Meeting Minutes 08/04/2003

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, August 4, 2003 meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church

Attending were Helen and Mason Barr, Jim Boyd, Nadine Brown, Mike Champion, Bitsy Eaton & John Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imready, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Theresa Leite, Deb Norbotten, Mary Unterburger, Marian Williams, Carol & Max Ziegler, Hildegard Hohnke, Roger Gorlewski, Kevin Carley.

Naela Jenkins chaired the meeting and opened proceedings at 7:05.

The Parks Advisory Commission has recommended purchase of Dicken Woods. . FODW will not be involved in negotiations between the city and Diocese of Lansing. Negotiations have not commenced because the bishop was on vacation, but he should be returning this week. Our part will be raising $50,000 for the city to apply towards the purchase and/or maintenance of the property.

The West Side Ann Arbor Kiwanis hosted Tom Ivacko and Erik Stalhandske at their June meeting. Erik and Tom presented our cause during the luncheon. A letter of thanks and request for support has been sent to the WSAAK. Eason Chun is a Kiwanis officer and FODW.

Bumper Stickers were approved at the last meeting, but that was before the PAC announcement. They will not be pursued.

Web Site Traffic as monitored by our counter reported approximately 290 hits last month from 120 different people, with some fluctuation over preceding months. The most frequently hit page is the latest news.

Treasurer Deb Norbotten now has 214 members on our FODW roll. We earned about $3700 from the garage sale, and have $1900 in donations and $36,785 in pledges. The total is about $43,000. She has responded to each pledge with a letter, including our expectation to collect pledges in late summer or early fall.

IRS Form 1023 for Tax Exempt Status has been submitted to the IRS for approval. The process can take six weeks. Jim Boyd will contact the IRS to follow its processing. Naela and Marian Williams recommended that we put "no goods or services received for this donation" on our receipts. It may be required for donations of $250 or more.

New Dicken Principal Mary Anne Jaeger was contacted by Tom. She has recent experience with curbing inappropriate development around her last school. She is not responsible for the school newsletter, and encouraged Tom to contact the PTO regarding FODW news and distribution of fundraiser coupons.

A Conservation Easement from Walden Hills Village has been proposed to increase the protected area of Dicken Woods. A conservation easement is very flexible in regard to its duration and the amount of public access. This would be a very positive development to the Parks Department and City Council by adding protected areas to Dicken Woods, and would benefit the condominiums by preserving natural areas. The manager is supportive, but the issue will be decided by the association board.

FODW Benefit Concert at the Ark is scheduled for 8:00, August 21. Doors open at 7:30. Reserved seating, available at the Union, is recommended for those who want to ensure a good seat without waiting in line. All proceeds go to FODW.

    Promotion of the event is critical and can be advanced through the media and word of mouth. Deb Norbotten will contact Lucy Ann Lance of Kool 107, and Jim Boyd will contact the Ann Arbor to arrange coverage. Matt Watroba of WDET has already announced the concert several times on his Saturday afternoon program. Ted Heisel of WAAM should also be notified. All are encouraged to post notices in corporate newsletters and public bulletin boards at area businesses. No repeat flyer is planned. Stephanie and Deb blanketed the neighborhood with 900 flyers announcing the concert and listing breaking FODW news.

    Concert Preparations include an attended table, literature, and donation jar. Jack and Bitsy Eaton volunteered to staff the table. They may rotate with other FODW so they can enjoy at least part of the concert. Erik will contact the musicians to obtain professional biographies, and determine if they wish us to sell their CD's during the benefit. Jack Eaton will draft a pamphlet with performer information, FODW update, and possibly thank yous to various contributors to FODW. Coupons for the Borders promotion will also be needed for distribution.

Borders Benefit will be the weekend of September 19-21. Proceeds from sales at both Ann Arbor stores will go to FODW when our coupon is presented with a purchase. Coupons are our responsibility to make and distribute. They are not required, however. Simply mention FODW with your purchase if you don't have a coupon. There is no limit to how many we make. Tom Ivacko will ask the Dicken PTO to distribute coupons. Jim Boyd will contact Nicola's Books to see if they would arrange a similar benefit on another weekend.

Bylaws were submitted by Jack Eaton for approval. One amendment was suggested, "One VP shall sign checks in the absence of the president. The treasurer shall always sign checks." Another concern regarded Item 12 and dissolution. This is covered in legal terms in Article VII of the Articles of Incorporation. Jack stated his concerns regarding eligibility for membership. He'd prefer inclusiveness and informality, with safeguards to ensure the current goals of FODW are not compromised. This issue will be decided at future meetings. Naela Jenkins proposed acceptance of the bylaws with the two verbal amendments regarding FODW check endorsing and dissolution of the corporation.

Passed unanimously by oral vote.

Business Pledges will require a formal letter with FODW letterhead. Naela will identify potential donors. Volunteers will identify owners or appropriate contacts, so that the letters can be addressed to an individual. We will solicit a letter from the PAC regarding their intentions and efforts to acquire DW.

The SC Mailing List is currently open to anyone, SC members are identified on the website.

Three Large Tables are left from the garage sale. Contact Naela if you are interested.

The Next General Membership Meeting is planned for 7:00 Monday, September 8 at Dicken School. Deb will verify availability.

Jack Eaton moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40. Naela seconded. All assent. No dissent.

Minutes taken by Jim Boyd.