June 3, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Sustainable Sharon Coalition Monthly Meeting Minutes
June 3, 2020, 7:00 PM
Zoom Remote Meeting, https://zoom.us/j/3524688267

Members in attendance: Aneeza Ahmad, Sebastian Armstrong, Marlene Arnold, Ellen Bordman, Artie Crocker, Molli Denrich, Kathy Farrell, Paul Lauenstein, Bri McAlevey, Rory McGregor, Kathi Mirza, Charlotte Pototsky, Helen Poynton,, Cheryl Schnitzer, Dave Slater, Ricky Stern, Aaron Tamkin, Simone Tamkin, Debbie Tatro, Sandra Widland

Guests in attendance: Judeth Van Hamm, Sustainable South Shore

  • 1. Welcome
    Cheryl introduced Marlene Arnold who is trying out the role of Secretary. Kathy will be stepping down. Cheryl thanked Kathy for all her past work.
  • Recited Vision statement together.

2. Looking back and planning ahead

  • Cheryl thanked SSC leadership for their efforts and accomplishments over the past year.
  • Discussed succession planning for 2020-21. Known vacancies include Webmaster (most immediate need!),
  • Treasurer (Dave Slater expressed interest), and the following committee chairs: Arts and Culture, Education (Nivedi Das expressed interest), Energy & Climate (Artie Crocker expressed interest), Fundraising.
  • Let Cheryl know if you are interested or know of anyone who might be.
  • Thank you to Artie Crocker and Kathy Farrell who are stepping down from their positions.
  • Sandra Widland described the SSC Strategic Plan document that includes each committee’s Objectives, Measures and Outcomes.
    • Request that Chairs complete the Outcomes section for their committee by July 5th. Sandra and Cheryl are available to assist. Click here for: LINK
  • Judith mentioned she has a checklist she can share as a resource.
  • Need to find a new Webmaster rather quickly, so ask around. Dave Slater can help train and contribute light support.

3. SSC Awards: Cheryl highlighted recent awards:

  • Silas Fyler won the 2020 Lynn Wolbarst Sustainability Award
  • 2020 School Art Contest – Jeffrey Xiang and Shamama Sirroon tied for First place, and Elaine Fortier wins the second place prize (Designs are displayed on the website)
  • Scholarship Award for a SHS Senior will be announced tomorrow

4. Fundraising Discussion: Cheryl explained we were given two $150 starter kits for Black Earth Compost to auction off. Discussed whether we should auction them off or use them for some other type of fundraising activity.

  • Paul mentioned we currently have ongoing fundraising opportunities through Community Solar and Energy Audits.
  • Bri suggested working with realtors to include information of Black Earth Compost in welcome packets.
  • Simone volunteered Larry to reach out to realtors and see what can be offered. Can also partner with Realtors on Energy Audit.
  • SSC Super Rep Contest idea: “How will you (and your family) commit to helping SSC and our town forward environmental sustainability?”
    • Can award $100 cash prize or offer the Black Earth Starter Kits.
    • Use Social Media to reach 300+ households to sign up for Black Earth Compost, spread the word about solar energy, home energy audits, litter cleanup initiatives
  • Decided it was best to just auction off each starter kit – maybe one this month, and one next month. Simone volunteered to help Cheryl do so via Facebook.

6. SSC Zero Waste Committee

  • Artificial Turf Status (Debbie): Conservation Commission is going to meet tomorrow at 7:30pm. Don’t know if vote will occur but it is 1st on the agenda. There will be a presentation of the project, and then the Conservation
    • Commission will be first to ask questions, and then we would be able to.
    • Paul encouraged everyone to send an email in if you haven’t recently.
    • Sharon now has a Paid Energy Administrator, David Ruggiero who we share with Town of Norwood
    • Helen explained she can’t attend the meeting tomorrow but everything she’s heard from the turf experts are simply industry talking points. She hopes someone can point out the fact that they are not saying anything new or specific to the issues Debbie has spoken about
    • Kathy M. suggested inviting David Ruggiero to future meeting to find out what he does and explain to him what we do
    • Debbie suggested copying Sharon Conservation Commission on any email (email addresses provided)
  • Black Earth Compost Raised Beds (Kathi Mirza): New service that Black Earth is offering, but they don’t deliver to Sharon. Just need 2 orders to do so.
  • Library sewing grant (Debbie): Grant is to buy sewing machines so Library can offer basic sewing classes for ages 12-19, and Islamic themed art classes. Cherry and Debbie plan to teach how to choose sustainable fabrics, and the sustainable benefit of sewing your own clothes.
  • Work with NepRWA for litter-water education and action (Cheryl for Rory): Working to do more litter cleanups – volunteer if interested.
    • Aneeza, Kathi Mirza, Dave, Helen, Charlotte and Molli volunteered (we will email Lauren and Tommy Goloboy about this too)

7. SSC Communications Committee (Ellen and Aaron)

  • SSC Roving Reporter – Charlotte Pototsky plans to interview businesses in Sharon and report how they are being sustainable. Will also make suggestions if they don’t have their own initiatives. Charlotte recently started her own Sustainable Sharon consultation business, but will be serving as a volunteer.
  • SSC FB Group – membership has increased from 390 to 463. Keep it active!
  • E-newsletter—We get 357 opens out of over 1100 on the list.
  • Website – Ellen created a form to use if you need website update. Ellen/Aaron/Dave will meet offline on how best to give everyone access. Will report back.
    • Reminder that we need a new Webmaster!

8. SSC Energy Committee (Kathy Farrell)

  • HomeWorks Energy is currently conducting virtual home energy assessments. Covers insulation costs and gives $22/audit to SSC Click here for LINK
  • Relay Power is offering SSC $25 for each (SSC) person who takes their draft Home Energy Survey and provides feedback: https://relaypower.com/hea-survey/

9. Judeth Van Hamm presented: “Envision Solar Powered Transportation leading to a Sustainable World Climate” – Vision for a solar powered personal rapid transit system in Massachusetts

  • Would provide transportation 24/7. Travels 35mph direct to destination. Offers a safe way for transit during Covid-19. Avoids crowds. Saves time. Serves equity populations.
  • Funded by private investment. Affordable zero emissions. Pays for itself in 5 years. Pass buyers can invest. Will provide jobs for construction and operation.
  • Contact Judeth (one@hullportside.net) for more information. (See Heathrow Airport as an example)
  • Action Needed: Write to State Rep Lou Kafka, and State Senators Walter Timilty and Paul Feeney and let them know you are in favor of a state bill supporting this.

10. Voting Rights: We’re asking the state to allow rapid expansion of vote by mail.

  • See links for absentee ballots for State and Local voting.
  • Paul asked that people also help get Rank Choice Voting on the Ballot. Will post something on SSC Facebook page.

11. Motion to approve last meeting’s minutes as corrected was passed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM

Next meeting: Wed. July 1st, 7 p.m. Annual Meeting and SSC Elections.

Minutes submitted by Marlene Arnold