Cooldige Street by Jenny Rodriguez

Coolidge Street by Jenny Rodriguez

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes will be posted after they are approved at the following month's meeting.




Intro and Approval of Dec minutes
Not nw corner of park, sw corner instead

Gateway Project At Johnson and E Washington

Got the grant early, not sure what to do. Ben met with city engineering, suggestions, banners flanking, were super expensive. Erica came up with idea for a new sign, half price. More in line with neighborhood character. Ben circulated a mockup. Oak leaf, same font as butterfly at North, more butterflies. Ask for discussion and approval tonight. Same dimensions as old sign. Maybe 11 by 6. Rusty colored. Raised letters. Lighting possible? Who pays, or solar. Protection concerns. Initial grant $2500. Trying for another grant, up to $5000. Optimistic from city. Vote on new design of leaf. Move and 2nd. Timeline? Looking at fall 2018. Butterflies would be 2nd grant. Not for this. Voted unanimous approval.

Outreach Committee

Update – Dan – very good meetings with Larry Palm and Heidi Wegleitner, County Board supervisor. Problem is around Oak and Hoard in buildings owned by uncaring landlord. They are in an arrangement with them and salvation army. Support for residences there is not clear. Dont have info on arrangement. Tenants either move out, or move in too many people to an apartment. Want better support for them. County pays, but doesn't have lease info. Outreach will try to bring into light. What can epna do? Tenants are paying more than market rate. Social workers re aoverloaded. Transparency needed. Heidi is looking into asking what county the can do. Complicated, trying to make progress.

2018 projects

  • Priorities
  • Ellas, what are plans? What can epna do?
  • Festival? Volunteers? Berm buy-in? Non profit easier now?
  • Epna finances can more transparent. Will do monthly reports.
  • Outreach to stay a priority.
  • New people to participate.
  • More diverse attendees. Broad recruiting.

Open comments

Erich will get introduced to Nick at Dexters for building the Halloween award stand.
Bike grant for bike repair stand available?
Committee structure. What are standing ctees? Should be streamlined. Dan – parks ctee, Jenny and Dan are members.
How can people reached out to get back to epna?
Status of Historical marker? Ben - Trying to find contractor to do it, get bids. Erich – Avant Gardening may want to. HUD is the conduit. Suggest more bids.
No parking signs on north lawn? In front of Carx. Who to ask about it - Larry, city engineering? For officer Dexheimer, pedes.trian safety concerns at north and johnson, north and hoard, and north and commercial. Cars are not yielding to pedestrians right of way

Washington Manor Park.

Playground equip meeting on thursday January 25th at bashford at 6:30. Good turnout would be beneficial. Larry proposed a pedestrian bridge between Wash Manor park to the MccormicK gardens. Gardens are on a provisional lease. Volunteers and city to plant donated trees, birch and oak at Wash Manor.



  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Approval of Minutes
  • Overview of 2017
  • Festival Committee
  • Washington Manor Park
  • Oscar Mayer Strategic Committee
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Drinks/Celebration

Attendees introduce themselves to each other.

Motion to Approve November Minutes, seconded and passed.

Reflecting on the 2017 year, all agreed that we have had a very great year, and grown tremendously as an association. We have been an asset to our local community, and have effectively strengthened our neighborhood. The association also agreed that outreach and community-building will continue to be priorities into the next year, and that we will need to be innovative in building ways for neighborhood voices (especially those seldom heard from) to vocalize their desires and concerns.

The Non-Profit Committee reported out that they had their first committee meeting and determined that continuing to pursue non-profit status is in the best interest of the association.

Festival Committee announced that is time for them to start fundraising and planning for the second annual Eken Park Fest. They are not going to wait for EPNA to achieve Non-Profit Status. They committee has already agreed on a date for the fest; the same weekend as last year -- the third Saturday of August -- 8/18/18.

Members reported out about the park equipment planning meeting that was recently convened by the City Engineering Dept. At that meeting some basic choices were made about the design and location of the new play equipment that will be going into Washington Manor Park. Neighbors who attended the planning meeting agreed that the equipment should be placed in the NW corner of the park. This is the corner near N Oak and Dahle Sts. along the bike path spur that cuts through the park. There will be a low fence between the playground and N Oak St. The substrate will be wood chips (which are engineered and processed for this purpose, and are produced by the city from the culled ash trees currently being felled.)

Present members from the Oscar Committee reported out that the city has hired a consultant to help plan the future of the Oscar Property with the interests of the Property Owners and local Citizens in consideration. There were mixed reports about whether the lease that Little League had with Oscar will be honored by the new owners. There are ten years remaining on the lease. The property occupied by the baseball diamonds is zoned residential. Oscar Group members encouraged everyone to voice their desires and concerns regarding the Oscar Property throughout this planning phase. We have a voice. It would be negligent to not use it.

There was some talk of whether the association should take it upon themselves to decorate the butterfly sculptures with holiday garnishings. It was decided to instead leave the decision to the whims of neighbors.

The Association agreed to adjourn to Dexter’s Pub to celebrate the year past and the year to come. Happy New Year everybody!!


  • Welcome and Intros
  • Approval of Minutes
  • Membership Renewals
  • Nominations for Co-Chair 2017-19
  • Outreach Committee
  • Park Committee
  • Halloween Trophy Winner
  • Space for Equipment
  • Eken Park Baseball Diamonds
  • Oscar Mayer
  • Festival Appreciation Event
  • Donation for E. Madison Community Center

Introductions are made

Minutes from Oct meeting are approved.

Attendees are reminded that the time to renew membership is now. Dues for 2018 must be paid to vote on EPNA matters, including the officer elections that will take place at this meeting.

Nominations are moved down the agenda to make time for Membership Renewals.

Outreach Committee reviewed their purpose; to engage with disconnected members of the neighborhood, and seek their input to identify actions that EPNA can take to help them feel welcome and safe here. The committee will be building a resource pamphlet to include as a part of a gift package that can be distributed to new and newly recognized neighbors.

Nominations are opened for discussion. Jody Werzinske is recognized for the service he has provided as Co-chair. A motion is made, and seconded, to nominate Tom Running for Secretary. A further motion is made, and seconded, to nominate the current Secretary, Erich Eifler, to fill the Co-chair seat being vacated by Jody. Both motions were voted on by the EPNA members present, and passed by overwhelming majorities. Ben Shannon will retain the Treasurer seat.

The Park Committee is working with the City and the Urban Tree Alliance to improve Washington Manor Park. Arrangements have been made to plant trees along the perimeter of the park along Aberg to create a visual and sound barrier, and plans will be coordinated to update the playground area. Neighbors have suggested that the play area should be moved to the south side of the park to improve visibility and access for local kids. The efforts to improve the park also coincide with efforts that the Outreach Committee to provide a, “better, safer place to play.” Alder Palm reminded attendees that the City will be having a planning meeting specific to Washington Manor Park on the 29th of November at 6:30 PM. Interested parties should attend this meeting to provide input and support for changes to the Park.

Co-chair Abbas introduced a motion to form a committee charged with looking into the logistics of obtaining non-profit status for Eken Park Neighborhood Association. Non-profit 501(c)(3) designation would have advantages in regards to fundraising, and allowable holdings. The motion was seconded and approved by popular consensus. Initial members were designated to include leadership members, Ben, Erich, and Tom, and also includes insightful neighbors, Jody, Jenny, and Sue.

Matt Schwed spoke to the association in support of lobbying for the preservation of the Baseball Diamonds at the end of North Street. They are used to host East Madison Little League, who had signed a 20 year lease with Oscar Mayer. It is Little League's hope that the new ownership will respect the lease. Member present from the Oscar Group assured Matt and the Association that they are aware of the situation and are personally supportive of the continuation of the current use of the land. A motion was made, seconded and passed to pen a letter of support from EPNA to interested parties. The letter is to be approved at future association meeting before being released.

Results from the Halloween Scary House contest were reported. Three houses from Eken Park entered the contest and 7 from Emerson East. Overall there were 60 survey respondents who voted for scariest house. The winning house of the First Annual Scary House contest is from Emerson East. Congratulations!! Arrangements will be made to award the trophy.

EPNA is looking for neighbors who have space to loan for the storage of our belongings. We currently have between one and two pallets of stuff. If you can help, we can provide details around access and usage.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed to release up to $250 for a volunteer recognition party at Dexter’s Pub. The party is on the 8th, at 5:30 PM.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed to release $300 as donation to the Bashford Food Pantry. This is an annual donation in recognition of their service to our neighborhood. Thank you Bashford.

A motion was deferred to a future meeting to approve a donation to the East Madison Community Center.

Members from the Oscar Group announced a public forum meeting on the 13th and their first meeting as a group on the 28th.

Officer Dexheimer spent about 10 mins updating members on how recent disturbing incidents are being addressed by the Police Dept. and also voiced support for the efforts of the Outreach Committee.

Move to adjourn. Second.


  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Officer Dexheimer Update
  • Outreach Committee - Jim Wold
  • Park Committee - Dan Levitz
  • Halloween Trophy - Syed
  • Place Making
  • Historical Marker - Syed
  • Space for Equipment
  • Resale Records
  • Oscar Group
  • Nominations for Co-Chair
  • Membership Renewal

Introductions were made and Approval of Sept Minutes passed.

Officer Dexheimer reviewed the Significant cases in the North District, reporting eight confirmed incidents of shots-fired in the last month; a significant increase from normal. He reported that the Department is focusing on this issue. They captured three weapons within the last week. He also cleared up some misconceptions regarding the incident at Capitol Petrol, and offered to answer any follow-up questions that people may have. As usual, Officer Dexheimer strongly encouraged neighbors to contact police with any information, photos, or videos they have regarding incidents they are concerned about. Neighbors inquired about installing cameras and/or streetlights in the neighborhood. Cameras are a difficult budget item to get approval for, but street lights are much easier.

The Outreach Committee reported they will try and meet every two weeks with the intention of building relationships with disconnected neighbors. They will collaboratively explore what we can bring to the neighborhood that will improve people’s feelings of welcome and safety. They have already made some initial efforts, and are making some tentative recommendations for speed bumps, shrubbery along starkweather creek, streetlights, and improved playground equipment. One neighbor suggested that we collaborate with the Brantwood Neighborhood who have engaged in a similar outreach within their neighborhood. Another suggestion was to put together a flyer for new residents that would include a directory of local resources to ensure people know how to access community supports and resources that are already in place.

The Park Committee has their focus on Washington Manor Park. Working with the Urban Tree Alliance, they have secured a donation of $2000 to plant trees along the perimeter of the park that is adjacent to Aberg Ave. The city has approved the planting, but the neighborhood will be responsible for planting and maintaining the young trees. The Committee is also in negotiation with the City regarding new, expanded playground equipment for the park.

Co-chair Syed has organized a Halloween “Scary House” competition between Eken Park Neighborhood, and Emerson East Neighborhood. Households will self-nominate their homes for the competition, and voting will take place online. The winning household will be recognized with a plaque on the revolving Scary House Trophy to be displayed at a local public establishment.

The Place Making Committee asked for permission to move forward with Phase I of the E. Johnson / E. Washington project, which will involve the procurement and installation of two streetlight-height poles. The association approved moving forward with Phase I.

The Historical Marker project is stalled by a lack of bids to do the project. Bidding will reopen in February.

The Association is seeking a place to keep physical property of the EPNA. This includes festival gear, tools, and clean-up equipment. If any neighbors are willing to donate space, please contact the Association. We will also explore the cost of a storage unit, and if we can install a non-permanent structure anywhere in the neighborhood.

The Association approved spending up to $50 on an appropriate memorial gift to recognize the recently deceased proprietor of Resale Records.

The Oscar Group has been formed. The Mayor appointed 13 community members to work with a consulting group to steer the future of the Oscar Mayer site. Three members are from the Eken Park neighborhood.

Association Elections will happen at the November meeting. Nominations will be taken up to the night of the elections. One Co-chair seat will need to be filled. Other nominations are strongly encouraged. Don’t forget to renew your membership so that you are eligible to vote.

Meeting Adjourned.