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Meeting Minutes

Historic Downtown Residents Association (HDRA)

Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting
February 12, 2024 @ 5:30pm at 229 East Front Street, New Bern


Present: Dottie Corning, Maria Cho, Jon Miller, Kelley Hudgins, Mike Woika, Dave Callender,
Mark Ulrey, Kumi Anzalone, John Phaup (ex officio member)
Absent: Jessica Conard, Jim Polo, Lynn Hand, Bob Kingsbury

Call to Order:
Dottie called the meeting to order at 5:35pm.

Approval of Minutes:
Mike Woika made a motion to approve, Mark Ulrey seconded, to approve the minutes (with
changes previously sent) of the Jan 22, 2024 HDRA BOD meeting: approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:
Dottie gave an update with information provided in advance from Jessica:
Current residential member dues received: 68
Current business dues received: 5
Total balance in Truist account: $9723.36
PayPal balance has been transferred to Truist, so this amount reflects all HDRA funds.
Jessica has applied for a debit card for the Truist account. Once received she will transfer the monthly $29 Jotform payment from Kumi’s credit card to the Truist debit card.
Jessica had posed a question via email on filing taxes for HDRA. More discussion at next board meeting when Jessica returns.
Jessica also asked for a copy of the 2023 audit that was completed.

Committee Reports:
*Appearance/Preservation: Mike has many things in the works for his committee. He would like to provide workshops and speakers on preservation/renovation topics, create a list of products and service resources on website (lime-based mortar, wooden replacement windows, bricks, glass, etc.), provide workshops on how to research property and family histories, provide info and articles/tours on historic properties, organize community projects (Day with the Questers, etc.), establish garden group and/or seasonal gardening tips.

Government Liaison/Relations: Maria reported the Board of Aldermen (BOA) had their annual (budget) retreat (2/06). There was continued discussion of the Municipal Election being postponed to 2026. Jessica Rue, Executive Director of Development Services presented. Maria suggested Mike talk with Jessica and Matt Shelley (HPC Admin) to get started with some of his committee goals. Development Services has been reorganized over the past 13 months. In addition, there was a discussion re: re-evaluating the City’s role in Economic Development.
Planning and Zoning are considering initiating a new City-wide parking study. Maria is planning to meet with Alderman Rick Prill and Foster Hughes for a monthly meeting. The next MSD Meeting is 2/20.

*Newsletter: John will be interviewing Nelson McDaniel on Saturday. If anyone has any questions they would like John to ask, please let him know. John interviewed Mayor Odom and he gave a “crystal ball” forecast. He also did a feature story on the Old Pinnix, an article about the library and changes they are going through, and photographed local events. John talked about the Wellness center to be built near Stanley White rec center.
Dottie will include a thank you to past board members in her NOTES.

Mike is working on an article about the master plan of city parks, closings, amenities, etc.  John would like to write article on the gardener at Tyron Palace but hasn’t heard back from them yet.

Old Business:
Kolbe-A: At our January BOD meeting, Dottie asked all board members take the Kolbe-A questionnaire.
It will help build a more unified board and make it easier to understand skills and strengths.
Went over results to discuss how we can work together to fill in skills where needed:
Dottie: 5-3-7-5
Jim: 7-7-2-5
Jessica: 7-8-3-2
Maria: 7-4-6-2
Jon: 8-5-3-3
Mike: 6-6-6-2
Kumi: 8-5-3-3

Member Dues: problems with people going online (PayPal) and paying. We need to make it easier for members. Perhaps redesign landing page on website to make it easier to see how to pay? Needs additional discussion and follow up with Curtis on how to make this happen.
Membership Survey: Maria, Jim & Rusty have formed a sub-committee to review the results of the membership survey and give recommendations. The survey was broken down into 8 questions. They would like to post the graphics on the HDRA website for members. Mike suggested sending an email to the membership with a link to the website and results. Included in that email should be a short summary of how we will be addressing the results moving forward. Maria will craft an executive summary for members. Maria gave an overview of results with a recommendation from the sub-committee on how to move forward/address.

**Please see Survey Summary document (sent from Maria via email on 2/12/24) for details**

Additional discussion from the board took place

re: survey results:It was suggested to put out the results in a small, organized way so that the membership &
board aren’t overwhelmed with trying to change too much at once.
Committee chairs should take responsibility for areas pertaining to them.
It was suggested to send out an email describing HDRA committees and have members contact the committee chair if they are interested in helping/serving on that committee.
Mike mentioned that some aspects of HDRA run parallel to other local organizations and we should consider partnerships with some as it makes sense (Newcomers Club, Swiss Bear, Historical Society).

New Business:
2024 goals: Dottie posed the question to the group: what do we want to create in 2024?
The group brainstormed ideas in no particular order:

  • Membership outreach

  • Event signage with QR code

  • Improve communication with membership (social media, email)

  • Transparency (post BOD minutes on website)

  • Create agendas for general membership meetings

  • Create downtown discount card with profits going to local charities (Kelley shared example from Key West)

  • 5 small sub groups - social

  • Community partnerships

  • Board Retreat

  • Implement ideas/changes based on membership survey results

  • Picnic

  • Garden Party

  • Plein Aire Party

  • Bat houses

  • Shields on houses- storytelling (ask Sylvie, Nelson)

  • Luminaries

***Mike volunteered to take this list and organize it by committee***

Open Board Meetings:
A question was raised as to if we want to consider having our board meetings open to the general membership to attend. A member has asked to sit in on meetings so Dottie brought the question to the full board. There was discussion as to if the member had a specific issue or question for the board (no, they did not). Some discussion took place around this subject resulting in the following:
John made a motion to invite this one person to observe meetings, Mike seconded. Vote was 3 yes, 5 no. Motion did not pass.

Maria made a motion that we begin to post BOD meeting minutes on the website, Kelley
seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

Committee Planning:
Mike will put together a template for a committee planning document. Committee chairs can use the document to outline a general committee description, 2024 goals, person(s) responsible for those goals, possible partnerships, etc. Committee chairs can then update the board monthly on status.

Outstanding Committee Chairs: We are still in need of an Outreach Committee chair to coordinate all (government and community) activities. Community outreach ideas discussed were a food drive, colonial capital adoption event, national night out (police dept). Also, outreach can be inviting various speakers to membership meetings. Dottie will ask Jim Polo if he is interested in taking this on, along with her help.

We are also in need of a person to handle our social media. It does not need to be a board member, consider asking a volunteer member to take over social media /Facebook/website content - Dottie will check with Jessica to see if she knows anyone who might be interested. Board Retreat: some initial discussion took place regarding having a half-day board retreat to discuss committee goals, membership survey results, etc., in more depth. Maria suggested we potentially utilize a local restaurant/business establishment for this.

Next Board Meeting:
The next HDRA BOD meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 2024 at Dottie’s River House.
Motion to adjourn: Maria made a motion to adjourn, Jon seconded. Dottie adjourned the
meeting at 7:29pm
Respectfully submitted,
Kumi Anzalone, HDRA Secretary

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