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Minutes of the March 18, 2024General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Homeowners Association

 

Officers Present:

President - Walter Mugdan

Treasurer – Gary Savage

 

Board Members Present:

Peter Reinharz, Jess Bravo, Namshik Yoon, Ralph Gundel

 

Officials Present:

Evelyn Mallo, from Councilwoman Vickie Paladino’s office

Alie Ziraschi from Assemblyman Braunstein’s office

 

The meeting was held “virtually” over Zoom. President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 8:03 P.M.

 

Reading of the minutes was waived; Mr. Mugdan noted that the minutes are available for review on the Westmoreland website.

 

Gary Savage provided the Treasurer’s Report. The balance-on-hand as of March 9 was $17.363.05. In 2023 there were 64 active households (approximately 20% of the 330 households in the Westmoreland community). There was a net operating loss during 2023 of $1550. There were no questions, and the report was accepted.

 

Walter Mugdan explained the dues increase effective in 2024. For over 40 years dues have stood unchanged at $7.50/individual and $15 household. In today’s dollars, that would be about $23 and $45. In Fall, 2023 the Board voted to eliminate the Individual membership level and raise the dues to $25/household. This was explained in the March annual meeting notice letter.

 

Election of Officers & Directors:

Walter Mugdan announced the slate. He expressed gratitude that the current officers and directors have agreed to continue to serve; and that Ralph Gundel has volunteered to join the Board of Directors as a new member.

 

Officers: Walter Mugdan, President; Victor Dadras, Vice President; Gary Savage, Treasurer; Charles Manna, Secretary [Walter congratulated Charles on his well-deserved selection as the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Man of the Year for 2024]

 

Directors: Jess Bravo; John Duane; Ralph Gundel [new member]; Arasu Jambukeswaran; Peter Reinharz; Phil Toscano; Namshik Yoon.

 

The entire slate was approved without dissent.

 

New Business:

  • The 7th Annual Glenwood Landing Park Spring cleanup is happening on Saturday, March 23rd starting at 10 AM. A free pizza lunch will be provided for all volunteers.

  • In January 2024, at the request of the Westmoreland Association, the Women’s Shelter in Douglaston held its first Community Advisory Board (CAB) meeting since opening in late September 2023. Arasu Jamukeswaran is the Association’s member on the CAB. (He was unable to attend the March 18 meeting due to another obligation but provided a written report which Mr. Mugdan read to the attendees.) Overall feedback from CAB members, representing a wide variety of local stakeholders, was generally positive, with no complaints. The representatives of the Divine Wisdom Academy (located a block away from the shelter) said things were going well respect to interactions with the school and expressed hope it will continue that way. The shelter is at maximum capacity of 72, and there has already been some turnover as a few residents have left and others arrived. The on-site manager is Robin; she invited CAB members and others to share any concerns/complaints directly with here by calling 516-689-6480. In-kind donations (e.g., toiletries, etc.) can be accepted; food cannot be accepted. The meeting ended after about 30 minutes, with generally good feelings as to the state of things. There was agreement to send out a schedule in advance for the next several meetings; however, that has not yet happened.

Old Business:

Councilwoman Paladino provided an update on NYC Mayor Adams’ “City of Yes” proposals, and Walter Mugdan added additional information.

 

  • The package of proposals has 3 elements: Economic package, Housing package, and Carbon Neutrality package.•The elements of concern for communities are primarily in the Housing and Economic package.

  • The Economic package could come to the City Council for a vote by April or May. (There is no time schedule yet for the Housing package, which is of even greater concern.)

  • The Economic package includes allowing home businesses of many sorts, such as barber shops, hair salons, vape shops, etc., with up to 3 employees and signage outside the house. The plan would permit stores (e.g., bodegas) on corner lots in residential zones, potentially with living quarters above the store. There are other concerning elements as well.

  • Councilwoman Paladino is strongly opposed to these proposals, as well as many of the elements of the Housing package. She encouraged residents to send emails to the Mayor expressing their concerns. She pointed out that the opposition to the proposals is bipartisan and includes a wide diversity of communities.

  • She confirmed there would be a City Council hearing before a vote on the Economic package. She will notify us when that is scheduled, and she encouraged residents to attend, and demonstrate outside City Hall.

  • Walter Mugdan reported information received from urban planner Paul Graziano: there are now four Borough-wide coalitions of civic groups opposed to the elements of concern: The Queens Civic Congress represents some 80 groups; the Brooklyn coalition represents about 35 groups; the Bronx coalition represents about 30 groups; and the Staten Island coalition represents some 25 groups. The four coalitions are coordinating efforts.

 

Walter reminded everyone that detailed information about the City of Yes proposals can be found on our website [click on “Public Positions” and “Zoning”].

 

Walter reported that a coalition of communities such as ours with protective deed covenants (deed restrictions) is also being formed at the suggestion and with the assistance of Paul Graziano. There are about two dozen such communities across the City, located in all four outer Boroughs; the largest number are in Queens. They have a wide range of sizes and different kinds of covenants, but they have many concerns in common.

 

Announcements:

 

  • As previously noted, the Glenwood Landing 7th Annual Spring cleanup is on Saturday, March 23 starting at 10 AM.

  • The 55th Annual Udalls Cove Wetlands, Woodlands and Shoreline Cleanup is on April 13 starting at 10 AM; meet near Aurora Pond on the Back Road. There will be a free picnic lunch for volunteers at Memorial Field starting at about noon.

  • On April 18 the Alley Pond Environmental Center will hold its annual Green Gala fundraiser at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park. Tickets can be purchased through the APEC website.

  • The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade – the largest in the nation – will be held on Monday, May 27. The Westmoreland Association will march, as we have done for many years, to show our respect for our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. All are invited to march with us; meet shortly before 2:00 PM at the Starbucks at 50 Northern Blvd.

  • The major Parade fund raiser is the “300 Raffle.” Buy a box for $100; the winner receives $10,000 (the 1-in-300 chance is the best odds you can find!). Walter will circulate information via email.

Next Association meeting is on Saturday afternoon, May 18. 2024, in person at Glenwood Landing Park. We will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Westmoreland Association in May 1924. Walter will discuss with the Board ideas for how we might celebrate this milestone.•Subsequent Association meetings will be on September 16 & November 18. The May and September meetings are being held in person, outdoors at Glenwood Landing Park; the November and March meetings are held over Zoom.

Minutes prepared by Walter Mugdan

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 Minutes of the May 18, 2024

General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Homeowners Association

100 Year Anniversary Meeting

Officers Present

President - Walter Mugdan

Vice President – Victor Dadras

Secretary – Charles Manna

Treasurer – Gary Savage

 

Board Members Present

Peter Reinharz

Jess Bravo

John Duane

 

Officials Present

Assemblyman Braunstein and Family

 

President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 4:00 P.M. 

 

Reading of the minutes was waived; Mr. Mugdan noted that the minutes are available for review on the Westmoreland website.

 

Gary Savage provided the Treasurer’s Report.  The balance-on-hand as of March 9 was $19.318.16.  In 2024, so far, there are 41 active households (approximately 12% of the 330 households in the Westmoreland community) who have paid dues. There were no questions, and the report was accepted.

 

New Business

  • Our Westmoreland Homeowners Association meeting is being held, in person, at Glenwood Landing Park.  We are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Westmoreland Association (in May 1924).  The Westmoreland Homeowners Association Board decided to celebrate this milestone by planting a Tulip tree at the Glenwood Landing Park.  We obtained approval from the NYC Department of Parks to do the planting. 

 

  • The 7th Annual Glenwood Landing Park Spring cleanup occurred on Saturday, March 23rd starting at 10 AM.  A free pizza lunch was provided for all volunteers. 

 

Old business

 

Once again, Walter discussed the “City of Yes” proposals

Additional information:

  • The package of proposals has 3 elements:  Economic package, Housing package, and Carbon Neutrality package.

  • The elements of concern for communities are primarily in the Housing and Economic package.

  • The Economic package could come to the City Council for a vote by late May or June.  (There is no time schedule yet for the Housing package, which is of even greater concern.)

  • The Economic package includes allowing home businesses of many sorts, such as barber shops, hair salons, vape shops, etc., with up to 3 employees and signage outside the house.  The plan would permit stores (e.g., bodegas) on corner lots in residential zones, potentially with living quarters above the store.  There are other concerning elements as well.

  • Councilwoman Paladino is strongly opposed to these proposals, as well as many of the elements of the Housing package.  She has encouraged residents to send emails to the Mayor expressing their concerns.  She pointed out that the opposition to the proposals is bipartisan and includes a wide diversity of communities.

  • Walter Mugdan reported information received from urban planner Paul Graziano: there are now four Borough-wide coalitions of civic groups opposed to the elements of concern, in all the outer Boroughs.

 

Walter reminded everyone that detailed information about the City of Yes proposals can be found on our website [click on “Public Positions” and “Zoning”]. 

 

  • The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade – the largest in the nation – will be held on Monday, May 27.  The Westmoreland Association will march, as we have done for many years, to show our respect for our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  All are invited to come with us; meet shortly before 2:00 PM at the Starbucks at 50 Northern Blvd.

 

Minutes prepared by Charles Manna

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