President Jack Smith opened the November 3, 2004, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 33 members and guests present.
As the first order of business Jack asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of October 6, 2004. Following the reading of the minutes Jack asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. There being none a motion to approve the minutes was made by Bob House and seconded by Carol Smith and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then asked for the treasurer's report and in the absence of treasurer Barb Wolf, Jean Fischer reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $1,623.73 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $6,010.38. The president asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer and Dr. Fischer presented a bill for $108.95 for recent mailings to members including self-addressed, stamped envelopes.
Jack then called upon Bob Gates to give a report on last Wednesday's Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting held at city hall [10-27-04] and Bob reported that Steve McQuillin gave an excellent speech at the meeting, and there followed a question and answer period, but the meeting went down from there.
Cheryl Huene next spoke and stated that it was her impression that people just simply don't understand what we are about and that we need to make our position more clear so we can clean this situation up. Basically we have our work cut out to educate the residents of Avon regarding what the Landmarks Preservation Commission is all about.
Ralph White then stated that he was both surprised and upset at the attitudes and comments directed to them at the meeting. He feels the negative comments were a result of information that should have been explained to the public better about what the commission is all about.
It should be explained that the commission is not here to dictate what they can and can't do with the property that they own, rather the intent is to assist in protecting their properties. A discussion followed regarding a letter sent out by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and all agreed that the letter should have been worded a little differently so that people understood the purpose better. For information purposes the letter was sent to the 244 or so owners of the properties that have been designated by the commission.
Jack then stated that he had received feedback and a number of people are very favorable to the commission. Simply put, if you have a barn, or church or house that is on the Avon Landmarks list, if you want to have it torn down, you simply apply for a permit. You still get to do it after 6 months regardless. It simply gives the Avon Historical Society or someone else an opportunity to present alternatives to preserve, or move the structures before tearing them down, or suggesting that they be converted into commercial use, just basically try to encourage the owners to use their existing buildings to a new use.
Jack reminded the group that our Planning Commission has already accepted the recommendation from a URS traffic study that Detroit Road be widened to 5 lanes [6-12-02]. [Therefore it was necessary to pass a charter amendment to prohibit the Avon Council or Planning Commission from acting to widen Detroit Rd. to more than three lanes. Single or double family homes are feasible on a three lane road, but they are not feasible on a five lane road. With five lanes planned, the Ohio Supreme Court Mayfield decision would have resulted in Detroit Rd. being zoned commercial or multifamily -- more Timberlakes? -- from one end of Avon to the other, even before one square foot of additional pavement would be laid down.]
Bob House suggested that the recent landmarks article in the The Press should be rebutted since it may have created an unfavorable impression. A motion was made by John Bender and seconded by Bill Mayton to have it put in our minutes that our club has discussed this issue and that we as a group are concerned about the outcome of these meetings and the newspaper articles and how they are reported to the public. We also have the responsibility as a club to get out there to the public and explain our side of the issues.
A further suggestion was made that we should send letters to the editor further explaining our side and what the Landmarks Preservation Commission really stands for. We need to educate and explain this more clearly to the public. Basically we need to simplify our purpose in educating the public and explain that we are not trying to tell them what they can and can't do, but we want to work with them in a joint effort.
Further in discussing Detroit Road's future, Jack explained that he has spoken to Steve McQuillin and passed on his suggestion that we consider creating an Ohio Scenic By-Way for Detroit Road and Steve seemed very interested in the project. This is something that we should continuing working on before its too late. Jack asked for volunteers to work on the project next year and John Bender, Ralph White and Joe Richvalsky volunteered to work with Jack.
On another subject Jack then stated that regarding our ongoing Arcadia Picture project, the deadline for submitting photographs for the book is December 1st, and progress is being made currently to put captions under all the pictures. Be reminded that the finished book will be available for sale at all major book stores with the profits being split 50/50 with the French Creek Development Association.
Jack next called on Dr. Fischer regarding progress on the Dr. Norton Townshend video tape project, and Dr. Fischer stated that Bill Furnace was starting on the manuscript part of the project and we are working on having the dedication ceremony speeches reduced to print for use in the project.
Jack then asked the secretary for a report on the upcoming Christmas party, and Nancy reported that the party will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at the Avon VFW Hall on Mills Road. As usual, the evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the buffet starting at 6:30 p.m. For the benefit of new members Nancy explained that this party is for members only, that club provides the liquor and pop, and that members are asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Our calling committee will be calling all the members as a reminder and to get a confirmation on how many to expect. Jack Smith, Owen Cory, Sandy Marsh and Marion greed to assist Nancy and Theresa on the committee at the VFW at 4:30 pm.
Next Jack reminded everyone that we will need to decorate The Old Town Hall in preparation for hosting Santa on Saturday, December 4th. Susie Cory, Jack, Stan, Owen Cory and Pat Furnas volunteered to assist in decorating the Old Town Hall on Saturday, December 4th at 9:30 am for Santa giving presents to the children at 6:30 pm. [Other volunteers are welcome.]
Nancy and Theresa volunteered to assist Jean Fischer in serving the hot chocolate and assist with the crowd control with Santa on Saturday evening [6:30 pm] after the tree lighting.
There being no further business to present at the meeting Jack entertained a motion from Dan McGhee to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by Ralph White and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Due to a last minute emergency Millie Arthrell had to cancel her scheduled presentation this evening and our own Jean Fischer filled in with another of her fine talks. [Jean pointed out that Pierpont Edwards, Avon's original owner, was a grandson of the famous clergyman, Jonathan Edwards.]
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary
AVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGENDA
February 2, 2005
Reading of minutes of meeting of November 3, 2004. Motion to approve and second.
A. Any outstanding bills to present.
A. Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates
B. Update - Arcadia Picture Book Project, Jack Smith
C. Norton S. Townshend Video Committee, Del Fischer
D. Report on our Christmas Party, December 1, 2004, Nancy McGhee
E. Detroit Road Ohio Scenic By-Way Committee, John Bender, Ralph White, and Joe Richvalsky
F. 2005 Duct Tape Festival Committee, Toni Barnhart, Tom Wible, Jean Fischer, Nancy McGhee and Theresa Szippl
Motion to Adjourn and Second
John Mercer will present a program on Giles Shurtleff, a Civil War general from Lorain County.