnel policy as amended. Motion seconded by TJ Lewarchick. Motion approved by the Board.
Greg Huth presented an update on the BVU membership that was discussed at the last board meeting. BVU quoted OBCDC $2,200 for the cost of membership and a board/staff retreat. NPI has agreed to pay for ½ of the cost, and OBCDC would have to pay the other half.
John Jenkins made a motion to approve the payment of $1,100 for the balance of the BVU membership and board retreat costs. Motion seconded by Terrell Cole.
A question was raised about the benefits of membership in BVU and it was answered that membership gives OBCDC access to resources of BVU and discounts on seminars and round table discussions they provide.
After discussion, motion approved by the Board.
John Jenkins provided an update on the Code of Regulations committee. They have received input from Robyn and have asked for input from others. All Board members were encouraged to review and comment on the Code of Regulations, which can be found on the OBCDC website. Robyn also provided the committee with codes from 3 other organizations for comparison. The next meeting is December 6th at 6:30 at the OBCDC office and will be held every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 going forward. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend.
TJ Lewarchick made a motion to go into Executive Session. Motion was seconded by Jeff Kipp. Motion approved by the Board.
Terrell Cole made a motion to exit Executive Session. Motion was seconded by Jeff Kipp. Motion approved by the Board.
Terrell Cole made a motion to approve the payment of up to $2,500 to purchase gift cards for full and part time employees and one contract employee for the holidays. Motion was seconded by John Jenkins. Motion approved by the Board.
Discussion was presented about having a board/staff holiday party this year. It was suggested to have it on December 8, 2011 after the executive committee meeting. Acropolis was suggested as a possible venue. Robyn said she would look into have a get together there, if not would look for somewhere else.
TJ Lewarchick made a motion to cancel the December board meeting. Motion was seconded by Lynea Derwis. Motion approved by the Board.
Theresa Martin made a motion to cancel the December board meeting. Motion was seconded by TJ Lewarchick. Motion approved by the Board.
The meeting was adjourned by Greg Huth at 7:50 pm
Minutes submitted by Theresa Martin
Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
2339 Broadview Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Phone: 216-459-1000 Fax: 216-459-1741