MINUTES OF THE WEST NORWALK ASSOCIATIONSeptember 9, 2013
Board members present: Linda Forcellina, Gay Mac Leod, Anthony Carrano, Candide Valadares and Ron Paladino. Absent Board members were: Ken D’Arinzo, Phyllis Weisberg, Regina Krummel, and Galen Wells. Guests: Mike Lesko and Isabel Molina
Call the meeting to order
Co- President, Linda called the meeting to order at 7:45pm. The meeting was unexpectedly moved to Linda’s house since Fox Run School was locked.
Linda presented the minutes from the August 6 meeting for approval. One spelling error was noted. Anthony motioned to approve the minutes and Candide seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously.
Ken, the Treasurer was absent, so we did not have an official Treasurer’s report. Linda reported various upcoming bills for the Newsletter: Postage – $322.20; Valerie Crowley – $140.00; Printing, sorting, and delivery to post office – $915.56.
Gay and Linda inquired who has received the newsletter. Only Linda had received the newsletter so far except for Galen who received it on the 31st, one day after the mailing. Gay learned in her conversation with the Norwalk Post office that Bulk mail cannot be tracked, it must be given 3 weeks to be delivered (our mail piece was dropped off August 30), and bulk mail is now coming out of Westchester County. In the future we need to allow more time for the mailing, keeping in mind the dates of our events. Linda and Gay were concerned that the Newsletter will not be in mailboxes to alert the residents of the Annual meeting on September 15. Gay reminded the group, however, that we had a letter in the newspaper, email blasts, a post on our website, a post on Facebook page and large signs to get the message out.
Gay reported that Dolce had not paid for their ad yet because they were waiting for the hard copy of the newsletter. When Anthony asked what the intake of the advertising was, Gay responded she thinks $500, but will confirm. Gay stated that Oak Hills did not advertise in our Newsletter despite multiple efforts both Linda and Gay.
Linda stated that she wrote personal letters to 13 new home owners inviting them to the Annual meeting on Sept 15. She also asked someone on the Board to keep track of new homes being bought in West Norwalk, and said the information is listed in The Hournewspaper on Friday. Both Candide and Anthony offered to help.
Updating the WNA Website
Both Gay and Linda stated that the website needs updating. Valerie is cost-efficient, but perhaps we should look for someone who is local. No one had any suggestion of a person to contact in this regard. The website overhaul will be a large project.
Signed Contract for use of Fox Run School
Linda reported that she visited the appropriate officials at City Hall, showed insurance papers and will soon have the signed contract to continue to use Fox Run School for our monthly meetings.
Mike has resigned from the WNA Board but will stay as active/helpful as he can.
Oak Hills Golf Range
Anthony reported the Oak Hills Authority has accepted one RFP, and the proposed construction will take place in back of the snack shop. A detail of the size/double decker/number of bays is not confirmed. Anthony also said that an interest for a Zip line is growing.
The agenda was reviewed. Board members are asked to show up at 2:45pm at Oak Hills restaurant to help set up.
All Board members are also asked to bring donations of food. Gay’s son Bryce will pack up, organize, deliver and shelve the food at the Norwalk pantry as part of his community hours.
Assignments at Annual meeting
Gay will bring signs/set up easels, test mike, set up food drive, and bring food to Norwalk Food pantry.
Gay asked if anyone has an extra easel. Mike stated he had a painting easel to bring. Gay said she asked at Oak Hills but there was no response so far. The WNA has only one easel.
Ken will distribute all board member name tags/bring membership listing, pens, envelope for checks/cash- no credit cards this year.
Linda will purchase new nametags and bring the Food Drive poster.
1st table- Greeting/name tags – Galen and Ron
2nd table- Membership forms and dues collection only for 2013 – Brian, Candide and Jim
Mike will bring 25 copies of the WNA membership Annual dues form.
Agenda for WNA Annual meeting
Welcome remarks at 3:45- Gay
Brief overview of our Association/good deeds/Food Drive – Gay
Board member introduction, welcome to anyone interested in joining the Board – Linda
Discussion of our upcoming Holiday party and financial need for increases/fee- Linda and Gay
Introduction of Deputy Superintendent, Tony Daddona- Linda
Introduction of the two candidates running for the office of Mayor and have them present a brief statement – Gay
Introduction of all of the other candidates who attend the meeting – Gay and Linda. While we do not have time to hear from all of the candidates, we offer the opportunity for the residents to meet with the candidates and discuss concerns.
Closing remarks- Holiday party, next food drive, thank you for coming- Linda
The city 10 year master plan will be prepared in 2014.
Linda and Anthony offered an update of meeting. Diane CeCe said her goal was to increase membership and start new associations. The WNA, like the other associations, will be asked to prepare our own Master Plan as a part of this process in the city. The last one for the WNA was written by Bob Wagman and Peggy Girard in 2004.
The public hearing about BJ’s is on Sept 19. The Silvermine Association is vehemently opposed to the proposal because of traffic on their roads but as of now we know of no alternative suggestions for building on the site. BJ’s has put a great deal of money into cleaning up this toxic site. We learned that the traffic survey done was initiated and paid for by BJ’s, not the city. The CNNA suggested that every association have a representative at this hearing and Anthony said that he would try to attend.
Ron said that he would report a Richards Avenue address to the blight ordinance officer on January 2, one day after the ordinance takes effect. Gay pointed out that Stamford has started the Blight Ordinance and Norwalk is copying much of it. However, strict guidelines must be met before anything is enforced. If house is occupied, social workers are brought in, and house is not usually not evacuated or fixed.
Gay suggested that if taxes are still being paid, it is difficult to get city to act. Anthony and Linda noted that the ordinance did not mention taxes. All agree the blight ordinance is good, but questioned how effective it will be. In any case, the Board agreed that the WNA will be a leader in reporting homes in West Norwalk that fit the blight definition.
The Board agreed that a question about enforcement of the blight ordinance should be addressed to each of the mayoral candidates at the annual meeting. Anthony and Candide agreed that the plans for the summer Fun Family Day need to be started very soon.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15.
Thank you to Isabel Molina who took notes for us
Gay and Linda
The next meeting is scheduled for October 7.