Vibrant, Supportive and Welcoming

by Diane Gerth

At the 2019 West Seventh/Fort Road Federation annual meeting on April 17, a host of changes, new approaches, and successes were celebrated. More than 100 attendees heard about the past year and learned what is in store for the future. Local organizations — from the St. Paul Police to Zero Waste Saint Paul to Keystone Community Services to the West Seventh Garden Tour — were on hand to update residents on their activities. Against a slideshow of historic images of the West End, outgoing President Becky Yust welcomed people and led the group in the business of the meeting.

Mark Fangmeier gave the report of the joint Riverview Task Force. The task force was made up of members from both the Federation and the West Seventh Business Association and was tasked with trying to find and articulate common ground on transit in West Seventh. Given the difficult and sticky issue of transit through our neighborhood over the years, the task force focused on what we can agree on. The end result was a resolution based on nine guiding principles that explain the needs and desires of those who live and work here. After questions and discussion, the plan was passed.

Dana DeMaster outlined the Federation’s strategic plan. The plan is based on the vision of a neighborhood that is vibrant, supportive, welcoming, and safe. Outlining a renewed mission statement, five goals for the next years were detailed for the organization: Inclusion, diversified income streams, livability, locally owned institutions, and increased awareness. This roadmap for the future will guide the Board of Directors and the Executive Director as they move forward.

By-law changes that adjusted the workings and membership of the Board of Directors were also approved. The Board and its officers will now hold staggered terms to ensure both continuity and change. Additional Board seats that are reserved for those who rent their homes in the neighborhood will be added. Other technical updates were made to clarify the by-laws.

Elections were held for officers and the Board of Directors. The following people were elected officers: President Dana DeMaster, First Vice President Meghan Redmond, Second Vice President Wendy Underwood, Secretary Andrea Marboe, and Treasurer Nicole Loran. The Board of Directors will be Area I Coordinators Mark Fangmeier and Craig Johnson, Area II Coordinators Brenna Barrett and Tracy Farr, and Area III Coordinators Tayna Fabyanske Beck and Sue Nichols.

Finally, outgoing president Becky Yust gave a rundown of awards and honors residents and businesses of our neighborhood have won in the past year. This truly impressive list of honorees showed how far we have come and how committed our people are to the future of our corner of St. Paul.

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