August 12, 2008 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  8/12/2008


Present:   Barb Stevens, Mari Taffe, Todd Wildermuth, Rhea Sullivan (Co-Coordinator).

Absent:     George Effrem, Rosemary Lundell

Guests:    Ona Keller (Strong Schools, Strong City Referendum campaign), Rodgers Adams (CIDNA)


Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the July 8, 2008 WCNC meeting were approved.

       Treasurer’s Report

  • No report.


Monthly Updates


Council Member commentsCouncilmember Hodges was not present.


Lakes District Council Update Todd Wildermuth

  • Todd was unable to attend the July meeting because it was rescheduled at the last minute.  Based on the minutes of the meeting, Todd reported that the focus of the meeting seemed to be on better communication.

  • Ad Hoc Committee re: Lake Calhoun – Todd attended the July 17th meeting, along with Commissioner Bob Fine, Kathy Urberg (LHiNC) and Bob Kean (ECCO).  Commissioner Fine stated at the meeting that there is currently an informal hold on projects at Lake Calhoun until there is a master plan in place.  He wants a plan-like proposal to come before the MPRB Planning Committee.  Todd suggested that they develop a Lake Calhoun Capital Improvement Plan.  The plan would lay out what we want to accomplish in the next ten years at Lake Calhoun, where the improvements will be, what they will cost and how they will be funded.  The initial step would be a 2-hour public meeting with an overview of all the issues at Lake Calhoun, which would include breaking into small discussion groups.  Todd is trying to set up the next meeting of the ad hoc group in the first two weeks of September.
  • Partial list of Lake Calhoun issues:
    • Sailing club and possible re-routing of the road
    • Possible parking ramp at Lake Calhoun Executive Center
    • Stop signs
    • Maintenance building needs to be repaired or removed
    • Traffic
    • Improved crossings
    • Shoreline restoration
    • Pier on west side of lake
    • Windsurfers have concerns


Midtown Greenway Coalition Update

  • No report.  Greg Benz is still attending meetings and reports that there has been no information relevant to West Calhoun.


Other Business


Ona Keller – Strong Schools, Strong City Referendum campaign – Ms. Keller explained the property tax referendum that will be on our the November ballot, which proposes $60 million per year from 2009-2017 to provide funding for Early Age Literacy, resources for math and science programs, textbooks, technology and funds to manage class size.  The average property tax increase will be $17/month or $173.83 per year.  She asked that we help publicize the referendum.  Rhea will send it to the West Calhoun Google Group, put it up on our website and put it in our next newsletter.  If you are interested, you can request a lawn sign from the website at


Signs removed on West Calhoun Parkway and Rose Lane –

Thanks to the e-mail from Betsy Hodges about our concerns in working with the Park Board, and photos sent by Todd Wildermuth, the covered signs on West Calhoun Parkway have been removed.  Todd noted that there are structural problems with the Park Board and that it would be useful for an outside civic organization to take an objective look at the organization.


WCNC Future – Mari Taffe contacted our NRP Specialist, Carsten Slostad, to ask him what WCNC’s options are in terms of the possibility of combining with another neighborhood.  In an e-mail, he stated that the two options are to redraw the neighborhood boundaries (which is the most complicated option and there is no precedent for it) or to end our NRP activities.  The Board agreed that we would not want to just end our NRP activities and leave the area unrepresented.


Todd Wildermuth suggested that we could contact Linden Hills and CIDNA and try to work together – focusing on “border issues” that we could participate in jointly.  Rogers Adams noted that the future of light rail is drawing WCNC and CIDNA together.  It was suggested that we could have CIDNA and Linden Hills Liaisons.  We will plan to appoint the liaisons at our next meeting.


Barb Stevens volunteered to draft copy for a recruitment mailing to try to get more volunteer participation.  She will work with Rosemary Lundell.  When the copy is ready, Todd will contact Dan Woychick to ask him to design the piece.  


We will also plan to do a newsletter this fall, once we know the dates of the public meeting about Lake Calhoun and the LRT scoping meeting.


Mari Taffe reported that Meg Forney had talked to someone at the Bakken and it is possible that we could hold our board meetings there.  Mari will follow up on this.    


The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at Whole Foods.  (The September meeting was cancelled because the majority of the Board members will be unable to attend.)  At our next meeting, Bob Cork will speak to us about Southwest LRT alternatives.  Rhea will contact Betsy Hodges and the Southwest Journal to let them know about the schedule change.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Co-Coordinator