Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Reiche Community Room
Board members present: Morgan Beede, Leana Good-Simpson, Rosanne Graef, Ian Jacob, Liz Parsons, Steven Scharf, Pamela Shaw, Clifford Tremblay
Board members absent: Cassie Graham
Others present: Dave Argitis, Elissa Armstrong, Kevin Axelsen, Joey Brunelle, Sarah Colton, Alicia Gardiner, Peter Hall, Michael Hitz, Christine McHale, Brendan O’Connell, Barak Olins, Lin Parsons, Penny Rich, Corey Templeton, Spencer Thibodeau, Brian Townsend, Stuart Welch, Gwynne Williams, Ronnie Wilson, Tony Zeli
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 and self-introductions followed.
Minutes from the March 8 meeting were approved as corrected
The treasurer reported that as of April 12, $567.16 were available in the general funds account, and $5701.20 in the Swim for Life account.
Dave Argitis reported that with the warm weather there were more issues with prostitution and transients. He said the PPD is looking to hire new officers, but having some trouble finding candidates.
Brian Townsend from Amistad talked about his organization – that it had been in the same place for 30 years as a safe place for people who are being deinstitutionalized, and anyone who identifies as being mentally ill. It is an alternative to what Preble street offers.
Steve Scharf introduced Brendan O’Connell, the City’s Budget Director, and Alicia Gardiner, the Portland Schools Finance Director.
City Budget: Brendan O’Connell described the $345 million budget proposal for the city of Portland this year. (35% schools, 70% City.)
School budget: Alicia Gardiner talked about the process and the proposal for the $107 proposed budget for Portland Schools, covering 7000 students in Portland school system.
· Rosanne Graef announced the AAA Older Drivers’ course on April 19.
· Elissa Armstrong talked about the Window Dressers program to build low-cost storm windows, and invited volunteers to the next meeting on Tuesday April 18.
· Steve Scharf announced City Council updates, including budget meetings. The referendum on the three choices for school bonds will be June 13.
· Ian Jacobs talked about the progress of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and about the Maine Medical Center expansion. (Go to www.mmc.org for further information.) The plans for expansion will go to the Planning Board in April.
· Rosanne Graef talked about plans for National Safe Boating Week, May 20th to 26.
· Pamela Shaw announced plans for Harbor View Edible Park, and invited volunteers for the Planting Day for the first bed at the Park on Saturday, May 20th.
· Rosanne Graef announced that WECAN-Aging in Place will be hosting meeting on topics of interest to seniors on the first Monday evening of every month in the Reiche Community Room.
· Gwynne Williams invited volunteers to help with the WENA plot at the Clark St. Park
· Councilor Spencer Thibodeau announced that
o The Brackett St. ramp at Reiche School will be coming down Monday.
o The City Council is looking to update the City’s climate action plan.
o The Council announced winners of CDBG grants
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.