Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association
Block Captain Newsletter
December 2017/January 2018
Neighborhood news from the board:
At each board meeting, we generally discuss construction in the neighborhood with regard to conservation rules, crime news, membership updates, Expanded Neighborhood Patrol updates, association funds, Welcome Basket distribution and anything new that’s going on.
We discussed the agenda for the January quarterly meeting, which will include a presentation from the Dallas Parks Board representative, Paul Sims. We also discussed nominations for next year’s board, which are being reviewed by Norman Alston, current vice president and representing the “Nomination Committee.” For the first time, the potential candidates have been sent a questionnaire asking about their background and interests, with hopes that skill sets will match the needs we have on the board.
The parliamentarian has been reviewing the bylaws but has been unable to provide an update after months of review. That review is expected in 2018 and will be the work of the new board.
ENP subscribers will be given new signs for 2018.
Code compliance rules have changed that allow follow-up information to be provided only to the person who actually called in a 311 complaint. Others desiring information need to submit a Freedom of Information Request.
Our guest speaker was from the Zip Code change group, which is not actually a committee but a group of neighbors formed who want to change to 75214 from 75223. They’d submitted their request and had already been notified by the Postal Service that things are in motion. The neighborhood should receive a survey, and the group is asking for letters from the board and elected representatives supporting the proposal. Great debate followed his departure, with one board member stating that the concerns about representation on the DISD school board that are ours are also shared by the Mt. Auburn neighborhood and that we should be helping our neighbors understand these concerns and letting them know how we are proceeding, giving them an opportunity to do the same. Eventually, the board approved a motion supporting the Zip Code change. The board also supported allowing a non-returning board member to reach out to Mt. Auburn leaders to educate them about the process, in case they decide that the same change might be in their best interests as well.
We also had a lengthy discussion about the board slate that will be presented at the quarterly meeting the next Tuesday. While the bylaws allow for 17 board members, only 12 individuals have been identified and vetted by the Nominations Committee (7 are returning members and 5 are new members, although one of these 5 is a former member). The bylaws seem to provide contradictory guidance: while they state that nominations must be submitted to the committee within five business days of the quarterly meeting to allow for proper vetting, they also state that nominations can be entertained from the floor the day of the meeting, with no vetting whatsoever.
There was also considerable debate, during the meeting and to follow via email, regarding another section of the bylaws with ambiguous wording. It states that only those who are “current” with membership in HSMNA 30 days prior to the January quarterly are eligible to vote for the new board. Many years ago, this was interpreted to mean that members had to renew their memberships by mid-December in order to be eligible to vote in January. However, in the most recent past, this bylaw has been interpreted to mean that anyone who was “current” in membership in mid-December (meaning for that year only) could vote in January. It was eventually decided that we would ask the membership at the January quarterly to suspend that particular bylaw so any members present at the moment would be allowed to vote, regardless of when they renewed. The board plans to eliminate that specific bylaw as soon as possible.
The board is welcoming some new members who have fantastic skills and perspectives:
- -David Abbondanzio, who lives on Hammond and has skills in social/media advertising and is already extremely active with the Home Tour.
- -Charles Margiotta, new to the neighborhood on Tenison who has newsletter skills and familiarity with city of Dallas personnel.
- -Sara Ramos, a long-time Hammond resident whose energy and skills outpace everyone else; she’s already chairing the Auction Party this year.
- -Linda Robles, a Cordovian who has been involved in the Home Tour in the past and is interesting in fund raising. And gardening. And decorating. And a lot of other things.
- -Liz Simmons, a Newellian who is not new to the board but is returning after a few years respite. Liz is responsible for all the fantastic social events that make this neighborhood what it is.
Welcome basket update:
Due to the cold, I’ve been holding welcome baskets so the wine doesn’t deteriorate or explode. I’ll be contacting several Block Captains in the coming days about home sales to determine if we need to catch up on distribution.
Block Captain news:
We are still searching for replacement Block captains on Santa Monica and upper Hammond.
And here’s BIG NEWS! According to a yard sign I spotted this week, our own Shadyside Block Captain Justin Henry is running for District 9 School Board member! We wish Justin all the best in this campaign and know he’d make an awesome board member.
Next quarterly meeting is April 17.
The 2018 Hollywood Santa Monica Home Tour, Auction Party and Art in the Park will be April 20-22. These events are the association’s only fund-raiser for the year, and some of the proceeds are donated to area schools. The remainder goes to fund the HSMNA budget for the rest of the year.
The Home Tour is always looking for volunteers. They need volunteers in each of the five featured homes Friday night, Saturday and Sunday to guide people through the home. There are multiple shifts each day and multiple volunteers in each home. This is a really fun task; you get to meet lots of people as well as get in free to all five of the homes, not just the one you’re volunteering in.
Another big need is for donations of items for the Auction Party. If you have any ideas, please visit the HSMNA web page and email the Home Tour committee.
A full listing of upcoming events in the neighborhood, around the neighborhood and of interest in the city has been posted on out website.