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August 2017 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mike Stroz called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

Attending: Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Dan Baigelman, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Brett Tolpin and Elliott Miller

RNA Board Meeting Notes Aug 3, 2017 prepared by Mike Stroz

1. Call to order: Attending: Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Dan Baigelman, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Brett Tolpin and Elliott Miller. We did have a quorum, so votes were cast.

2. President’s Report: a. Jeanne, thanks for your efforts on newsletter. b. We will start looking for a new editor but for the fall/winter addition, Justin will take the lead.

3. Minutes from July 13th meeting were approved by the Board.

4. Justin proposed Brett Tolpin to join the RNA Board:

a. Mike S motioned to add Brett as a Board Member, Jeff seconds.
b. Brett adds opening remarks that He is not only concerned about Ravinia Festival but is involved in all issues in Ravinia area. Wants to preserve the past and going forward polling is ok when done in a timely and efficient method, that’s sometimes tough to do as the window to get a pool done and reported to Governmental organization is sometimes short. Discussion of Brett’s qualifications by others follows.
c. Vote 5 to 0 on having Brett Tolpin join RNA Board d. Action: Brett to provide photo to Doug for the website

5. Update on Membership renewals and campaign for new members:

a. First email renewal reminder sent 5/1. Second email sent 5/30. Letters were sent to those members (19) without emails. Third reminder sent on 7/15.
b. Renewals since 5/4 is now 54. New members since 5/1 is now 37.
c. Total # of RNA households = 229 (on 6/1); 192 (on 8/3)

6. Discussion on recruitment action for two additional Board Meetings and a Newsletter Editor:

a. Action: Newsletter rough draft is in Board’s hands for review
b. Action: Justin to reach out to transition with Jeanne over newsletter. Justin will serve as Newsletter Editor until winter.
c. Amy expresses concerns that adding more board seats was a mistake. Core nucleus of volunteers is the same and the tasks facing us volunteers are very overwhelming.
d. Mike S states that the board has a responsibility to do what they can but not feel guilty for what they can’t do.
e. Discussion about whether the RNA lack of a volunteer pool is due to our over expanding our geographical boundaries or that we have left our social roots to take on a more activist agenda. No conclusions arrived at. 

7. Discussion on possible migration to Nation Builder for RNA social media:

a. Justin wants to bring that tool to RNA.
b. We should save money as right now we are spending $45/mth on constant contact, $20/mth on website and Nation Builder should be in the vicinity of $55/mth.
c. Three reasons to do so; i. Host website and integrate to social media ii. Good tool for membership communications including tying into Polls which is automated. It’s easy to put out a message to members iii. Management of membership is simplified. No more spreadsheets. All Board members can see membership rolls
d. Action: Justin will send a preview link to all Board members, for us to review.
e. Justin would like the RNA to migrate to this tool by the end of the year but other Board members want to look at the product first.
f. Amy and Doug are concerned about data privacy policy. Justin believes we can set up a coherent policy.

8. Update on Historic Ravinia 2017:

a. Third year of a series. i. 1st year was history of Ravinia ii. 2nd year was MCM tour iii. 3rd year revolves around both Braeside and Ravinia schools 1. Sept 24 at Braeside 2. Oct 22 at Ravinia iv. Both principals are on-board v. No City Involvement vi. Two Trolleys to go on tours vii. Historic Ravinia is asking RNA for a $500 donation 1. Doug makes motion and Amy seconds 2. After discussion, motion was tabled awaiting more info.
b. Goal is to bring in tourists.

9. Discussion on polling options:

a. Potential Development of Ravinia Festival as proposed by the City Planning Commission, should RNA re-poll members before City Council meeting to vote on this expansion? i. Mike S and Brett are in favor since Planning Commission has changed the way that the West Lot could be expanded in the future. However other Board members do not feel that the change is material enough to necessitate a re-polling. ii. No votes were taken on polling options but a vigorous debate ensued. Some comments: 1. Polls can be manipulated and force a yes or no. 2. If the RNA doesn’t poll and report to governmental entities, then what are we there for? 3. We have seen blow-back on polls from members and non-members 4. Pools can have informational links. 5. I have heard many positive comments now that we have been polling. 6. It’s how I pitch the benefits of the RNA. 7. Polling can be Proactive- neighbors bring something to the Board’s attention or Reactive – city or governmental organizations do something that accents the members of the RNA. Either way we can inform and increase communications to and from the members. 8. There is no need to demand a response to a poll, monthly or even less frequently.9. Not everything needs to be polled. Start earlier but timeliness is critical, especially if a governmental agency has an agenda.10. We do not need to jump everything but if we do we need to be informative in our polls, i.e. provide links to educate members.

10. Report on Status of Summer Newsletter and plans for Fall Newsletter a. Board needs to proof, and then get to printer. b. Justin will organize

11. Other Business:

a. Treasures report given by Mike S since Mike B was absent i. $7567 in Checking ii. $5274 in a CD iii. $12841 Total
b. Motion was made by Justin that any expenditures that exceed $50 payable to an individual or entity be reported by the Treasurer’s in their monthly report, Amy seconded. Motion passed with a vote of 6 to 0.
c. Preserve Ravinia material at Library Archives i. Per comments from Elliott Miller, concerned about Library Expansion and the amount of space that the historical society has been allocated. Not enough space and that space is not climate controlled. ii. However RNA cannot take a position because feedback is required with 24 hours. However we do have an interest on the preservation of the Ravinia Archives. iii. Action: Elliott Miller takes on and reports to Doug
d. Proposed Sidewalk at Sheridan near Rosewood i. Mike S reported on what has transpired after communications with the City Manager and the City’s initiative to build sidewalks for public safety. He does not think that we will dissuade the City from this plan but Jeff wants to take it up. ii. Action Mike S to send Jeff the City documents and Jeff will take forward
e. Discussion about how to proceed on lighting Green Bay Trail between Ravinia Festival and Ravinia Train Station, Dan is still pursuing.

12. Adjournment occurred after 9:30 PM.