BHNA Board Minutes

July 29, 2019


Present: Phil Eisenlohr, John Hays, Bill Martin, Jennifer Castner,  Heather Robertson, Alan Munn, Hassan Alizadeh

Absent: Kevin Poli, Jeff Johnson         Guests: Nicole Bartell (Asst to City Manager, EL)

1. Call to order

Philip called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Grand Traverse Pie Company. We approved the minutes from the May 13, 2019 meeting.

2. Treasurer’s report  - No unusual expenses, balance ~$2807.

3. Discussions:

    A. Illegal deed restrictions covenants –

1. The group reviewed the committee’s work, including renewal/amendment and legislative approaches.

2. The Deed Restrictions Committee proposes to do three things: 1) renewing the deed restrictions, 2) amend the deed restrictions to allow for 2/3s vote for changing them, and 3) removing the racist language.

3. Proposed timeline: Introductory letter mid-summer with sample pre-filled letters, first signatures gathered at annual picnic in September, then “signing parties”, then individual outreach, then by process server.

4. Notaries must not derive benefit from the transaction; past BHNA renewals have used neighborhood-based notaries. Nicole Bartell reports that city notaries may be willing/available to serve in this role at the annual meeting; she will verify cost/availability.

5. Jennifer Castner will draft the introductory letter, including information about notarization (ID requirements, etc.); John Hays has drafted language for each of the 3 proposals and their affidavits (deletion, addition, renewal). We will propagate property owner information into the letters. Most banks provide no-cost notary services to customers, City of East Lansing will provide notary services for residents as well. We believe that the recorder’s office filing cost will be a maximum of $60.

6. For future board consideration and discussion: funding notary fees, funding potential legal/process server fees (<$10,000), and recording fees ($30-60 recording fee x 98 properties = $5880).

7. John Hays reported that the State of Michigan bill that would give neighborhood boards the power to amend real estate restrictions is stuck in committee, possibly due to the anti-LBGTQ provision within it. We discussed possibilities for getting it moving again.

B. Board member rotation and recruitment – Hassan, Bill, and Heather have terms ending and do not wish to re-up. We discussed potential new candidates.

C. Newsletter content –  In addition to the deed restriction renewal letter packet, we will prepare a separate mailing of the annual newsletter. Material for the newsletter: picnic/annual meeting info (HR), street repair timeline (PE), general welcome to new neighbors (website, FG group) (HR), plans on deed restrictions issue (JH), dues and need to pay for deed restrictions expenses (JC),

D. Picnic/annual meeting planning – 205 Oakland location & power, invitation mailing (BM), request closure and collect signature (PE & HR), banner (AM or JJ?), tables (HR & JC)/grill (JC)/paper goods (JJ & HR), drinks/food (HR), Balloon Guy (AM). Invite notaries – Nicole.

E. Next meeting will be September 9.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm. Minutes drafted by Jennifer Castner, Communications.

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