RRSQ Association Board Meeting
Thursday, September 21, 2023
8:30 AM Courtyard Marriott Hotel Conference Room: 175 Railroad St. (In Person Meeting)
Attendees: Paul Quattrocchi, Pauline Block, Marianne Neufeld, Curt Nichols, Theresa Tommasi, Rafael Rivero,Florine Ellingson, Kris Wilson. Per ZOOM: Mike Montague, Dee Richardson, Noelle Hermann,
Absent: Jim McCalligan, Dayna Irvine, Hardeep Gil (resigned from board)
Guests: Danielle Nelson, A.J. Trombetta, Lee Wright, Jill Moyer, Ted Wooley
1. CALL TO ORDER, INTRODUCTIONS, & APPROVAL OF AUGUST MEETING MINUTES – In President Mike Montague’s absence, Kris Wilson called the meeting to order at 8:36 AM. Motion to approve August’s minutes was made by Marianne Neufeld, seconded by Pauline Block and approved by all.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS – (limited to 2 minutes each) Ted Woolly introduced himself and is the new owner of the 129 4th Street property (home of the former Disguise the Limit). This is his second store called Goblin Bros. Games, which will feature games, puzzles, gifts, etc. They hope to be open after the first of the year.
3. CONSENT ITEMS – None
4. GUEST SPEAKER: Danielle Nelson, GM, Simon Mall. Danielle shared her goal to find ways to bridge the gap between the plaza, downtown and Railroad Square. There are immediate marketing opportunities with the holidays coming up and a meeting is pending with the DAO, the plaza and RRSQ to discuss collaborative marketing to create an experience for visitors and shoppers. The Plaza has hired a new marketing director. Improved signage between the plaza and RRSQ could be one idea to pursue. Improvements such as painting, carpeting and other upgrades have been made by the Plaza along with two additional security guards as well as a K9 unit. There has been a 60% decrease in incidents. The plaza now offers free parking.
5. PRESIDENT’S REPORT– Mike Montague
4.1 Board Succession Planning Discussion: There was discussion regarding steps to identifying Kris’s replacement. Kris is working on refining the ED job description. A concept of DAO/RRSQ model was discussed and the level of interest of the board in exploring the concept of merging the districts. Mike and Kris will create a list of opportunities vs concerns to explore any benefits of a merge to bring to the board. Kris asked the board members to send their concerns to her. Noelle Hermann suggested a separate meeting to discuss as more time is needed than a board meeting allows.
4.2 District Updates/Security – No new report.
4.3 Website SEO update. Traffic is down for September, which is a trend seen throughout California for various reasons. We’ll continue to track, and we continue to build links including to the Prince Greenway and events.
6. ED REPORT – Kris Wilson: Kris reported that she has met with City Parks Staff, James Castro to discuss power washing the walkway in Depot Park and possible planning of a Volunteer Clean-up Day as we’ve done in past years. She suggested inviting James & Daryel Dunston to an upcoming board meeting to give updates on the Encampment Enforcement Ordinance that was recently passed. Kris also brought up the idea of participating in the Adopt a Park program which may be a benefit for Depot Park and will bring more information to the board to consider.
6.1 Marketing Update: Holiday marketing planning is pending our meeting with the Plaza and the DAO. We’ll also be looking at print ads and consider continuing the radio coop ads for the holidays. Kris will be adding a “Merchant Spotlight” to the webpage.
6.2 Event Update: “Music in the Air” will continue Friday and Saturday evenings. Kris will be reaching out to non-profits for their participation in the holiday carriage rides/events and will be scheduling music.
7. FINANCIAL REPORT – Marianne Neufeld. No large expenses have been requested. She received Chevy’s invoice regarding the trees. We have budgeted dollars for the lights on 4th Street which is still in process to be approved and installed.
8. PROJECT UPDATES/DISCUSSION
7.1 Planter Box Project – Marianne Neufeld reported that cost for 14 square metal planter boxes is $9,000. One landscaper’s bid to remove current wine barrels and plant in the new boxes was $1500 and does not include new plantings. (Marianne is exploring another bid for plantings.) The board decided to go forward and order the new boxes. An email will be sent to RRSQ merchants to keep them apprised that existing barrels are being replaced.
7.2 4th Street Lighting Project – Curt Nichols. Gabe Osborne, City staff is familiar with the lighting project. The next step is to meet with Kevin Zucco who has offered to do the project at his cost as an engineer’s report is needed. DC Electric Group provided a $42,000 proposal and Rafael has asked for a second bid as Krist Electric original proposal was much lower. Rafael will follow up with for an updated bid from Krist as costs are expected to be higher than the original bid.
7.3 Updated RRSQ Brochure /Rack Card– Dee Richardson reported that the new single fold rack card is very close to being completed. We will distribute to targeted areas through Certified Folders.
7.4 2nd Phase Wayfinding Pedestrian Signage – Noelle Hermann. There are 3 spots left for new merchants, and some current merchants want additional signage. It was suggested to include SR Plaza if space is available.
7.5 Utility Box Art Project – Dee Richardson & Paul Quattrocchi – No update.
7.6 Other Discussion/Updates – Curt Nichols reported that the street tree committee settled on crepe myrtle trees in white and pink as preferred replacement and reminded the board that any tree is going to have issues at some point, but that this is a good option and will lend great color. Curt presented a suggested RRSQ policy for tree removal which will be added to next month’s agenda for board approval.
Flo reported that the sidewalk repair at Chevy’s is scheduled to start on October15th.
8. ADJOURNMENT – Kris adjourned the meeting at 10:25 AM.
NEXT BOARD MEETING: 8:30 AM, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19th AT THE COURTYARD MARRIOTT.