Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes, 3/1/2009

Topics covered:

  • Approval of Meeting Minutes
  • Selection of Accountant
  • Selection of Lawyer
  • Tax freeze
  • Board of liquidations
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Cooperative Agreement
  • Bank accounts

These minutes were approved on 3/19/2009. MCSD Monthly Board Meeting
March 1, 2009, 5:00 PM

Attendance: 

Board Members:

  • Colleen Boyle-Gannon
  • Angela Henderson
  • Susan Guidry
  • Corey Tisdale
  • Romney Richard

Also in attendance were 6 additional Mid-City residents.

Approval of Meeting Minutes
MOTION made by Angela Henderson to approve meeting minutes from April, seconded by Corey Tisdale, unanimous approval.

Selection of Lawyer
Ben Misko is leaving his firm and therefore is withdrawing his services.
Raymond Landry is the other option. His normal hourly rate $220 but will adjust rate. “For free on-up” is what he has said.
A rate of $125 is the “bottom dollar” of what Ben’s firm could do. He said that would be a very affordable rate although lawyers may be willing to do pro-bono work.
MOTION from Angela Henderson to select Raymond Landry, 2nd from Colleen. Unanimous approval.

Selection of Accountant
The position of accountant for the Mid-City security district was well advertised but received little response.
Becker Rutledge has shown an in depth interest and also has done good work for MCNO.
MOTION by Romney Richard to choose Becker Rutledge as our Accountant. Seconded by Angela Brenneke. Unanimous approval.

Tax freeze
There are 842 households within the boundaries of the security district who have tax freezes on their property. That would total $168,000 in revenue for the security district.
Ideally we could have a group who could select and give exemptions in the case of hardship. However it would be impossible for the tax assessors to process the tax bills and this could not be passed through the legislature.
MOTION by Corey Tisdale to reevaluate this topic in Sept 2009. Seconded by Angela Henderson. Unanimous approval.

Board of liquidations
From what we can tell, collecting the tax money will not be a problem.
The other advantage to the board of liquidations is that they are able to give you stats on the collections.
MOTION from Angela Henderson to reevaluate the use of the board of liquidations next month based on the success we have in collecting money from City Hall this month. Seconded by Colleen Boyle-Gannon. Unanimous approval.

Roles and Responsibilities
The following is a preliminary set of roles and responsibilities. Of course additional roles will come up and we will divide up the work from there.
COMMUNICATIONS – Romney will be in charge of getting out newsletters and mailings, with the assistance of other board members.
OPERATIONS – Susan will be the liaison for accountant, lawyer, insurance. Also will assist Colleen in reviewing of the monthly reporting received from Ronnie Stevens.
SECRETARY – Angie will taking notes at meetings, printing the agenda for those who attend the board meetings. She will send them out after meetings and make corrections as necessary. Also in charge of the creation of a “job description” for Sgt. Ronnie Stevens (largely by using section II of the cooperative agreement).
CHAIRPERSON – Corey will facilitate meetings to keep us on time and on track. He will also send out the notices for when meetings will be held to the public through the MCNO discussion board, the Nola.com Mid-City forum and the newspaper.
WEBSITE MASTER – Corey will continue with website maintenance and posting of new information on the website.
BYLAWS – Colleen will research/create the bylaws for the Mid-City security to guide our organization.
OFFICER/CAR LIASON – Colleen will double check reports coming from Ronnie. She will be in charge of maintenance and upkeep of cars and will help us plan for additional purchases if necessary.

Cooperative Agreement
Originally we used Lakeview Crime Prevention District’s Cooperative Agreement with City as a guide to create our own.
After Susan Guidry reviewed it, she found a great deal of redundancy and vague areas that she was able to re-write to make more clear.
Largest substantive change was to make it plain that when it comes to determining what basic services the NOPD are giving us that they are not to change. So that if the city increases the number of officers in each district, that we also receive that addition. That we are kept on par with the rest of the city despite our own addition of the security district.
Currently we are waiting for feedback from FJ on our revisions.
MOTION made by Corey Tisdale to revisit the topic of changes made to the cooperative agreement after we have feedback from FJ Madary. Seconded by Angela Henderson. Unanimous approval.

Bank accounts
Point was brought up that we may need to put the selection of the bank out to bid. This was brought up by Charles Ciaccio.
A second concern was brought up that we should probably put the money into some sort of account that will gain interest and have a guaranteed rate of return.
Finally, a further concern was aired that we may need to use several accounts due to the FDIC insurance limit of $250,000
ACTION – For Angie to contact Shelly Landrieu, Murray Nelson and Becker Rutledge to get their advice on this.
****Post-meeting, I learned that an institution like Citigroup could insurance our account up to $750,000 through three different banks. If we go with a local bank, they would not be able to do that. However, it is possible that the limit of $250,000 would increase since we are not an “individual” investor, but because we are a government entity. This will be confirmed and further understood per conversations with Shelly, Murray and Becker.****

MOTION to adjourn made by Angela Henderson at 6:30pm. Seconded by Corey Tisdale. Unanimous approval.

midcityMeeting Minutes, 3/1/2009
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Meeting Minutes, 1/15/2009

Topics covered:

  • Feedback from residents
  • Feedback from Assessor Daren Mire’s office
  • Operational ideas from police officers
  • Potential sergeant introductions and comments fromt he community
  • CPA requirements
  • Voting on a sergeant

These minutes were approved on 3/1/2009.

Attendance:

Board members:

  • Romney Richard, Present
  • Colleen Boyle-Gannon, Present
  • Angela Brenneke, Present
  • Susan Guidry, Present,
  • Corey Tisdale,Present

Others in attendance: Valencia Moore, Alicia Labatt, John Domaine, Sgt Avery Theard, Sgt Ronnie Stevens, Lt. Chris Cambiatti, Ben Misko, Ben Classen, Becker Rutledge, Joseph Brock

NEW BUSINESS:

Feedback from the Residents:
Several folks from the Mid-City Security District area were in attendance and we decided to let them speak first before moving on with the agenda.
Mid City tax payer Valencia Moore was disturbed because she did not know about the bill before it was in the works until it was on the ballot. Valencia and Alicia both offered that it would be helpful to have info on the security district for distribution at the assessors’ office.
Mid City tax payer John Domaine pointed out that we need to have contact info posted at the assessor’s offices as well. He also pointed out that some citizens may be willing to donate extra money to make up for the reduced income from introducing a tax freeze amendment.
Ben Classen noted that we should try to cut drug houses down as well. He also points out that we may be able to hire completely dedicated officers other than the sgt instead of overtime, but the police seem to think this would lead to being to reliant on a few people, and if one person gets sick we would lose out on more patrol time if they filled 16 hours a day rather than 4 hours a day. He says he would like us to break new ground on what we should expect.

Assessors office (Alicia Labatt):
Taxation errors have been discovered and they are in the process of being fixed. The lesson here is that we should send info to everyone in City Hall who might need the info, and if it is too much info for a certain department, so be it.

Legislative amendment:
We can to try to get a rate freeze and put in a refund for people with rate freezes. We can also ask Walter O’Brien to hold the issuance of the tax bills that need to be adjusted higher until we can change the bill to adjust the bill down.
Can we change to board of liquidation on this same amendment?
In the future. We might keep in mind that if a millage is charged, the fee for the security district would not be separated out as a separate fee but rather included in the whole property tax listing.

Operational ideas from police officers:
Sgt. Ronnie Stevens noted that we can either operate the detail as a visibility or as a proactive approach. Visibility would potentially lead to less arrests but more visibility, proactivity would lead to more arrests but also more reports, so less patrolling.
Sgt. Avery Theard recommended an approach whereby if the officers need to be proactive, to call non-district officers to perform actual arrests so that other officers do the paperwork.

Officer introductions:
Both officers Sgt. Stevens and also Sgt. Theard were introduced at the meeting as potential officers to lead the Mid-City Security district.
Separately we allowed each to discuss their background with us and the skills that they bring to the table.

Comments from following introduction of officers:
Mid City taxpayer Joseph Brock liked both officers. He feels that Stevens may have less to learn, but Theard may be more excited and work harder since he is younger.
Another Mid City taxpayer notes that Stevens’ experience with buying cars and budgeting makes him his pick.
John Domaine voiced his opinion favoring Ronnie Stevens as the Sgt. because he feels Stevens will have less to learn.

OLD BUSINESS

CPA/Budget:
Becker notes that she has been the CPA for MCNO for a while and would like to help but does not know what goes in to being the CPA. The legislative audit would be a separate charge, but Becker would have everything the auditor needs. If we can get a list of responsibilities developed, we can get a better quote.
Also, Sgt Eckert will sit down with us to help us develop a budget and will be able to assist our incoming Sgt.

Motion to adjourn was made by Angela Brenneke. Meeting adjourned and then was re-opened by a motion.

MOTION: Angela Henderson motioned to select Sgt. Ronnie Stevens to hire as the Sergeant for running the Mid-City Security Distrct. Motion was seconded and received unanimous approval.

Motion to adjourn made by Angela Henderson, seconded and received unanimous approval. Meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

midcityMeeting Minutes, 1/15/2009
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