August 4 Meeting Minutes

Introductions/Approval of minutes

  • Meeting called to order at 6:32pm with 13 people in attendance.
  • Minutes not published, approval deferred until September.

Treasurer report

BANK STATEMENT – we don’t have one as of this date.

August  3, 2022

Heritage Credit Union, now Connexus Credit Union.  Connexus merged with Heritage over the summer with an effective date of August 1, 2022.

Our checkbook reads: $24,370.77

That number is not balanced as of this date.  Connexus stated they would mail out a statement for July, in early August.  I have not seen it yet. 

PENDING LIABILITIES

Butterflies to be installed,   $3,090.

Festival rainout fund,  $6884.

Tax liabilities, $???

Attorney fees, $???

Other ordinary expenses.

We do not have an online connection with Connexus yet.  I’m working on it.  At this point when I go to the Connexus web site and follow the prompts to register Eken Park with Connexus, I get an an error code.  I already had to telephone them once and wait several hours for a call back to provide me with an unsatisfactory reply.  I am now waiting on another e mail reply about why I am getting an error code.

The core problem is that Connexus did not hire 372,000 temporary employees to to be able to promptly and accurately answer all the questions that arise when the effort to transfer our account to Connexus fails and I need to know what to do next.

No, I can not go to the Heritage Office on Shopko Dr.and ask for help.  The people in that building are helpless, all they can do is contact Connexus and ask for help.  Which is what I’m doing already.

We met with an attorney about our tax situation.  We have several choices. We do not know how much money each choice will cost.  We have to investigate each choice.

Investigate means, ask an accounting firm, (a CPA) to give us fee estimates for the work they would have to do for us, plus, estimate back taxes and penalties.

Each choice requires that we file something with the IRS. Exactly what we file depends upon the choice we make.

They boil down to:

>> ONE   Keep EPNA as is. File the “full” application to become a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity.  Ask to be recognized as a tax exempt entity for the applicable past years, 2018 through 2021.  

This would cost:  No Back taxes due

 Hire the lawyer for $3000 – $4000 for tax filing work plus, plus $600 filing fee, and – 

hire a CPA firm to prepare federal tax returns called 990-EZ for the past four years, cost unknown. I might be able to prepare the 990-EZ forms myself and run them past the lawyer to save money.

>> TWO   Start over. Create a new neighborhood entity, register it as a new corporate entity. Apply for / receive 501(c)(3) for the new entity.

Transfer assets of EPNA to new entity. Dissolve EPNA. 

This would cost:

Filing fees of $355, lawyer cost of maybe $2000.  No having to file returns for past years.  Apparently, no need to pay back taxes.

>>THREE   Keep EPNA as is. Pay back taxes and penalties for past four years, amount unknown.

File for 501(c)(3, to begin when granted by the IRS. We would not become a tax exempt entity for the past four years. File tax forms for the past four years, pay taxes, pay penalties, pay a CPA to do all that filing for us. Total costs unknown.

BIG HONKING CAVEATS! 

I know that some of you want EPNA to become a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity.

Understand this: EPNA would have to rewrite its By Laws to become 501(c)(3). compliant. No, I don’t know exactly what that means, I do know the lawyer stated that we should have them reviewed if we become a 501(c)(3) entity.

We may face significant restrictions upon how we may donate our money if we become a 501(c)(3).  I don’t know.  I have not read all the 501(c)(3) tax rules. But I know the IRS does place restriction upon the activities of 501(c)(3) entities, and not just no political campaigning. The restrictions may go well beyond that.  Get that through your heads.  Do not going into this assuming you know all the consequences, assuming that “Oh those other people did it so it’s all okay”.  

I very strongly recommend that EPNA investigate thoroughly the consequences of becoming a 501(c)(3). That means hire the lawyer, tell her want we want to do with our money and ask her what 501(c)(3) would do to our goals.  

Jim via Zoom chat

Committee Reports

  • No update from transportation committee.
  • Ad hoc Giving committee to figure out the process to give money.
    • Process should ideally be in place by the time the festival happens.
    • Pausing until we know more regarding tax liability and festival monies.

EPNA Festival Update

  • We have artwork from Mark.
  • Looking for volunteers for flyering.
    • Contact Kaitlin if you’d like to flyer.
    • Do not put flyers in mail boxes.
  • Volunteer sign up sheet went out.
  • We need tablets for payment.

Membership Term/Policy Formation

  • Jim proposed clarifying membership term.
  • Wants to amend bylaws to allow officers to create policy.
  • Excerpt from bylaw proposal by Jim:

PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE BY LAWS TO ALLOW FOR THE CREATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION POLICIES.

Now Be It Resolved, That Article 5: Organization, of the Eken Park Neighborhood Association By Laws be amended as shown: by those sentences and paragraphs marked in underline, beginning with the period after the first sentence and the the whole of the second sentence shown under the title of Article 5: Organization, then following with the subject heading “Policies”.

Policies

The Neighborhood Association may create, devise, or establish policies governing the the Association.

Jim

Greenspace Committee

  • Charlie will contact Greenspace chair regarding communication and coordination.
  • Some members expressed willingness to become new cochairs of the committee.
  • A member expressed a need for leadership with respect to greenspace.

Alder Updates

  • Alder not present

Open comments

  • A member and prior Eken Park Fest vendor expressed concern about transparency regarding vendor selection.
    • This vendor was not selected for this year.
    • They believe this was possibly due to alleged concerns about their behavior at a previous festival.
    • Member is willing to contribute to improving the process.
    • Member mentioned that there is no publicly accessible vendor application.
    • Chair of Festival committee addressed the concerns:
      • Festival committee is small.
      • A better defined process would be good but would require more resources, specifically growing the team.
    • Another member expressed agreement regarding the lack of transparency around festival procedures.
      • Transparency and clarity is their jam all the way around the block.
      • Every step of procedures should involve inclusion of the membership.
      • Member has in the past been frustrated with choices of musical performers.
    • Another member and Festival Committee member expressed concern that requiring more oversight would be inefficient as the membership only meet and vote once per month.
      • Policies could be a way to keep oversight in the membership.
      • Member asked the prior vendor for resources about other festivals that have good vendor processes. Prior vendor offered resources.
    • Another member agreed we need an application process for vendors.
      • Maggie moves that Kitty’s Free Range Design should be reinstated as a vendor at the festival this year, seconded by Bernice.
        • Discussion:
          • Maggie moves to extend the meeting by 10 minutes, seconded by Catie, unanimously approved.
          • Jim expressed concern that the Festival Committee members could be overwhelmed or feel punished/criticized.
          • Another member reiterated that the Committee needs more members and has been asking for more for years.
            • Planning is complex and if they don’t get help they will be burned out.
          • Another member reiterated that planning the festival is a lot of work.
          • Another member asked what the workload would be like if there were more members.
          • A member expressed confusion about the committee asking for help, that previous asks were regarding volunteers on the day of, not new committee members.
          • The prior vendor reiterated their frustration with the lack of transparency and that comments are not addressing the motion.
          • Kaitlin, (festival committee chair) mentioned that the overwork is relevant and that other vendors that were not selected may have also not been followed up with.
        • 0 Ayes, 7 Nays, motion did not pass.

Zach moved to adjourn, multiple seconds, meeting adjourned at 7:53pm.

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