EVA board reviews 1st Ward priorities

Board meeting minutes for April 12, 2010 by Dana Palmer

Attendance: Greg Nagel, Nicole Semple, Neal McKnight, Dana Palmer, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Steve Crane, Tom Tomek, Aaron Bilton and Marjorie Isaacson.

Meeting commenced at 6:40 p.m.


  • Secretary Dana Palmer was asked by President Greg Nagel to update a contact list to include all new board members.

  • Treasurer Nicole Semple looked into a new post office box for EVA at 2002 W. Chicago. Cost would be $108 per year. Board agreed to change and Nicole volunteered to make arrangements including filing a forward address and e-mailing Stephen Rynkiewicz the new address to update the website. Nagel will notify the State of Illinois by filing nonprofit-status paperwork with the new address. Nagel also will arrange for letterhead to include the new address.

  • Steve Crane handed over Dominick's cards worth $150 to new Treasurer Nicole Semple for future use. He also agreed to update the membership list and e-mail it to the board so that the current EVA and East Village Neighbors membership lists can be combined.

  • Signs: Nagel brought a sample of the Corex signs that would notify the neighborhood of monthly EVA meetings and special events. The board agreed on the design and layout. However, one suggestion was to include the address of the Happy Village Tavern. Nagel will order 10 signs that will be assigned to members of the board to place in designated areas of the neighborhood prior to general meetings and special events hosted by EVA.

  • Clean and Green is approaching. Aaron Bilton agreed to write an article for this month's newsletter urging neighbors to take part in Commercial Park activities for the day.

  • Nagel was asked for EVA's support of a monument in honor of Chopin. The board agreed that prior to making a decision, Nagel will invite him to write an article for the newsletter about the monument or address a general meeting. Nagel also received a request from Rayes Boiler asking to come to a meeting and inform EVA of his product. Board voted against this presentation. The board agreed to not render an opinion regarding a 1st Ward development plan for 622 N. Ashland.

  • Nagel agreed that he would attempt to reach out to new restaurant Dee's Place to come to a general meeting.

  • Neil McKnight will follow up with arborist Mark Duntemann for contact information regarding the desire of EVA members for trees on Augusta Boulevard.

  • Continuity document for new Alderman Moreno: Scott Rappe constructed a draft letter for the new alderman to inform him of EVA and the issues we are concerned about. Among those issues, questions were raised about sidewalk cafe consultation, tree planting, the Wood Street police station and project review protocols. The board requested notification of businesses requesting a sidewalk cafe permit. The board agreed that EVA is in favor of more trees being planted in general. In the event that the police station closes, the board agreed that the location be used as a green space and would like to be involved and notified of any plans for that space. The board also agreed that the protocols listed in Rappe's letter are how we operate now and should be provided to the new alderman so that he is aware of how we come to certain decisions.

  • Nicole Semple agreed to combine all board bios into one letter to include with Scott's continuity document. If board members want pictures of themselves included they will e-mail Scott. Also, Aaron Bilton wrote a statement regarding schools in the area and the new library that will be included with the letter to the alderman.

  • Nagel agreed to set up a meeting with the alderman aiming for April 20 or 21 to present the document and introduce EVA and its key issues.

  • Tom Tomek and Aaron Bilton were appointed to the EVA board by Nagel. They are both previous members of East Village Neighbors which has now been folded into EVA. Nagel made a motion to submit all EVN funds to EVA to cover membership for all previous EVN members for 2010. Motion was seconded by McKnight.

  • Resolution of respect: Aaron Bilton agreed to write a letter regarding how EVA meetings will be conducted in a respectful manner.

  • Meeting preferences: During the meeting the board voted to leave board meeting on the 2nd Monday of the month but to move the location to Leona's. Tom Tomek agreed to speak with Leona's about holding the board meeting there. Currently, according the the bylaws, the general membership meetings must be held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. However, the board would like to have a vote at the May meeting to change the bylaws to be less specific, stating the general meeting must be held once a month.

  • Alderman Moreno is scheduled to speak at the May general membership meeting. Nagel agreed to draft an article for Our Urban Times and send to the board for review.

  • June speakers: Nagel agreed to reach out to the West Town Chamber and SSA as a possible speaker for June. Rappe agreed to reach out to Pritzker School for October meeting speaker and Aaron agreed to reach out to the La Salle school principal as a September speaker.

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