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Re: Does the HPNA represent the community?
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I think it's worth highlighting the provision that "Members have to be a trustee for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible for officer positions."

Since there are six officer positions and a limit of 10 trustees (minimum of three, maximum of 10), there are two problematic consequences of this provision:

1. Some or most officers will run unopposed. This means the outcome will be largely decided ahead of time (when the slate is chosen) and voting will be an empty exercise.

2. The 12 month requirement for trustees creates a real potential that the candidate pool will not be deep enough to fill the officer positions.

Posted on: 2005/11/15 22:43
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Does the HPNA represent the community?
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Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association but after reading this, it's been made crystal clear they do not represent me or my neighbors. It seems the only thing the HPNA is good for is ensuring that the same few individuals retain their tyrannical control over this mostly worthless group.

In today's Jersey Journal...
Link to Letter

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Letters to the Editor
The Jersey Journal

Association is exclusive

Does the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) represents the community? Many residents of the Hamilton Park community are outraged that the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) leadership chose to delay annual elections and without notice amended the bylaws to restrict voting.

It has been the tradition for years to hold the nomination for the HPNA board in November. In the past, there was little competition for officer positions, but this year viable candidates have emerged to run for positions of president, vice president and officers.

On Nov. 2, at the end of a long meeting, after the vast majority of the attendees had left the meeting, the HPNA board introduced changes to the bylaws to be voted on immediately. This was not announced in the agenda, although the HPNA's own constitution strongly encourages that proposed changes to the bylaws be announced in advance. Significant changes include the following:
- Members have to be a trustee for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible for officer positions.
- To be eligible to vote at the annual election meeting, members must have joined at least 90 days prior to the meeting.

Unlike the other downtown neighborhood associations, HPNA requires that members pay annual dues. It is clear that the intent of changing the bylaws was to exclude new members from voting, and to exclude nonboard members from running for officer positions. In addition, bylaws are vaguely written, and in the past have been selectively enforced.

The constitution of the HPNA states that a fundamental purpose of the HPNA is to represent the community. If a neighborhood association doesn't allow new members to run for office and to vote, then the association should no longer be recognized by city officials. Our neighbors must know the truth since too much is at stake. Forexample, the HPNA is involved in the planning of the multi-million dollar renovation of Hamilton Park.
After reviewing the bylaws, my neighbor commented, "The HPNA board seems to be dedicated to eliminating people's voice and institutionalizing a self-perpetuating elite. Louis XIV would be proud."

We urge you to contact City officials, especially Mayor Healy, Ward ECouncilman Steven Fulop, City Council President Mariano Vega and Councilperson at large Willie Flood to demand that this group be banned from representing the residents of Hamilton Park at all City Council and Planning Board meetings until they welcome all members of the neighborhood to participate.

STEVEN GOLD
JERSEY CITY

Posted on: 2005/11/15 22:17
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Thanks to all the folks that showed your support.. here on the list, and who reached out to our Councilman. I have faith that he understands what is happening in our community and will do what he can.

Roaring 20's... thank you for sharing your experiences, suggestions, and the many positive things that you and your group have accomplished! It all makes perfect sense.

LoraJ: yes, that was me you were sitting next to at the meeting! If you're not busy on Wed. night... come to Trivia at Barrow St. bar and grill. It's really fun and I guarantee you will be welcome amongst our good and bad trivia players!

Super_furry.. you posted some fine meeting minutes there buddy! And Mr. plantmaster... I would personally like to nominate you for HPNA President. You have some well needed computer skills and a fantastic sense of humor!

Posted on: 2005/11/4 20:08
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Quote:

jc_insomniac wrote:
Minnie for President! At least with her on the reigns, we'll know that there will be true transparency.


MINNIE FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2005/11/3 21:41
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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I like your work! You'll get my vote :Resized Image

Posted on: 2005/11/3 21:21
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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I am relunctant to comment. Also, did not attend the meeting. However, I do know most of those involved, the past accomplishments of the HPNA and its value to the downtown community.

I hope they find a way to work it out!

A vibrant and strong neighborhood association can advocate and protect your interests, be a much needed city government watchdog, and be a progressive voice in our less than progressive city.

The only excuse I can offer is that people are so embattled and burned out by the city that it is carrying over to each other.

Neighborhood associations have played an important role in the rebirth of downtown and what little sound and rational development that has occured.

Of late, there have been efforts to marginalize neighborhood and community groups, putting even more pressure on already overworked and exhausted volunteers. For those involved, please do not let this happen.

A previous post described what was done to overcome an inactive neighborhood assocation in the Lincoln Park area. HPNA is not inactive.

If HPNA blows apart, it is poor government and reckless developers that win, not you and I.

Work it out. Become stonger.


Posted on: 2005/11/3 18:30
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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One more thing, The 1987 drafted bylaws states:

"These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of members present at a meeting.
Prior written notice of amendments need not be given, but is encouraged".

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like the board had the legal right to change the bylaws, but I take issue with how they did it.

Home Depot may have the legal right to build at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel, but that doesn't mean that we will appreciate it or support the Home Depot, or that it is a good thing for the community.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 18:06
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Minnie...I just tried to call Mr. Fulop's office and there was no one available (answering machine) so I sent an e-mail to him regarding your post.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 17:43
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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How does one get a copy of the bylaws? And the HPNA charter? There has to be an amendment process, a way to alter the bylaws in the face of board opposition.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 16:28
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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The Historic committee will tell HPNA to go pound sand. They are NOT open to the Historic Amendments. They will not get any traction with the Historic Committee. In fact, HPNA's influence city wide is waning.

In summary, this is what happened last night.:

* Background - the 20 year old bylaws were updated behind closed doors by the trustees, without member (non- board member) input.

*Voting to approve the new draft of the bylaws was not announced in the HPNA Newsletter/Agenda.

*At the end of a long, contentious meeting, after most of the attendees had left, a trustee announced that the bylaws would be voted on, and the that dues paying members for 30 days would be allowed to receive a copy of the draft to review.

*Attendees eligible to vote were given little time to read a 6.5 page legal document and vote on it.

*An HPNA officer in good standing made a motion to postpone the voting for a month so that members would have a chance to read and understand the document.

*This motion to postpone was rejected by the remaining attendees -not surprising since the vast majority were HPNA board members.

*The bylaws were accepted by a vote of 12 to 0. At least two people did not vote because they believed the process was invalid.

Are all of the changes to the draft detrimental to HP residents? Of course not, but the significant change is eligibility to run for positions of president and officers. If the bylaws stand, the officers and president have secured themselves another term in office. The two people running the show used their legal skills (they are lawyers) instead of community consensus to maintain control over the HPNA.

Toward the end of the meeting Minnie made a statement that the vote was invalid since there were only "HPNA" in attendance. In the back of the room, Paul G made a sarcastic comment. What he didn't understand is that the term "HPNA" is now synonymous to the HPNA board, which for all practical purposes is the same thing. The people running last night's meeting proved that HPNA members don't matter. It is no surprise that most people in the community have soured on the HPNA, and that other organizations are strengthening to fill the void.

Quote:

jerzeyboy wrote:
In terms of the Historic Amendments we received last night at the meeting, does anyone know if and when they would be accepted by the Historic Committee???

Posted on: 2005/11/3 16:08
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Lora, I sent it to your e-mail.

Quote:

LoraJ wrote:
Can someone PM me Eric Silverman's or someone else form Exeter's email address?

Posted on: 2005/11/3 15:15
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Can someone PM me Eric Silverman's or someone else form Exeter's email address?

Posted on: 2005/11/3 15:02
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Minnie for President! At least with her on the reigns, we'll know that there will be true transparency.

Why haven't the HPNA officers posted on this thread yet? I'd like to hear their side of the story.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 14:49
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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One thing that has always bothered me about the HPNA is that I feel like they don't feel as though I am a part of the community. I never get the flyers in my door about the meetings and agenda. Our block isn't good enough to be historical, so we basically don't matter even though we are a block away from the park. I would occasionally hear about the meetings because my boyfriend who lives on a historic block would get the agendas in his mailbox.

We would never know when the annual flea market was or other events that happen in the park.

I'm very thankful to FoHP and 25mc for making the people on my block aware of what is going on in the area.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 14:32
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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I don't even know what to make of this.
What a mess this has become.
I have lost interest in the HPNA, and think Steve G., wasn't so bad afterall.
My mother was right, be careful what you wish for.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 13:17
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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In terms of the Historic Amendments we received last night at the meeting, does anyone know if and when they would be accepted by the Historic Committee???

Posted on: 2005/11/3 13:13
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Minnie?I?ve tried posting this 2x to no avail. I keep getting a message that I don?t have authorization to reply to the topic and automatically logged out of JCList. I?ll contact the webmaster over this issue. (EDITED---Perhaps this post was too long...I wrote it in word and then copied to forum and it accepted it so that may have been the problem).

I?ve had a similar experience to this. When I first moved onto my block in 1999 we had a block association however, this association refused to hold meetings, address the problems that were occurring, work with people on other blocks to combat similar problems, etc. The only people that were allowed to do anything for the block were the president and her mother (who live in the same house). Anyone else who wanted to do something was required to get approval from the president and then the president, if approved, would take action and take any credit that resulted. In short, it was their little fiefdom and they ruled with an iron fist.

When the section 8 building that I live directly next door to got so out of control that I couldn?t take it any longer (open air drug dealing/using, prostitution, garbage and dead rats being thrown out windows into my back yard and onto the street) I and a couple of others demanded a meeting be held to address our concerns. After a few months of back and forth exchanges, we finally got a meeting called and about 15 people showed up. The president took to a stage and microphone in hand (like she was headlining in Vegas or something) and told us that the situation was being ?monitored? and everything was under control. Her mother made a motion that the meeting be adjourned and the president seconded and adjourned the meeting and left.

Needless to say?I wasn?t satisfied at all! I talked with several other attendees and we decided that something, anything needed to be done. We started meeting in my living room and planned a coup d?grace. We networked with people on surrounding blocks and called our own meeting to address the overarching problems of the neighbourhood such as absentee landlords, drug dealing/using, prostitution, garbage, etc and had about 100 people at our meeting.

The president and her mother attended and told us that she wouldn?t sanction our meeting (like we really needed her to) and she was only attending to make sure that we didn?t do anything to undo all the work that she?d been doing. We decided to meet again in a week and try to bring out more people. We got a similar turnout and formulated action plans to take on the problems that we were having. Again, the president and her mother showed up and told people who didn?t live on this block that they weren?t welcome and they had to leave. This was the birth of West Bergen/Lincoln Park Neighbourhood Coalition.

In the 4 years since then, we?ve done many positive things including hosting an annual historic walking tour thru the neighbourhood, planted street trees, addressed the concerns of many residents, hosted debates between candidates for city council, worked with Monticello CDC to improve our business district, etc.

What?s become of the old block association?they haven?t met since and are somewhat isolated since only about 3 people talk to them these days. The president is now president of nothing. They?re only actions since has been to discourage the area from becoming a historic district and to start rumours that we?re trying to turn the neighbourhood gay and drive all the straight people out (especially after another gay couple bought a house on this block). That?s literally all they?ve done in 4 years.

So the moral of this long story and the lesson I hope to share with you is that if Mr. Elkind and others are acting as if HPNA is their little kingdom, start a revolution. Form an alternate group for HPNA and hold open meetings for everyone, the HPNA officers included. Allow everyone to vote whether they?ve paid or not. Keep an open and transparent process. Slowly HPNA will dissolve and Mr. Elkind?s political aspirations will dissolve as well. He?s proven that he?s not a leader that can be trusted and shouldn?t be given more power in an official position and I doubt he?ll do good things for anyone if elected to any position in the future.

Hamilton Park deserves better representation that what you now have and if you?re not satisfied with it?by all means, change it. I?ll be happy to contact Mr. Fulop over this meeting as you?d asked us to.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 12:59
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Holy cow. I left when that started (I believe I was sitting next to you).

In regards to dues, I was also confused. Since I paid my $5 last night, did they say that the dues are from Jan - December? Would that mean I would have to pay again in January? That was very confusing.

I'll be emailing Steve Fulop anyway because I wanted to express my feelings about the Home Depot debacle.

Posted on: 2005/11/3 12:58
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Many thanks Minnie - keep fighting.

Geoff Elkind and Sam Stoia appear to be a couple of official a-holes. Have either of them posted on JCList?

Posted on: 2005/11/3 9:59
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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In a desparate attempt to remain the kings of Hamilton Park, the HPNA hastily drafted a fresh set of bylaws and at approximately 9:15 pm and after everyone that came to see the revised development plans left the room, the HPNA themselves, with the help of a spouse and 2 friends voted to amend the bylaws.

The agenda was posted on JC List and there is no mention of amending bylaws.

Now here's the catch. If you showed up tonight to become a member, and paid the required five bucks.. you were not allowed to vote. According to the HPNA, you don't count! So what about the members that did count.. what about the members that paid their 5 bucks some 11 months ago, are in good standing and didn't know that a vote to amend bylaws was going to happen at this meeting? Well that didn't matter either. According to Geoff Elkind and Sam Stoia, they claim they don't have to inform the general public that they are changing their bylaws and need not give public notice. No notice, no public participation, nothing.

One man in the room asked if they had a quorum? According to Geoff Elkind they did. That would be two thirds of the membership. The HPNA claimed that 11 people were paid up to date members (themselves and 1 or 2 others) and these 11 made up the two thirds of the membership. That's pathetic! The HPNA have been around for 20 years and 11 people make a quorum, including them!

I motion to postpone the vote until the membership is properly notified. Geoff Elkind starts sweating. He's getting agitated and wants to press on and yells "sit down and let's finish this". Sam Stoia's face puffs up... he's not sure what to do but refers to Geoff who stands to lose more than him. Geoff wants to run for political office and needs a President's role to do so. Minnie is standing in the way and must be silenced! The HPNA wouldn't allow it to be postponed. They wouldn't allow more of us to vote, even though they had paid.

So here's the best part... as per the new and improved bylaws... only an HPNA Officer or Trustee may run for Officer and must have been to a full year of meetings. And anyone that is a five buck paying Officer and has been in good standing and not missed a meeting for the last year (myself) is not allowed to run because when I formed the FoHP they excluded me from meetings and now say those excluded meetings count! So neither me in excellent standing or 25 mcwilliams whose been great at getting the word out about the St. Francis development project when the HPNA failed to do so... or anyone from the hamilton park community that has been coming to meetings throughout the year or just came tonight to join can run for Officer.

The vote tonight excluded anyone that came tonight to join and become a member. The HPNA took their money and told them they couldn't vote. And by doing so, told them they don't matter and are not valued residents of this neighborhood. And all the time, gloating in their kingdom of glory.

You didn't have to attend this meeting to know that the HPNA are in total fear of losing any power. They are shaking in their boots! But tonight, for a moment, they smiled, as they themselves made up the 11 person quorum and voted to amend their bylaws without notifying the community that a vote would be taken. These are the people that are representing Hamilton Park.

Now if you have two minutes, pick up your telephone and call our nice Councilman, Steven Fulop and tell him that we've been scammed!

His email is: steven.fulop@netscape.com and his phone number is 201-547-5000. That's the general number to City Hall and they can transfer you to his office. Call or email him today... do it right now. It doesn't matter if you are in Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, Paulus Hook, Van Vorst, in Lafayette or up in the Heights.... just call and tell him this is bullshit and you won't stand for it. We pay huge amounts of rent, mortgages, and taxes and expect to be treated as human beings.

Oh I almost forgot, HPNA nominations for elections are in December. And most likely, you can't run or vote!

Posted on: 2005/11/3 6:45
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Quote:

super_furry wrote:
You must pay $5 to HPNA to be eligible to vote. It is not necessary that you live in Hamilton Park. Residents of Zanzibar or anywhere else are welcome to join, according to the "rules."*


*Something IMHO that should be changed.




Really? In that case, my vote(s) are for sale.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 21:34
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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form sent

Posted on: 2005/11/2 20:38
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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PM sent

Posted on: 2005/11/2 20:27
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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If you need an HPNA membership form , PM me with your e-mail and I'll send it to you!

You must pay $5 to HPNA to be eligible to vote. It is not necessary that you live in Hamilton Park. Residents of Zanzibar or anywhere else are welcome to join, according to the "rules."*


*Something IMHO that should be changed.



Posted on: 2005/11/2 20:05
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Will there be a sign on the door where to go?

Looking forward to tonight. I have to take notes for my condo association.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 20:03
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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My mistake. The HPNA meeting is tonight, Wed. Nov. 2nd at 7:30 pm, at Cordero School. Agenda is:

- Home Depot
- Exeter Properties
- Amendments to Historic Preservation Ordinance
- DOT
- And what happened with Nov. Nominations.. the membership wants to know?

I am going to attend and hope that you can too! And I hope that anyone that is interested in becoming one of the board of directors in Hamilton Park (homeowner or renter) will not be shy and will come forward. We cannot be excluded!

All you have to do is pay a $5.00 membership fee and you're a member. Once a member, you may run for office! It's that simple.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 19:47
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Wednesday November 2, 2005 ? 7:30 PM
THE CORDERO SCHOOL
9th and Erie Street

Meeting Agenda
Crime Report

Police Officer Dina Reilly is our new representative from the East District Police Department will come to discuss our neighborhood crime concerns and any new developments in the neighborhood.



Home Depot Representatives

After making two appearances before the Jersey City Planning Board, representatives on behalf the Home Depot have finally agreed to address the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association and discuss their plans for what they hope to be their store on Marin Blvd. The Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association has historically taken a strong position against the Home Depot occupying space in our neighborhood. Your neighbors? concerns pertain to the crippling traffic which the Home Depot may attract which can have staggering effects on our quality of life, potential effects on the infrastructure of our homes, while exacerbating an already problematic pollution problem.



Exeter Properties and Management the developers of St. Francis

Eric and Paul Silverman will return to our community meeting to discuss their proposed changes in response to the communities? concerns expressed at our last meeting. While this is evidences their interest in responding to our concerns it is opportunity for you to participate in a significant development project in our neighborhood, which should not progress without your input.



Historic Preservation Ordinance Amendments

In response to an overwhelming request from our neighbors, the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association formed a committee to propose some amendments to the current historic preservation ordinance. After much hard work this committee has made presentations before former Councilman Jr. Maldonado, the Historic Preservation Commission and current Councilman Steve Fulop. Although there have been no affirmative oppositions to our proposal even after memorializing proposed amendments, we have been asked to participate in another meeting. Please express your concerns and support for our proposed amendments

DOT Rehabiltation Project On RT 139

The Department of Transportation has a new community representative, Sandra Gutarra. They have also set up an information web site at www.njcommuter.com. The web site will provide a construction schedule and traffic conditions. Should any of you have particular questions you could e-mail Sandra at sandra.gutarra@dot.state.nj.us or jcviaducts@dot.state.nj.us.



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No mention of elections.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 19:34
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Is the next meeting 10/2 or 11/2. I think you meant 11/2.
Who are the candiates running for office and where do I find out what their platforms/agendas for the HPNA are?
Thanks Minnie.


Posted on: 2005/11/2 18:49
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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I'm surprise that Sam hasn't chimed in UHMMMMM.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 17:05
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Re: HPNA neglects to hold Nominations for Elections
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Yesterday I had an exasperating e-mail exchange with an elected member of HPNA. I was attempting to find out when nominations would be held. Those that know me are aware that I avoid confrontation, and treat others with respect. I can?t say that this is true of the individual from HPNA that I was dealing with.

This is what I wrote:

Please confirm that there (will) be nominations for HPNA officers /directors at the November meeting. I didn't see a public announcement.

I have still not received a satisfactory reply, such as ?thanks for asking, Steve. We will have nominations in December or January at the latest.?

Later that day I e-mailed the President of HPHA and asked when their nominations and elections occur. I received a prompt and courteous reply, and I don't even live in Paulus Hook!

HPNA is part of the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA).

The other associations are: Van Vorst Park Assoc. (VVPA), Harsimus Cove Assoc (HCA) and Historic Paulus Hook Association (HPHA). Nominations for these associations are:

VVPA - Nominations and elections are annual.

HPHA ? Nominations are prior to the December meeting.

HCA ? The nomination process started in October. elections at the annual meeting in November.

HPNA - Bylaws have not been ratified?

At the meeting tonight (11/2/2005) perhaps HPNA will show some respect to their neighbors and announce when nominations and elections will occur.

Posted on: 2005/11/2 16:09
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