|OSNA Annual Meeting Recap|
March 22, 2012
| OSNA |
2012 Annual Meeting
1128 West Broad St
Thank you all who attended our 2012 Annual Meeting on Thursday March 22nd at the Perry House. Over 20 neighbors and Town Officials participated, including Councilman Matt Catalano and Erin Holroyd of "SaveStratford".
We covered a wide variety of topics, including:
- Presenting the 2012 Board of Directors.
- OSNA Board focus for the year
- Presentation from "SaveStratford" representative Erin Holroyd on the Raymark remediation project.
- The status of the "White House" and the Shakespeare theatre.
The details of the topics are below. We look forward to productive and enjoyable year in the neighborhood. Please plan on attending the upcoming social events in June and September.
Henry Bruce, OSNA President
OSNA 2012 Board of Directors:
We are pleased to announce three new members to the OSNA Board of Directors who join three long-time board members.
- Henry Bruce, New President
- Ann Lindsay Jackson, Vice President
- Michael Bingham, Secretary
- Christine Rudney, New Treasurer
- Paul Joy, Membership Co-chair
- Carol Lockshier, New Membership Co-chair
The new board represents a complete slate of officers for 2012 and hopefully beyond.
OSNA Board Focus for 2012:
Renewing OSNA Traditions:
OSNA will resume quarterly social gatherings starting with the March 22nd Annual Meeting at the Perry House. All OSNA events are open to all members, neighbors and town officials. The entire events plan for 2012 are as follows:
- Annual Meeting, March 22nd, 7:30 to 9 pm, The Perry House
- Spring Social, Sunday June 24th 5 to 9 pm, Housatonic Boat Club
- End of Summer Picnic, September 9th, afternoon, 2252 Elm St
- Holiday Party & Caroling, Sunday December 16th, 4 to 8pm
Increase OSNA Communications & Outreach:
The OSNA board has discussed the importance of neighborhood and community outreach in order to increase the awareness of OSNA, what we are doing, and what issues are important to our community. The Historic District is a valuable asset to the town of Stratford and we need to make every effort to draw attention to that value with our neighbors as well as our town officials. With that in mind, we discussed the need for:
- Regular BLOG posts (2-3 per month)
- Periodic neighborhood newsletters (quarterly)
- Publicity that draws attention to the efforts of OSNA to preserve, protect and enhance the Historic District.
This type of outreach needs good content from many sources so you can expect the following communications
- Quarterly Newsletter: sent to all OSNA members and Historic District residents.
- Old House Biographies: The Historic District is rich with history and almost every house has a story to tell. So we are asking each of you to tell us your home's story and we will post on the BLOG. Michael Bingham started us off in January by telling the Story of the Leaning House. Michael's story can be found on the blog and was published January 13th in the Stratford Patch.
Contact me by email or phone 203-870-9076 if you would like to submit your House Biography.
- "Did You Know" Historic District/OSNA Facts: It is clear that the Historic District and the neighborhood are full of little known facts and tid-bits that we would all benefit from knowing and sharing. For example, did you know that Elm St is the site of the smallest park in CT? Or that the HDC is the largest in the state?
Expand and Grow Membership:
Membership Co-Chairs Paul Joy and Carol Lochsheir have started re-organizing membership with plans to canvas all current and eligible members during the course of 2012. Membership is good for two years with dues of $20 for the 2-year period. Please email me back if you wish to renew your membership now or if you have a question about your membership status.
Other Meeting Topics:
Erin Holroyd of "SaveStratford" updated OSNA on the status of the Raymark and Army Engine plant remediation efforts. After over 34 years, the town has identified a technology that would be used to completely remediate the affected properties. The new technology would involve a process that neutralizes the affected soil without removal to an alternate location. Though support for this approach is apparently in place from some local and state officials, the Town Council has yet to officially take the matter up for discussion and to vote on the matter.
It is recommended that all OSNA neighbors make your voices heard on this issue. We will follow up with information and links that will allow you to log your position and write our local and State representatives , as well as the EPA. It is very important that the town and neighborhoods speak with one voice.
The White House:
Councilman, Matt Catalano provided a comprehensive update on the progress in the rehabilitation of the Nicoll/Benjamin House on Elm Street. As you may know, the Town Council voted Last November to add the property and house to the Stratford Historic District and initial funding of over $300,000 is in place. The initial work is focused on repairing the roof and floor joists and with bids already in, work is expected to start before the summer. Since bids are currently $160,000, funds remain for the next phase of work. Some additional points from Matt:
- The long term vision is to create a not-for-profit center for the arts that will be able to showcase the Shakespeare Theatre archives. The archives collection just completed a very successful showing at Fairfield Museum and History Center. Those that saw the show were raving at the extensive collection that is part of Stratford's great history with the Shakespeare Theatre. Once the White House has been rehabilitated, the archives will be on display at the center for the arts. You can read more about the project in this article in the Stratford Patch- 'White House' Takes Step Toward Recovery.
- Plans are in place to open the doors on the Shakespeare Theatre for selective events this summer. Stay tuned.
- Perhaps you have noticed the clearing of trees and brush to the left of the White House property. What most may not know is In the late 1950s and early 1960s, actor Will Geer (Grandpa of The Waltons TV Series) played several seasons at the American Shakespeare Festival, where he created a "Shakespeare Garden" on the theater's grounds. Hopefully the garden will start to take shape in the months ahead.
If you have some news to provide that you feel will benefit us all, please forward me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 203-870-9076. I would love to hear from you.
Henry, Ann, Michael, Paul, Carol and Chris.