September 2, 2014 General Meeting Minutes
Submitted by Chris DiCapua. Meeting began at 6:46 pm, adjourned at 7:38 pm. Present: Anton, Wilder, Klein, DiCapua, Knapp, Silva, Antonellis, Wyatt, D’Ippolito, Zenzola, Emma. Absent: DiGiulio
Welcome and Introductions:
A list of PSCA accomplishments from August 2013 through August 2014 was distributed to the membership as well as a postcard invitation to the upcoming Columbus Square Fundraiser. Pam Zenzola welcomed guests and thanked Francoluigi’s for their pizza donation.
Pam called for volunteers for a number of upcoming events.
Prior to today’s General Meeting, the revised by-laws were distributed, and two neighbors submitted some comments/questions for clarification.
Below is the transcript of the comments and responses:
1. What does the word “representative” mean in Article 3, Section 2(a)? If a husband and wife own a property, does that mean that only one of them votes as “representative” of that property? Or do both vote? I think the latter is your intention. For clarity, I recommend deleting the word “representative” from this section. Alternatively, you could write two different sentences, one for “residents” and another for non-resident property owners. If a corporation or partnership owns a property, presumably you intend that only one representative of the corporation or partnership votes.
2. What does the word “representative” mean in Article 3, Section 2(b)? The implication seems to be that a business gets only one vote even if it is owned by several people. If that’s the case, then the word “representative” means something different in Section 2(a) than it does in Section 2(b). The wording of the two sections should be reconciled and clarified.
1 & 2. The intent here, as you correctly surmised, is that every adult resident is entitled to one vote, while a business would need to assign one individual to vote on behalf of the business entity. While I agree this could be clearer, I think the distinction between Article III, Section 2 a & b is with the word “each” as applied to residents, as opposed to “one” being the descriptor for business.
3. Does Article IV, Section 8 mean that political party Committee persons cannot serve as Directors or Officers? Is a Committee person an elected municipal official? I think the answer should be no, but I’d appreciate a clarification.
3. We discussed this point in some depth and a Committeeperson can serve on the Board. We considered a Committeeperson to be a party office holder, not a municipal office holder, so Committee service would be acceptable. Of course, should a Committeeperson be elected to the Board, they would be subject to the same stringent limits on political activity as all other board members, and could not use the platform of the Association to the benefit of the party or any candidate.
Following are comments related to the PSCA Bylaws:
Article II Section 2 (o)
Is this limited to public schools? I would have a problem contributing to an organization that supports a school associated with a religion.
Yes this is limited to local public not schools with a religious charter or mission.
Article IV Section 5
Is there any value to changing the wording as follows: …shall not authorize or approve debts in total beyond the current balance….
We have it covered even without the clarification when the Bylaws are combined with our financial procedures. As we take on debts, they become part of the rolling budget and we update the current balance of the treasury accordingly. Board members aren’t authorized to spend beyond their budget line without board approval, so I’m not sure there would be the opportunity for this to be a problem.
Article V Section 5
If there is a tie for the last available position how will it be resolved?
On the specific issue of a tie, that would seem to be something that doesn’t need to be spelled out in the bylaws so as not to tie future election committee’s hands. So determining what to do in case of a tie can be a decision made by the election committee. As long as that procedure is spelled out at the very beginning of the process for all voters and prospective candidates, then whatever is chosen should be fine.
There may be informational value for Association Members and contributors in knowing which standing committees exist.
As our standing committees change from time to time based upon serving the needs and request from the community listing them in the by-laws would not be prudent. However, to keep the members informed the committees are listed on both the website and in the newsletter.
A motion was made to accept the amended by-laws. A suggestion from a resident was made to add partitions to the voting tables for more privacy in future elections. A vote was taken and the motion to approve by-laws was carried.
Jared announced 2 possible but unconfirmed zoning cases for this month: 1246 Federal & 1400 S. Darien. The PSCA website and Facebook page will be updated when more information becomes available.
Caroline New, event chair, reminded residents of the upcoming Home Tour, scheduled for October 11 from noon to 4:00 pm. Brigantessa, the soon-to-open restaurant from the team behind Le Virtu, is now confirmed as the after-party location. Caroline announced that she is accepting payment at tonight’s meeting – by cash and checks or credit cards. Advance tickets are $20, and can also be purchased through PayPal. The Home Tour Committee is seeking additional homes and program advertisers, as well as volunteers for the day of the event. Those interested should contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit passyunksquare.org/hometour or email email@example.com!
Tom Wyatt announced school starts next Monday, September 8. Andrew Jackson School (1213 S. 12th St.) needs about 100 volunteers for its Community Day on Saturday, September 13. At 11:00 am, volunteers will begin various painting and beautification projects around the school – those interested in volunteering should contact firstname.lastname@example.org (no tools or experience needed). After the volunteer work is completed, at 3:00 pm the ribbon for Jackson’s brand new playground will be cut. Refreshments and a DJ will be on hand for the celebration, and all are welcome.
Ilene Wilder announced that the current number of PSCA sponsors is 15 to date. Residents were encouraged to visit the PSCA website for the list of sponsors. The newest sponsors are Noord, Garage and Francoluigi’s. When visiting our sponsors’ establishments, thank them for contributing to the betterment of the community by supporting the PSCA. Ilene invited people to volunteer to get involved in her committee. Those interested in donating money to the PSCA can do so via PayPal on the PSCA website.
On Saturday, September 6, Passyunk Garden will be part of the neighborhood Garden Tour from 1:00-4:00pm. There will be 22 gardens featured. Passyunk Garden is open every Thursday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Sunday from 4:00 pm—6:00 pm. All are welcome.
A new mural is scheduled for the Capitolo Playground Building on the Wharton Street and playground facing sides. Over the winter work will be started on a mural at 10th and Washington Streets, facing the Sunoco Station. The Beautification Committee welcomes ideas for new projects. For more information email email@example.com.
The next meet up with the PSCA pruning club will take place on Sunday, September 21 at 10:00 am, at Passyunk Gardens. Participants will work with certified arborist Joe Schiavo on one of the blocks in the neighborhood. Last month the club pruned the 900 block of Tasker. Residents were reminded to save the date for the final session on October 5.
The next neighborhood tree planting will take place on November 15th. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. An advanced Tree Tenders class will take place on September 17. The class is full but it is still possible to participate in a webinar. The basic Tree Tender Class must be completed first. Those interested in helping out should email email@example.com for more information.
PSCA is partnering with the Philadelphia Water Department in their Soak It Up! Adoption Program this year to ensure that storm water management installations through out the neighborhood – the planters and rain garden at Columbus Square Park, the planter outside the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, the tree trench on 12th Street between Dickinson and Tasker, and the tree trench on 10th Street between Wilder and Reed – are as beautiful as they are effective in keeping our water clean. Volunteers are needed to help monitor these sites. Those interested in helping out should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parks and Translation Projects
Chris reported that the third session of ESL classes will began at Columbus Square the week of September 8. Level 1 (for beginners with a little bit of English) meets on Tuesdays for five weeks, beginning September 9. Level 0 (beginners with no English) meets on Thursdays for five weeks, beginning September 11. The cost for five weeks, including materials, is $20.
Chris informed guests of the South Philly Language Exchange Program. Residents should check the PSCA Facebook page for information about September’s Language Exchange.
Chris invited residents to View from the Top: Columbus Square Park Fundraiser scheduled for Friday, September 12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the roof of Wharton Lofts (12th and Wharton Streets) to help kick off Columbus Square Park’s fundraising campaign and learn of the proposed renovations to the park. Participants will enjoy drinks and bites donated by local restaurants and find out how to get engaged. Suggested donation is $25. There are three ways to purchase tickets:
1.) by check made payable to “Passyunk Square Civic Association” with “Columbus Square Fundraiser” written in the notes line; checks should be left with Jessica Porco, Recreation Leader at Columbus Square; 2.) via PayPal on the Columbus Square Facebook page, or 3.) at the door.
The monthly PSCA Newsletter continues to be translated into Spanish and posted to the website monthly. Chinese translation of newsletter will begin in the fall, pending award of recently submitted Activities Grant.
The NAP is planning a meeting on Monday September 15, to be held at Angel’s home (1326 S. 9th St). Volunteers are being sought to help with various projects. Angel announced that the PSCA is looking for a new leader for the Welcome Wagon program. Those interested should contact Angel directly.
$200 in cash and a $100 Acme Gift card were awarded each to three Block Party Award recipients: the 700 block of Ellsworth, the 700 Block of Sears, and the 600 block of Annin. These community building block parties are scheduled in the coming weeks.
Officer Ace Delgado, Community Relations Officer, was scheduled to speak but unable to stay at the meeting. Pam spoke for him. He reports that bicycle and auto thefts are up in the neighborhood. Officer Delgado suggests that nothing be left in cars to reduce risk of break-ins. He reports that violent crimes are down in the neighborhood significantly. He also strongly recommends that residents turn on porch lights in front and rear of their homes. Statistics prove this deters crime. He invited interested residents to support the Police Department by attending the Division Police Banquet on September 18th from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm at Galdos Banquet Hall (1933 W Moyamensing Ave).
On Saturday, September 6, a 10K run starting at the neighborhood Rita’s Water Ice and ending at the Fountain will take place. 3500 runners are expected. The event will take place from 7:00 am-11:00 am. Residents were advised to read signs to learn of anticipated parking restrictions. An after party is scheduled at the fountain at the end of the event.
Pam announced that next month we will host a speaker from the City Planning Commission to discuss the process for planning for the future of the municipal complex at 12th and Reed.