TWDC outlines plans and accomplishments at annual meeting

(Plain Press, February 2006) The Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) Annual Membership Meeting on January 26th at OLA/St. Joseph Center featured reports by Ward 14 and Ward 13 City Council representatives; an announcement of upcoming meetings to update the neighborhood master plan, booths with outlines of plans for two major developments in the neighborhood; a pictorial review of 2005, the presentation of awards; the election of new board members; and a proposal from the floor to post meeting minutes and agendas on the organization’s website.

Newly elected Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago delivered his first public speech as Councilman in the friendly confines of the TWDC Annual Meeting. Santiago, who has a long history of involvement with TWDC, introduced Sr. Alicia Alvarado his new executive assistant. Santiago said he and Sr. Alvarado would form a “good team that would work hard to improve conditions in Ward 14 and in Tremont.”

Making reference to the conflicts between TWDC and the former councilman, Santiago said, “Fear not – no more borders. I am your partner, your advocate and your volunteer.”

Ward 13 Councilman Joe Cimperman outlined a number of things to be thankful for:
1)    the HOPE V I Valleyview Homes construction will begin soon;
2)    Improvements to Lincoln Park and the new dog park at Clark Field. He noted reports that both litter and crime are down in Clark Field since the advent of the dog park. He attributed it to more eyes on the field due to visitors to the dog park;
3)    The Tremont Leadership Forum , where heads of the block clubs meet;
4)    The efforts of Restore Tremont to host events such as the Taste of Tremont and the Tremont Trek;
5)    Tremont School remaining open as the only public Montessori School in the Cleveland Municipal School District;
6)    The Tremont Neighborhood Master Plan; and
7)    The membership of Tremont West Development Corporation.

TWDC Board President Jon Boylan encouraged all residents of the neighborhood to participate in the process of developing a new master plan and give their opinions of where they want Tremont to be. He introduced Paul Volpe of City Architecture who showed a slide show of the planning process just completed in his neighborhood, Little Italy. Volpe said a planning process should include a look at building conditions, parking, land use, the main street, industrial property, and a look at other neighborhoods in other cities. The plan should identify places where we can intervene to make a difference, said Volpe. The proposed planning process involves three public meetings. TWDC member David Gamble expressed concern that the general membership rather than the board would give final approval to the master plan. Outgoing president Boylan said that would certainly be his hope. Boylan urged members to look for upcoming notices for the planning meetings.

Boylan also directed those present to take time to examine display booths at the annual meeting describing plans for two major developments: Valleyview HOPE VI and Steelyard Commons. The HOPE VI project plans an upcoming planning meeting on February 4th (See Community Board). HOPE VI projects new home sales as early as Spring of 2006. Plans for Steelyard Commons call for opening of the shopping complex in Spring of 2007. Information on the plan, which includes towpath trails, can be viewed at www.steelyardcommons.com

Michelle Davis and Scott Rosenstein presented a pictorial review of 2005.  Some of the highlights follow:
1)    TWDC’s new office at 2406 Professor Street. President Boylan notes the new office will help TWDC meet two goals, both providing four affordable apartments for neighborhood residents and providing income to the organization from the rents. Scott Rosenstein noted that the storefront when completed will house a first floor office of the property manager and will serve as a meeting and gathering space.
2)    Tremont Trek: Open for touring were 6 private homes and  the 65,000 sq. ft.Union Gospel Press building
3)    Arts in August: This featured live performances in Lincoln Park such as the Cleveland Public Theatre Enrichment Program, Shakespeare Festival and the Ohio Ballet
4)    Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival in September attracted over 10,000 visitors to Lincoln Park and generated an estimated $45,000 in additional economic activity in the neighborhood.
5)    Restore Tremont, which received an award of achievement from Northern Ohio Live
6)    Taste of Tremont Festival in July featuring artists, food and children’s activities
7)    Two neighborhood businesses, Civilization and The Starkweather, participated in the city’s storefront renovation program
8)    Fourteen new neighborhood businesses and five business expansions in 2005
9)    a number of area businesses were honored with Scene Magazine Best of Cleveland Awards
10)    the Tremont neighborhood became a participant in the “Got it in the Neighborhood” marketing campaign to promote shopping in Cleveland’s neighborhoods.
11)    Development project in the neighborhood, including
•    several houses completed on W. 12 and Corning as part of the Scranton Village Redevelopment Plan
•    The Bergen Village project on the former site of Midland Concrete and Sand where construction of town homes has started on W. 5th. Bergen Family and Sutton Builders plan a total of 36 town houses for the site
•    Literary Bluffs project being developed by Lori Properties continued expansion with an additional 12 homes completed
•    Tremont Commons, a Mainstreet Builders six unit project across from Tremont Montessori School, is near completion.

The slide show also featured participation of 8 Tremont residents in the West Side Leadership Training Collaborative. Activities planned by Friends of Clark Field such as an Easter Egg Hunt, Movie and Halloween Party and the emergence of the new dog park. Various activities of Tremont’s ten block clubs were featured including the Duck Bowl, a super bowl for youth held by Duck Island residents.

The efforts of the Tremont History Committee to develop oral histories on-line as well as a Tremont Walking Guide were also featured.

Tremont Gardeners and their neighborhood cleanup and beautification projects were also featured. Residents present at the annual meeting were encouraged to provide input to the group in planning beautification of key gateway areas of the neighborhood.

TWDC Executive Director Colleen Gilson outlined some goals for the upcoming year.
1)    Engaging in and completing the community planning process;
2)    Work with Tremont Gardeners to beautify Tremont gateways
3)    Continue to monitor and participate in the Innerbelt discussion to assure impact on Tremont is minimal, assure access points along the system, and protect interests of neighborhood business and industry
4)    Developing a collegial and productive relationship with new Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago
5)    Neighborhood Marketing, including events at Lincoln Park and Clark Field, etc.
6)    Building the foundation and strength of TWDC through membership, staff and organizational development.

Gilson then presented a number of awards. Ward 13 Resident of the Year Awards went to two neighborhood leaders: Sandy Smith and Eric Lutzo. Resident of the Year Awards in Ward 14 went to neighborhood leaders Martha Buck and Becca Riker.

A Partnership Award went to members of the Restore Tremont Committee for their work on the Taste of Tremont festival and the Tremont Trek tours. Adam Harvey also was recognized with a Partnership Award for his work creating the Tremont Forum at www.Tremonter.com.

The Gail Long Distinguished Service Award went to Marianne Ludwig for her ongoing support of many neighborhood service activities, especially those that benefit students at Tremont School.

In the Board of Trustees Elections, Rosemary Vince was elected the new president of the TWDC Board. Twelve candidates ran for seven open positions on the Board of Trustees. Those chosen by the quorum of 168 voters were: Jon Boylan, Sammy Catania, Megan Hundt, Chris Krosel, Lynn McLaughlin Murray, Philip Pavarini and Sandy Smith.

In the Business session of the meeting, TWDC member David Gamble proposed that the organization post its board and committee minutes on its new website at www.tremontwestdevelopment.com or print them in the newsletter. TWDC member Tim Jenkins offered an amendment to the resolution calling for the agendas for board and committee meeting to be posted on the TWDC website 5 days prior to each meeting. In the discussion that followed, newly elected board president Rosemary Vince objected to the resolution on the grounds of cost and staff time. Jenkins argued that since the documents were already being produced on the computer, it would be simple matter to post them on the website. The general membership voted in support of the amended resolution to require the posting of the minutes and agendas.

 

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