Present: Adam Valiani, Damien Lamar, Ellen Warring, Todd Hollinghead, Christina Parrish, Jack Adams, Michelle Tappouni and Bill Hoff
Meeting began at 6:30pm.
Bill Hoff noted that he would be taking minutes/notes, as Aaron Glick (Secretary) is absent.
Bill Hoff described how the recently elected Board members participated in a general non-profit board orientation with James Richardson earlier this evening.
First agenda item was approving the November 2015 SPAR Board of Directors meeting minutes, however JoLee Gardner has not yet distributed the minutes to the board, thus they could not be reviewed or approved. The board will revisit approving minutes at the January 2015 Board meeting.
Second agenda item was the status of the donation of 1138 Walnut Street by Wells Fargo to SPAR. Christina Parrish reported that the necessary paperwork has been completed by SPAR, and she is waiting to hear back from Wells Fargo about the specific closing date. Christina reported that Wells Fargo is paying all closing costs and provided money previously earmarked for demolition as well, as previously discussed with the Board. In addition, there are no liens on the property and the taxes are paid to date. Once the property is donated, some property improvements are expected to be completed to satisfy Wells Fargo, such as termite tenting, removal of back deck or landscaping, before selling. Christina discussed how it may be good for SPAR to form an LLC to that would hold this property, and any future properties donated to SPAR, as a precautionary measure against liability. Todd Hollingshead made a motion that Christina would speak to Ken Paulk about any possible negative tax implications, and if none were found, Christina would be authorized to create a LLC on behalf of SPAR for this purpose at the appropriate time. This motion was unanimously approved. Christina also stated that she has consulted with a broker who could provide insurance for the vacant property for roughly $150/month. Finally, to avoid the impression of favoritism amongst the local real estate agents, it was discussed how some sort of competitive process would be arranged to select the listing agent.
Third item on the agenda was the lighting the 1800 block of Liberty. Bill Hoff described how this item originated from an informal meeting amongst residents & stakeholders concerned about crime on that block, and how providing more light for that usually dark area was a noted as an item to examine that could contribute to changing the environment on the block. Alex Sifakis, owner of JWB, who owns 2 vacant lots on that block, researched this item and provided a short report (attached to Board agenda) which was distributed to the Board via email previously. Bill Hoff opened the floor to discuss the possibility of SPAR funding part or all of the projected costs of installing construction posts with specialty lighting on JWB’s 2 lots, which could be $1000 to $2400, with JWB paying the on-going electric bill. Todd Hollinghead expressed concerns that SPAR paying for part or all of the installation of such lighting could be seen as unfair property improvement by others in the community. Christina Parrish had concerns over the possibility of directing light on to other people’s property, and is interested in any ordinances that may speak to that. Michelle Tappouni reported her concerns over pursuing this specific project without a larger, comprehensive plan for crime in that area. Discussions ensued over past JSO conversations about that area, the possibility of pairing cameras with lighting, and previous discussions with Asst Chief Ayoub. It was agreed that Asst Chief Ayoub would be contacted about attending the January 19th SPAR Board meeting to discuss his thoughts on the issue. Bill Hoff will attempt to arrange this.
Fourth item on the agenda was SPAR hiring paid staff. Bill Hoff reviewed how the Board voted to create a task force to examine the possibility of hiring paid staff at the end of the November 2015 board meeting, however that action item was forgotten until last week, thus there has been no progress yet. However, Bill Hoff verbally shared a compiled list of ideal duties and input regarding hiring paid staff from various Board members (previously solicited via email) about this issue. Michelle Tappouni suggested that the current rough budget previously provided by Ken Paulk needs to be refined before seriously pursuing paid staff. Todd Hollinghead suggested that it may be preferable to hire an individual as an independent contractor, and not an actual employee. Jack Adams suggested that a defined job description should be created for the position. There was general discussion about a time frame to hire, and the 1st quarter of 2015 was mentioned as an ideal time frame. Bill Hoff stated he would send an email to the Board of Directors this evening about interest in participating in this task force to examine hiring paid staff.
After the agenda items were discussed, Michelle Tappoui stated that the draft art work for the banners has been completed, and she will email to the full Board for any input soon. Michelle also mentioned that she is unsure if UF Health donated the $5,000.00 for the banners last year, or not, and needs to coordinate with Ken Paulk to review.
There was discussion about the tentatively scheduled JEA/Greenscape/SPAR tree planting event on Jan 24, 2015. Locations and scope of plantings to be decided.
Christina Parrish reported that $4000.00 has been privately raised to purchase and install a giraffe sculpture for Klutho Park, along with a $1000 gift from the Jacksonville PorchFest committee (SPAR committee). Abel Harding, who spearheaded the project, will donate the $5000 to SPAR to take advantage of the non-profit status. The PorchFest committee will name the sculpture, which won’t be available for installation until September 2015.
The idea of identifying goals for 2015 was discussed, and it was agreed that a date in January or February should be scheduled for a SPAR strategic plan update/2015 goals workshop, which would be a special meeting just addresses this issue. Bill Hoff will contact the Board about setting a date soon.
The Board approved a motion by Bill Hoff to purchase a gift for Don Downing, SPAR office volunteer, as a holiday “thank you” gift.
Meeting end at 7:30pm