MINUTES OF THE WEST NORWALK ASSOCIATION
August 6, 2013
Board members present: Linda Forcellina, Gay Mac Leod, Ken D’Arinzo, Phyllis Weisberg, Regina Krummel, Anthony Carrano, Candide Valadares & Brian Forschino. Mike Lesko, Ron Paladino and Galen Wells were absent.
Co-presidents Linda Forcellina and Gay Mac Leod called the meeting to order at 7:31pm and welcomed the Board to the meeting. As Fox Run School has closed for the summer, the meeting was held at Linda Forcellina’s home, 6 Betmarlea Road. In addition, the co-presidents welcomed guests Bill Krummel and Isabel Molina.
Gay Mac Leod presented the minutes from the July 1st meeting for approval. Ken motioned to approve the July minutes and Anthony seconded. The minutes were unanimously approved with one modification: Candide was absent from the July meeting. Linda asked that the approved minutes be forwarded to Valerie for inclusion on the West Norwalk Association website. She will send Brian Valerie’s email address.
Gay thanked Ron, Candide and Anthony for donating time to take care the West Norwalk Association adopt a spots.
Ken presented the Treasurer’s report as of August 5, 2013. The scholarship checks have cleared as has the $660 Dolce check for the deposit for the Holiday Party. As of 8/5/13 the Association has a cash balance of $4,394.44.
Brian moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report and Candide seconded. The Report was unanimously approved.
Purpose of the WNA
Phyllis was asked what her purpose was in joining the Board and what she would like to see the Board do in the future. Phyllis noted that it appears not many residents are clear on what the WNA is. She added that the Association needs to better publicize what it is about. We should consider developing a formal “mission statement.”
Gay noted that while originally the WMA appeared as more of a social organization that did not do much for the neighborhood, it has evolved over the years. More recently, the WNA has branched out to be more of a civic organization. However, since we aren’t getting the new younger families to become dues paying members, we need to think about establishing a stronger marketing plan.
Oak Hills Park Driving Range
Phyllis questioned whether the WNA could have scheduled a meeting to discuss the concerns of West Norwalk residents regarding the driving range. Gay indicated that this was considered but the need to rent a space and the financial constraints on the Board did not make this viable. She also noted that we did invite West Norwalk residents to attend Board meeting where the issue of the Driving Range would be discussed and that the Association has had a representative attend every Oak Hills Park Authority Meeting concerning the proposed range.
Ken noted that the situation has started to take care of itself. The Request for Proposal got only two responses. One indicated that using the spot along 18 would be an environmental nightmare and suggested another location.
July Coalition of Norwalk Neighborhood Associations (“CNNA”) Meeting Update
The meeting was run by Diane Cece. Three issues were discussed:
- Single Stream Recycle bins – A concern was raised with respect to a Condominium in West Norwalk where there are not enough bins for the number of residents.
- BJs Wholesale Club – The location on Main Avenue is an environmental clean up site. Concerns were raised about the increased traffic volume on Main Avenue.
- Oak Hills – CNNA is going to take a stand. Diane Cece has written a letter that will be circulated to WNA Board Members.
Linda noted that the CNNA website does not contain meeting minutes. Linda contacted the CNNA and asked about the minutes of the meeting when tis decision was made. As of tonight, she has had no response.
Bill Krummel noted that the CNNA was started mostly by the West Norwalk Association and is intended to represent the interests of all Norwalk neighborhood associations. Representatives should be reporting back to their separate associations. Initially Julie Burton did not want to proceed without the input of the WNA as it was viewed as a West Norwalk issue. It is now viewed as an issue for all of Norwalk. Bill believes that there will be a vote before any letter is issued. Bill noted that the WNA has a long standing reputation as a strong advocacy group for West Norwalk.
Anthony has agreed to attend all CNNA meetings for the remainder of 2013. The next meeting is August 26th. Linda will attend with Anthony.
Update on the Annual Meeting
The 2013 WNA Annual Meeting will be held on September 15th at the Oak Hills Restaurant from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Anthony has agreed to put up signs about the meeting. The Meeting is intended to provide the opportunity to meet new residents and to update West Norwalk residents on what the Association had been doing over the past year. The plan is to introduce the Mayoral Candidates and the new Superintendent of Schools.
The expected cost of the Annual meeting is $1,000. All Board members will be asked to help out at the Meeting. Gay will send an e-mail with a list of things Board Members can assist with.
Update on the Annual Newsletter
Currently the news letter will contain the following articles: Brien McMahon, Use of Rain Barrels, Fox Run Update from Principal Martinez and the Brien McMahon Scholarships.
This year there will be a separate insert for advertisements.
The total printing cost for the Newsletter will be approximately $1,200.
Update on the Holiday Party
Dolce has agreed to charge us $1,320 not including tax and service charges. Gay paid a deposit of $660.00. On average 110 people attend the Holiday Party, and the Dolce fee is based on this attendance rate. The Party is scheduled for Thursday, December 5th from 6 – 9 pm.
During the June Board Meeting, it was agreed that annual dues would be increased from $30 to $40.
The Board discussed whether we should require West Norwalk residents to pay their 2014 dues at the door in order to gain entrance to the 2013 Holiday Party. Last year we charged $5 per family for non dues paying members to enter the Party. The suggestion was to continue to collect 2013 at the Annual Meeting but not to collect 2013 dues at the Holiday Party. The Board also discussed whether non dues paying members should be allowed to pay a separate fee to enter the Party without having to pay their 2014 dues. Gay and Linda said that allowing people to enter the Holiday Party for less than the $40 annual dues may keep people from making the dues payment.
Bill noted that all West Norwalk residents are members whether they pay dues or not. He suggested collecting dues and charging a separate fee for entrance to the Party.
Regina moved that a $10 per person entrance fee be charged for anyone over the age of 10 to attend the Holiday Party. Anthony seconded the motion and the motion passed 6 to 2. The dissenting concern raised by Gay and Linda was that if residents are asked to pay an entrance fee to the Holiday Party, they may not pay their annual dues. Both Gay and Linda voted against the motion because they think that collecting so much money at the party will be very confusing and that some people will not renew their membership because of the increased cost of the annual fee and an additional cost to enter the party.
Anthony and Brian agreed to collect the entrance fee and Gay said she would ask Bryce to collect tickets at the door to be sure that everyone has paid before entering..
The dues increase and the $10.00 charge for the party will be announced in the Newsletter, on the website, in the newspaper, in email blasts, and on the invitation. It will also be announced at the annual meeting. Beginning to collect 2014 dues at the Holiday Party will help us pull together a comprehensive list of dues paying members.
Brian agreed to keep track of the comprehensive membership list. Ken provided a current list and will provide updates as dues are paid.
Candide raised the possibility of having a Family Day event next year. Anthony and Candide agreed to work on pulling together a plan. Ken and Brian agreed to work with Anthony and Candide.
Anthony motioned to adjourn the meeting and Candide seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:48 pm.