Northcrest Civic Association - Board Meeting Minutes
Monday, November 18, 2019
Location: Chuck Hunt’s home
Chris Hester called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
In attendance: Chris Hester, Alison Tyrer, Deb Knott, Liza Everett, Matt Jeffirs, Chuck Hunt, Jarek Beem. Absent: Tom Hohol.
The October minutes were accepted and have been posted on the website.
Governance Committee. Chris said there was nothing to report.
Liza reported the balance is $8,056.17. We are still awaiting the newsletter check to the printer to clear. Shopify money for Black Friday is still coming in and Liza will continue to update us. Deb said that once vendors register and are approved, then they send the money in.
Chuck reported on the Altria apartment situation and has talked with both neighbors affected by the new soccer field, with the noise and the balls coming into their yards. One of the neighbors has filed a complaint with the county and was told the apartments were issued a citation but the county is not providing further information. That neighbor has filed an open records request and will probably move if the situation doesn’t get resolved. The other neighbor is not pushing the issue.
Chuck and the committee met with UPS again, including with a UPS Sr. VP of Community Affairs. Discussion of a wall is no longer a priority; instead they are working on modifying employee behavior, operational changes and other options. Meetings will continue to happen. Also discussed were the possibility of enhancing maintenance and plantings in the buffer zones. A new issue is that temporary floodlights running on generators are installed on the property.
School construction is ongoing; the school will not move in before summer break. Teardown of the old school will happen after the new one opens. A few homeowners have filed damage claims from the blasting; the insurance company has not yet contacted them so we are helping them reach out again.
There is a school redistricting meeting tonight, but Chuck says no student in this neighborhood will change schools as a result of redistricting.
Jarek reported that he followed up on the Archwood paving request and has not heard back from the county. Chuck suggested contacting Commissioner Nancy Jester for assistance. Jarek suggested a newsletter article on how to approach the county for help on issues like this.
Matt reported he went to a second meeting regarding the vacant gas station property on the corner of Chamblee Tucker and Henderson Mill. The applicant/owner did not come. The request was withdrawn without prejudice, so it could come up in the future. The back of the building is in disrepair and has been reported to code enforcement by an Embry Hills neighbor.
Matt reported that the last newsletter printing looks very professional and he recommends staying with the new printer. Deb advised coming up with a publication schedule for next year. The Tour of Homes should be featured in the next issue. Last year we did a Happy New Year postcard and then Chris wrote and called members and potential members. Matt will send us a tentative newsletter schedule. Chuck suggested we publish in April, July and October, with a mid-winter flyer if needed. Deb suggested a four-page flyer highlighting NCA accomplishments.
Matt got a lead on potential new advertisers for Black Market Friday and the newsletter through Etsy. Deb said people need to know we can take walk-ins and Chuck suggested charging more for those.
Matt has made updates to the website. The online poll was well-received and we need to think about a question for the next one, maybe something lighter. SurveyMonkey caps responses at a hundred. Jarek said that Microsoft Office also provides survey forms. Deb pointed out that 60 percent of the respondents wanted to be in a city rather than just in DeKalb, but there are no options other than Vista Grove right now. Matt said it’s important for people to know they’re being heard. Chuck suggested doing a poll on the historic preservation issue. Chuck pointed out that if we get a majority opinion and don’t do anything about it, it’s an issue.
Chris Hester said we need a membership committee – someone needs to be the chairperson. Deb said Matt’s suggestion of automatic renewals is good. Chris said that won’t automatically happen unless one opts into it. Chuck pointed out that credit cards have to be up to date. Chris he has all the names of residents in an Excel spreadsheet. Alison suggested promoting membership by allowing only members to vote on street sign-toppers, but we need to do some research first into cost of the sign-toppers. Matt has done some research already and he volunteered to look into cost and design for a postcard. Alison suggested we develop a talent bank – Jarek suggested posting on the Northcrest Facebook page for anyone interested in volunteering. Deb said we have had people sign up to help in the past and they have never been contacted. Chris and Liza will look back at previous forms to see who might be interested in volunteering. Deb said a priority for 2020 is having a more robust committees and a volunteer corps. Alison volunteered to call potential volunteers once Chris and Liza compile the names.
Chuck suggested using December and January for work sessions to resolve volunteer issues and to make next year the year of the committee’s big project, whatever it is. Make board meetings brief and turn them into work sessions.
The traffic safety study on Regalwoods was turned down because there were not enough speeders. Matt said the recent incidents on Thornewood have been a concern and we need to have clarity from DeKalb on when or how to report an incident or not. Maybe we can do an article for the newsletter about the criteria for reporting something to public safety.
Deb said Michael Payne wants to do a podcast on safety, but we would need to give him content. Alison suggested he do an interview with DeKalb Public Safety. We could also ask him to promote Black Friday, holiday displays and membership. Deb will ask him to join the NCA.
Deb reported on Black Friday Market. Santa’s price went up to $400. We got a proposal for a photo booth for $275 for 2 hours, including a printed photo. Chris suggested a donation bucket. William Bedgood has asked about sponsoring an event so Deb will ask him about the photo booth. Alison suggested charging for the Santa picture and adding extra value so we could sell memberships. Matt asked how many people come and it was suggested that we issue tickets to people attending, good for a s’more or a door prize. We should also issue tickets so we can get an attendance count, which vendors want to know. Deb had no help at the Halloween event and really needs volunteers to help for this event.Melanie will promote the Angel Tree at the event, and Deb has contacted Paige about doing something for the school. Deb also suggested doing a cake walk and perhaps a children’s activity area, but won’t unless she can find enough volunteers and cake donors. Deb will ask Yamila, Petra and Matt to take photos of the event. Matt and Deb discussed what food to serve at the event. The event will happen rain or shine.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 p.m.