General Meeting Minutes Jan. 24, 2024

Valentine Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting Minutes 

Jan. 24, 2024

Submitted by Mary Jo Draper, secretary 

Meeting conduct via zoom

Attendance: Travis Gaddis, Chris Jordan, Cheryl Baird, David Snodgrass, Dana Meier, Adrian Vogel, Mary Jo Draper, Ken Stewart, Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, Kathy Linder, Lauren Snodgrass, Linda McCurry, Richard Denton, Randy Smith, Amy Ahuja, Christy Gaddis, Adam Hollingsworth, Emma Rea, Crispin Rea

Call to Order – Travis called the meeting to order

Welcoming Remarks – Travis Gaddis

President Travis Gaddis called the meeting to order. He thanked everyone for attending. Gaddis also thanked outgoing President Dana Meier for his five years of service. Gaddis said the neighborhood has received permission from Penn Valley to meet in the same place for the coming year and thanked Penn Valley. He said he is excited about the work the board had done to prepare for this meeting. He has also put together an events calendar which will be posted on our website. Gaddis said a lot will be happening over the next few years and encouraged people to get involved because we can accomplish more if we all work together.

Treasurer Update: Adrian Vogel

Vogel handed out the budget for the coming year. He said it is similar to past budgets with no big changes. One new expense will be water for the triangle (the plantings at Valentine Road and Southwest Trafficway that the neighborhood plants and maintains). He said the goal is to keep the budget balanced. 


Motion to approve the budget was made by Chris Jordan, seconded by Dana Meier; approved

Committee Goals

The committee chairs gave the following overviews of their goals for the upcoming year:

  • Communications, Mary Jo Draper, chair: Draper said the communications committee uses print, social media, and online communication tools to inform, educate and update the neighborhood and the public about Valentine neighborhood issues and events. Goals include to print and distribute a paper newsletter twice a year in addition to email newsletters; to write and distribute an email newsletter at least once a month; to maintain and update the Valentine website; and to share Valentine news on Facebook. 
  • Membership, Christy Gaddis, chair: Gaddis said she will work to increase membership so that we have more funds to operate. She encouraged everyone to get involved. She plants to develop a handout to give to new members along with mugs and copies of the newsletter. She also plans to give information to realtors. Gaddis wants to get lapsed members involved again. She is looking for help. She also plans to solicit membership through newsletters before the Valentine’s Day event and the progressive dinner.
  • Events (Fun Committee: Corie Vogel, chair: Corie will be working with committee members on events. She announced we will hold our annual Valentine’s Day event at Whisker’s Cat Café on Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. We are asked to bring an appetizer and VNA will provide the drinks. 
  • 38th Street Task Force, Cheryl Baird, chair: This newly-created committee works to deal with crime and quality of life issues, especially on the 38th Street corridor. Baird reported the committee is engaging with other entities to decrease crime and loitering. The committee will meet again in Feb. They are working on a system for reporting quality of life issues and partnering with the Old Hyde Park neighborhood on a “Clean and Seen” project which involves walking along 38th Street, picking up trash, and reporting issues.
  • Safety, David Snodgrass, chair: Snodgrass said he has been the neighborhood liaison to the police department. In the past year, he completed neighborhood watch training and has been working on setting up text teams to help neighbors communicate about issues on their blocks. He is also coordinating with the 38th Street Task Force. He said in the coming year, Office Saunders will probably attend our meetings once a quarter.
  • Development, Chris Jordan, chair: Jordan told the group there are three development projects in Valentine that have been approved by the city: the 39th Street car wash property, the Uptown Loft space which would become a four-story building with parking, and the Midtown Plaza (MGE Building) phase 2, 3, and 4. She said while they do not appear to be active, they could come back online at any time. Councilman Crispin Rea spoke up to say his council committee had just that day approved $750,000 in gap funding for the MGE project, so it should be moving ahead. Jordan said her committee had worked with codes inspector Leslie Flowers on several issues, with the biggest being the weeds at the MGE building. This year she expects the neighborhood to be involved in the discussion around a 39th Street streetcar and development in Westport. More immediately, the committee is working with businesses along Broadway on a request by the owner of Melrose Abbey (the former Broadway Church) to respond to the request for a full liquor license for the venue. 
  • Neighborhood Environment CommitteeJim Martin, chair: Martin, who was not present, said in written comments read by Gaddis that this newly-formed committee would address the beautification and sustainability of the neighborhood. Its goals are to address new and existing issues regarding neighborhood infrastructure, appearance and livability. Specific actions may include: maintenance and improvements of common areas including the triangle traffic Island and the Washington Street closing; supervision and implementation of dumpster days; work with codes enforcement regarding identification and resolution of neighborhood code violations; work with city Parks Department regarding maintenance of parkways and common areas; work with city Water Department regarding maintenance of sewer and water systems; work with city Public Works regarding street/sidewalk maintenance and trash/recycling services; work with other agencies and representatives regarding neighborhood improvements and grant requests; and coordinate with 38th Street Task force and help facilitate anything needed.
  • Community Garden Committee, Travis Gaddis, chair: Gaddis said the purpose of this committee is to  provide a place for neighbors to grow plants that supplement their nutritious foods, strengthen community ties, and be an outward projection of an engaged and caring neighborhood. The goal for this coming year is to rent 48 plots and maintain two donation plots. Actions could include:  renewing rentals; reaching out to new gardeners; conducting two workdays – one at the beginning of the growing season and one at the end; completing the bulletin board; adding at least 30 more bags of pea gravel to reduce weeds; and adding drainage reduction components to reduce erosion (rocks and/or plants)

Questions/Discussion on Committee Reports

  • Kathy Linder said she would like to have a list of neighborhood residents with contact information.
  • Gaddis said there are several things he hopes the neighborhood will stay aware of: 
    • 39th Street Streetcar planning: we will need to work with other neighborhoods and stay engaged in the planning process.
    • Capital Electric Public Meeting: This utility company is doing electrical work for the streetcar and has been using a lot between 33rd and 34th at Southwest Trafficway to store equipment. There has been a complaint about the storage. The company has applied for an outdoor storage permit and neighbors have been invited to a public comment meeting on Feb. 8.
    • The Melrose Abbey issue discussed by the development committee.
  • Outgoing President Dana Meier encouraged everyone to talk to one other neighbor and invite them to get involved. 
  • David Snodgrass mentioned that a number of car windows were broken the previous Sunday, possibly during a concert at the Uptown. 
  • Councilman Rea encouraged everyone to use the city app to report issues and to call his office for help with problems. His aide is Araceli Magana at [email protected] and 816-513-6515.

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Valentine Neighborhood Association

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