Better Bennington Corporation
 Board Meeting Minutes

May 12, 2016
Bennington Fire Station

The mission of the Better Bennington Corporation
 is to build, improve, and support a vital downtown that benefits our entire community.

Present: President Jeannie Jenkins, Vice President Michael McDonough, Eric Peterson, Shelley Colvin, Edie Sawitsky, Michael Keane, Milt Surdam, Beth Wilwol, Heather Maneely, Ted Bird, Michael Harrington*,  Matt Harrington*. Staff: John Shannahan and Diane Perry. Guest: Kelly Clarke. *Ex-officio  Absent: Keith Carey.

Call to Order
                    A quorum was confirmed by President Jeannie Jenkins who then convened the meeting at 7:35AM.

                    The April 2016 board minutes were reviewed. Action/Resolution- a motion to approve was made by Michael Keane and seconded by Edie Sawitsky. Motion carried, with three abstentions due to excused absences.

Financial Report
            Treasurer Shelley Colvin reported on the financials which were reviewed at the organizational level. All is in order.  Action/Resolution- a motion to approve was made by Edie Sawitsky, seconded by Ted Bird. Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report Discussion regarding report:

             Action/Resolution – no action/resolution required.

Old Business

  • Park @ 336 Fundraising – Raffle tickets will be sold at Mayfest. A corporate fundraising letter and a separate personal fundraising letter are being drafted.  One of the SPARC Committee’s concerns is the community’s perception that park funding will be generated by increasing local taxes and tax dollars will be used to pay for the par, when in fact they will not. The SPARC Committee wants to make sure people understand what goes into creating a space of this caliber.  To do this, they will keep telling the story and be ready to explain the benefits of the park, which would include its direct effect on economic growth and community prosperity. Community discussions have included concerns regarding the expense, the size, policies, and the need for economic growth not a park.  To address these concerns a series of steps will be addressed at the next SPARC committee meeting.  Some suggestions included: adding a tag line to the SPARC logo referencing “community built”, and signage for the parks. Action/Resolution – Park @ 336 will have a presence at Mayfest. Continue fundraising efforts.  Discuss with the Town the possibility of creating a “no-smoking in parks” ordinance, instead of just a policy.

New Business

  • Park @ 336 History – Ted is writing a memoire titled “Growing up in the 1950’s”.  He is researching historical people and documents. Ted is hoping to get more history on the park site.  Action/Resolution – he will keep us updated.
  • BBC Docents - we will be meeting today before the beginning of the season.  Action/Resolution - we will re-starting the “Street Walker” program next week.

  • Internship - Crae Messer is an intern from Keene State who will be working on our websites and social media for 140 hours throughout the next few months.  Action/Resolution – Crae will be presenting his accomplishments to the Board next month.
  • WBTN – John will be meeting with current administration at the station regarding the continuance of our monthly show. Action/Resolution – John will update the Board in regards to his meeting.


Jeannie Jenkins called for the adjournment of the meeting at 8:40am.  Action/Resolution - a motion was made to adjourn by Edie Sawitsky seconded by Ted Bird. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Peterson, Secretary
Better Bennington Corporation

Bennington Downtown Alliance
215 South Street
Beautiful Bennington, Vermont 05201

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