Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Reiche Community Room
Board members present: Morgan Beede, Leana Good-Simpson (vice-president), Rosanne Graef (Treasurer), Cassie Graham, Elizabeth Parsons (president), Pamela Shaw (secretary),
Board members absent: Ian Jacob, Clifford Tremblay
Others present: Dave Argitis (PPD), Allen Armstrong, Elissa Armstrong, Sarah Colton (PPD), Jo Coyne, Sarah Daignault, Eli Dale, Norris Dale, Jen Defilipp, Emily Figdor, Mike Haefele, Michael Hitz, Marco Lattimore, Mark McCain, William McFarlane, Christine McHale, Janet Mishoe, Kitty Purington, Tom Robinson, Dick Stevens, Penny Stevens, Sidney (Pete) Thaxter, Lydia Wagner, Tony Zeli (WEN)
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM and self-introductions followed.
It was noted that in the minutes for the December 2016 meetings Steve Scharf’s name was misspelled, then minutes for December were accepted as revised.
The WENA fund contains $687.82. There is $125.56 in Swim for Life, and $145 in the WECAN-AIP account.
David Argitis reported on the following:
- A drug bust operation took place at a Grant St. residence that had been under surveillance. One person was arrested at the residence and another person elsewhere. The FBI was also involved in this operation, which was part of the Safe Streets task force.
- The Cumberland County District Attorney’s office is contacting all neighborhood associations in an effort to get to know them better. A representative of the office has already been in touch with WENA and Liz Parsons is working on scheduling a meeting.
A brief discussion followed, with a question about police activity on Vaughn St.
Board member announcements
- Members who pay their dues by November will be able to vote in November elections for that year. Members who pay after November will be eligible to vote in the next year’s election.
- Rob Mattis is the City’s new Recreation Director. Rosanne Graef described the new activities in the Community Room at the Reiche Community Center.
- Rosanne Graef distributed drafts of WENA’s budget for the year and noted that the board would vote on this at its January meeting. Meanwhile, anyone who had suggestions or questions was encouraged to contact Rosanne.
- Pamela Shaw made an announcement about the community orchard project at Harbor View Park.
Member reports and announcements
- Elissa Armstrong invited volunteers for the Windowdressers.org effort to make storm windows at Allagash brewing on Sunday Jan. 22.
- Emily Figdor, (Protect our Neighborhood Schools and Chair of Portland Democrats) spoke in favor of the school bond for renovations at Reiche, Longfellow, Lyseth and Presumpscot Elementary Schools. The City’s ad hoc committee will be voting next Thursday. There is another proposal to take Reiche and Longfellow out of the bond.
- Steve Scharf reported briefly on finance and school board issues, including
- The Americold warehouse proposal
- The City looking to sell some properties around the city
- Jen Defillip talked about the Maine Med Expansion. There will be a public meeting Jan. 15 at Dana Center on Bramhall, 6:00-8:00. Contact Jen to get a link to documents from the planner about the expansion.
Report from Spencer Thibodeau, Councilor for District 2
Councilor Thibodeau talked with us about what he sees as major issues and developments impacting our neighborhood in the coming year, including
- Proposals for rezoning for the Americold warehouse and the rest of the Western Waterfront
- Maine Med expansion
- USM expansion
Considerable discussion ensued during the question and answer period, focusing on concerns about the Western Waterfront, zoning, the school bond, a proposal to bring broadband to Portland, and the future of Mercy Hospital at State St.
The meeting adjourned at 8:04