The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and got under way at about 7:30p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Julia Attaway, Mike Augenblick, Rebecca Bean, Marcella Calabi, Mary Dopler, Geri and Tom Hopkins, Doreen Mangan, William J. McBurney Jr., Mary McCord, Joe Montagna, Sarah Morgridge, Perry Payne, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Patrick Sullivan, and Mike Zamm. The following member buildings had residents present: 120 Bennett Owners Corporation, 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corporation, 371 Fort Washington Owners Corporation, 720-730 Fort Washington Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corp., Chittenden House Inc., Hudson View Gardens, and Ft. Tryon Corp. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs), guest buildings, and other neighborhood groups were represented: Beth Am, The People's Temple, Friends of Bennett Park, Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program, Simone Song Properties, Stein-Perry Real Estate. The following elected officials had a representative present: Councilman Robert Jackson
Marcella reported that the delay in the meeting notice was due to the Post Office, which had acknowledged the error and refunded the mailing costs. Elizabeth announced the completion of the process to obtain HHOC’s official 501(c)3 status, effective this month. Marcella asked for feedback from the group on possibly reducing the HHOC meeting schedule, using e-mail more and perhaps soliciting additional energy from HHOC members. Marcella clarified the functions of HHOC, among them: a funding source/small grant maker to neighborhood organizations in need; a clearinghouse/round-table for co-op boards, issues and resources; a networking node for Hudson Heights’ residents, organizations, and service providers. Sarah Morgridge suggested that, with the new non-profit status, the board could be expanded to offload tasks from Marcella, Liz and Mike. Specifically, it was suggested that at the beginning of each meeting someone could volunteer to take notes. Perry Payne volunteered for this meeting. Elizabeth asked for broader discretion for director approvals of up to $250 for repeat donees. This was generally approved, but when a donation is made, an e-mail will go out to members. Mike Augenblick reported two new HHOC members: 720 West 170th Street and 187 Pinehurst.
Donations and announcements:
Mike Zamm reported on a meeting with the TA to communicate findings of the survey he undertook. Positive findings included an average waiting time of 4-1/2 minutes. Recommendations for improvements include expansion of uptown express service, cleaning up 181st St. Station, reducing the rat population at 59th St. Station, and addressing peeling paint/dripping water at 190th St. Station.
Mike Zamm reported that the mugger who attacked several residents in the neighborhood was caught. He also noted that the neighborhood has lost services from the city in sanitation and security. Tom Hopkins reported worsening motorcycle and car noise on Fort Washington Avenue, and relayed Olga Tello’s suggestion that closing Fort Tryon Park might help to quell the nighttime traffic noises. Marcella noted that the issue of closing the park is one that has been revisited many times over the years and is not as simple as it seems on the face of it, with staffing and security ramifications. Currently, the park does legally close at night, which gives the police the ability to legally prosecute trespassers. But physically "closing a park" is complicated by such matters as quick access for firetrucks, and transit issues (buses come up from the Henry Hudson to start their shifts in the early morning). Sarah Morgridge suggested that, with our new non-profit status, we could write a grant application to address the issue. Bill McBurney was concerned that people who have been victims of car vandalism may not realize how important it is to report and follow up on these kinds of crime. He pointed out that it would be useful for HHOC to know about these things as a center for neighborhood quality-of-life information affecting real property values. Sarah Morgridge and Marcella, respectively, said that neither Councilman Jackson’s office nor HHOC has heard about any recent spate of car vandalism. Liz Ritter reminded participants that 311 can be used as a powerful tool for pressuring the City to pay attention to issues that might otherwise go under-reported. Marcella agreed, noting that 311 is being used as an information-gathering tool by the City to get a clearer picture of where the needs lie.
Elizabeth addressed the problem of street-corner wastebaskets being filled to overflowing. This is not just a matter of requiring more frequent pickups; residents are filling them with household trash. This is illegal. People need to be made aware of this issue, and Boards and supers in each building need to be making it more convenient for residents to use the building disposal systems. Elizabeth distributed a flyer for posting.
Tom Hopkins reported negative feedback he has heard from neighbors on the 187th Street mural, and asked if HHOC has any involvement in the project. Marcella clarified that HHOC has periodically supported Fresh Youth Initiatives, but has nothing to do with the mural project. Elizabeth added that the bulletin board will be returned to its original position.
Mike Augenblick reminded the group that Local Law 1 of 2004, dealing with new lead paint regulations, went into effect on August 2. Any building or owner addressing lead paint in any way must use lead-certified service providers. All supers and building workers, contractors and subcontractors must take the course to become certified. He also outlined the new Local Law 7 of 2004, which requires carbon monoxide detectors in all buildings that use fossil fuels.
Further announcements included the following:
The next meeting was scheduled for October 18, 2004 [subsequently rescheduled to November 8].
This meeting summary was prepared by Perry Payne.