Meeting Minutes 11/03/2003

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, November 3, 2003 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Helen & Mason Barr, Jim Boyd, Matt Britt, Brian Cressman & Amanda Humphrey, Jack Eaton, Sandy Foulke, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imredy, Tom Ivacko, Tim Kennedy, Theresa Leite, Harvey & Rayelene Mieske, Deb Norbotten, Nan Perry, Erik Stalhandske, Marian Williams, Doug Wood.

Erik Stalhandske chaired the meeting and opened proceedings at 7:03.

Congratulations were offered by Erik on city council's approval of the purchase of Dicken Woods! Marcia Higgins, Bob Johnson and John Hieftje spoke well in our favor. Margie Teal has supported us from the start.

The minutes from our September 8 and October 6 meetings were moved to acceptance by Tom Ivacko, seconded by Marian Williams, approved unanimously.

Erik reported that John Hieftje said during the city council meeting that DW scored highly, higher than some recent parkland purchases. Since the city council approval, Ron Olson told Erik that the property has not been purchase yet, but that this is not unusual. The city attorney has not had time to review the purchase. We should create a trail design group, with five members of DW and two from the school district. We need to layout trails with Ron Olson, hopefully this year. Ron has talked about sings, but doesn't have plans for a dedication. Ron also worked on the language of the city council resolution. He is in a new job, but can still be of help with DW.

Proposal B email responses from FoDW have all been supportive. The vote should be close, and will need a good turnout to pass. Opponents of B have used DW as a bad foretaste of Proposal B's approval. John Hieftje seems to have a significant investment in its passage. Marian Williams thought DW letters to the Ann Arbor News were effective in countering negative commentaries.

The AADL has no formal talks planned with the city, regarding a branch library on DW. Roger Frazier said he may talk with Josie Parker sometime in January, but he doesn't expect movement from the AADL. He would expect any development to be limited in size, and in a corner, away from houses. Jack Eaton reported that the city has no limitations on the use or divestiture of parkland. He feels our best option it to take charge and develop it as a natural area.

A Tree Planting Ceremony was suggested by Stephanie Hunter. She would like to do something symbolic Thanksgiving weekend. Plant a tree in a threatened area, serve cider and donuts, and hike the perimeter. Erik Stalhandske propose Saturday, November 29 at 11:00. Dave Borneman might be able to provide a guided tour. Tom Ivacko would like to have the school kids involved, possibly have the 3rd graders read their DW poems. We could contact the musicians from the benefit concert, reserve the Dicken auditorium, and invite the bishop. Invitees should include Cathy O'Donnell, Park Staff, Principal Jaeger, and Ken Monash.

Ceremony Planning will be handled by Stephanie, Tom, Bryan, Deb, Jack, and Erik.

Bishop Mengeling's decision was retold by Erik. Apparently, the bishop decided to visit DW himself to determine whether the diocese should sell the property as parkland or for a branch library. Upon seeing the site, he stated, "It should be a park." The diocese then proceeded to make arrangements with the city.

Treasurer Deb Norbotten presented our financial picture. She said approximately three donors have asked for their contributions back, and one new donor may still contribute.

  • In the bank: $38,523.27
  • Unpaid pledges: $11,935.00
  • Reimbursements: $2,100.00
  • Current Funds and Pledges: $48,358.00

DW's $50,000 pledge is, according to City Council (Marcia Higgins), not required for the purchase. Ron Olson is not concerned about that issue. Tom Ivacko stated that the PAC made their recommendation considering our $50,000, and only voted to up the offer to match the AADL's offer with it in mind. The PAC helped us by not specifying our pledge in the purchase language. This unencumbered and facilitated the purchase. He feels it is important to honor our commitment, and that the donation to the city would force the issue with the AADL. Doug Woods is concerned about the efficient use of our funds. He feels that if we maintain control of the funds, we can maximize their effect by adding sweat equity. Mike Champion stated that early on we had talked about earmarking the money for an endowment towards maintenance, versus reimbursing the PAC. Marian Williams supports our commitment, but is skeptical of the general fund. She prefers the endowment option, and wants to ensure that the city provides full services to DW, without deducting the efforts of FoDW. Jack Eaton commented that although Erik and Tom offered the money to the PAC, "their boss (city council) said 'No'." We formed to protect the property and maintain our domain over it. The $50,000 is insignificant in purchasing city property in general, but significant for the neighborhood.

Tom and Erik will consult with the PAC regarding their position on our pledge.

The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase Showcase is still willing to sponsor a fundraiser for FoDW. Diane Imredy knows the manager, and will stay in contact with her. Such a fundraiser is generally supported, but will not be acted on at this time.

The Next Meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2003.

Motion to adjourn by Jim Boyd, seconded by Brian Cressman. Motion approved unanimously.

The meeting ended at 8:33

Minutes taken by Jim Boyd.