The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association opened its May meeting by relaying any communications received since the last assembly. This included an email sent by Robert Gensler, Jr., who could not attend the meeting, expressing his comments regarding the proposed changes to the bylaws that were submitted during previous meetings. His email stated that he recommends no changes at this time.
After the minutes from last month’s meeting were approved, old business was addressed. First up was the Finance Committee’s recommendation regarding the Kiwanis Labor Day Run sponsorship request presented at the April meeting. To ensure no appearance of a conflict of interest due to his involvement in many city events, President Lyle Waddell, who is also the town’s mayor, turned the direction of the meeting over to the Vice President for this discussion. After much conversation about the mission statement of the NFACA, the desire to support community events and causes, and how to effectively and fairly utilize the association’s budget, the membership ultimately rejected the Finance Committee’s recommendation of donating $75 in favor of a higher contribution. The membership voted to donate $300 which would place them in the second tier of sponsorship (according to the guidelines offered by the Kiwanis members) and provide a larger spot on the T-shirts for the sponsoring logo. Since this amount is over the $75 threshold, as stated in the existing bylaws, the amount endorsed by the membership will then be presented back to the Finance Committee which has ultimate approval. As a matter of housekeeping, during this time the financial report was also presented and approved.
A second topic up for discussion is the continued attempt at coordinating a Small Business Saturday event. Mr. Jim Drake of the town’s Parks and Recreation committee was present to relay information about a wine tasting scheduled for August 16th on the grounds around the Community Center from 2pm-11pm. The event, intended to raise money for beautifying the parks, will include a concert by G-Force and opportunities for businesses or vendors to be spotlighted through advertising sponsorship. Mr. Drake stated that they will be inviting wineries from all over Ohio to participate, so this might be a good opportunity for the chamber to become involved and help out as co-sponsors. After much discussion, the membership voted to co-sponsor the event in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, and Carol Sole, the chairperson for the SBS committee, will be meeting with Mr. Drake to find out exactly what that will entail.
The floor was then returned to President Waddell who continued the agenda with new business. A committee is needed to plan the annual summer picnic, so “Santa” Rick Kerlin and Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman were volunteered to assist in that. There will be further discussion on the details of the picnic and whether to open the event up to the community, instead of just the NFACA members and their families, at the next meeting. As a reminder, membership renewals are due by the end of the month. Also, by way of membership news, new members Gionino’s Pizza and Accurate Land Surveying, LLC were voted into membership.
Also at the afternoon’s meeting, Mr. Paul Woodard, the school district superintendent, mentioned the recent successful Senior Service Day which is already being looked forward to for next year. In an effort to beautify the town, the students did mulch and landscaping work around the parks, and are even willing to help businesses beautify their properties during the next service day. The work the students did was commended and it was relayed that there are great kids in town – as much as we see vandalism, there is the other side too and we have hard-working kids in our community. Before moving to the next item on the agenda, Mayor Waddell expressed his gratitude for the students’ efforts.
By way of the city manager’s report, Mr. Haney reminded everyone that the water tower is under renovation, during which it will be cleaned and refurbished. To be noted, the water pressure in town might be a bit lower for the time being, and the efforts are expected to be completed, probably within the next 4-5 weeks. As an added touch, the words “Newton Falls” will now be painted in orange and black letters on the side of the tower. Also of note, the new additional Senior Van has been approved at Eastgate and will now go to the state level where it should be about 3-4 months before the city learns whether it will be funded.
Before open discussion, time was given to the current Vice President, yours truly, so that I could announce to the group in person that due to pursuing career goals and focusing on other professional obligations I will not be renewing my membership at the end of the month. Since the membership term does not run the same as the election term, that meant I would be resigning as Vice President and someone would be needed to fulfill the remainder of my term until the election at the end of 2014. After my remarks, during which I expressed gratitude for the honor of serving as Vice President, Carol Sole was nominated and elected to complete the open term effective June 1st. Also allotted a moment for brief remarks, Police Chief Gene Fixler reflected on the recent levy attempt and reassured that “the police department is always going to be there to give you the best service we can.” He noted that although the levy did not pass, which will affect operations, they will continue to do their best to help out whenever they are needed. The department is also looking into starting a civilian auxiliary program to help direct traffic, etc. during emergencies or community events.
During the brief open discussion it was suggested again that to promote goodwill in the neighborhood a series of community awards should be established recognizing pleasant aspects of the area such as “Prettiest Garden”, etc. which would also help connect the association to the town.
The next NFACA meeting will be noon on Tuesday, June 10 at Roby Lee’s.