Rountree Neighborhood Association
Board Meeting, August 19, 2014
Matt Stevens, President
Katie Claxton, Vice President
Connie Schneider, Treasurer
John Melton, Neighborhood Watch Captain
Jeff Barber, Member at Large
Nancy Evans, Member at Large
The meeting was called to order by President Matt Stevens.
It was decided at the July RNA meeting to donate $500 for the Housing Pattern Diversity Study, which is to be conducted this fall through MU Extension in collaboration with Drury University.
Owlapalooza brought in 11 new memberships for the 2014-15 year: ten residential memberships and one business membership. This totaled $300 in cash and checks, which were deposited into the account on 8/19/14.
The current balance in the RNA account is $1,587.49.
The RNA table was set up at Owlapalooza from 6:00-9:00pm. A substantial number of people came by with inquiries (many about boundaries) and suggestions (such as a welcome letter for new residents). As stated in the Treasurer’s Report, ten members signed up. The RNA board was happy to be a part of this great neighborhood event!
Facebook Policies —
There have been many comments in recent weeks, over the handling of a rather explosive Facebook conversation. The majority of the comments were positive, thanking the RNA Board for “cleaning up” the Facebook page and placing restrictions on some of the more volatile or offensive dialogue. Those changes were more or less an emergency fix. A more permanent set of guidelines is necessary, so the RNA Facebook page policies will be re-written and announced upon finalization and approval. Katie will bring these to the next RNA Board meeting for discussion.
836 South Pickwick —
“The house” at 836 S. Pickwick has been the topic of many conversations, and an eyesore to the neighborhood. It continues to fall rapidly into disrepair, and at present sports two very large red signs over the front windows, and two very large brush piles. Matt has been in conversation with the city as liaison to pass along possible neighborhood options. If nothing else, frequent, documented complaints on the City of Springfield website will support any viable fight in the future.
UCD Wording —
Recent confusion over the verbiage of the UCD definition and boundaries, and the Rountree Neighborhood Association boundaries prompted the Board to re-word the two definitions. Hopefully, this will make it easier for anyone to fully understand the geography of each of the two areas. The final version can be found in the Rountree Neighborhood Association web site, at http://rountreenews.org/site/urban-conservation-district-and-neighborhood-association.
Meet Diana Day — Diana Day, resident and interested citizen, was voted in as mid-term replacement for RNA former Secretary, Mary Bibey, who moved out of the neighborhood. (Further bio for Diana can be found in the August 24 edition of the Springfield News-Leader.)
Owlapalooza is Friday August 8, 2014. Join us for great bands, food and games for the entire family. RNA memberships will be available. Membership is $25.00 per household,$45.00 per business, and runs from August 2014 to August 2015. Support Rountree school and become a part of your neighborhood association.
ROUNTREE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
JULY 15, 2014
Minutes from the June 17 RNA Board meeting were read and approved. The Treasurer report was presented, and approved. The current balance as of July 14, 2014, is $1,787.49.
SECRETARY FOR RNA: This position remains open, since the previous secretary moved out of the area. To date, there have been no volunteers or recommendations for replacements to this position.
OWLAPALOOZA: Owlapalooza is Friday, August 8. The RNA Board will have a booth for membership information and to be available to answer general questions. We hope to elicit interest in the Housing Pattern Diversity Study. More Owlapalooza information can be found at http://owlapalooza.wix.com/rountreepta.
GENERAL NEIGHBORHOOD SECURITY and NEIGHBOR COMPLAINTS: In the recent past there was a rash of break-ins and general security issues of suspicious characters roaming the neighborhood. In addition, the RNA Board has been approached by residents who have issues with direct neighbors and concerns for their own safety or the safety or their home in general. The Board recommends that the best course of action is to use the online police report link. Not only is this certain to get a response, use of this site guarantees documentation and a history trail for continuing problems. This link is http://www.springfieldmo.gov/spd/onlineforms/policereport. Our PAR (Police Area Representative) is Officer Clint Coyan.
NEWSLETTER: Compiling and publishing the newsletter is the biggest challenge for the RNA Board, ever since the previous editor, the talented Louise Knauer, resigned from this role. Obviously, we struggle with getting a newsletter published and continue the search for someone who has the time and talent to put this together for the Rountree Neighborhood. **Along with publication of the newsletter comes responsibilities for block captains and volunteers to distribute the newsletter. V
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!
FACEBOOK: The current Facebook page titled Rountree Neighborhood Association has been the major focus of RNA Board conversation for nearly the past year. Even though the FB page is titled with specifically the word “Association,” it is not a site that is monitored by the Rountree Neighborhood Association. However, because it is titled with “Association,” it is a representation to many that are not fully aware of the specifics. Basically, the Rountree Neighborhood Association FB page is a direct representation of the Rountree neighborhood. For this reason, the RNA Board has struggled with how to address this issue, since not only does the RNA have nothing to do with the FB Page, none of the administrators are members of the RNA. And since by association the FB page represents the RNA, certain occasional conversations have been offensive and therefore should not be a direct representation of the RNA. The solution to this dilemma over the FB page would seem logical… change the name to simply the Rountree Neighborhood. Because the FB page has over 900 members, this is not an option.
Solutions under discussion are:
• Close down the page entirely and open a new FB page.
• Become admins and monitor more closely to more accurately represent Rountree neighbors. **Through the course of the week, three RNA Board members were added as Admins.
• Sit back and do nothing.
None of the options are 100% ideal. Since this was a General Membership meeting, there were thoughts outside of the RNA Board. The unanimous consensus of the group was that doing nothing was not an option. Closing down the page was a suggestion by one of the meeting attendees prior to even understanding that it was an option being discussed. It’s important to note that other members have commented about their uneasiness over the direction some FB conversations take, and comments at this meeting were similar.
This group will email the current admins for suggestions and buy-in.
There were also comments that the Rountree Neighborhood web site had old contact information. This will be reviewed and corrected.
NATIONAL AVENUE CORRIDOR VISION PROJECT/HOUSING PATTERN DIVERSITY STUDY: This MU Extension/Drury collaboration is a study in response to the Housing Committee Major Goals produced in the Field Guide 2030. It will investigate opportunities to “promote diversity of housing types in development and re-development patterns.” This is important to residents of Rountree because significant construction and re-development has been planned, and will continue to be planned, all around the MSU campus. “Progress will happen, and it behooves us to become aware and involved.” A meeting for this has been scheduled for August 14, 7-9pm. The location of meeting is yet to be determined.
Minutes by Nancy Evans