Charlotte Community Association
General Membership Meeting Minutes
January 5, 2015, 7 pm
Robach Community Center
To build a stronger community and to enhance the lives of our residents by providing a forum for sharing information, connecting neighbors and stakeholders, and fostering civic engagement while preserving and promoting the heritage of the Village of Charlotte.
Call to Order / Attendance
Meeting called to order by President Clare Stortini at 7:03 pm with 42 people present (not counting Board of Directors). Copies of the meeting agenda was made available to the members. Roll call was taken and introductions were made of 2015 board members.
In Attendance: Clare Stortini, president; Susan Miller, treasurer; Patti O’Brien, director; Sue Roethel, director; Sean Schiano, director; Julia Tedesco, director (NOTE: This is a quorum to conduct business—2/3 of board, or 6 members)
Excused Absence: Pam Postgate, secretary; Brian Labigan, director Unexcused Absence: Christine Ridarsky, vice president
Approval of December 1, 2014 General Meeting Minutes
Copies were made available of unapproved minutes. Motion to accept and seconded; motion approved by the membership. Approved minutes will be marked “Approved” and posted on the CCA website as soon as possible.
Sue M. has taken over income and expenses during board transition and has updated all files. Budget planning for 2015 is a priority for January. Starting in February, the board and members will receive a full monthly treasurer’s report with printed copies available.
Beginning balance: $17,823
Ending balance: $21,771 (as of 12/31/14)
*Expenses included: $265 for newsletter printing; $55 for phone; $30 for web; $842 for insurance; and $31.92 for refreshments at Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Update from Rochester Police Department
Captain Ray Dearcop and Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) Kelly O’Hara attended from RPD. Captain Dearcop reported that they are focused on the reorganization that begins March 31st. They are operating in the Lake Section now but that he has no staff yet. He hopes to have a Net Lieutenant position filled in February. He will be meeting with other neighborhood groups about officer interactions, their vision and goals, and community engagement and interaction. He said that their responses should be improved with a smoother transition. They have been looking for patterns, trends and violence; there are none to report at this time.
Captain Dearcop said he expects to have open dialogue ahead of meetings about issues so they can research ahead of time. He reminded everyone to call 911 in case of emergency. When asked about the empty house on Frey St., CPO O’Hara said that it is being addressed. Another member of the community asked about a situation observed at a house at 3195 Lake Ave, across from Charlotte Appliance. It is apparently a bank-‐owned house that has been vacant for 3 ½ years. Now there are lights on but windows boarded up, and it appears the locks have been changed. Concerned citizens are advised to send an email with details to RPD. This community member said he has already done that and his concerns have been unanswered. He is concerned about squatters in the house. Another community member expressed concern that there are no caution lights for crossing at the school bus stops at Snug Harbor. Captain Dearcop suggested getting the bus number and call RPD if it is a police matter.
Clare encourages everyone to attend the Police Citizen Interaction Committee (PCIC) meetings. The next one is January 20th at 7:00 pm at Aquinas Institute.
Newly elected President, Clare Stortini, said she is honored to serve and welcomes all CCA members. She asked if there were any new neighbors in the audience (there were none). She advised that the CCA’s goal this year is to collaborate with enhanced communication and transparency. The Board will be open to suggestions, be quick to respond to community concerns, and will honor transparency in all of its processes. Clare explained that the location was changed because the Robach Community Center is more conducive for our meetings. She advised that there will be new meeting norms and rules of engagement. Leaders and participants alike will be expected to be respectful while they share their opinions and value those of others.
Beginning this year, the board has identified several priorities that will be addressed through standing and special (ad hoc) committees. Priorities are:
- Communications Committee (standing)
- Neighborhood Planning and Zoning Committee (standing)
- Program/Events Committee (standing)
- Beautification Committee (standing)
- Safety and Security Committee (standing)
- Not-‐for-‐Profit Status (NPS) Committee (special ad hoc)
Clare read descriptions of each committee charge for 2015 and explained that they are a work in progress. Many volunteers are needed, and there are many opportunities for members to participate as a committee member or as a chair of a committee. Sign-‐up sheets were made available, and people were encouraged to sign up.
Also new this year is Committee Guidelines for Chairs that describes the role, expectations, and emphasizes the need for accountability. The board will appoint a chairperson from the community to take the lead for each committee. One board member will be assigned to each committee as the board liaison to act in an advisory role. Monthly written reports on the committee’s progress will be expected and shared at General Membership meetings.
Beginning this year the newsletter will fall under the Communications Committee. We immediately need a newsletter editor and a team to oversee the newsletter production process so that it’s a group effort. Sue Roethel prepared the Communications Committee charge. Until an editor is identified, members should contact Sue directly via email to volunteer and/or to submit articles or ask for information about the newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On December 16, 2014, the City Council voted to authorize the sale of land at the Port of Rochester. The board encourages the community to stay engaged in the process. The Port of Rochester Marina Development Project is up for bid, and the pre-‐bid meeting with potential developers is scheduled on January 20th at 2:00 pm at City Hall. This meeting is open to the public.
There was a call for volunteers for the Lakeside Winter Celebration on Saturday, February 7th. The CCA has traditionally participated in this annual event by selling coffee, bagels and snacks in the Port Terminal Building as a fundraiser. New board member Patti O’Brien has volunteered to organize the CCA’s participation this year. Volunteers are needed to work in shifts.
- Patti O’Brien will contact Joe Carrozzi, Ontario Beach Park Planning Committee.
The CCA Board Meetings and General Membership Meetings will be recorded with minutes that will be posted on the CCA website as soon as they are approved.
A new CCA Community Survey is underway to help the board solicit feedback to inform its direction. Copies of the survey were handed out to community members in the audience to provide some immediate feedback. The survey is posted online on the CCA website (https://charlottecca.org) and will be printed in the next few issues of the newsletter. Everyone is encouraged to complete the survey to help the board plan for the future.
A question was asked how the community can send information to the board. As of yet, the new board does not have access to email accounts or have received transition instructions from the previous board. For the time being, communications to the board may be sent directly to Clare at CStor216@gmail.com.
Community / Neighborhood Updates and Concerns
- The Ontario Beach Park Planning Committee (OBPPC) met on January 3rdto discuss plans for the upcoming Lakeside Winter Celebration on Saturday, February 7th, 1-‐6 pm. Mike Parker shared new information on a handout describing the activities planned for this year. Saturday’s activities will end with a fireworks display at 6 pm. Outdoor activities in the park include a Snow Sculpture Contest (registration begins at 9 am). This year’s theme is “Winter Creatures,” and prizes will be awarded at 3 pm. Also outside will be an Ultimate Frisbee Winter Challenge; an ice carving demonstration; wagon and sleigh rides through the park; a giant inflatable slide; dog sled demonstrations; music; “Frostbiters” Sailboat Races; and a walking tour of the are “Rec on the Move” mobile recreation center will offer snowshoe lessons, Nerf bowling, and more. Inside the Terminal Building will be a wine and beer tasting festival, plus maple syrup, cider and produce for sale. The annual chili challenge takes place between 1-‐4:30 pm. Community groups will have items for sale, including the CCA, which will sell coffee, bagels and snacks. Charlotte merchants will offer discounts all weekend.
The Polar Plunge is on Sunday, February 8th at 12 pm at the Robach Community Center. Due to extremely limited parking around the construction, all plungers and spectators will have free off-‐site parking at Greece Arcadia High School, 120 Island Cottage Rd., with free shuttles running continuously from 8:30 am to 2 pm. (Note: The free parking/shuttle service is for Sunday ONLY.)
- Jack Foy reported that Holy Cross opened the school year with 300+ students, down from 386. Basketball season is underway. Father Wheeland is staying on for another year. Jack just returned from Belgium where 18-‐20 WWII veterans were honored in a parade in B The King and Queen of Belgium greeted and hosted them for lunch. Jack said that last year on June 6th, D-‐Day, he had lunch with the Queen of England.
- Joe Genova of Hewitt St. reported that three new families have moved into his neighborhood. He hasn’t met them yet, but he asked if we can send them a copy of the newsletter. Kate Karshick said she was unaware that non-‐members can attend meetings. She wants to share the newsletter with one of her neighbors too. Clare advised that some board members have benchmarked with other communities about how they welcome non-‐members and encourage them to become members. Some use welcome baskets that include a newsletter. We print extra copies of the newsletter and make them available at the Library, Lakeside Haven Family Restaurant, and at LDRChar-‐ Pit, but they go very quickly.
- Genova offered to get the names and addresses of his new neighbors for the next meeting
- The Communications Committee should investigate ways to welcome new neighbors and others who are non-‐members to encourage them to become members.
- Mike Parker asked Ron Penders, Director of the Northwest Quadrant Service Center, about an issue in the building just south of Stonewood Ave. at 3268 Lake Ave. The building used to be the Charlotte Appliance Clearance Center. Mike has learned that the building is now used by Estate Sales by Colleen under a new permit as a “Low-‐Impact Retail Store,” which means it cannot sell second-‐hand g He is concerned because there are many thrift stores in the neighborhood. Ron confirmed that the permit process is underway. He stated that Carl Clifford, City Code Compliance has continued to investigate this and other properties Mike has mentioned. As yet, there has been no evidence of trouble.
- Maureen Staves expressed concern about former CCA newsletter editor Marie Poinan’s comments published in the January newsletter that should not have been Marie’s statements were derogatory against other members of the community. Tony Rosati and others in the room agreed with Maureen’s concern. Clare assured the members that the issue was discussed by the board and that new procedures are being established so that this doesn’t happen again. We are looking for a new newsletter editor, and no one will work autonomously from this point forward. The board regrets that it happened but wants to focus on healing and working together.
- Tom Brewer reported that the Lighthouse is closed for the season but that Marie Poinan will present on Marine History on Saturday, January 10th.
- The City of Rochester wants to start work on Lake Ave. from Winchester St. to Burley
- Lakeside Presbyterian Church on Stutson St. is now close They have donated $1,000 to the Charlotte-‐Genesee Lighthouse Society and another $1,000 to the Charlotte Youth Athletic Association (CYAA).
- Sue Roethel raised a concern that, as reported in the January newsletter, Greg Weykamp of Edgewater Resources is planning another round of small-‐group sessions in March or April with the community to gather feedback about his development plans for the Port of Rochester. The article specifically mentions he wants to meet with board members of the CCA, the Port of Charlotte Merchants Association (POCMA) and the Charlotte Community Development Corporation (CCDC). She asked that the board recognize CHARLOTTE Strong as another community group that the City and Edgewater should include when offering opportunities for specific groups to participate in these feedback se A lengthy discussion followed. Carla Palumbo, our City Council representative, asked that, if we do endorse CHARLOTTE Strong as a community group, we should inform Greg Weykamp of who to contact from that group. Janice Giardino explained that CHARLOTTE Strong is not membership-‐driven and does not have an official board of directors or specific members.
Craig Ristuccia suggested that we ask the City and Edgewater to hold open community forums where everyone is invited instead of the small-‐group sessions they have previously held with just board members.
A member of the audience stated his concern that the Port Development is much broader topic of interest than just Charlotte. He believes many people stay informed through CHARLOTTE Strong but they are not residents of Charlotte and want to be involved whenever there are opportunities for community input. He thinks we should just ask the City and Greg Weykamp to have open meetings and not just small groups of Charlotte people.
Kate Karshick asked if, instead of endorsing any specific group, such as CHARLOTTE Strong, we should just allow ALL community groups to fall under the CCA umbrella.
Motion: Motion made 1/5/15 by CCA Board member Sue R., seconded by Sue M., to recognize the CHARLOTTE Strong community group and for reps of this group to be invited to attend meetings with the City of Rochester, NY, and Edgewater Resources/Edgemere Development, along with reps of other community organizations/groups associated with Charlotte. Motion tabled for further consideration by voting members.
Motion Tabled: Following the by-‐laws, the motion is tabled for further discussion. If a vote is needed, members must be appropriately informed and a quorum of the membership must be present for a vote to be taken.
- Clare will be attending a Public Hearing of the City Planning Commission (CPC) to review an application submitted by Lakesiders, 4785 Lake Ave., for a special permit allowing them to have trivia games, karaoke, DJs and small bands from 2 pm until 2 am every day. With the board’s approval, Clare will attend on behalf of the CCA that while we support new businesses, the CCA will ask that a condition be included in the permit stating that all external doors and windows must be closed.
- Carla Palumbo, City Council representative, brought copies of the City Council’s new newsletter. It is also posted on the City’s website. It will be published quarterly and will contain maps of Rochester Police Department sec In her City Council updates, she stressed the importance of attending a Public Forum on January 22nd, 6-‐9 pm at Edgerton Community Center, to learn about community block grants that are available. There is also an online survey for people who cannot attend this meeting:
Carla also said that City Council passed the free roofing program at their last meeting. She talked about “zombie properties,” which are homes that have been foreclosed but the bank has not done anything with them. Taxes accrue to the bank after foreclosure. The Rochester Land Bank is new, and they are working to acquire these properties to take care of them and use them. The process takes a long time, but they are legally trying to force banks to be responsible for these properties after foreclosure. Note: you can access more information about The Rochester Land Bank Corporation you can by accessing this webpage: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/landbank/
To find out what houses are in foreclosure or to get a status report on a specific property, we can call the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center and provide the property address in question.
Ron Penders, NW NSC Administrator recommended inviting Gary Kirkmire, Director of Inspection and Compliance Services for the City of Rochester, NY to do a presentation on vacant homes and code compliance related concerns.
- Bill Brown will attend the City’s Marina Construction Pre-‐Bid Conference on January 6th at the Port Training Center for potential contractors who may Bill reported that the boring tests provided in the Pre-‐Bid documentation are from 1982 and are not the most current data the City has available. Bill suggests this is misleading to contractors. Bids are due on January 15th and will be opened on January 20th.
- Tony Miccicche, Monroe County Legislator (R), reported that there is a concern in the community about vacant houses and code violations. Responding to Carla’s earlier report on this topic, Tony said that one of the reasons these properties sit is because banks get money through our taxes. This cycle brings housing values down (i.e. the big gray house at 2850 Lake Ave.). He believes that that there should be a time limit on how long banks can hold onto properties.
- The CCA’s new Safety and Security Committee will address the issue of vacant houses and code violations.
Tony reported that the 2015 Monroe County Budget passed, and the County continues to reduce the deficit. This is the 11th consecutive year that property taxes will not increase. He also reported that some line items increased, such as the Seneca Park Zoo entrance fee was raised by $1.00.
The Blue Angels are coming to the 2015 International Air Show on May 23-‐24th, which is Memorial Day weekend. Tickets are on sale now at http://www/rocairshow.info/.
There is a new law, effective January 1, 2015, that recycled electronics cannot be disposed of in trash cans for waste collector pick-‐up. Businesses and not-for-profit organizations like the CCA are required by law to recycle most electronic waste. Details of the new law can be found at http://www2.monroecounty.gov/des-‐electronicsrecycling.php.
Tony invited everyone to attend the full Monroe County Legislature meeting next Tuesday, January 13th at 6:00 pm. You can call him at 585-‐753-‐1922. Tony will be at the NYSAG NY State Association of Counties next month and will not be able to attend the February CCA meeting.
- Paula Kosiorek reported for NYS Senator Joe Robach, who is in Albany attending the funeral of former Governor Mario Cuomo, followed by the Senate session. Healthy NY is open for enrollment. The State of the State address is being postponed to January 21 Tax forms are available in Sen. Robach’s office.
- Ron Penders, Director of the Northwest Quadrant Service Center, urged everyone to attend the Public Forum for the NW Neighborhood Quadrant on January 22nd, 6-‐9 pm, Stardust Ballroom, Edgerton Center, 41 Backus Stree This meeting will be conducted by the LaBella Group to help the City prepare its five-‐year Consolidated Plan. There is also an upcoming Parking Summit on January 21st, 2:30-‐5 pm and 5:30-‐7 pm (identical sessions), 1 East Avenue, to address downtown parking issues.
Next CCA General Membership Meeting
Monday, February 2nd, 7 pm, Robach Community Center -‐ Guest speaker is Dr. Bolgen Vargas, Superintendent of the Rochester City School District, who will present on his recommendation to close Charlotte High School.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
January 12 Public Hearing, City Planning Commission, City Council Chambers, Room 302A, City Hall, 30 Church St. at 6:30 PM. Lakesiders,4785 Lake Avenue 14612, is applying for a Special Permit for trivia games, karaoke, DJ’s and small bands, 2 pm until 2 am (File # E038-‐14-‐15)
January 15 Rochester Fair Housing Forums, 2-‐4 pm OR 6-‐8 pm (identical meetings), Kate Gleason Auditorium, Rochester Central Library (Bausch and Lomb Building),114 South Ave 14604
January 20 Open to Public -‐ Bid #C04070, City Hall, 2:00 PM, Port of Rochester Marina Development Project (http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bids/)
January 20 Police & Citizen Interaction Committee (PCIC), 7: 00 pm, Aquinas Institute, 1127 Dewey Ave.
January 22 Public Forum NW Neighborhood Quadrant, 6 – 9 pm, Stardust Ballroom, Edgerton Center, 41 Backus Street
Feb 7 &8 Lakeside Winter Celebration, Ontario Beach Park and the Port Terminal Building
Meeting adjourned at 9:03 pm.
Minutes submitted by Sue Roethel, acting as temp