Meeting Minutes: September 19, 2016

Meeting Commenced at 7:04pm
35 in attendance

  1. Vice President Mark Brandon introduced Mayoral Candidate Jack Berry, Maymont Park CEO Parke Richeson, Lt. Woo from 3rd Police Precinct, a representative for Mayoral Candidate Jon Baliles, and 5th District School Board Candidate Dr. Patrick Sapini. All of whom gave a short updates to those present.
  2. Secretary Libby Germer spoke about the history of the neighborhood, credited the strong commitment of several elderly neighbors who can’t be with us tonight, and shared the May 16th meeting minutes.
  3. 5th District Councilman Parker Agelasto spoke about his candidacy for a second term in office. He mentioned successes as our neighborhood clean-ups, sidewalk creation, and budget reforms in the area of schools and park funding, as well as tough talk for delinquent tax payers who are now paying up.
  4. Gloria Bouldin introduced our Maymont Civic League Nominating Committee process and requested three volunteers. Thomas Hansen, Joy Rogers, and Toni Halsey volunteered their time and energy to select community members for the Maymont Civic League Board. Elections for the board will be held at the November meeting.
  5. RRHA Real Estate Devt Rep. Marcia Davis came to update us on the status of RRHA-owned homes in our neighborhood and all over the city. As of May 2016, a decision has been made that 33 homes will be purhcsedby either Habitat for Humanity or Project Homes and the other 33 will be auctioned off at market value (public bidding). RRHA is now waiting 120 days for HUD’s approval. Ms. Davis then took questions from the floor. All houses in our neighborhood will be owned by one of the non-profits (Habitat for Humanity or Project Homes) and will be sold at low-cost to qualifying buyers. Parker Agelasto’s office will follow up when HUD approves the disposition. The list of homes being sold by RHHA is uploaded to the Civic League website here.
  6. Treasurer Leah Nevada Jean read her financial report.
  7. Leah Nevada Jean also introduced two guests from the Richmond Area Skate Alliance and updated us on the status of the Riverview Community Park. Councilman Agelasto spoke about the strong possibility of the City’s easement being lifted, so that the Parks Dept. can officially name the Riverview Community Park and begin the community garden, walking trails, and playground. The Kiwanis Club and other partners will be contributing labor and materials. Creation of the park’s footprint will begin as early as this October. Great news! The skate park portion of the project may take more time as expanding the skate park will expand the impermeable surface in the park and will require changing the current conservation easement boundaries. Leaders of the Skate Alliance spoke about the long timetable of their project and their interest in speeding up its closure.
  8. Woo spoke about a greater police presence at Texas Beach. Six major operations, one involved a water landing, ended in 45 arrests at one point but only 12 at the last “sting”, a sign that the message is getting out that alcohol and off-leash dog laws are being enforced. The only remaining issue is a nudity violation that went all the way to court and if we, the neighbors, see “The Yeti” at Texas Beach, we need to report him because he is banned from all city parks.
  9. Crime Alert: We have had 8 stolen vehicles found in our neighborhood in just the last month and folks at the Skate Park have noticed the contents of stolen cars dumped by trash cans.
  10. Financial Secretary Daria Christian spoke about the purpose of membership fees and asked folks to pay tonight ($5 for individuals/$10 for household).
  11. Vice President Mark Brandon invited neighbors to participate in our Neighborhood Cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 15th. He also spoke about local physical improvements to the neighborhood. From the floor, the issue of dead branches and trees was raised. A local tree steward may come and help us identify trees needing pruning. The public works budget needs to be raised, so that they can address these issues. But in the meanwhile, neighbors should report dangerous limbs and branches so that the City is liable if/when our property is damaged by their trees.
  12. Councilman Parker Agelasto updated us on regional issues. He also credited Parke Richeson of Maymont Park with helping to obtain 18 scholarships for elementary students at John B. Cary for park programming over the summer.

Meeting adjourned at 8:24pm