Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mayfair Civic Association November Meeting Minutes

Mayfair Civic Association Meeting
Monday, November 19, 2012
Lower Mayfair Recreation Center

Board Members Present
Joseph DeFelice, Pete McDermott, Kevin Leonard, ,Anna Stacey, Donny Smith, Lisa Greco, Mia Hylan, John Jenkins, James Ortlieb, Milt Martelack
Board Members Absent
Dana Lambie, Mike Williams, Mike Serverson, Melinda Mulvenna, Suzann St. Marie, Megan Whalen, Mike Ennis
Pledge of Allegiance
Meeting called to order at 7:38 pm by President Joe DeFelice.
President Joe DeFelice asked for a round of applause in recognition of all the work put in by the Mayfair Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade Committee members Lisa Greco, Donny Smith, Pete McDermott, Kevin Leonard and Mia Hylan.
Vacant residential lot between Ryan Ave and Cottman Ave (3500 block) Update
The MCA is working with local attorney to parcel off the property acquired by the previous board of the MCA to sell to neighbors. At this point, it is recommended that the MCA go through the process to get the subdivision approved and the parcels separated out as independent units. The lawyer handling this issue requires a $4000.00 trust retainer to take the issues before the zoning board. Extreme Towing continues to tow any unregistered cars off of the property.
Membership and By-Laws Update
Review of by-laws changes from previous meetings requires that voting members be paid members of the civic association. If interested in membership, attendees were asked to see Sergeant at Arms, Donny Smith or Assistant Sergeant at Arms, John Jenkins to obtain an application and pay for membership. Applications can also be obtained at the Mayfair Civic Association website at

Treasurer's Report
Treasurer Kevin Leonard reports that the current balance is $4229.48.
Previous Balance as of 9/15/12: $4114.85
Deposits:  $1099.63
Withdrawals:  $985.00
Methadone Clinics Update
The Healing Way is still going forward with the oral arguments hearing scheduled for 11/05/12. Currently, via donations, $3000 has been raised for the neighbors’ defense fund to help offset ongoing legal costs incurred by the case. Any other donations for the defense fund can be sent to Mattioni Law Firm located at 399 Market St. Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19106. More information is available on the MCA website
The Mayfair Civic Association will be arranging for buses to bring neighbors down to the hearing.
The Holmesburg Civic association and representatives from other local businesses, civic associations and politicians’ offices participated in a meeting with Northeast Treatment Centers (NET) about the possible placement of another methadone clinic on State Road next to Sweet Lucy's. The Holmesburg Civic Association is opposed to this treatment center and the MCA will write a letter in support of the HCA'a opposition of the methadone clinic for the November 28, 2012 zoning hearing.
 New Zoning
Applicant: Pastor Thomas Buck of the Westminster Mayfair Presbyterian Church at 6300 Harbison Ave. (Harbison and Brous Ave). 19149
Attorney Joe Beller and Pastor Buck are seeing permission for the removal of an existing monument sign and for the erection of one new free-standing animated L.E.D. message wallboard. The use of an animated sign is not permitted in this zoning district (Residential). Pastor Buck and Attorney Joe Beller provided handouts and pictures for meeting attendees and the MCA board of the new proposed sign.
Not opposed.

Applicant: Benzenia Drake for Fishers of Knowledge Day Care Center 7153-57 Frankford Ave. 19135.
Ms. Drake is applying for the erection of a flatwall awning accessory to the use of a child daycare facility. The proposed awning is not permitted to extend beyond the frontage of the window/door facade. The top of the proposed awning is not permitted to extend higher than 14ft above the street line.  The sign was put up quicker than expected and the sign coverage exceeds the allowed percentage that the city allows.
Ms. Drake was asked to consider joining the MBA, actively participate in Community Events, and to pledge to clean the outside sidewalk and property daily as part of the provisos.
Not opposed with provisos
Mayfair Farmers' Market
The last Mayfair Farmers' Market of 2012 was held on 10/14/12. There are plans to hold a full time market starting in either April or May 2013.
Mayfair Christmas Village
The Mayfair Christmas Village and Craft Fair is scheduled for Sunday December 2, 2012. There will be 30 vendors at the intersection of Cottman and Frankford. Several of the vendors who participated in the Fall Festival/Farmers' Market previews will be attending. The Mayfair Christmas Village will be held from 1-4pm. Tables are $10 each if anyone is interested in participating.
Mayfair Christmas Tree Lighting The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies will start at 4pm and the tree lighting will be held at dusk.  This year the tree will be lit by the Grand Marshals of the parade, MCA president Joe DeFelice, Tacony Civic Association president, Mary Benussi, and Holmesburg Civic Association president, Rich Frizell. President Joe Defelice asked that recognition and thanks be given to Bill Frusco who had donated the tree and hosted the event in the past. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at the Frankford and Cottman intersection in front of Republic Bank. A “Toys for Tots” drop off box and a box for donating gently used books and DVD's for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will also be there.
Mayfair Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade Update
"Neighborhood Unity" was the theme of this year's parade 11/18/12 starting at noon.  The parade route was from Rhawn Street to Knorr Street. The Presidents of the 3 civic associations, Joe DeFelice (Mayfair), Mary Benussi (Tacony) and Rich Frizell (Holmesburg) were the Grand Marshals and the parade appeared to go off without any major issues. Parade committee member Donny Smith asked that special recognition be given to the 15th police district for their support despite the recent change in district captains.

Mayfair Dog Park Update
A fundraiser was held at the Grey Lodge Pub on 11/10/12 with raffles and a 3-hour afternoon happy hour with cash bar. The committee was looking to raise money to file for 501c3 status and has approximately $500 currently which should be enough to get the process started. The committee had met previously with Barry Bressler, Chief of Staff for Philly Parks and Recreation, who states that Parks and Recreation is willing and interested in including a dog park somewhere in the neighborhood but the location is yet to be determined. Money for fencing and long term maintenance needs to be raised (approx. $10,000).
Mayfair Clean-up Committee Update
A volunteer team of neighbors led by Jim Ortlieb and Anna Stacey continue to hold clean-ups assisted by CLIP. Most recently they did the Frankford Ave Business Corridor, the Mayfair Playground at Mayfair Elementary and Mayfair Memorial Playground at Lincoln High School. The committee also removed the planter boxes from out front of Family Dollar on Frankford Ave which were being used as trash cans and ashtrays.
The next committee is always looking for suggestions for areas in the neighborhood that could use a cleanup. Make any suggestions about areas that need a clean-up via their Facebook page at "Mayfair Clean-Up".
Mayfair Memorial Playground (at Lincoln High School) Update
The first birthday celebration and Halloween Spooktacular fundraiser at MMP was held on Saturday, 10/27/12 from noon to 2pm. Kids under 10 were able to decorate a mini-pumpkin and play Halloween themed games. All proceeds continue to go towards new fencing and equipment at the playground.
CDC update
The CDC continues to explore a Business Improvement District (BID) for Holmesburg/Mayfair to spur business development.
The CDC is also exploring a Greening Grant of $30,000 from the city for cleaning graffiti off the poles and cleaning up the business corridor.
CDC is working with a conservatorship of a house at Sheffield and Frankford, take the property, and clean it up. The CDC was granted temporary custody of the property however the Court stalled this on the condition that the owner would install new windows and flooring in the house. The house will be put back on the market and the neighbors have not had to deal with any ongoing issues related to rats and birds in the neighborhood.

Open Discussion
Captain Frank Bachmeyer was presented with a plaque courtesy of the Mayfair Town Watch and the Mayfair Civic Association. Members of the Tacony Town Watch, Tacony Civic Association and the Northeast Quality of Life Coalition also presented Captain Bachmeyer with a plaque in recognition of his services to the neighborhoods.
The MCA welcomed Captain John McCloskey, new captain of the 15th police district. Captain McCloskey spoke briefly and wants to focus on drug corners within the 15th police district as it spills over into the quality of life of the area and an increase in communication between the community and his officers. 
Newly re-elected State Representative Kevin Boyle was present to address issues regarding issues and concerns in the neighborhood. His office is aware of the issues happening in Lower Mayfair and he and his staff are available at their district office at 7518 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136 or via phone (215) 331-2600 to address any issues. Rep. Boyle's district office is also a designated drop off point for canned goods for families in the area. Rep. Boyle took several questions regarding the proposed methadone clinics in the area.
The President of the Frankford Civic Association addressed quality of life issues in Frankford based on the influx of treatment centers and people seeking treatment in their neighborhood.  He encouraged the people of Holmesburg to fight the placement of the methadone clinics based on his observed negative impact on the Frankford community.
Lisa Deeley, representative from Bobby Henon's office. Ms. Deeley spoke of the newly created Problem Properties Advisory Committee. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 from 6-8pm at St. Bernard's. Councilman Henon and the PPA committee have issued subpoenas of neighbors to address ongoing issues with their problem properties. Go on the councilman's website and click on the "Bad Neighbor Initiative" to report problem properties.
Ms. Deeley encouraged a neighbor who was having issues with motorcycles and noise producing vehicles to discuss it with the 15th Police District.
Ms. Deeley stated that they are looking into a complaint that they had received last week regarding the parking restrictions around Robbins and Hawthorne around the schools. Members of the senior center and the preschool are unable to park around the school during school hours.
Councilman Henon's district office is located at 6730 Torresdale Ave and his staff are there Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm
Chris Pienkowski a representative from Councilman-at-Large, David Oh's office was also present and briefly discussed the coverage area of the Councilman-at-Large.
A neighbor asked a question about the potholes in the alleyways between houses. She has been trying to get the neighbors behind her home to help with the cost of filling the holes of their shared driveway but they do not appear to be interested. She wanted to know what her legal responsibilities were if something happened because of the hole. It was recommended that she either fill in the hole herself or at least fill in the hole on her half of the driveway.   
Mayfair Town Watch VP Joe Conboy asked about how to get trash picked up in the rear driveway of a neighborhood instead of out front.
In order to receive driveway trash pickup a resident of the block must write a letter to Clarena Tolson, Streets Commissioner at Municipal Services Building 1401 JFK Blvd. Rm 730 Philadelphia, PA, 19102 and make a formal request.
 Mayfair Town Watch Update
 The group is still looking for volunteers to become regular patrol members. More information can be found on Facebook under "Mayfair Town Watch" or at Applications and information were also present at the meeting.
Mayfair Town Watch President Anna Stacey reiterated the need for new members to patrol the streets with current member. Currently patrols are limited due to lack of patrolling members. The next 2 hour certification meeting will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:30am at the Mayfair Community Center.
The next MCA meeting will be scheduled for January 21. 2013 at 7pm at the Mayfair Community Center.
Meeting adjourned at 8:53pm. 
Meeting minutes submitted by Communications Secretary Mia Hylan on 11/19/2012.


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