Clark Pines Civic Associaton

Jul 2009 Mtg Mins

Location: 2016A West 14th Street

Call to order: 6:00 pm Â?– President Mary Abshier

Guest Speakers: Ben Crabb,Officers Mark Leija and Steven Duffy
Ben Crabb, who has been a longâ????time volunteer at the Heights Storefront Police Office,originally on Durham, now at 1127 N. Shepherd, explained that the bare bones facility needed some improvements to make the officersÂ?’ work environment better. The offices have to be maintained by the officers along with their regular duties. Kitchen cabinets, a refrigerator, bicycle racks,shelving, a door mat and boot cleaner, a monitoring camera and a flag for the entry, etc. have been installed. Most repairs have been completed. Ben purchases consumables such as bottled water, fruit juices, popcorn, apples and energy bars and personal comfort items like mosquito wipes. All purchases for the storefront are recorded on an Excel spreadsheet with the date, cost, vendor, item and purpose of each purchase. These spreadsheets are then made available for the various civic groups so they can see how their support money is being used. A spreadsheet will be sent to CPCA in care of President Mary Abshier. Timbergrove Civic Club donates approx. $500.00/annually. Lazybrook Civic Club donates approx. $1,000.00/annually. Timbergrove Manor Neighborhood Association donated the refrigerator. Clark Pines Civic Association approved $250.00 at the April quarterly meeting.
The officers are very appreciative of Ben Crabb's help. It makes their jobs a lot easier.

Officer Leija, who has been a police officer for 24 years, explained that in most cases the storefront is not the first responder to a crime, but rather provides consultation and coordination services to the neighborhoods which reaches from Memorial Drive in the south to Loop 610 in the north and includes the Heights Neighborhoods such as Houston Heights, Woodland Heights, Norhill, etc. Described as District 2, 60 Beat, the storefront also serves neighborhoods west of Shepherd/Durham such as Clark Pines,Timbergrove, Timbergrove Manor, Lazy Brook and Shady Acres. The latter areas were previously served by the West 43rd Street Police Store Front. Working hours are 8:00 AM to 4 PM. In the near future a PSO Â?– Public Service Officer Â?– will join the Heights Storefront to attend to mainly desk work. This civilian employee will be working until 8:00 PM but the offices will be closed once the police officers leave at 4:00 PM. The office is staffed with 4 police officers and a supervising police sergeant. Officer Leija stressed that neither the storefront nor the Houston Police Department operate like the TV show CSI. Narcotics, major assaults and homicides are not in the prevue of the storefront.

Officer Steven Duffy, with the Houston Police Department for 20 years, reported the crime statistics for Clark Pines as follows:
Since January, 2009: 4 Home burglaries, and 1 stolen motor vehicle. He added that in 4 of these 5 cases windows or doors were left unlocked and stressed the importance of locking doors and not keeping anything valuable in cars. Caution is also necessary before any unknown sales or repair persons are given entry to a house. Homeless people who slowly push their shopping carts along streets have been known to case out houses and cars and subsequently burglarize them or sell the information to other criminals. The storefront officers receive frequent calls to residences where continuously barking dogs bother neighbors. The owner is given 10 days notice in which to solve the problem or fines will be issued. Noise pollution along the Washington Avenue corridor with its many new bars is a recurring issue in our area. Officer Leija is certified to take noise pollution measurements.
To deter home burglaries and to help with the recovery of stolen goods, the officers highly recommend participation in Â?“Operation IdentificationÂ?” It has been practiced successfully for over 40 years. (Note: if there is enough neighborhood interest an engraver can be borrowed for us to pass around for use in engraving our valuables.) Central Division PIP (Positive Interaction Program) Meetings, where you can learn more about the relationship between the Houston Police Department and your community, are held once per month at 1602 State Street, Houston. Anyone is free to attend. CPCA Vice President Carl LaValle and his wife Karen
Wylie will be attending these meetings on behalf of Clark Pines and report back to the neighborhood. Please call the nonâ????emergency police number 713â????884â????3131 if you suspect anything in your neighborhood. Report a crime in progress to 911.
The HPD Heights Police Storefront can be reached at 713 803â????1151 or eâ????mail at

Attending: Terry & Jill Stacy, Mary Saegert, Matt Bloebaum, Monique Billings, Barbara Carroll, Mary Abshier & Art Warman, Jack Chism, Gary & Patia Antene, Kevin & Evelyn Shanley, Sylvia McCormack, Tim & Vicky Bailey, John Watson, Tori Williams, Pam Best.

Minutes: The April meeting minutes were approved as presented.

Treasurer's Report: Request balance from treasurer

Old Business: Proposed Association Byâ????laws, Matt Bloebaum Committee Chair
Bylaws committee recommends acceptance of proposed bylaws changes as presented. Floor was opened for discussion.

Gary Antene questioned whether membership based on dues payment is appropriate and why the CPCA proposes it.
Evelyn Shanley and others countered that it is only fair that only those members who have made a financial commitment to the organization should be able to vote, especially regarding fiduciary decisions. Mary Abshier pointed out that CPCA is a civic organization, not a homeowner's association and participation is voluntary. The act of moving into a house within our boundaries should not automatically bestow organizational voting rights on those persons. Tori Williams and Mary Abshier pointed out that dues for organizations such as CPCA are the norm. Many others agreed. Gary Antene repeated his concerns about having to pay $20.00 per year in order to be a voting member, at which point it was pointed out that the organization has never received any
complaints other than from him about the dues since CPCA's inception in 1991. Carl LaValle acknowledging that Gary's concerns might be warranted on a larger scale, but that we are a small intimate civic club and that perhaps Gary's concerns were unwarranted. Gary was also insistent that votes he gathered be entered into the total vote count. Several other members, including Sylvia McCormack, pointed out to him this was not proper procedure. President Mary Abshier agreed to accept but not count absentee votes improperly gathered by Gary Antene. (After the meeting note: All absentee votes submitted from Mr. Antene had already been properly submitted to the committee and thus were part of the official vote taken at the meeting.)
There being no further discussion on any of the other proposed changes, the vote was called: 21 votes FOR , 4 votes OPPOSED.
Revised bylaws were adopted.

New Business: Mary Abshier reported on her and Art Warman's participation in efforts to revive the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood Council. The movement was started by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee in response to rising crime activity in the Heights area. Mary Abshier encouraged neighbors to let her know about concerns that she can take to the Council meetings.

Volunteers are needed to host 2010 meetings.
January 9, 2010      April 3, 2010      July 10, 2010      October 2, 2010

Officers will be elected at the October 3, 2009 Annual Meeting. Please contact Evelyn Shanley, Nominating Committee Chair at 713â????864â????1548 Home or 713â????826â????0457 Cell,

Adjournment: President Mary Abshier adjourned the meeting at 7:36 PM.

Dinner and socializing began immediately afterwards.

Respectfully submitted,
Evelyn Born Shanley

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