amended November 2008
An agreement approved on August 11, 2004, by the Saint Paul City Council on the University of St. Thomas' proposal to redevelop two Summit Avenue blocks includes a condition to establish an advisory council comprising neighborhood organizations and the university. The condition states: "St. Thomas agrees to participate, at the level of senior management and the board of trustees, in an advisory council charged with resolving university/community problems, and providing a channel for communications on campus master planning and development, and to enhance university/community relations. The composition of the advisory council would include representatives of the St. Thomas board of trustees, senior management and students, and neighborhood representatives from the Merriam Park Community Council, the Macalester Groveland Community Council, the Summit Avenue Residential Preservation Association, and Neighbors United. The scope of the advisory council's work would include all issues affecting local residents, including but not limited to: the creation and management of a CDC or similar initiative to purchase and rehabilitate housing in the neighborhood; parking; St. Thomas construction impacts, including the building of parking lots and athletic fields; student housing (both on and off-campus); and neighborhood quality of life issues such as the impact of student party houses. This group would meet at least quarterly and report to the Saint Paul Planning Commission and the Saint Paul City Council." Representatives from all five organizations met September 9, October 5, October 7 and November 9 with City Council member Jay Benanav and Jane Prince, his legislative assistant, to discuss the work of such an advisory council. They agreed on the following bylaws.
The group will be called the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
As charged by the Saint Paul City Council, the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee will bring together neighbors, neighborhood organizations, the University of St. Thomas and city government to collaborate on issues of mutual interest, provide a forum for communications, and create a stronger and more vibrant community.
The West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee will seek to resolve concerns that affect the University of St. Thomas and the neighborhoods surrounding it, provide a channel for communication on campus master planning and development, and address traffic, parking, housing, student behavior and other related issues.
The West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee is comprised of the following:
The committee will appoint co-chairs, one from St. Thomas and one from neighborhood organizations, to serve staggered two-year terms. Their responsibilities will include setting agendas, coordinating communications with committee members and the broader community, keeping records and serving as spokespersons to the Planning Commission and City Council. The committee may appoint a secretary to take and distribute minutes and to maintain records of committee proceedings.
There will be three subcommittees:
Committee members will be required to serve on at least one subcommittee, except for co-chairs.
The co-chairs will nominate and the committee will appoint two committee members to chair each subcommittee, one from St. Thomas and one from the neighborhood, to serve staggered two-year terms. Individuals who are not on the committee can and are encouraged to participate in the subcommittees.
Frequency of meetings
The committee will meet monthly during the academic year and as-needed in the summer months.
Subcommittees will meet on an as-needed basis. All meetings are open to the public. The committee may restrict public comment. Appropriate city officials and employees (e.g., license inspectors, fire marshals) will be made aware of meetings and the occasional need for their attendance and participation.
The committee's goal always will be to reach consensus without formal votes. But on issues where votes are necessary, each of the four neighborhood organizations will have two (2) votes and St. Thomas will have three (3) votes. The representatives from the City Council Ward 4 office and the Planning and Economic Development Department are ex-officio members and will not have voting privileges.
A committee member’s vote by proxy is allowed.
A proxy vote may be submitted in writing in advance of the meeting to the designated committee member specifying the date of the meeting and if the proxy vote is to be made for one or more issues at the specified meeting. As an alternative, a proxy vote may be submitted by e-mail or FAX and may be subject to verification upon request of any WSNAC member.
The proxy vote of a representative of a neighborhood organization must be signed by the member who is not able to be present or by a member of the executive committee of the organization represented by that member.
A proxy vote by a university official committee member must be signed by the member not able to be present, by a member of the university’s senior staff or by a member of the Board of Trustees.
A proxy vote by the university Board of Trustees member must be signed by the member not able to be present or by another member of the Board of Trustees.
A proxy vote by the student representative must be signed by the member not able to be present or by a member of the Undergraduate Student Government.
The representatives of each organization will report on a regular basis to their boards, which may choose to address individual issues on their own or provide instructions to the committee members on the organization's position. The committee will report on at least an annual basis to the Saint Paul Planning Commission and the Saint Paul City Council. The frequency of these reports should be determined in consultation with the appropriate city representatives.
As stipulated in the Conditional Use Permit, St. Thomas will provide $10,000 a year for the committee to use "at its discretion to address neighborhood issues related to the presence of the campus." St. Thomas will handle the financial record keeping for the committee and will establish a separate account for the committee's use. Funding proposals will be decided by committee vote.
These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the committee.