Minutes from the November 9, 2009

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association

The regular monthly meeting of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association was held at the Washington Park Senior Center, on Monday, November 9, 2009.  There were 22 neighbors in attendance.  The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:40 p.m. by Mary Andres.  Terry McCauley provided an icebreaker, asking everyone to introduce themselves and tell a bit about their hobbies and interests. 

Budget and Finance Committee Report

The first order of business was a report of the Budget & Finance Committee by Pat Mueller.  Pat reported that the balance in the checking account as of October 30, 2009 was $8,235.25, comprised of monies from Halloween, the leadership conference and (the now defunct) Making Connections.

In addition, Select Milwaukee, our fiscal agent, holds approximately $2,000 in funds from our Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF) grant.  Soon, another $10,000 will be released from GMF to Select Milwaukee.  Part of this money will pay for the lighting project, which was approved at the August Association meeting and the proposal for which was submitted to NIDC.  This proposal is scheduled to go to the Community & Economic Development Committee of the City of Milwaukee on Wednesday, November 11 and is likely to be approved.  If approved, $3,741 of the GMF grant money will be used to pay for the lighting project.  Further information about how residents can participate in the lighting project will be forthcoming in the next few months.  Another $10,000 in GMF grant funds is being held in reserve for our neighborhood.  Pat asked that the Association propose, review and approve several possible neighborhood projects in advance so that when the funding opportunity presents itself, she can jump on it.

Pat also reviewed how some previously released funds were used this past summer for three main projects:  the Community Garden, the Vliet Street Community Farmers Market, and the Neighborhood Curb Appeal Stimulus Project.  On the stimulus project, $6,511.96 was disbursed in the form of rebates to 16 neighbors who did curb appeal projects, the costs of which totaled approximately $27,000.  Pat said, therefore, the $6,500 was “leveraged” to $27,000 worth of improvements.  Sharon Williams asked that time be set aside at a future meeting to explain the term “leverage” and how funders uses the term in making decisions to fund projects.


Following Pat’s presentation on finances, the neighborhood’s upcoming holiday plans were announced.  Jerry Burns will lead neighbors in Christmas caroling on December 14th at 6:30 p.m.  Anyone interested in participating should meet at Ray Duncan’s house, 1260 N. 43rd Street.  After caroling, participants will again meet at Ray’s house for some holiday cheer.  There is no Association meeting other than caroling during the month of December.  In addition to the caroling, big red bows will be hung on trees all around the neighborhood.  There was a call for volunteers to do this and the following people volunteered to handle the various parts of the neighborhood:

Pat Mueller                                                      All of Martin Drive
            Al and Betty Siemsen                                     All of 42nd Street
            Mary Andres and Terry Bartlett                     All of McKinley Blvd., Highland Blvd,
                                                                                    Vliet Street and Juneau
            Jamie Dobbs                                                    All of 45th Street
            Frankie Gillespie                                             All of 46th Street (including the block south
                                                                                    of Martin)
            Joe Duncan and Eric Pennebaker                   All of 43rd Street and 44th Street from
                                                                                    Juneau to Vliet
            Pat and Linda Devitt                                      44th Street from Martin to Juneau

Volunteers should contact Pat Mueller to obtain the bows.  They should be hung after Thanksgiving (as soon thereafter as possible) and taken down as close to January 6th as possible.  The bows should then be returned to Pat Mueller.

Mary Andres then announced that the January meeting, to be held on January 11th, would be the yearly planning session.  Frank Martinelli has been invited to help facilitate the meeting.  He was the facilitator of last March’s all-day planning session.  Mary called for ideas for projects for the Association.  Pat asked us to think about small block projects we could do to beautify the neighborhood on a block-by-block basis.  The importance of planning was emphasized again so that the Association could take advantage of any funding opportunities that may present themselves.  Projects that are approved and ready to implement have an advantage in securing new funding.

Other Committee Reports

The next order of business were various Committee reports, beginning with Lynn Grages of the Welcome Committee, who circulated surveys to a couple of new attendees.  Pat Mueller then reported on the 16th Annual Night Time Trick or Treat, which was a success.  213 children visited 55 treating homes along 42nd and 43rd Streets.  There were 16 security monitors and 13 teen volunteers.  The neighborhood is rightly proud of its yearly tradition.

Mary Andres of the Newsletter Committee said the next newsletter would be published on January 30th and that the deadline for submissions is January 11th.  She asked neighbors to consider contributing a story to the newsletter.

Shirley Drake of the Projects and Planning Committee reported that the Committee had already met several times and asked neighbors to submit ideas to anyone on the Committee.  She said Sharon Williams had suggested that the Association could weave fun events into its monthly schedule, such as a “history meeting” so that neighbors could share some of the history of the neighborhood.  Shirley also said that a meeting would be organized soon by Sharon to recruit block reps for each of the blocks and to discuss the role of such block reps.  Sharon will contact people who had previously expressed interest in being a block rep to set up a meeting date and place.

Other Business

Pat Mueller announced that the “Retreat to Vliet,” a shop local holiday kick-off event, would be held on Friday evening, November 20th and continue all day Saturday, November 21st.  Many business establishments on Vliet Street will feature entertainment and refreshments.

Maggie Blaha mentioned that there was a house for sale on the southwest corner of 45th and Juneau, due to our neighbor, Pete Hannemann’s untimely death.

Linda Devitt said that the City’s recycling pick-ups were still very uneven, and that she had noticed City workers picking and choosing which houses got a pick-up and which were skipped.  Ray Duncan said if anyone saw such actions, they should document them by calling Alderman Michael Murphy’s office to report them.  Alderman Murphy’s office number is 286-3763.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned just before 8 p.m.  The next meeting will be on Monday, January 11, 2010.


Respectfully Submitted by:

Bonnie Morscher, Recording Secretary