ROLLING MEADOWS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
April 16, 2009
General Membership Meeting

General Business
Meeting was called to order 6:35 pm by President Hanson. Officers and guest Adria Ehly, East Community Police Officer, were introduced.

Adoption of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda by Darold Lowe with second by Merl Maiers. Passed.

Approval of the Minutes of January 15, 2009
No corrections requested. Jim Schuhart moved approval with second by Teresa Northrup. Passed.
              
Elected Officers' Reports

President Hanson
Street Resurfacing scheduled to begin on/after April 27 on Shearwater, Bob-O-Link, Hummingbird and Goldfinch. Bob talked to the city manager responsible for supervising contractors. Copies of 2009 and 2010 plans for street resurfacing in RMNA area were provided. Some residents reported they never received notices sent by the City regarding the work to be done. Discussion.

Newsletter sent out electronically the week before the meeting did not include nine articles submitted. These were provided as a handout. Tim Klaben apologized and noted that he was able to obtain two additional months of free access to www.ConstantContact.com, so the second issue was also published without cost.

Kennedy Park landfill - RMNA residents recently received a letter from Ald. Cnare regarding the infilling of the old seasonal ice skating rink area with material from the dredging of the mouth of the Yahara River and other soils. Bob went over and looked at the site, then communicated with Ald Cnare, requesting assurance that the known toxins discussed in the letter won't end up in the groundwater below the site. No response to date. Discussion.
 
Home Invasion Prevention - Guest Speaker: Adria Ehly, East Community Police Officer

Officer Ehly shared a "Nine House Model" suggested by MPD. Get to know your immediate neighbors --the households on each side of your house, the three houses across the street from you and the three houses behind you. Know the occupants by sight and name. Share phone numbers. Be aware of their general routines. Know what types of cars they drive, etc. This will help you recognize unusual events and vehicles.

Off. Ehly discussed the two types of violent crime/theft common in residential areas like ours; thefts from homes and cars. She had reviewed cases in the area. Of the reports of burglaries where the house was locked, no entry was made. Of the theft from auto reports she reviewed, five were unlocked cars, four were from items outside the car and only two were from locked cars.               

Off. Ehly pointed out that home invasions are almost always targeted homes where drugs and money from drug sales are known to be present. She urged RMNA residents to be more concerned with residential burglaries and thefts from autos, and pointed out that while we do have incidents of both they are much more prevalent in other parts of the city and county. Again, lock your doors and report suspicious activity to 9-1-1.

Crime Prevention Suggestions:

Cars - Keep locked. Keep valuables out of sight. Keep in the garage, when possible.

Homes - Lock your doors. Remember to keep windows locked. If you want ventilation, you can buy inexpensive, easily installed devices to allow you to lock partially open windows at hardware or home improvement store. Note: Crime Prevention Officer Frank Chandler (266-4238) can come assess your house and offer suggestions to improve safety features.

If you experience a crime:

  • Don't touch anything.
  • Call 911 immediately.

9-1-1

If you call 9-1-1, please be patient. There are only five lines going in to the cal center. If you get a busy signal, call back immediately. Be patient and answer the questions put to you. They must follow a protocol to be sure to get all the needed info. Know that there are two people involved in responding to your 9-1-1 call. The first person receives the call and obtains the needed information. The information is passed to the dispatcher who assigns the call to police and or other emergency services.

Discussion and comments followed. President Hanson reported he has requested someone from 9-1-1 system to come speak at an RMNA meeting. He has not yet received a response.

Vice President Matt Hornbeck
Proposed Rolling Meadows Welcome Sign - Matt and Bob have begun researching what is required to obtain a sign. Money is available through city grant sources. From contact with other neighborhood associations (NAs) the process is a long one. Bob presented photos he took of several different sign styles purchased by other NAs. Matt reports there are many things to be considered before sign selection and sighting, and NAs contacted offered advice on how to make our applications more likely to be successful.

Many questions were asked about signs, siting and the process to obtain a grant to fund the sign(s). Additional info provided: Unsure how much money is available. Other NAs report the whole grant process takes 8-9 months, needs approval from several city departments and Common Council. We will need three bids. Most recent grant cycle deadline was last month, so we have time to get ready for the next grant deadline. Landscaping would be required as part of the site. RMNA would be responsible for ongoing maintenance (sign and landscaping) and any future repairs. Public property (street boulevard) is usual site for such a sign. Commercial property with permission of the owner was used for one Heistadt NA sign.

Matt requested volunteers to assist with the project. He will report progress at the next meeting.

Treasurer Teresa Northrup
No charges to the RMNA checking account. Previous balance of $730.55 remains.

Secretary Mary Polancih
Received several additions to the roster of members. These have been added to the email list for the newsletter. Received several inquiries from residents which were forwarded to the appropriate officer for response. Continue to receive communications from city departments and community agencies. Many were forwarded for use in the newsletter.

Reports of Standing Committees

Safety Committee - Sue Allen
(Absent) No report.

Dog Park Committee - Julia Nabor
(Absent) No report.

Traffic Committee - Jim Shuhart
Discussion of the proposed pedestrian island on Acewood and Bob-O-Link. Brian Lange made inquiries and discovered that money is still in the city budget for a project at that site, but no other info was available. Brief discussion.

Community Committee - Bob Hanson
Bob reported he has moved Newsletter Committee and Finance Committee into this committee so he can have fewer committees to oversee.

Old Business

Adding Business membership to RMNA Discussion. Bob reported he was told by city staff that the last RMNA was approached by area businesses who wanted to become members. __________ reported back in the 90's city staff encouraged RMNA to include only residential area when the RMNA boundaries were redrawn to include the Portland Parkway area. Discussion. Bob will meet with met with Ald.Cnare to try to get more history and info. He was urged to get suggestions of both the positives and negatives of such a change.

Committee Participation

Members for all committees are need. Contact any officer for more info or to volunteer.

New Business

Drugs in Our Neighborhood
Bob referred to the info offered by Officer Ehly and reminded neighbors to call police with information. Discussion. Bob advised that there is a concern that if you accuse an individual of a crime, (rather than just reporting what you observed) the accused has the right to know their accuser. It was pointed out that police seldom make arrest based on one complaint, but usually based on accumulated information and direct observations.

Earth Day
RMNA will sponsor a clean-up at McGinnis Park on Saturday, April 18, starting at 10 am. We will pick up trash. No tools are needed. Bob has made arrangements with Streets & Sanitation Dept. They will provide gloves and bags, and will pick up refuse collected.
 
Other Business/Announcement
Polancih shared info from Sustain Dane (www.RainforDane.org ) about their ongoing RainReserve Rain Barrel program and also a new project this year to provide Dual Flush Toilet Tank Conversions. The conversion kits can covert any toilet, even the modern 1.6 gallon per flush toilets, to dual flush. This can allow a homeowner to save huge amounts of water each year. Kits cost $55 plus tax for the do-it-yourself kit, or $125 plus tax if installed for you. To get more information or purchase kits, contact info@RainforDane.org or 316-6844
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.