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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
November 20, 2017
President - Walter Mugdan
Vice President - Victor Dadras
Treasurer – Gary Savage
Secretary – Charles Manna
Board Members Present
Amber Yuan – Assistant to Assemblyman Edward Braunstein
Officer Luigi Galano – 111 Precinct – Community Affairs
President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 8:05 P.M. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously adopted to waive reading of the minutes. (Mr. Mugdan noted that the minutes are available for review on the Westmoreland website.)
Gary Savage provided the Treasurer’s Report indicating that the balance-on-hand was $22,081.9 as of November 20, 2017. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded, and the report was unanimously approved.
Sondra Yuan from Ed Braunstein’s office announced that there will be a Toy Drive. Toys can be dropped off at Mr. Braunstein’s office or at Community Board 11 (46-11 Little Neck Parkway)
Leaf Pickup – if the residents use leaf bags, they can have the City pick them up at curb-side on Saturday, December 2.
Lions Club Dinner Dance on 11/19/17 – The Westmoreland Homeowners Association, Udalls Cove Preservation Committee, Douglas Manor Environmental Association, Douglas Manor Association, and Scout Troops 153 and 183 were honored for their community service. Our own board member, John Duane, was honored as Lion of the Year.
111th Precinct was represented by Community Affairs Officer Luigi Galano who is serving our community for the second year.
Officer Galano reported that the major crimes statistic (made up of 7 major felonies) has continued to show improvement. It is down 16.2% year over the previous year. The hard numbers are 628 crimes this year vs. 749 last year. There have been some mid-afternoon back-door burglaries recently. The most common auto theft in the area is of Honda wheels and tires. The best way to avoid this kind of theft is to use wheel locks. Also, turn the wheels sharply to the left or right. This make it much more difficult to loosen the lug nuts.
Massage Parlors – there are ongoing investigations being conducted by the special crimes unit. With current legislation, it is a complicated process to confiscate rental properties from the owners. There must be multiple busts and convictions before the justice system can go after landlords and their property.
The 111th Precinct is hosting a Coat Drive. People can drop off their gently used coats at the local police station.
Post Office Box change: In an effort to prevent theft of US Mail, the post office is beginning to replace the old “Hinge” type mailboxes to boxes with simple slit openings through which the mail is inserted. This will prevent thieves from using extraction devices to steal mail from the boxes.
The police also recommend the use of special pens to prevent check-washing. (Staples sells a special pen, The UniBall 207, which prevents erasure of ink from the paper used to make bank checks.)
There will be a District 20 Town Hall meeting tomorrow night. Mayor DeBlasio will host the event at 6:00 in Flushing.
Contact information for Community Policing: Officer Luigi Galano – 718-279-2204, select #3. Better yet, use email: email@example.com.
The 111th Precinct also offers VIN Etching. The crime prevention unit offers free application of VIN etching to all glass parts of private vehicles. Call Officer Rosa for more information.
The NYPD also has a Twitter account. It is a good source of information about what is going on in the community.
Tagging – there has been some graffiti-type “Tagging” in the district. Mostly, there are the type of tags that are left by White Supremist groups and the MS13 gang. There is a graffiti unit that works under the Schools Unit.
Park Improvement –
Laura Toscano, a local high school student, led a project involving the improvement of the Glenwood Landing Park. Volunteers helped improve the plantings in the park. The date for the cleanup was October 28, 2017 from 9:00 to 2:00. Laura worked with Catherine Touwsma of the Douglaston Garden Club on this project. Catherine also led project on the same day to improve the Catherine Turner Richardson Park in Douglaston. Both projects are part of the City Parks Department's annual "It's My Park Day" event. Thousands of tulip bulbs were planted in the Glenwood Landing Park. Volunteers were also provided with trash bags to clean up the garbage on the north side of 39th Road, along the LIRR parking lot fence line.
250-21 41 Drive:
The house is undergoing renovations, including additions at the front and back of the house. The front part of the addition is in violation of the covenants. There is only a fifteen-foot setback from the front of the property. Phil Toscano brought it to the attention of Walter Mugdan and the owners in early July, soon after construction began. Walter wrote a letter to the owners advising them that they are in violation. The Property owner claimed ignorance of the covenants, although she has lived in the house since 1997. The Association sends a copy of the covenants along with the March meeting notice every year. The owner’s attorney and the Association's attorney are in contact with each other. So far, the legal expenses the association has incurred have been minor -- our attorney prepared and sent one formal letter to the owner. Our attorney is Maura Nicolosi, who also has represented the Douglas Manor Association and the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association in connection with their efforts to enforce their similar Rickert-Finlay covenants. We are waiting for a response from the owner and/or her attorney. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to go to the next step, which would be to file a lawsuit.
Peter Reinharz, Walter Mugdan and Charles Manna met with attorney Maura Nicolosi to discuss the matter. The meeting was originally called for by the attorney for the owner. However, the attorney canceled the meeting because it was clear to him that there was little chance that a "compromise" could be reached. We decided to meet with Ms. Nicolosi anyway to discuss the situation with her. She will prepare papers to file with the courts. Hopefully, this will force a settlement.
Peter Reinharz moved that the membership give the Board the authority to raise funds to pay for the expenses involved in this issue. Motion seconded and passed.
There are some residents who are parking on their front lawns. They are living on 39th Ave. and have driveways that are very steep because their garages are under their houses. Parking on front lawns is not allowed. The Association will write letters asking the residents to desist from this practice.
The Armenian Community Center – A representative from State Senator Tony Avella called Walter to learn whether the hall has addressed the problems with excessive, late night noise. Walter advised her that the situation has improved since the Association's letter in September, 2017, which was followed by a conversation with the Armenian Society's President.
Lions Club Honored the Westmoreland Homeowners Association.
John Duane reported that the Little Neck-Douglaston Lions Club honored our Association along with three other local civic organizations (the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee; the Douglas Manor Association and the Douglas Manor Environmental Association), and two boy scout troops, at its annual Dinner Dance held at Leonard's of Great Neck on November 19.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.
Charles Manna, Secretary
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