Minutes West Norwalk Association Board of Directors Meeting
January 5th, 2004
President Penny Hoffman called the meeting of the West Norwalk Association at Norwalk Community College to order at 7:34 pm.
Board Members Present: Chris Bryan, Frank Bolton, Robert Wagman, Penny Hoffman, Jim Hirshfield, Peggy Yff, Gigi Schmidt, John Voorhis, Alan Murnick, Jeff Konspore, Manuel Llorca, and David Frishkorn.
WNA Presenters and Neighbors: Roger Silva, Evelyn Lawrence, Terreca Kish
Dolce Fitness Center: Neighbor Roger Silva began by presenting an idea to the WNA for Dolce International formally known as the ‘Prudential property’ to consent to the West Norwalk Association’s use of their fitness center. The idea was that paid West Norwalk Association members would be able to use the fitness center on Dolce’s property in the furute, and came from a general discussion with one of the owners of the property, Chris Dolce at the Holiday Party. The agreement would occur as a possible monthly due to those members who wanted to use the facility in return for center access. A discussion from the board followed.
Questions arose about the possible need for town approval, zone considerations and limited time interval to use the site. A discussion also occurred about liability to the association and to Dolce, as well as a discussion of possible neighborhood member concerns with the past history of the facility. An Olympic size heated pool is available in the facility as well as a complete fitness center, racquetball courts, squash courts, and a basketball court. Penny Hoffman suggested tabling the item for a later agenda till more information could be requested and reviewed. A motion was then made to table the proposal and add it to a later agenda by Jim Hirshfield. It was seconded by Gigi Schmidt. The motion passed unanimously.
Mallard Pond Damn: Evelyn Lawrence and Teresa Kish who live on Mallard Pond for over 20 years are upset with a Mr. Cohen who wants to deplete the local pond in their area. The pond is off Old Rock Lane and is 6 acres of water in size. Mr. Cohen has stated he wants to reduce the size to 1/2 acres. The understanding is that the damn is in disrepair and Mr. Cohen was asked to repair the damn by the city some time ago at whatever cost to him or remove the damn. He has now chosen to remove the damn and therefore the water, to the displeasure of his neighbors. Neighbors have offered to help pay for the cost of the damn repair in the past, but Mr. Cohen has refused to accept. The neighbors have started to pursue legal channels, but to no avail and are seeking help from the West Norwalk Association. Alan Murnick offered to make a call to the city to see what he could discover. David Frishkorn did mention that drawing city attention to the pond concern could have an adverse effect and might cause the demolition of the damn to occur precipitately. It was then suggested that the neighbors should talk to their legal counsel first before having Alan or the association call the city. They agreed.
Acceptance of Board Meeting Minutes of November 3rd, 2003: The minutes of November 3rd were presented to the board and reviewed as well as some other corrections to the October’s. Manuel Llorca made a motion to accept the minutes which was seconded by Gigi Schmidt. The motion passed unanimously.
West Norwalk Association Attendance
Treasurer’s Report: David Frishkorn presented the month’s activities where $3,222.91 was added in membership dues due to the success of the December Holiday Party ending the month’s balance with $4,397.60. The board felt this was a good step in the right direction for the association. Manuel Llorca made a motion to accept the financial report which was seconded by Alan Murnick. The motion passed unanimously.
City of West Norwalk Revaluation: Penny Hoffman mentioned concern over the city of Norwalk’s revaluation and its increase to the West Norwalk area. A discussion followed about how to dispute the revaluation on an individual basis and the association’s possible involvement. The Hour had run an article explaining the process and to appeal your value you can go to http://www.norwalkct.org as noted in the article. It was also mentioned how this might be a possible repercussion from the city budget deficit and a need by the city to raise funding.
Alan Murnick suggested posting a link on the WNA website to the Norwalk, CT revaluation page. Chris Bryan said he would do so.
Repaving of West Norwalk Roads: Alan Murnick discussed the schedule to pave various roads in West Norwalk for 2004. The schedule for the paving of West Norwalk roads was changing due to budgeting constraints. He would keep the association updated.
Annual Meeting and Holiday Party: Penny Hoffman mentioned that the WNA should talk to Dolce for the Holiday party and Annual meeting for next year as to get a schedule. She agreed to do so.
Advertising: Frank Bolton then followed up on his plan to solicit businesses in the local area for contributions to the West Norwalk Association. He discussed the letter he had drafted and his plan of approaching the businesses as well as estimated costs and expected proceeds. He agreed to send his letter to the board by email and handed out a hard copy as well for review. By the next meeting he would get back with initial responses.
Citibank: Peggy Yff mentioned that Citibank would be willing to host a booth for the West Norwalk Association in their building so that the WNA can advertise the association and communicate with neighbors. It was suggested for a possible coordination with Frank Bolton.
Website: Chris Bryan gave an update on the website re-construction and the addition of the ‘noteworthy’ section of the domain. A name change was suggested to that of ‘supportive’ and it was agreed that Chris would write back to an author of the message in the section.
He then also proposed the idea of adding additional signage to the local West Norwalk Association signs that can be seen in the area to advertise the website, either adding a metal or wood below the regular sign with the domain’s address. He would get an estimate on pricing.
It was mentioned that the signs might not be in the correct locations and could possible have to be moved. Some one said that the ‘Rising Sign’ company was the creator of the signs and to request a quote.
It was also suggested about getting additional free advertising with the local newspapers through articles or news to promote the association and the website.
Dave Frishkorn suggested having a drawing to build traffic for the website as people would be more willing to register if there was a chance to win something.
Neighborhood Coalition: Bob Wagman reported on the neighborhood coalition being coordinated by various associations. He stated that the first meeting would be the Monday, January 12th at the Hour with 13-20 local associations. Bob mentioned that the purpose of the coalition is to share the similar problems of each association and build a bigger voice in the community through a collaborative effort.
Newsletter: It was stated that the newsletter would be done on a quarterly basis for 2004 and that the board chairs would be responsible for articles themselves for the newsletter. A discussion followed about ideas for articles and possible deadlines for submission and distribution, but none were agreed to.
Database: Penny Hoffman mentioned the need to clean the West Norwalk address list spreadsheet to remove duplicates. A discussion followed about personally addressing the mailings or not as to simplify the spreadsheet. The question arose as to how much value is added for personalization. Peggy Yff volunteered to clean the list up which is available for download on the website. It was again mentioned that each board member should be a registered member to the website as to access the board’s files. A discussion then followed for updating the list and the regularity to do so. It was stated that Bob Wagman might be able to procure a West Norwalk residency list though a real estate broker in the area.
Bulk Mailing Permit: Penny Hoffman brought forth a suggestion of purchasing a bulk mailing permit. A discussion followed about the pros and cons of the purchase. Penny also mention that she might be able to find community groups in the area who could do the preparation of envelopes for WNA mailings as community service, but needed to do more research on the matter. Gigi Schmidt then made a motion to purchase a bulk permit report which was seconded by Penny Yff. The motion passed unanimously.
Spinnaker: Dave Frishkorn brought up the fact that Spinnaker did not preserve the rock bolder out in front of their development as they stated that they would try to do so. Dave suggested writing a letter from the Association to show the fact that we are aware how they made that change without any courtesy notice to the association (February, 2003). It was agreed that the association would do so. Penny then stated that they might be coming in front of the association to expand the Colonial Village development in the future. They should be approaching the association in the next couple of months.
Roads and Public Works: Alan Murnick stated that there was a new director of Roads and Public works for the city and Alan asked to offer an invitation for him to come and visit the association and its members at the next meeting. He then requested a new letterhead to do so. Chris Bryan agreed to make one and place it on the website.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 p.m.
WEST NORWALK NEWSLETTER – March 2004
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