Meeting Minutes 09/08/2003

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, September 8, 2003 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Helen and Mason Barr, Jim Boyd, Mike Champion, Bitsy Lamb & John Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imready, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Theresa Leite, Deb Norbotten, Mary Unterburger, Marian Williams, Carol & Max Ziegler, Sandra Foulke, Ruth Gerler, Paul Girard, Mary Hoffman, Melissa Gregory, Debbie & Merle Johnson, David Langley, Harvey & Rayelene Mieske, Mary Schwab, Leslie & Rich Westbury, Doug Wood.

Erik Stalhandske chaired the meeting and opened proceedings at 7:05.

City Council Approval Ron Olson has stated that the PAC will approve the acquisition of Dicken Woods. City Council is scheduled to vote on the acquisition Monday, September 15. Erik believes we need 8 of 11 council members to approve the purchase. Wendy Woods does not anticipate any problem. We will not be allowed to speak at the City Council meeting, but would like a strong turnout by FoDW. We also should put our case forward at the City Council caucus meeting on Sunday, September 14.

Bylaws have been prepared by Jack Eaton. Anyone who is currently a member of FoDW has automatic membership. New members are defined as anyone sharing our goals. A member may be expelled by majority vote at a full membership meeting. The expulsion clause is to safeguard our membership goals. Members may resign at any time. Mike Champion proposes motion. Marian Williams seconds the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.

Finances were reported by Deb Norbotten. We have $52,000 in pledges, contributions, and earnings. We have $26,000 in the bank, after making roughly $3,000 from the benefit concert. Deb will send out a notice at the end of September asking people to fulfill their pledges. Deb mentioned three pledges in particular, which highlight the importance of our conservation efforts. The first was from Julia Morriss who no longer lives in the neighborhood, but did in the 60's and had children at Dicken School. The second, was from Mary Sexton to honor the memory of George Sexton. The third was from Joe and Joellen Ivacko. They contributed in the name of Tom & Judy Ivacko on the occasion of their 10th wedding anniversary. The dispersal of any money raised beyond $50,000 will be decided at a general meeting.

Border's Fund Raiser is September 19-21. Valid on any purchase, 15% of sales price goes to Dicken Woods. No limit on the number of coupons we distribute, we simply can't pass them out in front of the stores. The Dicken PTO is looking at a flyer with coupons for approval. Coupons are available in both Word and .pdf formats at the website. Max would like 100 coupons for distribution with the downtown Kiwanis.

Judy McGovern's McGovern's 9/7/3 Ann Arbor News editorial alluded to FoDW as a "squeaky wheel." Several members of the Steering Committee responded with letters to the AAN. They are available on the website. Our feedback from city council is that the editorial does not influence their opinion of the value of DW. Tom Ivacko, who was present at their meeting, does not share Ms. McGovern's comments regarding "coercion" of the PAC. Tom says they were happy to vote "yes" for DW.

The Greenbelt Millage Millage is likely to be a significant issue for FoDW. The Homebuilder's Association is prepared to spend a great deal of money to defeat it. It was generally decided to not use our mailing list to promote the millage. The wishes of the general membership are not clear, and we need to exercise caution regarding using FoDW in a political cause. Members are certainly free to support it as individuals. This would be a way to support people and groups who have supported us.

Proposals for Dicken Woods need to be discussed among the membership. Members are encourage to visit other parks within the city, such as Miller Park, Pioneer Woods, Thurston Nature Center, and Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area. Atwell-Hicks does do pro bono landscape architecture. They will entertain requests from us. Peter Allen of UM also made a casual for his students to work on design proposals. The general desire expressed at the meeting was for minimal impact. Unpaved walking trails would be the prominent feature. The city's landscape architect will obviously have a significant voice in any proposal.

"Pay your pledges!" was the final encouragement, from our Treasurer Deb Norbotten.

Motion to adjourn was requested by Naela Jenkins, and seconded by Jack Eaton. The motion carried unanimously.

Minutes taken by Jim Boyd.