Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HNA September 9th Meeting Minutes

 Historic Neighborhoods Alliance Meeting
September 9, 2009
5:15 pm, 321 East Bank Street
Attendees: Alisa Palmer (Fulton Heights), Janie Allen (Downtown), Ken Weaver (Brooklyn South Square), Sue McHugh (North Main), Betti Carli (West Square), Rebecca Hyde (North Main), Gwen Matthews (Ellis Street and HSF), Andrea Anders (Ellis Street), Martha Hawkins (West Square), Ben and Cynthia Hooper (Park Avenue), Maggie Blackwell (City Council Candidate and Fulton Heights Resident), Edward Clement (West Square) and Christine Wilson (Fulton Heights).
The meeting began with tours of the home which is an HSF revitalization project and is nearly completed. The house if for sale $239,000.
The August minutes were approved.
Maggie Blackwell was introduced to the attendees. She is a Fulton Heights resident and former FH neighborhood association president. She is running for Salisbury City Council and spoke with Garth a few months ago about attending an HNA meeting to learn more about the organization.
Neighborhood Reports: concise update from each neighborhood. There were 7 neighborhoods represented at this meeting.                         
·        North Main Street (NMSHD): Sue McHugh said they continue to have energy and enthusiasm for their neighborhood association and are gaining new dues paying members. They are planning to create a NOMA t-shirt, NOMA house flags, and oval bumper sticker. They are in the planning phase for a Spring 2010 Home and Garden Tour and are very excited about this event. They have had quite a bit of posts on their neighborhood blog. She showed a sample of a house plaque used in the Brooklyn-South Square district and said that neighbors are wanting to create a similar one to be used in the North Main district. They already have orders and haven’t even decided the design and price but the wooden sign should be cost effective unlike the bronze versions.  Quadrant captains, in lieu of block captains, have been implemented.  The by-laws have been updated.
·        North Ellis Graded School (NEGSHD): Andrea Anders and Gwen Matthews have been elected (designated?) the co-presidents of their newly invigorated neighborhood association. Andrea said Debbie Lesley is the secretary and she has created the ‘Report Card’ newsletter for the neighborhood. The name ties to the Ellis Street Graded School history. They are having an alley party on Oct. 31 and hope to have more families with children attend. They have a couple of volunteers who are willing to attend the HNA meetings if Gwen or Andrea cannot.
·        Fulton Heights (FHHD): Alisa Palmer said they hosting the annual Fulton Heights Halloween Party on Oct. 31 beginning at 4:30 pm in the second block of Mitchell Avenue. They have recently had a board meeting and are due to have a general meeting soon. She said things are beginning to pick-up after a slow summer. Their Christmas Tour is scheduled for Sat December 5 from 6-8 pm. Although this is an event for the neighborhood only she said she has seen other people from other districts and neighborhoods attend. They do not charge for this event so they don’t advertise. But if you’re thinking about a similar event in your neighborhood, it would be a good thing to come.
·        Park Avenue (PAHD): Ben and Cynthia Hooper said their beloved neighbors Chuck and Diane Heidrick have moved back to Florida and have sold their lovely home to Garth and Belinda Birdsey who will be doing some final renovations and plan to sell the property. The Kesler Mill site is a mess with debris and is a hazard. There appears to be a dispute between the owner and demolition contractor about payment and final clean-up. The neighbors are working with the City to find resolution to this problem. The mill cornerstone and donated brick have not been given to the City by the demolition contractor who said he would do so.
·        Downtown (SHD: D): Janie Allen said Kids Night Out in downtown Salisbury was the largest event ever. The Empire Hotel development is slow but in keeping with the agreement with the developer, Downtown Salisbury, Inc. has hired a firm to conduct a feasibility study for an event center. She also said the City Council just voted in favor of implementing an additional 3% occupancy tax on hotel stays. The money will be used by the city to promote and market Salisbury. McDonalds on Innes Street has finally removed their tall sign and replaced it with one that adheres to the sign ordinance.
·        Brooklyn-South Square (BSSHD): Ken Weaver said neighborhood association activities have been slow this month because the neighborhood has 2 homes on October Tour this year and folks are working to prepare and ready the neighborhood for the tour.
·        West Square (WSHD): Betti Carli said they will also be having a Halloween gathering in October. She said much of the emphasis right now is on promoting and sprucing up for October Tour. She said the board has also adopted a new set of by-laws. When asked by Ed, Martha shared a list of properties that she has listed in the historic districts. Some newly listed. Call 704-636-2021 x 123 or email Martha for more information.
Historic Salisbury Foundation updates: Gwen Matthews
·        October Tour 2009 is right around the corner October 10-11th! HNA will not meet again before this event so please promote October Tour with your neighbors any way possible.
·        Volunteers are still needed. More information about October Tour and OT5K and to buy tickets go to
·        Gwen asked for volunteers who would like to help paint and clean the 321 East Bank House. The project is nearly completed but still needs some extra help.
·        Both the Snider and Woodson House prices have recently been reduced. The Snider House is now priced at $390,000 and the Woodson House is priced at $299,000.
·        Sue McHugh has volunteered to be the house manager for 321 E Bank. She asked for volunteers who would like to be docents at the home contact her.
·        Call Gwen 704-636-0103 if you know of someone who would like to tour one of their properties.
Updates/action item review and next steps:
·        Brochure Update: Sue said they are working with the City staff to develop a map. Some of the districts overlay one another so this is a tricky map to make but it is great to have the free help from the city. Garth is collecting photos of homes in our neighborhoods to possibly include on the brochure. Sue asked that the neighborhood associations be thinking about ‘What makes your neighborhood unique’ as this will be used on the blurb about each neighborhood. Funding for the project is low. We have $500 but will need much more. They have discussed asking for sponsors and contributions from the associations. A fund raising budget/plan will be shared in the future.
·        HNA website/blog: Sue has created a blog for HNA She reviewed a sample of the blog which is similar to a website but free to set up and allows for people to add comments to posts. She said, like North Main Street, that other neighborhoods who do not have an online site can do a blog and link it to this one. She said there has been some debate over whether the HNA wants a blog site or regular website. It would be nice to get some input on what the differences are and or strengths/weaknesses of blogs versus websites. She said we can choose a URL and have it link directly to the blog. Christine said she and Edward have reserved a number or URLs and there may be one that works for HNA. She’ll look into this. At this point, the HNA blog works great and we can evaluate other options moving forward.  Members and other interested parties can visit the blog and subscribe to receive posting notices.
·        Candidate Forum: The attendees voted to have a HNA/HSF City Council Candidate Forum. It will be held at the Salisbury Station on October 13 from 6:30-8pm. Sue, Alisa, Betti, Cynthia, Christine and Garth will form a committee to solicit and organize questions and finalize the details of the event.
·        An invitation to the event will be sent to the candidates and it will list 3 areas of focus for the event. We will keep the event very focused on the issues we discuss regularly in our meetings.
§        Ordinance enforcement and stronger ordinance language for historic districts.
§        Landlord registration and a housing commission
§        A Preservation Plan for Salisbury
·        The neighborhoods are asked to solicit questions from their neighbors and send them to the committee. The committee will finalize the questions and share them with the HNA board.
·        More information will be forthcoming and details will need to be finalized through email since our next meeting (which will be cancelled) occurs after the forum.
·        We need volunteers to help on event night so please ask your neighbors.
Updates: Christine Wilson
·        No update on the non-profit status.
Next meeting date, time, and location
·        No meeting in October. The Candidate Forum will be in lieu of our meeting.
·        November 11, 2009 at the Steele House
·        Please RSVP to Christine at
·        Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 5:15
Review of Action items:
1.      West Square and North Main associations to send Christine a copy of their update by-laws for the HNA by-law file.
2.      Committee to meet to organize candidate forum.
3.      Neighborhoods to advertise the forum through email, word of mouth, and print.
4.      Solicit volunteers to help with the forum set-up on event night.
5.      Solicit questions for the forum from neighbors focused on the following areas
§        Ordinance enforcement and stronger ordinance language for historic districts.
§        Landlord registration and a housing commission
§        A Preservation Plan for Salisbury

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