Mitman Neighborhood Association Board Meeting
November 1, 2023
PRESENT: Ali Bickford, President, Robin Steinberg, Vice President, Mary Martin, Chief Financial Officer, Susan Patania, Chief Information Officer, Jennifer Beard, Advisor, Harold Hallikainen, Advisor
The meeting was held at Ali Bickford’s house from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. It was dedicated to reviewing ongoing projects from past years and establishing goals for the future. Transparency and providing access to all neighbors were identified as priorities.
The discussion began with basic logistics:
- Board meetings will be held monthly according to a fixed schedule, e.g., first Tuesday of the month. The schedule and agenda will be posted on Mitman.org., along with minutes of previous meetings. Meeting rooms at Murphy-Wilmot library or Ward 6 offices were suggested as future locations. Ali Bickford will follow up.
- All neighbors will be invited to the monthly meetings and will be encouraged to participate, however only Board members will formally vote. Board decisions will be made by a simple majority vote.
Ali presented an informal agenda of issues carried over from past year(s), and those raised by neighbors at the Annual Meeting:
- Advisor Jennifer Beard gave an update on the ongoing multitude of problems caused by the Love Cabaret strip club on Speedway. The latest nuisance is intense glare from lights recently installed in the back parking lot. Jennifer has advocated on behalf of her 1st St. neighbors for years. To date, the club’s efforts to get a liquor license have failed.
- Advisor Harold Hallikainen is looking into the requirements for obtaining 501(c)(3) status for the Association.
- Robin Steinberg and Harold Hallikainen are working on a final draft of the Association Bylaws. Their draft will be reviewed and voted on by the Board.
- Electronic applications like Venmo or Paypal will be made available for payment of dues or donations.
- Ali described her successful effort last year to obtain funding to turn the empty lot just N. of 5th St. on Van Buren into a pocket park with greenery and water harvesting. Board leadership at the time was not supportive, and the grant money was returned. It may be possible to re-submit the grant application.
- Traffic circles and speed bumps have improved the safety of our streets. The Board would like to expand neighborhood improvements to the next level by participating in the city’s GSI (Green Stormwater Infrastructure) and Street Calming infrastructure programs.
by Ali Bickford, Mitman Neighborhood Association President
Last week the board met to review what items were brought up at the annual meeting. Thank you for everyone who came. Meeting notes can be found at Mitman.org
A request has been made to relocate Desert Bloom Releaf Center (a dual license medical/ adult use marijuana dispensary) to 5851 E Speedway Blvd, suite 101 (previous occupied by Platinum Fitness).
A meeting to discuss has been scheduled on 10/14/2023 from 10am -11 am at the proposed business location. See Meeting Notice.
Did you hear about the 5th/6th Street Pedestrian Safety and Walkability plan? The project is from Campbell to Alvernon. You may give your input here
The Fifth Street Reconstruction project from Country Club Road to Wilmot, has a number of factors that were discussed with Tucson City employees at a public outreach event. Prop 101, Tucson Delivers Better Streets is funding the project. The first phase will be redoing the waterline (this will take 12 months to complete), then repaving the road where they will paint a road diet. IF positive feedback is given it will be come permanent. In addition the city is planning to revamp the Craycroft to Wilmot section by having a crossing for the Alamo Wash Greenway, Sahuara Ave Bike Blvd and updating the Chantilly and 5th intersection to prevent flooding.
The Annual Meeting took place at 10 a.m. in Harold Hallikainen’s driveway; with a total of 41 neighbors signing in. The Treasurer collected $220.00 in dues and donations. Vice Presidential nominee Robin Steinberg began the meeting by introducing herself and the current Treasurer, Emily Endreson. Neighbors introduced themselves with names and addresses.
After a brief explanation of the Board’s purpose, Robin announced that a vote would be held for all officers, namely President, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (Treasurer), and Chief Information Officer (Secretary). Harold explained that additional information would become available via the neighborhood web page, which he created and continues to develop. Robin invited the group to share any comments about issues they would like the Board to address:
- Concerns about MNA operating like a Homeowners Association, i.e. reporting people who failed to maintain their yards.
- The possibility of having a neighborhood garage sale.
- Suggestion made for a plant cutting exchange.
- Suggestion by Harold for board meetings to be public events with a published agenda at least one week prior.
- Suggestion made for watershed management at the well site to create a pocket park.
- Question about whether another site exists in the neighborhood for a playground.
- Suggestion for sharing produce grown in the neighborhood (e.g. citrus, peppers, etc.).
- The multitude of problems caused by the presence of Love Cabaret on Speedway.
- Bike boulevard extending to Sahuara Street.
- Continued addition of traffic circles and speed bumps.
Jennifer Beard responded to the concern about MNA behaving like an HOA by summarizing the issues created by the Love Cabaret and persistent squatters in a house on 1st Street. She explained how she and other residents worked to resolve these problems through the city’s Code Enforcement and Police Departments.
Sylvia Berman, the outgoing President, reviewed the Association’s many achievements in improving the neighborhood, especially by installing speed bumps and traffic circles. She received a round of applause in appreciation of her leadership in working with the city to make these improvements.
Robin led a hand vote on officers nominated for the Board. The newly elected Board is:
President: Ali Bickford
Vice President: Robin Steinberg
Chief Financial Officer (Treasurer): Mary Martin
Chief Information Officer (Secretary): Susan Patania