Friday, May 23, 2008

ANA Meeting Minutes

Albemarle Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes - May 15, 2008
By-laws: Copies of the by-laws were distributed. Written in 1973, they have not been revised since 1980. The street boundaries of ANA have never been changed, but they can be so that people currently living outside of the boundaries will be able to join ANA. A By-laws Committee is needed to amend the by-laws. The committee would work during the summer and make recommendations to the membership at the September meeting.

Elections: The Vice President and the Treasurer want to retire from the Board. The Treasurer described the job’s duties. Elections will be held at the September meeting.

Financial report: The Treasurer’s Financial Report for 2007 was distributed. It includes information on the balance in ANA’s checking account at Astoria Federal Savings as of December 31, 2007 ($4,861.99), deposits ($1,715) and disbursements ($932.50) made in 2007, and the proposed budget for 2008, including proposed income ($900) and proposed expenses ($900). Dues collected in 2007 totaled $215; proposed dues collected in 2008 total $900, reflecting ANA’s desire to increase the size of its membership.

Publicizing meetings: It is illegal to post meeting announcements on street lights. From now on, announcements of upcoming meetings might be limited to being mailed, left in apartment buildings and the bank lobby, and placed in store windows.

Communications Committee: Scott Allinson reported on the discussions held at the committee’s first meeting, including revamping the newsletter, letters, flyers, and logo and creating an online presence for ANA. Larry Jayson said that a column for e-mail addresses will be added to the attendance sheet.

Increasing membership: In the past, an individual living in an apartment building could not be a member unless her or his building had both a floor captain and a building representative. This requirement can be dropped so that an individual living in an apartment building can become a member. Also, each block had to have a block captain. The floor and block captains collected dues by going door-to-door on their blocks or in their buildings. Kensington is a diverse neighborhood, and new members can be brought in by setting a common goal.

ANA meets in a synagogue because the meeting room is large enough and the fee is low. However, some neighbors might hesitate to enter a synagogue.

Business membership might be reinstituted at a cost of $25 per year. Business members are entitled to a free ad in ANA’s newsletter. Stores that had been members gave discounts to ANA members.

Kensington Post Office: Larry received a phone call and e-mail from the office of Kensington’s Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke. He also got a call from a representative of the USPS. Larry is not able to go to a USPS meeting that will be held at the Cadman Plaza Post Office on Wednesday, May 21st, at 11 a.m., so someone at the meeting volunteered to go in his place. Larry will monitor the results. Someone else at the meeting reported that she got a piece of mail from the USPS inviting her to participate in a confidential national volunteer panel. The volunteers are sent three to six test pieces of mail every day by the USPS to measure the reliability of mail delivery in various neighborhoods.

Foodtown: The manager says that the renovations will be completed by the end of June. New floors will be installed.

Astoria Federal Savings: Larry has been seeing more tellers in the bank. The bank’s regional representative will speak at our June meeting.

MTA elevator: Andy Inglesby of the MTA told Larry on May 12th that the elevator on McDonald Ave. near Church Ave. will be finished and operational by June 30th.

Graffiti: The city cleaned off the graffiti that was on the computer store at Church Ave. and E. 4th Street.

Speeding cars: Some streets need traffic lights or stop signs. It might be easier to get speed bumps.

Buses: People are confused about which of the former Command Bus Company’s lines (B1, B2, B3, and B4) are still in service and which stops they make (Command was a private company that merged with the MTA in December 2005, but people in the neighborhood still call it Command). The bus provides local service within Brooklyn and express service to Manhattan. People said that the buses seem to be bypassing Ocean Parkway. Larry will contact our elected officials and find out if that is the case.

Meeting schedule: ANA does not meet in July or August. The Executive Committee does meet, especially if an emergency arises that it needs to deal with.

Next meeting date: The next meeting will be held on Thursday, June 12th. We will meet outdoors on Albemarle Road between E. 4th and E. 5th streets, weather permitting. Bring a chair to sit on.