MINUTES OF THE WEST NORWALK ASSOCIATION
July 1, 2013
Board members present: Linda Forcellina, Gay Mac Leod, Galen Wells, Ken D’Arinzo, Ron Paladino, Anthony Carrano & Brian Forschino. Mike Lesko, Regina Krumme, Candide Valadares, and Phyllis Weisberg were absent.
Co-presidents Linda Forcellina and Gay Mac Leod called the meeting to order at 7:30pm 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.
Gay Mac Leod presented the minutes from the June 3rd meeting for approval. The only correction was that during the June meeting the Board voted to charge families who have not paid their annual dues $10 per family if they wish to attend the annual Holiday Party. The Board agreed to include this point in the July minutes. Ken moved acceptance of the minutes. Anthony seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
A few points of order were discussed before going through the meeting agenda.
Single Stream Recycling – Linda and Gay discussed a phone call they received from the Norwalk Hour regarding the new larger single stream recycling bins. It was generally noted by the Board that they had received positive feedback although some West Norwalk residents had indicated that the new bins were too large and cumbersome.
Spring / Summer Newsletter – The 2013 June Newsletter was put together by Gay and Linda who said the intent of the newsletter is to make West Norwalk residents aware of what the WNA does and tries to limit discussions on controversial issues. Hard copies of the newsletter were mailed to 55 families. Gay provided the paper and the envelopes for the hard copy mailings and so the cost was only postage. In addition, the mailing was sent as an email blast. Galen suggested sending quarterly newsletters out to differing groups of 50 families.
Constant Contact is the software service used for the Association’s e-mail blasts. Of the 395 e-mails sent, 46 were bounced back for incorrect addresses and 161 were opened, leaving 188 e-mails unopened or otherwise unaccounted for. Gay asked Board members if they had received and read the e-mail blast of the newsletter. The Board agreed that the news letter as circulated looked very good.
Borders of the West Norwalk Association – As discussed during the June meeting, Ron provided a copy of a West Norwalk Association map to all Board Members present. Ken, Galen, and Linda noted that the map and street listing is not accurate.
Non-Attendance at Board Meetings – It was noted that we need to follow up with Mike Lesko as he has not attended the last two meetings and is not responding to e-mails. Brian volunteered to do so.
Ken then presented the June Treasurer’s Report for approval. He noted that two $600 scholarships had been paid to graduating Brien McMahon seniors but that the checks had not yet been cashed. It was also noted that a $100 donation was received from a West Norwalk family and that a down payment was made for the 2013 annual meeting. Ken reported that the Association has a cash balance of $5,212.28 as of June 30, 2013. Galen made a motion to approve the report which was seconded by Ron. The report was unanimously approved as presented.
Anthony attended the last Oak Hills Park Authority meeting and provided an update. The Authority received 2 driving range proposals in response to the RFP. One proposal was to build the range along the 18th fairway behind the Restaurant and one was to build between the 6th green and the Pro Shop by the golf cart shed / garage. It was noted by the Authority that both proposals have pluses and minuses. The Authority is reviewing both in a private session and it is expected that they will decide on one of the two shortly. On a separate note, Anthony mentioned that the Authority is currently on a much better financial footing than it has been in the past few months as tee time bookings are up and water bills are down as a result of the significant amount of rain over the spring months.
Gay provided an update of the planning for the 2013 Annual Meeting indicating that the meeting will be held at the Oak Hills Restaurant on Sunday, September 16th from 3:30 pm to 6 pm. The expected cost is approximately $1,000 for 60 – 80 people. Food and non alcoholic beverages will be provided. The Board intends to invite the new Norwalk Superintendant of School and ask him to make a few brief comments. The Board also plans to invite both mayoral candidates who will be invited to make a few comments..
Newsletter Advertisements – Ken and Galen indicated their desire to take out advertisements in the upcoming quarterly newsletter. Ron questioned whether there could be a perception if impropriety if Board Members take out ads because the by-laws do not allow Board members to profit from their membership. Since Board members would be paying for their ads, it was agreed that an email vote would be taken regarding whether Board members can take out a paid ad in the Newsletter or on the website and not violate the By-Laws.
Board Members were also asked to reach out to try to get additional advertising. Anthony and Galen agreed to look at who has advertised in the past, when the last time they advertised was and reach out to them to see if they would like to advertise again.
Newsletter Articles – Gay and Linda asked Board Members to think of ideas for articles to be included in the next newsletter.
Old Rock Lane Adopt a Spot – Gay asked someone to volunteer to weed the Adopt a Spot on Old Rock Lane and Ron agreed to do so.
New Volunteer Opportunity – The Board was contacted by “End Hunger in Connecticut,” a program to provide free meals to children over the summer. The Board agreed that a notice of the July 8th meeting for volunteers would be posted on the WNA website and Facebook page but that no e-mail blast would be sent.
Norwalk Food Pantry Gay noted that the Food Pantry in Norwalk is almost empty. The Board agreed to collect food again this year at the annual Holiday Party.
Future Direction of the Board – Board Members were asked to think about what the Board should be focused on in the future and to consider different fund raising options to allow the Board to do more in the community. The Board agreed that we should focus on how to get more West Norwalk Association families to attend monthly meetings and annual events.
2013 Holiday Party – The Board again discussed the $10 per family fee families that have not paid their WNA dues in order to attend the annual Holiday Party. Ron suggested charging $10 per person for adults. A discussion ensued regarding whether attendance at the Holiday Party should only be for dues paying members. Galen motioned to require payment of next year’s dues in order to be able to attend the Party, but this motion was tabled until the August Board Meeting as too many Board Members were offering alternative solutions. Linda reminded the Board that a decision must be made at the August meeting because the notice has to be included in the Newsletter.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 pm.
Brian Forschino, Secretary