District 10 Como Community Council

D10 Board Member Resources Expectations

District Council Overview

St. Paul Participation: A History of District Councils

St. Paul Participation

Prepared by Ken Thomson as part of the Citizen Participation Project at the Lincoln Filene Center at Tufts University, funded by the Ford Foundation.

In the early 1970s, citizen groups and community councils organized to demand a voice in city government and local development planning, and the city responded by creating a comprehensive system of 17 District Councils. Today these councils play a large role in land-use planning, housing, hazardous waste and pollution control, crime watches, and arts festivals, and also have a major voice in determining the city’s capital improvement budget. The councils are incorporated as nonprofits, and engage in many collaborative projects with other nonprofit organizations. Often housed in community centers with a dozen other nonprofits, they serve as an important hub of both formal participation and broader civic engagement.

Beginnings and Authorization

Born: October 9, 1975

Place: In five resolutions of the City Council defining citizen participation, authorizing the Mayor to set up participation councils where they did not yet exist, and allocating funds for the participation system.

1967: A City Planning Board Map dated August, 1987 shows the city divided into Planning Area Units composed of approximately 18 “Communities” and 50 “neighborhoods”.

1972: Mayor Lawrence Cohen formed a “Committee on Citizen Participation” in June, 1972, fulfilling his election campaign promise to examine “in detail” the question of “how to create the best possible structure and process of participation of citizens in the affairs of Saint Paul government”. His invitation letter to committee participants noted the evident need for citizen participation at all levels of government to restore citizen trust, and indicated that, at the time, “citizens often feel that their government is a hostile institution which is actively working against them”.

The Mayor’s stated purpose in establishing the participation committee was to enable “reconsideration of the relation of community groups to city government”. Apparently a number of strong citizen groups and community councils had existed for some time in St. Paul, and were to be important in any new system. Cohen envisioned community council elections by that November.

1973: In a March 27, 1973 resolution, the City Council unanimously approves the appointments of the 12 committee members, who apparently had already been meeting for nine months. Two more members were approved by Council resolution on July 17. Mayor Cohen and Councilwoman Rosalie Butler were among the committee members. Three others represented a group called the Association of Saint Paul Communities. The committee distributed a “Community Council Questionnaire” to groups and individuals and held five public hearings.

The final report of the committee, “Making Democracy Work”, was completed on September 26, 1973. It recommended a participation system very similar in design and spirit to the one currently in place in St. Paul. Four committee members issued a brief minority report recommending that the councils have final authority over zoning and public improvements in their areas, and that the city’s Planning Commission be restructured to represent these councils directly. Apparently both majority and minority proposals were defeated.

1975: Mayor Cohen and two councilpeople (Hozza and Sylvester) try again to establish a citizen participation system in the city. A League of Women Voters report notes that “The catalyst for the attempt was the Community Development program which specified that federal funds could be used for citizen participation.” Approximately $267,000 was put into a “contingency fund” for citizen participation. City officials took the lead, proposed a system of seven or eight participation districts, and convened a forum on January 28, 1975. Over 450 people attended. The League reports that “It was quickly evident that many felt resentment toward city government.” This was the first of several weekly meetings of the Citizen Participation Forum, which then continued to operate, through task forces and general meetings, until at least the fall of 1975.

On July 22, 1975 the City Council adopted a resolution which accepted proposals from the Forum, including a structure of 17 districts and an “early warning communications system” for citizens, and called for a 45-60 day “cooling off period” before taking further action. The proposed resolution presented to the Council in July by the Forum was not adopted. The major points of disagreement apparently centered on a uniform council structure (especially its relation to existing citizen groups), and on the formal power of the district council in planning and development issues. On October 9, the council passed resolutions defining participation “as a process, not a structure”, authorizing the mayor to “create or improve the participation process” in each district when district planning teams or neighborhood groups felt the district was ready, and providing $50,000 for these purposes to the mayor while continuing $10,500 per month to the “neighborhood development planning areas” which had been created under earlier federally-funded projects. Representatives of the Forum formally stated that they did not support the City Council resolution, but nevertheless disbanded the Forum at this point. Councilman Sylvester apparently wrote the final resolutions which passed the council. His report of September 30, 1975, asserted that:

  • each council should determine its own structure involving new or existing groups,
  • the city and each council should develop an agreed work plan (avoiding use of the term “contract”), and
  • recognition of each new council should follow a ten-point plan involving an inventory of existing community groups, definition of boundaries, creation of bylaws, and final approval by the City Council.

Sylvester’s final proposals became the basis for the participation system still in place today in St. Paul.

Neighborhood Structures

  1. District Councils

The 17 District Councils which completely cover the city of St. Paul are by far the strongest, most visible part of the system. As in all the cities we have examined, the downtown district is much less developed than the rest. The population of the council areas ranges from 7,000 to 28,000, except for the downtown area which includes 3,300 residents. The median district population is 15,800.

Each council is a separately incorporated nonprofit organization, and several have or are applying for 501.c3 tax exempt status. While each District Council has been formally recognized by the City Council, and receive funds from the city, they remain relatively self-governing bodies in all other ways. Their structure, elections, relationship to other citizen organizations, officers, committees, staff, and office location and functions all are determined solely by the council itself, through its formal bylaws. Each organization is free to raise additional funds from any source open to a nonprofit organization. Only two visible city restrictions exist: the councils must be nonpartisan, and the money from the city must be used for its stated purposes–to hire a community organizer, for example, rather than a secretary.

  1. Elections

The method of selection of each council is determined by each organization’s bylaws:

  • Fifteen of the districts elect the council at an annual meetings, two at polls in a separate election.
  • Seven are all at-large, eight have elections by subdistricts, two others have mixed representation systems.
  • Nine have specific positions for representatives of neighborhood or business groups, in addition to the council members elected by the general membership
  • The size of the council ranges from six to thirty-one members, with most having fifteen to twenty.
  • Average turnout at annual meetings ranges from 30 to 200 people.
  1. Drawing Neighborhood Boundaries

Boundaries for the districts were largely determined by the original citizen participation committee and forum. It was widely noted in the reports of these committees that citizens did not trust the city to come up with a set of boundaries. According to the ten-point recognition plan, the citizen groups within a proposed district “should first make every effort to reach agreement among themselves on the boundaries. If there is a dispute, citizen groups should be given a maximum of 45 days to resolve the matter. Any disputes are to be finally resolved by the City Planning Department.

Apparently most boundaries were settled by consensus, in large part following the lines of the 1967 community map of the Planning Department. Only in District 13 was a permanent lack of consensus obtained, resulting in a split of the district between three different organizations. Boundaries have occasionally been changed, most recently with a slight restructuring between Districts 9 and 15 in southwest St. Paul.

  1. CP Administrative Funding

In contrast to the structures in our other cities, the St. Paul participation system has very little centralized administration. All the money allocated to the participation system goes directly to the district councils, with the exception of funds for the salary and expenses of the citywide participation coordinator which is paid from the Planning and Economic Development Department budget. In 1987-88, the total budget allocated by the city to the District Councils was $485,652. The sources of these allocations are the Community Development Block Grant for the eleven districts eligible for CDBG ($371,386), and general funds for the remaining six districts ($113,266). This breaks down to between $20,000 and $36,000 for each district.

Furthermore, city funds are only part of the financial picture in St. Paul. A substantial amount of United Way funds are allocated to community centers in eight of these districts (up to $480,000 in one district) and these centers are often a hub for the District Council activities. Grants from the McKnight Foundation Neighborhood Self-Help Initiatives Program (MnSHIP) have in some years increased the operating budget of certain councils by as much as 50%. For the 1987-88 fiscal year, over $423,000 came into the councils from non-city, non-United Way sources, in addition to funds for a half-million dollar block nurse program being administered by one District Council. These additional funds are used by each District Council entirely at their own discretion without any city oversight.

The city allocation is under heavy pressure in 1988 because of cutbacks in the city’s CDBG funds from the federal government.

  1. Offices and Staffing

Each district has its own office and staff, paid for out of its own operating budget. The staff are selected directly by the District Council, with less of a role by the city than in any of the other participation systems we examined. Staff size ranges from one to over three, with a typical staff being a full time person with a half-time assistant, or two part-time people. The equivalent of at least 32 full-time staff people work in the District Councils in 1988.

Staff salaries are more in line with citizen group organizers ($12,000 to $22,000) than with city employees. This has been the cause for serious complaint in recent years. Attempts are being made to form a union of sorts among the staff to lobby for higher salaries and higher total grants from the city.

The city has one staff person, Jerry Jenkins, as Citizen Participation Coordinator, who works officially in the Planning and Economic Development Department but in practice is largely independent.

  1. Neighborhood Activities

A great deal of the activity of each Council seems to revolve around the large number of requests for response that come from the city. Several staff complained that these requests kept them too busy to do other tasks pressing upon their district. Since there appears to be no penalty for ignoring the requests, except perhaps reduced influence with the city in certain areas, this problem seems to be within the control of appropriate priority setting in District Council itself.

While each Council does set very different priorities for itself, all have a significant focus on land use issues. This may include requests for zoning variances by developers, siting for single-resident-occupancy housing sought by the city, street and sewer reconstruction, environmental impact questions, or providing adequate off-street parking. In all of these areas, major issues have arisen and been resolved during the past few years with heavy involvement of the District Councils.

Beyond some of the core land use issues, each Council is involved in a wide range of other activities. These projects include crime watches, recycling, hazardous waste and pollution control, neighborhood clean-ups, drainage projects, festivals, arts projects, community gardens and composting, traffic control, park development, employment training, anti-pornography campaigns, tree planting, and energy audits. Another major consequence of the St. Paul’s district orientation has been the construction of large community centers in many of the District Council areas during the last fifteen years (see description below).

Citywide Citizen Structures

  1. Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget Committee (CIB)

One of the few cases of major city-wide impact for the participation systems we have seen is represented by the CIB Committee in St. Paul. This committee is part of a Unified Capital Improvement Program and Budget Process which deals with all capital funds available to the city during a two year period—including federal and state grants and local bond revenues.

There are 18 members of the committee: seventeen are nominated by the Districts and approved by the Mayor and City Council, the eighteenth is appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council. In addition, three task forces which do the first stage of project evaluation (Community Facilities, Streets and Utilities, Residential and Economic Development) are directly appointed by the District Councils with one representative and one alternate from each Council on each task force, no city approval being required. Members of the overall CIB committee serve as officers for each Task Force. Overall then, as many as 120 citizens have a direct role in determining the capital budget for the city of St. Paul.

Staff for the committee is provided by the Mayor’s Budget Office, supported by planning department personnel. Proposals for the next biennial budget are submitted to the CIB by city departments, the District Councils, and individual citizens and are assigned to the appropriate task force. Each member of each task force rates all proposals assigned to that task force using an elaborate point system. The ratings of all task force members are combined and each project is listed in order of its combined score. The task force then goes over each project, in rank order, and votes upon a recommended funding amount. During this evaluation period, bus tours to the affected areas and meetings with the district councils in the area are often arranged.

These recommendation of each Task Force go to the full CIB committee where final changes can be made. They then go to the Mayor and the City Council. The system is unusual in the weight it gives to district representatives instead of city staff. Even in the initial proposal submission, we are told that the Districts often have the advantage, with city departments sometimes seeking out District cosponsorship of proposals before they are submitted. The mayor and city council apparently change very little in the typical capital budget after the CIB recommendations are made. We are told that 70-80% of the project finally funded were initiated by the districts.

Some projects are “directly implemented” by the District Council. This apparently means that the District Council receives funds to do the job. Examples include a crime prevention manual, a premises survey, and a neighborhood housing services program.

Outreach to Citizens

  1. Council Meetings and Meeting Notification

All District Councils meet at least once a month, with most having separate executive committee and issue committee meetings each month as well. Each district uses a different means to reach residents of the district. Mailing and literature drops are common, with at least one-third of the districts mailing to all households on a quarterly basis or more frequently. Almost all do door-to-door distribution of flyers in several block areas affected by specific issues; for some districts this is done on practically a weekly basis. The amount of outreach in most districts compares favorably with many of the best community groups we have seen throughout the country.

  1. District Newspapers

More than twelve of the districts are served by neighborhood newspapers. Most are published monthly, a few bimonthly or biweekly. These tend to be run by independent citizen groups with lots of volunteer labor. A few are run by District Council itself. These newspapers provide good coverage for the district, tending to have a calendar and several articles each month on issues related to the councils. Most are distributed to every household in the district. These papers are a source of great pride to the districts and those without active papers usually place a high priority on finding a way to develop one.

  1. Block Clubs

Several of the districts have placed a high priority on the development of block clubs within the district, usually as part of a crime watch program. Several districts have received MnSHIP grants to fund block club organizers, and a few claim to have a block captain on every block in the district. (District 14 boasts 350 block clubs, and districts 12 and 16 have organized 120 each). These block clubs typically serve as communica-tion links to the residents, in addition to their crime watch activities. Block club captains are often responsible for distribution of issue flyers and meeting notices to all residents. Maintenance is difficult: a periodic task for many district councils is rejuvenation of the system of block clubs in their area.

Major Program Components

  1. Early Notification System (ENS)

This system was formally detailed in an eight-page ordinance enacted in August, 1979. Its stated purpose is “to provide TIMELY information to community organizations regarding the City’s various activities that are being considered, proposed, planned or implemented. Further, the system facilitates feedback to the City regarding the neighborhoods’ response and position.”

The ENS system consists of a two-part mailing list (by district and citywide) and a policy for using and maintaining the list. Included on the list are the community organizers in each district, two District Council members, two members from each citizen organization in the city, and neighborhood newspapers. The system requires that each ENS communication designate the districts affected, and the contact person in the sending agency. A log of all such mailings is required, with quarterly reporting to the Citizen Participation Coordinator.

All major agencies must send meeting notices and agendas to the ENS mailing list, and other committees and commissions may be required to do so if a request is made by citizen organizations or the Coordinator. One provision states that any district may request that a controversial issue may be held over until the next regularly scheduled meeting. Tavern and liquor licenses require a 45 day notice through the ENS system, as do “development ads, street vacations, special assessments, and any public policies affecting neighborhoods”. Quarterly notices of public lands available for redevelopment are also part of the ENS system. Detailed requirements are given for notices involving: rezoning, “determination of similar use”, conditional uses and variances, “40-acre study”, and building condemnations and demolitions.

In general, the ordinance adopts the tone and substance of the participation system itself. For example, the ordinance exhorts city officials to “Emphasize the positive aspects of what City government is proposing. In every case possible, do more than simply notify: explain reasons behind a project, activity, or change.” The Citizen Participation Coordinator is the ENS manager, with responsibilities which extend to maintaining the ENS mailing list, establishing a central log of mailings, and training city staff on how to use the system.

  1. District Plans

In the late seventies most districts worked on land use plans for their area. Some are undergoing revision at this time. Staff from the Planning and Economic Development Department have spent a great deal of time assisting in the formation of these plans. But it is unclear how effective these have been for managing growth and development in the districts. We did not frequently hear them referred to by the District Council leaders. A 1970s planning department report notes that this planning process “brought lots of city staff out to neighborhood meetings” and was designed to be tied into the capital budgeting process.

  1. City Planning Staff support

A striking feature of St. Paul is the degree to which the staff of the Planning and Economic Development Department are neighborhood oriented. There seems to be a very high degree of communication between PED staff and the District Council staff. Most project plans and proposals, except those for the downtown area, seem to be cleared through the appropriate District Councils before staff take them to the Planning Commission or the City Council. These include capital improvement projects to be proposed to the Capital Improvement Budget Committee. Several divisions of the planning department specifically target neighborhoods as the basis for their operations.

  1. Community Centers

At least eight of the Districts have major community centers of their own. These facilities typically house up to a dozen nonprofit organizations, and provide a focus for community meetings and recreational opportunities in the district. Apparently much of the construction cost for these buildings originally came out of the CDBG and CIB process. Since their construction, however, maintenance and staffing for the buildings has sometimes been a problem. The United Way covers a substantial share of this cost, in two districts nearly 2/3 (or over $350,000 per year). A number of current issues for the District Councils revolve around ways to find funds for continued maintenance and staffing of these facilities.

  1. Neighborhood Partnership Program

A major development program of the city, the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), is designed to fund small business ventures created by individual entrepreneurs. Over the course of six years (1980-86), NPP has awarded over $4 million to 42 projects, with a private funding match of over $20 million. These have ranged from commercial and residential area revitalization programs, to crime watch, human service, and community art projects. District Councils have occasionally taken advantage of these programs through development of applications of their own.

  1. Advisory Boards

There are at least 30 citizen advisory boards to government agencies in St. Paul. Most receive appointments by the mayor or the City Council. Two special types of advisory boards affecting neighborhoods are the Mayor’s Rehabilitation Advisory Committee and six Identified Treatment Area (ITA) Committees. The ITA committees provided oversight for several major development-oriented projects located in half a dozen districts, in the 1979-1983 period.

  1. Citizen Monitoring and Evaluation Process

The St. Paul Citizen Monitoring and Evaluation Process, which began in 1978, is focused on the CDBG program, but includes all aspects of the unified capital budget process. It includes quarterly and annual status reports sent to “interested citizens”, evaluation sessions held annually by city staff at district council meetings in districts which receive CDBG funds, and an annual, citywide Performance Hearing. With the major impact of the CIB process, however, this monitoring operation seems to have much less of role than in many other cities.

  1. District Council Leadership and Board Development

Several of the boards have received grants, primarily form the from McKnight Foundation’s MnSHIP program, to help with board training. Ron Hick, an outspoken advocate of neighborhood empowerment, and frequently a critic of the District Council system, has been one of the trainers in this program. The city itself seems to take a minimal role in this process.

  1. Neighborhood Information

The Planning and Economic Development Department is the source of most neighborhood information in the city. It produced the book, St. Paul Today, and the St. Paul Tomorrow study, both extensive sources of comparative information by neighborhoods. The Citizen Participation Coordinator also provides a great deal of information about the Districts, and is the chief troubleshooter for the whole operation.

In addition, an Office of Information and Complaint reports to the City Council. Their primary role is to direct citizens to the right government agency to take care of their problem. There are no direct ties of this office to the District Council system, but the office does work with the community organizers in the districts when appropriate questions or requests come in from citizens.

But the primary contact point for citizens to receive information about their neighborhood in St. Paul is their local District Council. Almost all information that goes out from the city which relates to the participation system in any way includes the names, address, and phone number of all 17 District Council offices and community organizers.

  1. Other Projects and Events:
  • Altogether, the McKnight Foundation’s Neighborhood Self-Help Initiative Program has more than $5 million available for Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods during the next ten years.
  • The city also has had a Neighborhood Business Revitalization Program since 1982.
  • Mayor Latimer asked the districts to submit priorities for a Better Neighborhood Program in 1986.
  • The city has a number of citizen-administrator task forces to work on specific problems for a limited time. One recent task force, on Community Residential Facilities, proposed changes in state law and city ordinances to better distribute halfway houses and the like throughout the city. Six of the ten non-Planning Commission members of the task force were from district councils. Other recent task forces have focused on dangerous traffic patterns on Shepard Road, Snelling-University neighborhood design, College Zoning, and parking in Victoria Crossing.
  • The Riverfront Initiative is a long range planning project for St. Paul’s riverfront areas. In addition to the usual planning operations, and attention-gathering events such as arts projects and the Mississippi Peace Cruise, a small grants program is offering funds for citizens and groups to develop events on or about the riverfront.

Overall Perspective of the City on Participation

St. Paul has a history of independent neighborhood groups and a reputation among its citizens for citizen participation. Born in an era of city vs. citizen group confrontation, the theme of the participation system lies in people working together to build better neighborhoods, and in citizens having a direct role in the city’s decisionmaking process. Land use planning and control and communication with citizens are seen as central roles for the district councils.

The participation structure has gradually grown into one of the most coherent and comprehensive of any city we have seen. While originally proclaiming that participation is process, not structure—because the city and citizen groups could not obtain agreement on the complete structure—clearly defined structure has become a mainstay of the St. Paul system. From the CIB system to the District Councils themselves, the structure that has developed gives every appearance of being there to stay. Almost all participation opportunities offered by the city are funneled through the council system. Because councils were given such a substantial role, other citizen groups came to feel that there was an overwhelming advantage in becoming part of the council system. And so they did. The result may be somewhat cooptive of independent citizen action, but the variety that does exist is striking: each district has its own style and mode of operation which grew out of its original citizen group beginnings.

A substantial advantage to the St. Paul system is that each neighborhood of 7,000 to 28,000 people is able to have its own office and at least one full time staff person. The grant from the city seems to come with very few strings attached. The main “string” is the dependency the group develops on this city money. On the other hand, since each neighborhood has staff, each neighborhood has a substantial level of activity. Contrary to every other city we looked at, no part of St. Paul suffers from a complete lack of citizen organization.

http://www.cpn.org/topics/community/index.html

District 10 Neighborhood Profile

The most updated St. Paul Como Park neighborhood profile information can be found here through the MnCompass website.

District 10 Community Plan

Saint Paul District Councils are responsible for local community plans that are supposed to be used by the district and city for planning purposes. You can view a vast collection of St. Paul neighborhood plans here on the city’s website.

Section 2: Staff & Board

Board Roster

The D10 office maintains an up-to-date board roster as well as an archive of past board members. Because this contains personal contact information, the access to the google sheet is restricted to active board members. General board member information can be found here on the D10 Website Board & Staff Page.

District 10 Activities

Every Week

Every Month

  • Environment Committee: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Land Use Committee: First Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Neighborhood Relations Committee: First Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Officers: Second Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Streetcar Museum: Sundays Noon-4 p.m. (weekly from May-September/monthly October-April)

Other Events over Course of a Typical Year

  • Food Scraps Recycling Drop-Off Site: Year-round
  • Community Yoga: Seasonal
  • Sunday Series: Year-round
  • Community Garden: Spring/Summer
  • Neighborhood Garage Sale: Spring/Summer
  • Citywide Dropoff @ Fairgrounds: June or September
  • Ice Cream Social: July
  • ComoConnect: July
  • ComoFest: July
  • Neighborhood Honor Roll: December/January
  • Crime Prevention Meetings: as needed
  • Safety Flags: Year-round

Staff

  • Meets monthly with City Council Members or Staff from Wards 4 and 5. Meets as needed with City Council Members or Staff from Ward 1.
  • Meets as needed with Ramsey County Commissioner.
  • Meets monthly with officials from Western District of St. Paul Police.
  • Meets monthly with staff of other District Councils.
  • Places articles each month in Park Bugle and Midway/Como Monitor.
  • Monitors agendas of St. Paul City Council and key city agencies and commissions.

Board Job Description

ORGANIZATION: District 10 Como Community Council: The Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the involvement of residents and businesses in public decisions and plans by the City of Saint Paul and in promoting activities that make the community a great place to live and work. The Council is governed by a 17-member volunteer board of directors elected by community residents/business owners.

JOB TITLE: Board Member

REPORTS TO: District 10 Como Community Council Board Chair

HOURS: Minimum 5-10 hours per month (Elected 2-year terms) (day time and evening hours required)

PAY RANGE: No Compensation – Volunteer Position

POSITION PURPOSE: District 10 Board Members have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Support the organization’s mission and strategic plan, and work with community members to address issues in the neighborhood.
  • Attend monthly Board of Directors meetings (third Tuesday of the month).
  • Provide policy, financial, and legal oversight and help shape organizational planning to ensure that District 10 is run responsibly and according to regulations for 501(c)(3) organizations, and is successful in its efforts to achieve its mission.
  • Conduct outreach within the District and within a particular sub-district to encourage resident participation, broadly gather input from community members, and provide representation for diverse constituencies within the District in order to advise the City of issues that impact the quality of life in District 10.
  • Serve on at least one committee, ad-hoc committee, or task force at all times. Contribute to efforts to build community and maintain and improve the quality of life in District 10.
  • Participate in Council-sponsored events, including Sunday Series presentations, the Citywide Drop-Off at the State Fairgrounds, social events such as the Ice Cream Social, and other neighborhood activities.
  • Support the Council’s fund development efforts, including helping to identify and approach other individual and business donors, and collaborate with staff and other board members on grant development, fundraising events, and solicitations.
  • Help to fulfill the Council’s obligation to staff the Historic Streetcar Station during museum hours on Sundays (noon– 4 pm). For most members, this means four days/year.

EXECUTIVE POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES

Chair

  • Have general responsibility for oversight and governance of the affairs of the District 10 Como Community Council, including providing direct supervision to staff.
  • Have general responsibility for the implementation of all organizational work plans and resolutions passed by the members of the organization.
  • Preside over all board meetings of the District 10 Como Community Council and facilitate full discussion from all community members and board and staff members.
  • Appoint chairpersons of committees and ad-hoc committees.
  • Participate as an ex-officio member of all committees and task forces, but shall not chair any committee or task force.
  • Meet regularly with staff and other board leadership.

Vice Chair

  • Ensure the appropriate organizational and staff policies are in place to guide the organization and lead the development of revisions or new policies.
  • Perform the duties of the Chairperson in his or her absence, inability or refusal to act, and such other duties as the chairperson shall so direct.
  • Assist the Chairperson in the oversight and governance of the District 10 Como Community Council as requested.
  • Fill the unexpired term of the Chairperson in the event of a vacancy.
  • Act as the parliamentarian at all monthly meetings of the District 10 Como Community Council.
  • Meet regularly with staff and other board leadership.

Treasurer

  • Lead board oversight of the financial accountability, including training board members on oversight procedures and providing a monthly Treasurer’s report at each Council meeting.
  • Assist the Chairperson in the oversight and governance of the District 10 Como Community Council as requested.
  • Ensure that accurate records are maintained of the fiscal matters of the District 10 Como Community Council.
  • Present an annual financial report at the annual meeting.
  • Meet regularly with staff and other board leadership.

Secretary

  • Ensure that accurate records of all proceedings of meetings of the District 10 Como Community Council are posted on the website and kept and maintained in the district office.
  • Assist the Chairperson in the oversight and governance of the District 10 Como Community Council as requested.
  • Collect and keep a file of reports submitted by all committees and sub-committees.
  • Ensure that all vital records required by county, state, and federal government pertaining to operations are updated and on file at the District 10 office.
  • Meet regularly with staff and other board leadership.

D10 Como Park Committees

The By-Laws require three standing committees. All Sub-District and At-Large Board members must be a member of and participate in at least one standing committee (Article IX, Section 7). All committees must be chaired by a sitting Board member; membership is open to any registered community member. Committee chairs are appointed; committee assignments expire each April after the Annual Meeting.

The By-Laws also allow the Board to create additional standing and ad-hoc committees. Membership of these committees is by appointment.

The By-Laws require the Board to meet on the third Tuesday of each month. Committees may schedule their own meeting times. Committees currently meet at these times at our offices in the Como Park Streetcar Station:

  • Land Use: First Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Neighborhood Relations: First Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.
  • Environment: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.

In addition, the By-Laws require the Council’s officers to meet as a group at least once a month.

Committees have the following jurisdictions:

  • Land Use (Article IX, Section 1): Housing, institutions, transportation, variance requests, parks
  • Environment (Article IX, Section 2): Recycling, environment, recreation
  • Neighborhood Relations (Article IX, Section 3): Crime, safety, business and commerce, neighborhood cohesion

In addition, the district council is committed to exploring ways “to address institutional racism in the District Council, in the Como neighborhood, and in the larger community. Proposals could include, but not be limited to:

  • Training and educational opportunities and events for District Council activists and community members at large
  • Collaboration and partnerships
  • Structures and operations of the District Council
  • Policy changes at the neighborhood, city, county, and state levels, as appropriate

Committee Chair & Member Expectations

Committee Chairs

  • Create monthly meeting agendas
    • An email should be sent to the committee members 1 ½ weeks prior to the committee meeting reminding of the upcoming meeting and asking for agenda topics and possible guest presenters 
    • A draft should be submitted to staff by noon on Thursday the week prior to each meeting for inclusion in the newsletter & website (Agenda can be updated after this time if needed)
    • Agenda should include date, location (if meeting will be in-person) and/or Zoom link for the meeting
    • Email agenda to committee members at least 3 days prior to meeting 
  • Assign a committee member to ensure meeting minutes are taken and submitted to staff by noon on the Thursday prior to the board meeting
  • Prepare and submit annual committee budget & plan to the board of directors
    • Should be completed at November meeting
  • Give committee updates at board meetings
    • Can be delegated to another committee member
  • Are familiar with the business of the committee and engage with the on-going issues that come through the committee
  • Ensure assigned board members actively participate in the work and events of the committee. Unresolved issues and/or poor attendance should be escalated to the board chair
  • Work with board officers to maintain organization-wide cohesion

Committee Members

  • Assist committee chair in the tasks listed above (Minutes, budget, planning, etc.)
  • Participate in committee meetings and events. Notify chair, prior to the meeting, if possible, if unable to attend
  • Are familiar with the business of the committee and engage with the on-going issues that come through the committee
  • Engage with other committees’ efforts to help and ask for help when needed

Staff

  • Post committee agendas, minutes, and recorded presentations on the website and newsletter in a timely manner
  • Include the meeting minutes in the board packet
  • Work with committee chair and members to help coordinate with potential committee guest presenters
  • Work with committee chair and members to maintain an updated committee digital presence
  • Work with committee chair and members to provide logistical support for events

Action Items & Form

Action Items are motions to present to the D10 Board and Committees. Anything officially endorsed as a D10 initiative, event, or program should have an Action Item approved. If you don’t have enough information about something to fill out an Action Item form, you may have some more leg work to do before you’re ready for an Action Item. Action items should always include financial estimates/commitments, and it’s highly recommended to note if it’s something that is included in the budget or not (This makes the approval process much easier and again illustrates the importance of planning ahead and preparing a thorough budget). 

Please try to avoid falling victim to the tyranny of the urgent by planning well in advance, but if a situation arises where you don’t have time to wait for Board approval of an item, the Officers can tentatively approve something, however an Action Item should still be presented to the Board for ratification as soon as practicable, even if it’s after the fact. If you have questions about when or how to use an Action Item, please reach out the officers or staff. When in doubt, Action Item!

District 10 Meeting Schedule

The By-Laws require the Board to meet on the third Tuesday of each month. Committees may schedule their own meeting times. In 2022, we moved from meeting four nights each month to having four meetings in two nights to help accommodate the switch to Hybrid meetings and increase capacity while making our meetings as accessible as possible. Committees currently meet at these times at our offices in the Como Park Streetcar Station and/or on Zoom:

  • Environment: First Wednesday of the month, 6-7:15pm
  • Neighborhood Relations: First Wednesday of the month, 7:15-8:30pm
  • Land Use: Third Tuesday of the month, 6-7:15pm
  • Board: Third Tuesday of the month, 7:15-8:30pm

In addition, the By-Laws require the Council’s officers to meet as a group at least once a month, this typically happens the Wednesday prior to the Board meeting.

The most up-to-date D10 Calendar can be found on the website.

Detailed Instructions for Streetcar Opening/Closing

To open District 10 Office (1224 Lexington Pkwy)

  1. Use your personal 4-digit door code to open the outside office door.
  2. Alarm will sound when you open door; go to alarm pad.
  3. Within 60 seconds, enter 4-digit alarm code into alarm pad.  The red light turns to green and alarm stops sounding when correct code is entered.
  4. If you type code incorrectly, press #, then type code again.
  5. If red light stays on, a Parks employee will be alerted. This isn’t a big deal; just explain that you punched in wrong code.
  6. Keys to the inside D10 office door and to the museum doors are hanging on the black cabinet (across from the microwave).

To Open Museum Space

  1. The P2 key unlocks the patio door located in museum space entryway (turn the key to the right). Leave far door (on western side of building) locked.
  2. Open and prop open bathroom doors and inside entry door to museum space if necessary.
  3. Turn on lights: The panel is inside the first closet on left side of museum space; at the very least, turn on these lights: Exhibit Lights; Hall & Bath Lights.
  4. Set out promotional materials and outside sign if available.

To Lock Up:

  1. Lock patio door (turn the key to the left). If you opened both doors, be sure that bolts are latched on second door.
  2. Turn off lights.
  3. Return all materials to office; lock door connecting office to museum area.
  4. Turn off all machines and lights in the office.
  5. Set alarm by entering the 4-digit alarm code. Once alarm starts beeping, you have 60 seconds to leave.
  6. Outside door to office should lock automatically.

Section 3: Financial

District 10 Budget

D10 makes it’s annual budget based on expected income and expenses each year. This process starts with committees proposing their own budget in November, before the final organizational budget is decided at the December board meeting. D10 staff and Treasurer update the board monthly on organizational financials and we use an accountant to process certain aspects of our finances as well. 

District 10 Funding Sources

D10’s largest funding source is from an annual grant from the City of Saint Paul, the Community Engagement (CE) grant. This grant has restrictions on what money can be used for and it can be valuable to understand these restrictions when planning D10 activities and programming. You can see a breakdown of the 17 District Council’s city funding here on the city’s website.

We can, of course, find additional funding sources to pay for things that are restricted by the city grants, such is the case for our Como Lake Clean-Up events that get funding through the Capitol Region Watershed District.

Grants

  1. Community Engagement Grant (CE) (City of St. Paul) – $70,027 in 2022
    • This is the largest funding source for D10. It pays our primary staff salary, rent, utilities, and qualifying organizational expenses approved in our annual work plan.
    • Eligible expenses must (briefly):
      • Be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient performance and administration of Federal awards.
      • Be reasonable and not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person…market price for comparable goods/services…is a generally accepted business practice (arm’s length transaction).
      • Be relevant to the activities stated in our work plan.
      • Be net of applicable credits (rebates, discounts).
      • Be adequately documented.
    • Commonly requested (by St. Paul District Councils) ineligible expenses include:
      • Contributions and donations, including cash, property, and services, by governmental units to others, regardless of the recipient.
      • Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions, regardless of the purpose for which the funds will be used.
      • Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities).
      • Clothing, such as T-Shirts for events or gifts.
      • Interest, fines, and penalties.
      • Political activities including lobbying…for those councils who expense leased office space, no political activities may take place in that space, this includes ads and flyers.
      • Food & drink.
  2. All-In Recycling (Tiers 1 & 2) (City of St. Paul, Ramsey County) – $1500 in 2021
    • D10 participates in the All-In Recycling program, the most visible pieces of this participation are our promotion of recycling programming and partnership in the Beulah Ln. Food Scraps recycling site, where we stock the bag dispensers and are responsible for snow clearing.
      • Tier 1 – $400
        • Promote waste reduction and recycling programs information
        • Make educational materials available to residents (provided by the city)
        • Promote all citywide drop-off events
      • Tier 2
        • Support the 2021 “Recycle Smart” Campaign – $100
        • Distribute compostable bags to residents – $100
        • Outreach to Multi-Family Apartment Buildings – $100
        • Support event recycling/composting – $300
        • Organics Drop-off site support – $500
  3. Citywide Drop-Off (Tier 4) (City of St. Paul, Falcon Heights) – $1300 base + qualifying expense reimbursement (+$400 from Falcon Heights) in 2021
    • This is for D10’s participation in coordinating the annual Citywide Drop-off day at the Fairgrounds. We also qualify for additional reimbursement funds for costs associated with this event (food (capped at $500), supplies, coordinator hours).
      • Tier 4
        • Coordinate with City staff.
        • Act as the main contact for your event.
        • Assist with site logistics as requested by the city.
        • Coordinate promotions
        • Recruit and manage volunteers.
        • Coordinate small vendor/service providers.
        • Provide food and beverages for volunteers and staff.
        • Organize senior pick-up service.
        • Complete Final Reporting after the event.
  4. Capitol Region Watershed District Partner Grant (CRWD) – Como Lake Clean-Up – $8265 in 2021
    • These funds reimburse costs associated with coordinating and supplying our Como Lake Clean-Up events.
  5. Churchill Rain Garden Maintenance Grant (CRWD) – Up to $2000k/yr through 2027
    • In 2016, D10 partnered with CRWD to install the two triangle rain gardens at Churchill/Van Slyke (near the Streetcar Station). This included a 10 year maintenance agreement. In 2021 CRWD introduced a maintenance grant program to help support the effect life of these maintenance agreements.
    • This grant reimburses expenses for the rain gardens. A 50% match is required, but this can be in-kind volunteer labor at $25/hr
    • Funds cannot pay for tools or food/drink for volunteer events.

Events & Fundraising

  1. Barricade Rentals – $20 in 2021
    • D10 has 4 reflective sandwich-board barricades that can be rented for events to help facilitate street closures, there is caution-tape that can enhance the barriers as well. Events are required to have a permit.
      The fee is $10 plus a $40 deposit that is returned when the barricades are returned.
  2. Community Garden Plot Fees – $650 in 2021
    • The Como Community Garden has 25 plots, and the annual fee for participating gardeners is $25.
    • This revenue offsets the cost of the garden (Water bill, annual tilling, hose replacements)
    • There are occasional needs that overrun the annual dues, but balanced with underspending on other year’s it’s typically pretty close.
  3. Como Fest Partner Revenue – Didn’t happen in 2021 – $1650 budgeted
    • Notes indicate that budget “assumes 6 other partners contributing $150 each to cover promotional activities; $750 in Art Fair registrations, which essentially are pass-through”
  4. Como Garage Sale – Didn’t happen in 2021 – $450 budgeted
    • Notes indicate that budget “Assumes 30 participants at $15 each”
  5. General Fundraising & Donations – $3-4k in 2021 – $1500 budgeted
    • These are funds that come in through the donation link on our newsletter or website, sometimes an employer will offer some kind of earned donation program that people direct to D10.
  6. Yoga @ the Streetcar Station – Didn’t happen in 2021 – $300 budgeted
    • Notes indicate that budget “assumes 6 events, averaging 10 participants at $5 each”
  7. Misc. Income – $5507.75 in 2021
    • This is often donations that are solicited for a specific purpose and then spent on that purpose, essentially using D10 as a pass-through. For example donations for an unsheltered coat drive, or our annual Thanksgiving donations and subsequent distribution.
  8. Revenue from Reserves
    • D10 can spend it’s reserves for things not covered by other funding sources. The annual budget sometimes includes a budget line for the year from reserves.

District 10 City Grant Work Plans

D10’s largest funding source is from an annual grant from the City of Saint Paul, the Community Engagement (CE) grant. The grant has restrictions on what money can be used for and it can be valuable to understand these restrictions when planning D10 activities and programming, you can see a summary of these restrictions above in the Funding Sources section. You can see a breakdown of the 17 District Council city funding here on the city’s website.

The CE Grant requires us to supply an annual Work Plan. These Work Plans largely guide our work and priorities, but they aren’t always comprehensive and don’t limit us from new initiatives so long as they are within a reasonable scope of our CE contract, or an alternative funding source is secured.

District 10 Financial Processes Overview

A brief overview of District 10’s financial processes and risk management controls:

  • Financial transactions in D10 are handled by a minimum of three parties, and sometimes more. In addition, grant reimbursement requirements typically add an additional layer of separation and scrutiny.
  • The executive director handles invoices and payments that arrive at the office via mail or email.
  • Payments are deposited as needed to our account at Sunrise Banks. Checks are stamped “for deposit only.”
  • District 10 contracts with an outside accountant (Harrington Langer and Associates) to issue all checks, handle all bookkeeping, and issue monthly financial statements. The monthly statements include a Statement of Financial Position (similar to a P&L), a Statement of Activities by account, and a report of the General Ledger.
    • On a monthly basis, the treasure reviews the Statement of Activities and reconciles it to the two check requests (noted below). Each account is entered into a spreadsheet, broken down by line item according to the board- approved budget. This spreadsheet is balanced to the Statement of Activities.
    • The entirety of each financial statement is included in the monthly board packet, with significant or unusual revenue and expenses highlighted by the treasurer at each board meeting and recorded in the minutes.
    • On an annual basis, the accountant also prepares D10’s federal and state reporting forms (the 990 and COAR). The treasurer and executive director review the forms before authorizing filing.
  • The executive director and treasurer have credit cards in the organization’s name for non-recurring and/or online purchases. Some monthly and annual subscriptions (such as cloud storage, web hosting, and other technology services) also are charged to the credit card. The credit card account has a maximum limit of $3,000 combined.
    • The credit card balance is paid in full once a month. The executive director matches charges with receipts before requesting payment of the monthly credit card statement.
    • The treasurer reviews each charge on the credit card statement and the associated invoice.
  • Staff keep time sheets, with hours charged to specific sources of funding, primarily the Community Engagement and Innovation Fund grants with the City. Time sheets cover the pay period of the 1st-15th, and the 16th-31st. Time sheets must be signed by an officer before a paycheck can be requested.
  • If a staff member or board member is being reimbursed for expenses they incurred on behalf of the organization, they must complete a separate Reimbursement Form, and include all receipts (or accounting of hours), before a reimbursement request will be made.
  • Twice a month (typically on the 15th and last day) the executive director issues a “check request.” This is a spreadsheet that lists the payee, the amount of the requested check, the account number to which the amount is charged, and often (but not always) an explanatory note about what is being paid.
    • If a credit card payment is included in the check request, it contains a similar transaction-by-transaction list.
    • The check request also contains a list of revenue and deposits for that time period. Each line lists the source of the revenue, the amount, the account to which the deposit in credited, and often (but not always) an explanatory note about the source of the revenue.
  • The executive director bundles the check request spreadsheet with copies of all the relevant invoices, statements and time sheets, scans the bundle, and emails the request to the accountant and treasurer.
    • The treasurer reviews each item on both check requests and the scanned invoices.
  • The accountant mails paper checks to the D10 office. When checks arrive, the executive director makes a copy of each check, matches it with the appropriate supporting documentation, and places this paperwork on file.
  • The executive director notifies officers that checks are available. Each check requires the signature of two officers. If one of the officers is receiving a reimbursement, that officer cannot sign her/his check.
    • Individual officers are documented as authorized check signers according to Sunrise Bank policy.
    • Once two officers sign each check, the executive director mails payments.
    • To minimize the time delay of waiting for signatures, paychecks are an exception: They come from the accountant with electronic signatures of two officers affixed. (Recall, however, timesheets cannot be submitted without the signature of an officer.)

Most D10 expenses are supported by reimbursement grants from the City or other entities. The district council does not receive funding in advance. Instead, it incurs an expense, then receives reimbursement — if the expense meets the grant parameters and is supported by appropriate documentation. Therefore, D10 financial files typically are arranged to expedite the filing of grant paperwork for reimbursement purposes. Expense documentation is kept in monthly bundles to meet City requirements.

For City purposes, the documentation for each expense must include (at a minimum) a copy of the check with which the expense was paid, and copies of statements, invoices, receipts, timesheets, etc., as appropriate. Certain transactions (such as outside printing) must include additional documentation or explanatory notes. This typically parallels the documentation that is assembled for issuing a check request to D10’s outside accountant.

However, the City also requires additional forms. For the Community Engagement grant, these include:

  • A Schedule of Expenses. This spreadsheet lists the date of the check, the number of the check, the payee, the amount of the check, and a breakdown of categories to assign the expense. These categories are City classifications; they do not necessarily match D10’s internal classifications. The City assigns these classifications into one of two categories: Personnel or Non-Personnel.
  • Other Grants and Funds. This spreadsheet is for expenses that will be reimbursed by other funding sources.
  • Non-Reimbursable Funds Listing. This spreadsheet is for expenses that do not qualify for reimbursement.
  • Payroll. This spreadsheet tracks gross pay, deductions, net pay, and other payroll information.
  • Funding Source Breakdown. This summary spreadsheet pulls data from the other sheets and ensures the accounting for that month reconciles.
    The executive director typically submits reimbursement requests to the City every 30-60 days, once the contract has been authorized for the year. Submitting a reimbursement request requires completing an additional form, that tracks personnel and non-personnel expenses for the year to date.

Section 4: D10 Policies & Procedures

D10 Financial Policies & Procedures

Revised & Approved January 2013

District 10 Como Community Council is committed to responsible financial management. The entire organization (Board, volunteers, and staff) will work together to make certain all financial matters of the organization are addressed with care, integrity and in the best interest of the community.

This financial policy will be reviewed annually in December by the District 10 Executive Committee. Any changes to this policy must be approved by the Board of Directors.

Roles and responsibilities for financial operations and oversight of the District 10 Como Community Council are as follows:

Board of Directors

  1. Shall exercise fiduciary care in providing overall financial oversight to the District 10 Como Community Council in order to provide for the continued financial health of the organization in order to achieve its mission and goals.
  2. Shall approve expenditures or contracts equal to or greater than $500
  3. Shall approve a budget for each fiscal year prior to its commencement.
  4. Shall approve financial reports and check register on a monthly basis.

Executive Committee

  1. Shall be authorized signers of District 10 checks.
  2. May approve expenditures or contracts up to $500.

Board Chair

  1. Shall serve as supervisor for staff.
  2. Shall approve staff timecards in a timely fashion for submission to accountant.
  3. Shall be an authorized signer of District 10 checks.
  4. Shall review and approve all invoices prior to submission for payment by the accountant in the event that the Treasurer is unable to do so within a reasonable timeframe.

Treasurer

  1. Shall provide oversight of the overall financial state of the District 10 Como Community Council.
  2. Shall work with the Executive Committee and staff to insure implementation and adherence to the financial policy.
  3. Shall work with staff to prepare an annual budget for Board review and approval before the commencement of the fiscal year.
  4. Shall review financial transactions, bank statements, and financial reports on a monthly basis.
  5. May approve expenditures or contracts up to $250 by providing written authorization to staff and/or accountant.
  6. Shall ensure that a qualified accounting service is retained and that the accounting service is aware of and complies with District 10 financial policies and procedures.
  7. Shall be an authorized signer of District 10 checks.
  8. Shall ensure compliance with all of District 10’s financial and credit card policies and procedures.
  9. Shall review and approve all grant reimbursement requests.
  10. Shall review and approve all invoices and submit to the accountant for payment.
  11. Shall cause to be prepared all necessary tax and related documents on behalf of the District.

Staff

  1. Shall receive and secure monies obtained for conducting the business of the District 10 Como Community Council.
  2. Shall receive invoices, code with appropriate general ledger number, and forward to the Treasurer for approval of payment in accordance with District practice.
  3. Shall maintain accurate and complete electronic and hard-copy files related to financial matters.
  4. Shall provide information to the accountant and Treasurer to assist in preparation and analysis of financial reports.
  5. Shall prepare the necessary paperwork to obtain reimbursement from the city or other grantors for expenses incurred toward the completion of the District’s contracts with these entities. Staff shall prepare and submit invoices to other organizations for payment of services rendered to them by District 10 or for expenses incurred by District 10 on their behalf as a fiscal agent.
  6. Shall ensure that all grant and other reimbursements are received within a reasonable timeframe. For City of St. Paul grants, a reasonable timeframe is two weeks following submission.
  7. May approve routine expenditures up to $100.
  8. Shall comply with the District 10 Check Card Policy (Appendix A).
  9. Shall supervise independent contractors to ensure completion of assigned work.

Accountant

  1. Shall disburse monies for the sole purpose of the organization’s mission-based business as needed solely upon receipt of proper instructions from the organization.
  2. Shall prepare monthly unaudited financial statements and shall provide to treasurer at least five working days prior to monthly board of directors meeting.
  3. Shall reconcile bank statement on a monthly basis.
  4. Shall prepare forms required to fulfill government reporting requirements, including those from the Internal Revenue Service and the Minnesota Attorney General.

The District 10 Como Community Council will maintain financial records using accounting conventions that are designed to provide a clear accounting of the Council’s financial activities and that comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices and all relevant laws and regulations.

Definitions

  1. A general ledger is a formal listing of all of a company’s financial transactions during a particular accounting cycle, through offsetting debit and credit accounts.
  2. A chart of accounts is a list of all account names and numbers used in a company’s general ledger.
  3. Unified Chart of Accounts refers to a chart of accounts that follows conventions recommended by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCSS) and makes available to nonprofits so that financial data may be quickly and reliably translated into categories required by IRS Form 990 and other standard reporting formats.
  4. “Financial Reserve” is defined as the District’s cash/checking account balance at the close of the month, as specified on its monthly balance sheet.

Unified Chart of Accounts (UCOA)

  1. The UCOA is maintained in a separate document.
  2. All changes to the UCOA must be approved by the Treasurer, in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Fiscal Year

The fiscal year for District 10 runs from January 1 – December 31.

Accounting Basis

District 10 will use the accrual method of accounting and will follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, except as required by law or specified in its bylaws and/or financial policies and procedures.

Required Reserve

District 10 will maintain a financial reserve equal to three months average expenses. For purposes of this policy, three months average expenses is calculated by:

Total Annual Budget Expenditure x 3 months
12 Months

The Treasurer shall monitor this reserve and report on the status of it to the Board of Directors on a monthly basis.

Cash Receipts

  1. Checks received shall be restrictively endorsed (e.g. “for deposit only to” District 10 bank account #).
  2. All receipts shall be coded with the appropriate UCOA number, recorded in the general ledger system, and deposited at the bank within 5 business days of receipt.
  3. Each cash receipt shall be reconciled by the accountant to the bank statement.
  4. Copies of all deposit slips shall be retained in the District’s files.

Charitable Contributions

  1. All charitable contributions to District 10 shall be acknowledged by letter within 30 days of receipt.
  2. District 10 only accepts charitable contributions for general purposes and does not permit donors to dedicate moneys to a specific purpose without prior approval of the Board of Directors.

Grants

  • Grants revenue shall be recognized upon full execution of a grant agreement/contract between District 10 and the granting entity by submitting a copy of the grant agreement/contract to the accountant.
  • For the following grants ONLY, grant revenue shall be recognized on a monthly basis by submitting an accounting of the month’s earned revenue to the accountant:
    • City of St. Paul – Citizen Participation
    • City of St. Paul – Crime Prevention

Accounts Receivable Management

  1. The Treasurer shall monitor the grants receivable account and ensure that no receivable is outstanding longer than 30 days.
  2. The Treasurer shall ensure that the receivable account balance accurately reflects the amount of revenue expected from all sources.

Payment Procedures

  1. Staff shall code each invoice with the appropriate UCOA number and forward it to the Treasurer for approval of payment and transmission to the accountant for payment.
  2. The Treasurer shall review all coded invoices to ensure compliance with District 10 policies and shall approve prior to submission to the accountant for disbursement. In the event the Treasurer is unable to approve payment within a reasonable timeframe, the Board Chair or his/her designee may approve the disbursement.
  3. All disbursements will be made by the accountant using pre-numbered checks requiring the signature of two authorized signers. Authorized signers may not sign a check payable to themselves.
  4. All undisbursed checks will be secured by the accountant.

Payroll

  1. All employees must complete a W-4 tax withholding form and I-9 employment eligibility form before their first payroll period begins.
  2. Payroll and employee benefits will be paid as described in the employee handbook.
  3. Employees will complete a bi-monthly timecard, to be approved by the Board Chair and forwarded to the accountant for payment.
  4. The accountant shall perform a monthly payroll reconciliation.
  5. The accountant shall perform an annual tax withholding reconciliation.

Reimbursements

Reimbursements for expenses authorized by District 10 shall be submitted using the District 10 Expense Reimbursement Form. This form shall be submitted by staff to the Treasurer for payment in the next check cycle.

Capital Purchases and Inventory

  1. District 10 will treat all purchases of items with a cost greater than $50 and an expected lifespan of greater than one year as a capital purchase.
  2. Staff will provide accountant with documentation of purchase of capital items.
  3. Staff will provide accountant with information on the disposition of any asset in a timely fashion upon disposition. Capital assets may only be disposed of upon approval by the Executive Committee (if residual value is less than $500) or the Board (if residual value is greater than $500).
  4. Capital purchases shall be depreciated by the accountant in compliance with IRS regulations.
  5. All capital assets owned by District 10 will be tagged with a District 10 asset tag specifying the date of entry into service and the date upon which full depreciation will occur.
  6. An annual inventory of District 10 assets will be conducted by the Treasurer prior to the end of each fiscal year and results shall be provided to the Board and accountant.
  7. Equipment, facilities, and supplies of District 10 are maintained for services provided to Board members and residents of District 10. No personal use of District 10 supplies, equipment, or services is allowed. The Treasurer and Community Organizer will review telephone and office supply bills each month to ensure compliance.

Insurance

  1. District 10 shall carry all insurance coverage required by law.
  2. The accountant shall perform a monthly prepaid insurance reconciliation. The Treasurer shall review the reconciliation monthly.
  3. A copy of all insurance policies shall be maintained at the District 10 office.

General

Financial statements and reports of District 10 are open to the public and may be viewed by appointment at the District 10 office during normal business hours.

Financial Statements

  1. The Board shall review and accept the financial reports (balance sheet and income statement) each month that it meets.

Records Management

  1. All financial records, including cancelled checks, receipts, bank statements, ledgers, invoices, reimbursement requests, etc, remain the property of District 10 and shall not be removed from the District 10 office without express permission from the Executive Committee. Staff shall be kept informed of the status of all removed documents.
  2. District 10’s financial records must be retained for seven years. This applies to both paper and electronic records.

Audit

  1. District 10 shall, once every five years, retain a qualified individual or firm to conduct a financial review of its books.

District 10 Como Community Council
Debit Card Policies and Procedures

Objective

To allow District 10 staff access to efficient means of payment for approved expenses.

Policies

District 10 debit cards will be issued to staff, only with approval of the Executive Committee.

Debit cards will only be used for business purposes. Personal purchases of any type are not allowed.

Staff may expend up to $100 per transaction, not to exceed $300 per month, on routine expenses. Requests for approval of greater amounts shall be approved in accordance with the District’s financial policies.

The District, in conjunction with the issuing institution, shall require that all debit cards issued to staff shall have a prudent purchasing limit not greater than $250 per transaction.

Cash withdrawals from debit cards are not allowed without written permission from the Executive Committee.

Cardholders will be required to sign an agreement indicating they accept these terms. Individuals who do not adhere to these policies and procedures risk revocation of their debit card privileges and/or disciplinary action.

Upon termination of employment, staff shall return any outstanding debit cards to the treasurer.

Prohibited Transactions
The following purchases are not allowed:

  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages/tobacco products
  • Capital equipment and upgrades (see definition of capital purchase in District Financial Policies)
  • Construction, renovation/installation
  • Controlled substances
  • Items or services on term contracts
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Personal items or loans
  • Purchases involving trade-in of District 10 property
  • Rentals (other than short-term autos)
  • Telephones, related equipment, or services
  • Any other items deemed inconsistent with the values of District 10

Procedures

Debit cards may be requested for prospective cardholders by written request (Credit Card Request Form) to the treasurer.

Original detailed receipts must be retained and attached to a log with a brief description of the purchase. The debit card log will be submitted to the treasurer for approval along with the routine monthly check request.

Copies of the log and receipts shall be retained in District 10’s files for seven years.

Fiscal Agency Policy

  1. Policy Statement
    Como Community Council – District 10 (“the District”) may act as a fiscal agent to support a community member working on a project within the District that serves a district purpose or an objective identified in the District Plan.
  2. Definitions
    1. 2.01 “Community member” means a community member as defined in Article IV, s. 1 of the District’s By-Laws. “Community member” can also mean the parent or legal guardian of a minor resident of the District who is leading a project.
    2. 2.02 “District Plan” means the District Plan prepared and approved by the Board of Governors and adopted by the Saint Paul City Council.
    3. 2.03 “District Purpose” means a purpose identified in Article II of the District’s By-Laws.
    4. 2.04 “Fiscal Agent” means a relationship in which the District will receive and hold funds on behalf of the community member and will pay those funds to the community member according to the terms of a fiscal agency agreement.
    5. 2.05 “Project” means a project benefiting the residents of the district that serves a charitable or educational purpose and which is not designed to provide the community member with a net profit.
  3. Requirements
    1. 3.01 Necessity of Fiscal Agent. The District will only act as a fiscal agent when a fiscal agent is required under the terms of the grant or agreement funding the project.
    2. 3.02 Agreement Required. The District will only act as a fiscal agent upon the execution of a fiscal agency agreement that substantially conforms to the terms of the model agreement attached to this policy.
    3. 3.03 Committee Recommendation and Board Approval. The District will only act as a fiscal agent upon approval of the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors will not consider a request to act as a fiscal agent without a written report of a standing or ad hoc committee finding that acting as a fiscal agent for a project would serve a district purpose or an
      objective identified in the District Plan and meets the requirements of this Policy.
    4. 3.04 Non-Partisan. The Board of Governors may not approve a fiscal agency agreement that would violate the District’s status as a non-partisan organization that does not participate in any political campaign or attempt to influence legislation.
    5. 3.05 Discretion. The Board of Governors may consider any factors it considers relevant in determining whether to grant or deny a request to act as a fiscal agent, including the current administrative burden and costs of other fiscal agency agreements then in place and the additional burden entailed by the proposed agreement.
  4. Fees
    1. 4.01 Fee. The District shall charge a fee for acting as a fiscal agent, which shall be equal to 5% of the funding to be held by the District as part of the fiscal agency agreement.
    2. 4.02 Interest. The District shall be entitled to keep any interest that accrues on funds it holds as fiscal agent.
  5. Limitations
    1. 5.01 The District shall not accept any responsibility for supervising the project or community member, for verifying the expenses of the project, or for ensuring the community member’s compliance with the terms or conditions of any funding for the project.
    2. 5.02 The District shall not agree to assume any liability for any acts or omissions of the community member or the project and shall not agree to indemnify any person, including the community member, for any loss arising from the acts or omissions of the community member or the project.
  6. Accounting Requirements
    1. 6.01 Separate Account on Books. The District shall maintain a separate account on its books for each project on which it is acting as a fiscal agent.
    2. 6.02 Form W-9 required. Before the fiscal Agency Agreement is executed, the community member in question must provide a W-9 Form. The District will keep the W-9 and any form containing the community member’s Social Security Number in a secure location.
    3. 6.03 Form 1099. The District will file and issue such informational tax returns, including a Form 1099, as it may be required to in order to comply with state and federal tax laws.

Whistleblower Policy

Implemented 04/21/09

1. Purpose.

District 10 – Como Community Council requires board members, committee members and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. All directors, committee members and employees shall comply with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements.

2. Reporting Responsibility

District 10 – Como Community Council seeks to have an “Open Door Policy” and encourages board members and employees to share their questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints regarding the District 10 – Como Community Council and its operations as
follows: In most cases, a board member, committee member or employee should present his or her concerns to the Chair of the Board. However, if a board member, committee member or employee is not comfortable speaking with the Board Chair or is not comfortable
with the Board Chair’s response, the board member, committee member or employee is encouraged to speak with any member of the Executive Committee whom the employee is comfortable in approaching.

3. No Retaliation.

No board member, committee member, or employee who in good faith reports a violation of a law or regulation requirement shall suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequences. A board member, committee member, or employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment, removal from board of directors and/or committee as pursuant to By-laws. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable persons to raise serious concerns within District 10 – Como Community Council prior to seeking resolution outside District 10 – Como Community Council.

4. Compliance Officer

District 10 – Como Community Council’s Board Chair will act as District 10 – Como Community Council’s Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer is responsible for investigating and resolving all employee complaints and allegations concerning violations of
the Principles and/or Code. If the complaint involves the Board Chair, the Vice Chair will carry out the functions of the Compliance Officer.

5. Accounting and Auditing Matters.

The Treasurer of the Board of Directors shall address all reported concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls or auditing. The Compliance Officer shall immediately notify the Treasurer of any such complaints and work with the Treasurer until the matter is resolved.

6. Requirement of Good Faith.

Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of the law or regulation requirements must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

7. Confidentiality.

Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

8. Handling of Reported Violations.

The Compliance Officer, or the person responsible for carrying out the Compliance Officer’s role with respect to a reported or suspected violation, will acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspected violation by writing a letter (or e-mail) to the complainant
within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.

Record Retention Policy

Implemented 04/21/09

District 10 – Como Community Council takes seriously its obligations to preserve information relating to litigation, audits,
and investigations.

The information listed in the retention schedule below is intended as a guideline and may not contain all the records District
10 Como Community Council may be required to keep in the future. It does not apply to records created before the date
the policy was adopted. Questions regarding the retention of documents not listed in this chart should be directed to the
Community Organizer.

From time to time, the Board Chair may issue a notice, known as a “legal hold” suspending the destruction of records due to
pending, threatened, or otherwise reasonably foreseeable litigation, audits, government investigations, or similar
proceedings. No records specified in any legal hold may be destroyed, even if the scheduled destruction date has passed,
until the legal hold is withdrawn in writing by the Board Chair.

File Category

Item – Retention Period

Corporate

  • Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation – Permanent
  • Board and committee meeting agendas and minutes – Permanent
  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure forms – 4 years

Finance & Administration

  • Financial Statements – 7 years
  • Auditor management letters – 7 years
  • Payroll Records – 7 years
  • Check Registers and Checks – 7 years
  • Bank Deposits and Statements – 7 years
  • Chart of Accounts – 7 years
  • General Ledgers, journals, bank reconciliation reports – 7 years
  • Investment performance reports – 7 years
  • Equipment Files & Maintenance records – 7 years after disposition
  • Contracts and agreements – 7 years after obligations end
  • Correspondence – general – 3 years

Insurance

  • Policies – occurence type – Permanent
  • Policies – claims made type – Permanent
  • Accident reports –  7 years
  • Safety (OSHA) Reports – 7 years
  • Claims (after settlement) – 7 years
  • Group disability records – 7 years after end of benefits

Real Estate

  • Deeds – Permanent
  • Leases (expired) – 7 years after all obligations end
  • Mortgages, security agreements – 7 years after all obligations end

Tax

  •  IRS exemptions determination and related correspondence – Permanent
  • IRS form 990’s – 7 years
  • Charitable Organizations Registration Stmt – MN Attorney General – 7 years

Human Resources

  • Employee personnel files – Permanent
  • Retirement plan benefits (descriptions & documents) – Permanent
  • Employee handbooks – Permanent
  • Workers Comp Claims (after settlement) – 7 years
  • Employee orientation and training materials- 7 years after use ends
  • Employment applications – 3 years
  • IRS Form I-9 (store separate from personnel file) – Greater of 1yr after end of service or 3yrs
  • Withholding tax statements – 7 years
  • Timecards – 3 years

Technology

  •  Software licenses and support agreements – 7 years after all obligations end
  1. Electronic Documents and Record Retention.
    Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason to keep an e-mail message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.
  2. Emergency Planning.
    District 10 Como Community Council’s records will be stored in a safe, secure, and accessible manner. Electronic documents and financial files that are essential to keeping District 10 Como Community Council operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every month and maintained off-site.
  3. Document Destruction.
    Council staff, under the supervision of the Board Secretary, is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period, and overseeing destruction. Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.
    Document Destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
  4. Compliance.
    Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against District 10 Como Community Council and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals. The Board Secretary will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or District 10 Como Community Council’s accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.

Policy on Conflicts of Interest

Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to set out the expectations of the District 10 Como Community Council on conflicts of interest.

It is the intention of this policy to ensure the integrity of District 10’s decision making process, to enable our constituencies to have confidence in our integrity, and to protect the integrity and reputations of volunteers, staff, committee members, and board members.

Individual Expectations

The expectation of behavior at the District 10 Como Community Council is that all staff, voting committee members, task force appointees, and board members scrupulously avoid conflicts of interest between the interests of the Council on the one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding potential and actual conflicts of interest, as well as perceptions of conflicts of interest.

Upon or before election, hiring, committee membership, or appointment, individuals will make a full, written disclosure of interests, relationships, legal matters, and holdings that could potentially result in a conflict of interest. This written disclosure will be kept on file and will be updated as appropriate, at least once annually. Individual disclosures will be treated as confidential unless publication is deemed necessary to ensure achievement of the intentions of this policy.

In the course of meetings or activities, individuals will disclose any interests in a transaction or decision where they (including business or other nonprofit affiliations), family and/or significant other, employer, or close associates will receive a benefit or gain. After disclosure, individuals understand that they will be asked to recuse themselves from the discussion and will not be permitted to vote on it.

This policy is meant to supplement good judgment, and individuals will respect its spirit as well as its wording.

Organizational Expectations

The District 10 Como Community Council relies on a variety of institutional (public, private, and non-profit) and individual funding sources to fund its operations. This funding takes the form of grants, donations, sponsorships, and contracts for services. In order to protect the integrity of the Council and its funders, District 10 will maintain an up-to-date registry of funders providing more than $500 in annual funding on its website, www.district10comopark.org, containing the name of the funder, and the form and level of funding provided, as well as date of donation/term of grant/contract.

Potential or perceived conflicts of interest may arise when funders have matters of interest pending before the Council or its committees. On such occasions, the chair will ensure that information from the funding registry is shared with the community prior to discussion of the matter at hand. Meeting minutes shall reflect the disclosure. Where appropriate, committee recommendations and
board actions should identify potential or perceived conflicts of interest inherent in the decision, the steps taken to disclose them, and any steps deemed necessary to manage them.

Adopted by the District 10 Como Community Council Board of Directors March 18, 2014. This policy will take effect at the conclusion of the April, 2014 annual meeting.

Social Media Policy

  1. MISSION
    1.01 The mission of District 10 is to inform, educate, and connect the Como Park neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence.
    1.02 The mission of the District 10 Social Media Policy is to use any combination of social media platforms to promote the mission of District 10 with a single organizational voice and in a positive, friendly, and professional manner exhibited through content and tone.
  2. COMMITMENT TO POLICY
    2.01 Any employee, Officer, Director, or volunteer contributing to District 10 communications on behalf of District 10 is to follow District 10’s Social Media Policy. Contributors are to respectfully and professionally represent the organization, adhere to the terms and conditions of any third-party sites, and are expected to take full responsibility for their communications. All employees and members of the Board are considered contributors under this policy.
  3. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL
    3.01 The District 10 Social Media Policy governs any and all social media accounts created on behalf of and administered by District 10. It also applies to the personal social media accounts of any employees, members of the Board, or volunteers of
    District 10 where specified in this policy in section 9 and elsewhere.
  4. MONITORING, MODERATION, AND ACCOUNT CONTROL
    4.01 Any District 10 social media account is considered property of District 10 and shall be administered by the Executive Director.
    4.02 In addition to the Executive Director, other employees, Board members, or volunteers may be assigned administrative privileges by the Chair.
    4.03 Any person assigned administrative privileges is responsible for moderating and responding to comments in compliance with this policy. Any member of the Board, whether assigned administrative privileges or not, may respond to comments in
    compliance with this policy.
    4.04 All employees and members of the Board are responsible for monitoring and reporting any potential violations of this policy.
    4.05 District 10 reserves the right to take any action, including removal, regarding any post, feed, or other communication on any official District 10 social media account for any reason.
  5. CONFIDENTIALITY
    5.01 Any employee, Officer, Director, or volunteer shall not post any District 10 confidential information on either District 10 accounts or their personal social media accounts.
    5.02 District 10 confidential information is any non-public information that the individual posting or sharing is not authorized to share on behalf of District 10. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, non-public financial information or accounts, confidential information related to legal matters, non-public information regarding internal strategies or personnel reviews, campaign benchmarks, unreleased advertising or promotions, unreleased or draft surveys, personal information regarding others obtained through work or service performed on behalf of District 10,
    or other confidential internal memos, processes, or methodologies. Any information considered confidential that is published by District 10 in any form is no longer considered confidential information, unless that information is published in error and is retracted.
  6. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
    When using any social media platform, District 10 seeks to be:
    6.01 Responsive. District 10 seeks to receive feedback, input, and questions from residents and make it a priority to respond in a quick and informative manner.
    6.02 Engaging. District 10 strives to consider how any post promotes our mission to inform, educate, and connect the Como Park neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence.
    6.03 Non-Partisan. District 10 shall not participate in, declare support for, publish or share on the behalf of, or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office or political party.
    6.04 Community Focused. District 10 prioritizes the promotion and sharing of information regarding news, announcements, programs, and resources focused on issues directly related to our geographic boundaries and mission; including, but not limited to District 10 Como Community Council, Como Park area, the Western Police District of St. Paul, the City of St. Paul, and Ramsey County.
    6.05 Collaborative. District 10 will strive to use social media in a manner that engages and collaborates with our formal and informal community partners and governmental units.
    6.06 Inclusive. District 10 shall seek to expand its community cohesion and inclusivity by encouraging a sense of belonging and welcoming for all community members by intentionally promoting diverse cultural activities and opportunities.
    6.07 Safe. District 10 seeks to promote safe neighborhood strategies and will balance the need to educate and engage residents in safety campaigns with the desire to positively promote the neighborhood by protecting the privacy of victims, avoid stimulating unwarranted fears, accurately gauging public safety concerns, and communicating about any pressing threats to public safety.
  7. AUTHORIZED USE
    7.01 Any employee or member of the Board is encouraged to contribute to District 10’s presence on any social media platform in a manner that is consistent with this policy.
    7.02 Nothing in this policy should be interpreted as discouraging any employee, member of the Board, or volunteer from positively communicating on any social media platform about any official District 10 events, meetings, public documents, sponsored activities, news, responses, other relevant community topics, or questions and comments regarding District 10.
    7.03 When an employee, member of the Board, or volunteer uses an official District 10 account, their personal account, or any other social media account, they shall strive to adhere to District 10’s and the City of Saint Paul’s non-discrimination policy.
    7.04 When an employee or member of the Board uses an official District 10 account, their personal account, or any other social media account and represents themselves as an employee or a member of the Board in a communication or conversation, that employee or member of the Board must strive to adhere to this policy. Moreover, such employees and members of the Board, by declaring themselves a part of the leadership of District 10, undertake the responsibility to advance only adopted Board
    positions or to clearly identify when a communication is an individual opinion and is not in representation of the Board. Such employees or members of the Board will strive to ensure that the Board continues to speak with one voice and to avoid confusion or misrepresentations, which undermine the purpose of this policy.
    7.05 Major life events of community members, including, but not limited to funerals, births, birthdays, anniversaries, or changes in employment, are not to be announced or shared on any official District 10 accounts without prior approval of the Chair, the Executive Director, or the Chair’s designee.
    7.06 Employees, members of the Board, and volunteers shall not use any official District 10 accounts for self-promotion of themselves or any business in which they have a financial interest. Self-promotion consists of either a direct endorsement of skills or achievements unrelated to the mission of District 10, or a post, feed, or other communication that is intended to drive readers or consumers to their personal site or to any business’ site in which they have a financial interest.
    7.07 Any employee, members of the Board, or volunteer may respond to negative comments, posts, feeds, or other communications regarding District 10 on any social media platform on behalf of District 10. Responses are encouraged to be factual and in a neutral tone. There is no affirmative duty to respond to negative posts, feeds, or other communications.
    7.08 If an employee, member of the Board, or volunteer becomes aware of a negative comment, post, feed, or other communication on a social media account regarding District 10, whether the account belongs to a group, government or business entity, or an individual, that either is known to have or may have multiple District 10 residents as recipients of the negative communication, they shall strive to report the negative communication to the Executive Director, the Chair, or the Chair’s designee, so that a
    response from District 10 can be issued if appropriate.
    7.09 District 10 will strive to respond to any negative comments in a manner that can turn the negative comment into a service or educational opportunity and that will correct any misinformation. If a negative communication is vulgar, inflammatory, intentionally misleading, or is highly likely to damage the sense of community pride and confidence, then the post should be removed or a request to have the communication removed be issued to the administrator of the account. A response does not need to be provided if a response is unlikely to serve the interests of District
    10 or its members.
  8. PERSONAL ACCOUNTS
    8.01 When an employee, member of the Board, or volunteer uses their personal account, or any other social media account, they shall strive to adhere to District 10’s and the City of Saint Paul’s non-discrimination policy.
    8.02 Any employee or member of the Board is encouraged to use their personal social media accounts to contribute to District 10’s presence on any social media platform in a manner that is consistent with this policy. Nothing in this policy should be interpreted as discouraging any employee, member of the Board, or volunteer from positively communicating on any social media platform about any official District 10 events, meetings, public documents, sponsored activities, news, responses, other relevant community topics, or questions and comments regarding District 10.
    8.03 Any employee, members of the Board, or volunteer may use their personal social media accounts to respond to negative comments, posts, feeds, or other communications regarding District 10 on any social media platform in a manner consistent with this policy and, specifically, section 7.07, 7.08, and 7.09. There is no affirmative duty to respond to negative posts, feeds, or other communications.
    8.04 If an employee, member of the Board, or volunteer becomes aware of a negative comment, post, feed, or other communication on a social media account regarding District 10, whether the account belongs to a group, government or business entity, or an individual, that either is known to have or may have multiple District 10 residents as recipients of the negative communication, they shall strive to report the negative communication to the Executive Director, the Chair, or the Chair’s designee, so that a response from District 10 can be issued if appropriate.
    8.05 When an employee or member of the Board uses their personal account or any other social media account and represents themselves as an employee or a member of the Board in a communication or conversation, that employee or member of the Board must strive to adhere to this policy. Moreover, such employees and members of the Board, by declaring themselves a part of the leadership of District 10, undertake the responsibility to advance only adopted Board positions or to clearly identify when a communication is an individual opinion and is not in representation of the Board. Such employees or members of the Board will strive to ensure that the Board continues to speak with one voice and to avoid confusion or misrepresentations, which undermine the purpose of this policy.
    8.02 Any employee, Officer, Director, or volunteer shall not post any District 10 confidential information, as defined in section 5, on any social media accounts, including their personal social media accounts.
  9. VIOLATIONS
    9.01 Violations of this policy should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director, the Chair, or the Chair’s designee.
    9.02 Violations of this policy may result in removal from the Board or suspension of membership rights pursuant to Section 5 of Article III of the District 10 bylaws.

Live Streaming & Retention Policy

  1. Purpose
    1.1 In order to increase members’ access to information and encourage greater participation of D10 members, D10 will strive to live stream its Board meetings.
    1.2 Officers, employees, and Board members should consider both the benefits and drawbacks offered by wider access to Board meetings presented by live streaming. Live streaming provides greater access to information to members. It may also discourage involvement by some members who are hesitant to share opinions or information knowing that their participation may be recorded and retained on the internet.
    1.3 D10 recognizes that oftentimes, once a recording is published on the internet, complete control over the use and retention of that recording is lost.
  2. Live Streaming
    2.1 D10 will seek to, when practical, live stream its Board meetings from the point when the Board meeting is called to order until adjournment or entering closed session.
    2.2 Nothing in this policy should be interpreted to prohibit or require delaying a scheduled Board meeting if live streaming is not available, impractical, or not functional.
    2.3 D10 is not required to advise any presenter or participant that a meeting is being recorded. Nonetheless, D10 will seek to provide responsible notice of live streaming to any attendees.
    2.4 Officers may authorize live streaming of any other presentations, forums, or committee meetings as appropriate, but will strive to do so with prior agreement of any host, presenter, or committee Chair.
  3. Retention
    3.1 D10 is not required to retain any video or audio recording of any meetings or presentations whether on its own equipment, on available servers not maintained by D10, or through any other means.
    3.2 D10, when such a service is free or low cost, may retain recordings of Board meetings up to one year from when the recording was taken.
    3.3 Except pursuant to section 3.4, D10 will strive to delete, take down, block, remove, or cease sharing recordings of Board meetings after one year from when the recording was taken. This policy does not require D10 to ensure deletion. Rather, D10 will strive to no longer actively share or distribute the recordings online.
    3.4 Certain presentations or topics of discussion may provide information that will continue to be highly relevant to D10 members beyond the one-year retention period. It may be more efficient to extend retention of these presentations rather than requiring repetitive presentations. The Officers or by action of the Board, may extend the period for which a specifically identified presentation or other specifically identified portions of a recording is to be retained. 
    3.5 If retention of a recording is extended pursuant to section 3.4, the new period of retention must be clearly stated. Nothing in this policy prevents multiple extensions of a retention period for a specific recording.
    3.6 General extensions of entire recordings or multiple recordings that are unrelated to a specified topic identified pursuant to section 3.4 for extended retention are not permissible.
    3.7 The Chair shall designate an individual or individuals tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy.
  4. Requests for Removal or Redaction
    4.1 Any individual may submit a written request to the Officers seeking to redact, delete, take down, block, or remove a specified recording or portion of a recording.
    4.2 A request should specifically identify the recording and clearly articulate the reasoning for redaction, deletion, or removal of the recording.
    4.3 Officers can authorize the redaction, deletion, blocking, removal, or cessation of active sharing of a recording in response to such a request.
    4.4 Officers may consider any circumstances relevant to a request under section 4.1, but should consider the purpose of this policy, whether the requester is depicted in the recording identified, the right to privacy of D10 members, whether there is a right to be forgotten, a member’s right to change their opinion on a subject, and whether the information discussed in the recording is accessible by D10 members through other means. Particular consideration should be given to any articulated safety concerns.
    4.5 There is no specific time frame governing the consideration of a request pursuant to 4.1, however, Officers should consider a reasonable request when practical.
    4.6 Notice via e-mail, including identifying the specific recording or portion of a recording and the reasoning supporting the decision, should be provided to Board members after a request pursuant to section 4.1 is granted either in whole or in apart by Officers and is executed.

Reimbursement Form & Process

Reimbursements for expenses authorized by District 10 shall be submitted using the District 10 Expense Reimbursement Form. This form shall be submitted by staff to the Treasurer for payment in the next check cycle.

Requests must be turned in within 45 days of transaction
ALL REIMBURSEMENT REQUESTS MUST INCLUDE COPIES OF RECEIPTS

Individual Disclosure & Acknowledgement Form

Excerpt from D10 Conflict of Interest Policy:

Upon or before election, hiring, committee membership, or appointment, individuals will make a full, written disclosure of interests, relationships, legal matters, and holdings that could potentially result in a conflict of interest. This written disclosure will be kept on file and will be updated as appropriate, at least once annually. Individual disclosures will be treated as confidential unless publication is deemed necessary to ensure achievement of the intentions of this policy.

In the course of meetings or activities, individuals will disclose any interests in a transaction or decision where they (including business or other nonprofit affiliations), family and/or significant other, employer, or close associates will receive a benefit or gain. After disclosure, individuals understand that they will be asked to recuse themselves from the discussion and will not be permitted to vote on it.

This policy is meant to supplement good judgment, and individuals will respect its spirit as well as its wording.

Section 5: General Info

How to Take Meeting Minutes

Taking minutes at a meeting is not always a popular activity, but it is an important one. The meeting minutes serve as a record of what action the board of directors has taken. In the eyes of the IRS, courts, and auditors board meeting minutes are legal documents. Nonetheless, there is no single format to take minutes. You can do what makes sense for you and your group. However, following these tips can help make writing meeting minutes easier:

  • Remember that meeting minutes are for future and outside readers as much as they are for the people present. Make sure whatever you write down will be clear to people coming into the process at a later time.
  • Typing meeting minutes on a laptop can make the process quicker and easier; however, a pen and paper work well, too, and might keep you from writing down too much information.
  • Make a note of who is present. If necessary, pass around a sign-in sheet.
  • Use the meeting agenda as an outline for the minutes, staff or the meeting chair should be able to share a digital copy of the agenda you can just type the minutes right on top of.
  • Details do not belong in meeting minutes. Do write down any motions and decisions made and the key findings of any committee reports.
  • Use bullet points to make the minutes easier to read. Each bullet statement should represent a different finding, discussion, or decision. Use nested bullets (bulleted statements within a bullet) if appropriate.
  • Make a note of issues that were tabled until future meetings; this will serve as an important reminder to the board of things that still need to be done.
  • Transcribe or review minutes as soon as possible after the meeting, while your memory of what happened is still fresh.
  • Before you submit the meeting minutes, proofread for typos and omissions.

Sample Meeting Minute Template

Name of Organization

Board Meeting Minutes:

Month Day, Year

Time and location

Present: Name board members in attendance

Absent: Name absent board members. 

Others Present: List any organizational staff and guests and their affiliations here

Proceedings:

  • Meeting called to order at (time) by (person, usually chair)
  • Minutes from (prior meeting date) amended and approved.
  • Subcommittee Reports – (highlights of information presented and discussions had)
  • Any action taken. For instance, MOTION to (do action); seconded and passed.
  • Meeting adjourned at (time)

Future Business:

Here is a place to remind people of:

  • conversations that were tabled until next time,
  • possible agendas for upcoming meetings,
  • assignments that board members have taken on

Minutes submitted by (name)

© Estela Kennen

Running a Meeting: 10 Rookie Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

By Suzanne Bates

Running a good meeting is really an art. Remember all the places you’ve worked, or the times you’ve been on a client’s site, where a meeting failed to get the job done? In countless organizations, meetings are scheduled back–to–back, start late, lose focus, erupt in personal conflict, accomplish little, leave no one accountable and make people miserable.

It is up to you, as the leader in a consulting engagement, to learn the art of the effective meeting. Run lousy meetings and you will be judged accordingly. Step up to the meeting leadership role and you will have enormous influence and a more productive consulting experience. This article highlights the 10 most common “rookie mistakes” leaders make in meetings—and how to avoid them.

Successful meetings start before the meeting. You must decide whether to have a meeting at all. You also must be strategic about whom to invite, what to put on the agenda and how to win support or uncover objections in advance.

Some meetings, for example, are unnecessary. Ask yourself what issues could be handled without a meeting or could a meeting be postponed or avoided? As for who should attend the meeting, I know one smart CEO, a client of mine, who invites only those who actually will contribute to the meeting; he believes the only way to streamline the meeting culture is to make sure that people attend meetings for a reason.

Mistake #1: Not Creating an Agenda
A simple agenda can help set expectations, keep a meeting on track and create accountability. Without an agenda, meeting missions fall by the wayside. Participants cannot prepare, so time is lost while people read or catch up during the meeting. People hijack the agenda–less meeting, while impatient participants whisper in side conversations. The meeting ends before decisions are made or after key people have left. It all adds up to low morale and high frustration.

Mistake #2: Skipping Advance Communication
Productive meetings start with pre–meeting communication. You may need to ask questions and get feedback or buy–in in advance. Talking beforehand with influential people who will attend uncovers issues and helps you plan. Pre–meeting, contact stakeholders and influencers to discuss options and reach agreement about an approach or action.

Mistake #3: Not Encouraging Participation
Top leaders place a high value on discussion because it taps employees’ collective knowledge. One consultant colleague of mine encourages people to raise objections by noticing who is quiet and then asking their opinion. “You have to confront the silence. You don’t want those who disagree to walk out and undermine you later.”

Participation is essential to harnessing your organization’s creative power, so you cannot afford to let a few individuals dominate the conversation. Make it safe and easy for everyone—even the quiet ones—to get involved. To stimulate discussion, ask open–ended questions like: “What’s your reaction… ?” or “How could we… ?” One CEO always asks: “What do I need to know that I do not know?” Not only does he hear what he might not otherwise hear, people know they can say what needs to be said, without fear of retribution.

Mistake #4: Mismanaging Time
A big complaint about meetings is that they start late, end late and waste time in between. You can radically change your organization’s meeting culture simply by starting and ending on time. People will be much happier going to a meeting and participate more fully if they know their time will be respected and they will accomplish what they came to do. Insist on good practices across the board, beginning with starting on time.

Mistake #5: Mismanaging Conflict
While positive, healthy conflict helps promote discussion before decision–making, meeting leaders must beware of negative, personal attacks that poison the atmosphere and impede progress. Make it safe to disagree so participants debate issues on their merits. Allowing the discussion to get personal or issues to go unresolved can damage the whole organization. To manage negative conflict, identify common goals, build on agreements, avoid placing blame and have zero tolerance for personal attacks.

Mistake #6: Not Reaching Consensus
Your goal in most meetings is to gather enough information to make a decision on your own, to get a consensus on a course of action or to take a vote. Consensus builds in accountability and helps ensure that people act on decisions. Consensus does not imply an absence of conflict, but the resolution of conflict in a manner acceptable to a majority. A leader’s role here is to define the issue, encourage brainstorming, synthesize the conversation, and narrow the options, then call for a decision or make one.

Mistake #7: Mismanaging Difficult People
People who argue with you or talk amongst themselves can take a meeting off–track in a hurry. While debate is usually healthy, some people will test the limits by arguing miniscule points or refusing to see others’ views.
The trick here is direct intervention. Have a one–on–one conversation with the disruptive person, acknowledging a known issue and allowing them to vent or discuss. Point out the behavior you appreciate, and the behavior that does not work. During the meeting, allow them to speak their piece, but enforce time limits and move on. Ask other leaders to do the same.

Mistake #8: Tolerating Side Meetings
Side meetings, another problem in many meeting cultures, happen because they are tolerated or because meetings get sidetracked and/or run too long. If people are bored or restless, they start whispering, unaware of or not caring about being rude or how others see them.

Handle disruptive side meetings by gradually escalating your intervention. First, look at the side–talkers until you catch their eyes. If they don’t get the message, walk over to them or call on them. Remind the group of the meeting rules if your rules prohibit side talking. If people don’t get the message, pull them aside afterward, and make it clear that such behavior cannot help them or the team.

Mistake #9: Not Motivating Everyone
In one TV newsroom where I worked, the boss held a meeting first thing every morning, asking each of the reporters and producers for an “idea for the day.” Knowing you would always be called upon was highly motivating. You didn’t come without an idea. When the boss doled out the day’s news assignments, those who contributed received the big assignments.

Even people who are happy to participate in meetings may not always come to the table with a new idea or insight unless they’re asked. As the meeting leader, you can spark creativity just by putting people on notice that they must come prepared to do more than discuss what other people offer.

Mistake #10: Not Summarizing Effectively
Leaders must have the ability to summarize meeting points, which means they must have the ability to listen well and provide a brief but accurate review of what has been said. You must listen to everything, including what’s unspoken. You must also have a command of language and the ability to clarify concepts so you can sum up the discussion’s main points.

Conclusion
In many ways, leading a meeting is like juggling. A good leader keeps the balls in the air, stays focused, makes it a little entertaining and ends with a big finish. Taking responsibility for this role is half the battle in leading good meetings. Remember, everyone wants somebody to lead. Take up the role, accept it, grow with it and soon you’ll have others asking, “How is it you run such good meetings?”

Ground Rules for D10 Board and Committee Meetings

(Created 2/21/2012)

As a board member, I will:

  • Be inclusive to new board members and community members, and create a welcoming environment at District 10 meetings and activities.
  • Respect the opinions of fellow board members.
  • Consider myself a trustee of District 10 and hold a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the organization is well-maintained, financially secure, growing and always operating in the best interest of those we serve.
  • Listen carefully to my board colleagues and community members. No interrupting!
  • Actively encourage others to speak, and allow for all voices to be heard; acknowledge that a diversity of perspectives is an essential part of the discussion process.
  • Remember that no board member may represent themselves as speaking for the District 10 Board unless approved by the Board or the Executive Committee.
  • Keep well informed about District 10 information and neighborhood news, and about developments relevant to issues that may come before the board.
  • Remain actively engaged in board meetings and decisions.
  • Stay familiar with District 10 policies and procedures, such as the District 10 bylaws and materials provided in the board manual.

Introduction to Robert's Rules of Order

What Is Parliamentary Procedure?

It is a set of rules for conduct at meetings that allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion.

Why is Parliamentary Procedure Important?

Because it’s a time-tested method of conducting business at meetings and public gatherings. It can be adapted to fit the needs of any organization. Today, Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised is the basic handbook of operation for most clubs, organizations and other groups. So it’s important that everyone know these basic rules!

Organizations using parliamentary procedure usually follow a fixed order of business. Below is a typical example:

  1. Call to order.
  2. Roll call of members present.
  3. Reading of minutes of last meeting.
  4. Officers reports.
  5. Committee reports.
  6. Special orders — Important business previously designated for consideration at this meeting.
  7. Unfinished business.
  8. New business.
  9. Announcements.
  10. Adjournment.

The method used by members to express themselves is in the form of moving motions. A motion is a proposal that the entire membership take action or a stand on an issue. Individual members can:

  1. Call to order.
  2. Second motions.
  3. Debate motions.
  4. Vote on motions.

There are four Basic Types of Motions:

  1. Main Motions: The purpose of a main motion is to introduce items to the membership for their consideration. They cannot be made when any other motion is on the floor, and yield to privileged, subsidiary, and incidental motions.
  2. Subsidiary Motions: Their purpose is to change or affect how a main motion is handled, and is voted on before a main motion.
  3. Privileged Motions: Their purpose is to bring up items that are urgent about special or important matters unrelated to pending business.
  4. Incidental Motions: Their purpose is to provide a means of questioning procedure concerning other motions and must be considered before the other motion.

How are Motions Presented?

  1. Obtaining the floor
    1. Wait until the last speaker has finished.
    2. Rise and address the Chairman by saying, “Mr. Chairman, or Mr. President.”
    3. Wait until the Chairman recognizes you.
  2. Make Your Motion
    1. Speak in a clear and concise manner.
    2. Always state a motion affirmatively. Say, “I move that we …” rather than, “I move that we do not …”.
    3. Avoid personalities and stay on your subject.
  3. Wait for Someone to Second Your Motion
  4. Another member will second your motion or the Chairman will call for a second.
  5. If there is no second to your motion it is lost.
  6. The Chairman States Your Motion
    1. The Chairman will say, “it has been moved and seconded that we …” Thus placing your motion before the membership for consideration and action.
    2. The membership then either debates your motion, or may move directly to a vote.
    3. Once your motion is presented to the membership by the chairman it becomes “assembly property”, and cannot be changed by you without the consent of the members.
  7. Expanding on Your Motion
    1. The time for you to speak in favor of your motion is at this point in time, rather than at the time you present it.
    2. The mover is always allowed to speak first.
    3. All comments and debate must be directed to the chairman.
    4. Keep to the time limit for speaking that has been established.
    5. The mover may speak again only after other speakers are finished, unless called upon by the Chairman.
  8. Putting the Question to the Membership
    1. The Chairman asks, “Are you ready to vote on the question?”
    2. If there is no more discussion, a vote is taken.
    3. On a motion to move the previous question may be adapted.

Voting on a Motion:

The method of vote on any motion depends on the situation and the by-laws of policy of your organization. There are five methods used to vote by most organizations, they are:

  1. By Voice — The Chairman asks those in favor to say, “aye”, those opposed to say “no”. Any member may move for a exact count.
  2. By Roll Call — Each member answers “yes” or “no” as his name is called. This method is used when a record of each person’s vote is required.
  3. By General Consent — When a motion is not likely to be opposed, the Chairman says, “if there is no objection …” The membership shows agreement by their silence, however if one member says, “I object,” the item must be put to a vote.
  4. By Division — This is a slight verification of a voice vote. It does not require a count unless the chairman so desires. Members raise their hands or stand.
  5. By Ballot — Members write their vote on a slip of paper, this method is used when secrecy is desired.

There are two other motions that are commonly used that relate to voting.

  1. Motion to Table — This motion is often used in the attempt to “kill” a motion. The option is always present, however, to “take from the table”, for reconsideration by the membership.
  2. Motion to Postpone Indefinitely — This is often used as a means of parliamentary strategy and allows opponents of motion to test their strength without an actual vote being taken. Also, debate is once again open on the main motion.

Parliamentary Procedure is the best way to get things done at your meetings. But, it will only work if you use it properly.

  1. Allow motions that are in order.
  2. Have members obtain the floor properly.
  3. Speak clearly and concisely.
  4. Obey the rules of debate.

Most importantly, BE COURTEOUS.

Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence

Linked below is a 41 page document created by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits in 2014.

Here’s is an excerpt about how to approach the document:

THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES FOR NONPROFIT EXCELLENCE are meant to educate nonprofit leaders, board members, managers, volunteers and staff about the fundamental roles and responsibilities of nonprofit organizations. As their adoption spreads, MCN believes they will strengthen both individual nonprofits and the sector as a whole. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is sensitive to the large amount of sometimes contradictory advice directed at nonprofits. MCN expects that the Principles and Practices will be useful to virtually every nonprofit organization as they form a set of reference tools that can be adapted to meet particular needs and circumstances. Clearly a large list of recommended practices presents challenges for small organizations with limited resources. Small and mid-sized organizations may have limited or no staff, or lack specialized positions to develop recommended policies and systems. To make this task more practical and achievable, MCN provides additional tools and resources on its website to help organizations prioritize practices for different sizes and stages of organizations. These tools address questions about why practices are recommended and the steps organizations can take to achieve them. The creativity and diversity of the nonprofit sector and the significant variations in local conditions means that some practices may not fit every situation and will necessarily vary in application. In adapting and adopting the Principles and Practices, each organization will face dozens of specific choices about how to accomplish its mission and structure its work, requiring deliberation and modifications by board members and managers. They are not intended for use by funders or by government to evaluate organizations nor are they intended as a substitute for the wisdom of directors or trustees of individual organizations. Nevertheless, the nature of nonprofit activity requires that organizations fully commit to public accountability and devote the time and attention necessary to be transparent and responsive to the community.

Fiduciary Duties of Directors of Charitable Organizations

Linked below is a 12 page document created by the Office of Minnesota Attorney General.

Here’s is an excerpt from the Introduction:

This Guide is provided by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office to assist board members with the important responsibilities they have assumed. It is only a guide and is not meant to prescribe exactly how board members must act in all situations. Each organization possesses a distinct composition and experiences different circumstances and outcomes. This guide is merely provided as a reference tool and an outline to assist directors in performing their duties. It does not contain all of the provisions, exceptions, limitations, and requirements of the law. For the exact requirements of the law, please refer to the source of the law itself. Many of the guidelines in this guide are taken from the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, located in Minnesota Statutes chapter 317A

Community Guide to City of St. Paul City Services

Linked below is a 36 page document created by the City of Saint Paul in 2016 as a guide to city services and departments. You will find more up-to-date information by going to the city’s website, stpaul.gov.

Here’s is an excerpt from the Introduction:

The Saint Paul City Council hopes that this Community Guide will familiarize you with the many services and amenities available to you as a Saint Paul resident. This guide provides information about frequently used services. Information not included in this guide can be obtained at www.stpaul.gov or by calling 651-266-8989. This guide will help you take the “guesswork” out of navigating city services. From determining whether you need to obtain a building permit for home improvements to finding the park or library closest to your home to learning about ways you can become involved in Saint Paul government, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to become connected in the City of Saint Paul.