JPA discusses plans for annual meeting

By Michael Coughlin Jr. 

During its monthly meeting earlier this week, the Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) had an in-depth conversation concerning several facets of its annual meeting, which is slated to take place in June. 
To begin the conversation, Kay Mathew, the Board’s Chair, invited Martin Thomson, the Board’s Treasurer, to speak. He emphasized the importance of sending a letter to the membership notifying them about the meeting date — June 3rd, per this week’s meeting agenda. 
“The important thing is to get the date out on people’s calendars and get them thinking about membership,” said Thomson. 
Shortly after that, the JPA discussed the creation of a nominating committee, which would nominate Board Members and Officers for election at the annual meeting, according to the association’s by-laws on the JPA website. 
Per the JPA by-laws, the nominating committee comprises at least five Board members and must be appointed 60 days before the annual meeting. 
During this conversation, Mathew thought there should be a push to get new Board members. 
“We really do need to think, and think kind of creatively about bringing on new members to the Board of Directors. Last time around — the last annual meeting — last June, we had no new people nominated for the Board,” said Mathew. 
“I really would like to see several people — two, three, four people — but that requires, kind of, working collectively to reach out to folks,” she added. 
Following Mathew’s remarks, enough members in attendance volunteered for the nominating committee. 
Later in the meeting, the nomination process was discussed even more to ensure it is completed by a certain date—at least 30 days before the annual meeting, per the by-laws. Additionally, it was revealed that there will be some openings as eight Board members’ terms expire this year. 
As the meeting progressed, members then made suggestions for the venue and a guest speaker. For example, Franklyn Salimbene thought the Loring Greenough House would be a good spot, as it was previously successful as a meeting place. 
“It’s a nice setting for the meeting because it’s an attractive house, and people know about it, and a lot of people just want to come in and see what it looks like,” said Salimbene. 
Salimbene’s suggestion for the venue was well-received, and a JPA Board member is being tasked with trying to confirm the Loring Greenough House. 
In addition to his suggestion for a meeting place, Salimbene also thought of a choice for a guest speaker, the city’s Chief of Streets, Jascha Franklin-Hodge. 
“I don’t know whether he’d want to expose himself to a meeting of the Pond Association, the annual meeting, but it might be a service to the community,” he said. 
While several folks in attendance thought having Franklin-Hodge was a good idea, there was another suggestion for the guest speaker from Michael Reiskind. 
Reiskind thought Ryan Woods, the city’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, could be a good choice for a guest speaker.
“We can talk about the trees on the Emerald Necklace that we discussed at length last month and then the maintenance around Jamaica Pond,” said Reiskind. 
Ultimately, Reiskind’s recommendation was favorable for those in attendance, and the JPA will work on confirming a speaker. 
Finally, the Board voted to move the annual meeting date to June because the by-laws have the meeting set for February. 
Overall, the JPA seemed to have a very productive conversation and has taken significant steps to finalize 2024’s annual meeting. The next JPA meeting is scheduled for April 1st.

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