Board of Directors Meeting
March 25, 2014
Present: Bill Gearhart, Jon Kinney, Khalil Minor, Tom Petty, Adam Thocher, Bill Trahant, Peter Wilson, and Julie Zalkind; also present, Executive Director Matt Hussmann.
Not present: Mark Fedorchak, Michael Giles, Jon Hoffmeyer, Diane Jamison, Debbie Kaplan, Paul LeValley.
The meeting was held in the Alliance office at 1039 North 11th Street and was called to order by Board President Adam Thocher at 6:30 pm, with a quorum present.
The minutes of the Board meeting of February 19, 2014, were approved as presented. Matt Hussmann also circulated draft Annual Meeting minutes. Bill Gearhart agreed to make some minor edits and present the Annual Meeting minutes for approval at the April Board meeting.
Board president Adam Thocher noted that the “bar crawl” event on Saturday, March 15, sponsored by a private organizer, had attracted a very large number of participants beginning in mid-afternoon and lasting until late at night, and had required upwards of 52 police officers on an extended shift and resulted in over 40 arrests. He noted that a number of Clarendon businesses were unhappy with the event, both with respect to the impact on their businesses during the day and evening of the event and with respect to the condition of the streets and sidewalks on the day after the event (trash and the aftermath of sick participants). He said that fewer restaurants had participated this time in the discount drink program offered by the event organizer. Mr. Thocher proposed setting up a forum under the auspices of the Alliance to bring together the organizer, police, County staff, and representatives of the residential and business communities to discuss the event and explore how the impact of future events might be mitigated. In discussion it was agreed that this would be a good idea, and it was agreed that Messrs. Thocher and Hussmann should explore the idea further and come back to the Board. It was noted that the next “bar crawl” is planned for July 5.
Treasurer’s report. Peter Wilson distributed a spread sheet showing income and expenditures to date and provided a brief overview of the Alliance’s financial condition. He indicated that we should come out in the black for the fiscal year ending June 30, but will need to collect additional dues and other revenues and budget carefully in order to do that.
Bank account signatories. Mr. Hussmann noted that the Board last fall had approved the opening of a new checking account in Burke & Herbert Bank, but had not approved a list of signers for the account. The Board approved a motion to designate Mark Fedorchak, Peter Wilson, Adam Thocher, Matt Hussmann, and Michael Giles as authorized signers. Mr. Hussmann noted that, per our bylaws, two signatures will continue to be needed for certain large checks. He said that he expects to close the current account in Virginia Commerce Bank within the next few months, after all checks clear.
Executive Director’s report. Matt Hussmann noted that the Alliance’s lease on the present office space expires at the end of August and said that Saul Centers has notified the Alliance that the rent per square foot will rise to $51 per square foot as of September 1 from the current discounted rate of $29 per square foot. There was some discussion about whether the Alliance could afford that rate even if Pacers continued to sublet part of the space covered by the current lease. Mr. Hussmann said that he had begun exploring various options, including space on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Bank building. It was agreed that a rent of $51 per square foot was beyond the Alliance’s ability to afford, even under a partial sublet arrangement to reduce the cost. It was also agreed that Mr. Hussmann should contact County Economic Development staff both to update them on the change in rent and to discuss options, including possible rent assistance.
Next mixer. Mr. Hussmann also reported that the Tagliatella Restaurant has offered to host the next mixer in April. He indicated that a date still needs to be worked out, and that it will likely be early in the week when the restaurant is less crowded.
Strategic planning. Mr. Thocher noted that the strategic planning exercise was well underway and that Richard Brewster, the consultant, had either met with or scheduled meetings with most Board members and would soon be scheduling a session with the full Board. He said that he expects that the planning process will be completed sometime within the next 3 to 6 weeks.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.