F G B R C A  

Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations

General Membership Meetings

As of January 2016, meetings will be held at the Main Library on Goodwood.

Meetings will be at 7 PM usually on the second Thursday of the month.


Here is a map to help you find the meetings.


    2016

Jan. 14












Feb. 11









March 10



April 14












May 12







June 9






July



August 11








Sept. 8












Oct. 13



























Nov. 10








December

Christopher Kersey , the manager of the Highland Road Park Observatory shared suggestions on how to have light in your yard without its negative effects. While we all want to use our lights for protection at night, we ought to also be aware of the possibility that we may be shining them into the bedroom of our next door neighbor.


Sarah Holliday-James, a certified parliamentarian,  was our speaker.  Since we have added a “Crime Prevention District” Committee to our organization, Sarah  went over the parliamentary formalities that we all need to follow.  This is particularly important in these districts in particular. The keeping of accurate minutes is very important as these are created under State Statutes and must follow state law.



Elliott Atkinson addressed concerns about some HOAs not understanding the complexity of trying to join with other HOAs to form one huge organization.  There are varying dues, liabilities, insurance, deed restrictions, architectural restrictions, ownership interests, etc.


Ashley Michel of the EBR Library staff addressed how to go about setting up an Excel spreadsheet.  This is helpful in keeping good accounting records as well as membership records.



Meeting cancelled due to weather.  The Great Flood of 2016.



Lauren Marschall from the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) had a presentation on Better Block Perkins Overpass.  She showed the possiblities that can be done to make that area a more attractive and safe place for people to move through using the modes of transportation that are currently being used, i.e., walking, biking, personal vehicles, and public transit.


Eric Romero, Information Services (IS) Director, and Warren Kron,  Georgraphic Information Services(GIS) Manage explained how to use the new technology the city is providing.  The city has added property tax records which it will now receive regularly from the City Tax Assessor.  Additionally, the city has a 311 app you can use to report problems immediately by cell phone.



Mr. Larry Latuso, a CPA with Score, explained the impact of the new Legislation on imposing sales tax on HOA’s. …“one of the specifically enumerated services subject to sales tax is the furnishing, for dues, fees, or other consideration, of the privilege of access to clubs or the privilege of having access to or the use of amusement, entertainment, athletic, or recreational facilities”… things that make a profit for an HOA.



Mr. Randy Zaeth and Mr. Mike Morganti with the East Baton Rouge Mosquito and Rodent Control explained the dangers of West Nile and Zika.  These have been in the news a great deal lately and the parish tests for the presence of these viruses.  They also explained what all of us can and should be doing to lessen the mosquito’s ability to reproduce and spread them.



No Meeting



All the candidates running for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge parish were invited to participate. After a brief introduction by the 10 candidates, a series of 4 questions were asked and the candidates had 1 minute to respond. The order of answer was determined by a draw.  Questions concerned dedicated taxes, lack of enforcement of city ordinances,  correcting drainage problems before allowing construction in a problem area and more real public input in ordinance revisions.  The candidates then met with the audience members.



A forum for the candidates for Metro Council seats was held. All the candidates running for Metro Council District seats of East Baton Rouge parish were invited to participate. Of the 42 candidates running for a seat, 31 participated. Each candidate had one minute to introduce themselves and their goals for EBR Parish. President Nancy Curry asked each candidate to respond to a two part question regarding the recent parish wide flooding:  1.  Even if we ignore this seemingly rare recent flooding, please explain your thoughts on solving our drainage problems which we very obviously have had for quite some time. And I am referring to the Comite Diversion canal.  2.  Would you be inclined to vote for or against a development that will increase water runoff in an area that already floods from a plain old typical Louisiana rain?  The candidates then met with participants and answered individual questions.



The speakers were: 


Chris Keaton, Deputy Budget Analyst, LA House Fiscal Division - Mr. Keaton gave a presentation on the fiscal status of the State. We receive 12 billion dollars from the Federal government, 4.3 billion from Sales taxes, 3.1 billion from Income taxes and 3.1 billion for statutory designations


Congressman Garret Graves, 6th District - spoke about the transportation problems in Baton Rouge. He said we have the 3rd worse traffic problems in the nation. One of the solutions is to close the Washington Ave. exit to establish new traffic patterns. A new Task Force established by Governor Edwards, will study budget and traffic problems. One possible solution is an increase in gasoline taxes.


Ron Henderson of the Department of Insurance Consumer Advocacy Division - said the Insurance Department has limited jurisdiction on flood insurance. Only 13% of the population has flood insurance which can be purchased separately for structure and contents. 


Carolyn McKnight, Superintendent of BREC - discussed the BREC Trails which are part of the Capital Area Pathway Project, CAPP, which is an initiative to identify routes and build a network of trails and greenways throughout East Baton Rouge and surrounding Parishes


Christopher Kerney, manager of the Observatory at Highland Road Park which is part of BREC - informed the audience about the Observatory and how they will do an Astronomy Outreach for HOA’s to demonstrate and keep light pollution minimized. More information will be forthcoming.



Walter Monsour and his team explained the Green Light Plan II that is on the December ballot.  The Federation takes no position on any tax, but in the interest of giving members some information on what it does and does not do, we allowed them to have  some time to explain it.  The Federation always wants our members to have enough information to make informed choices.  A schedule of meetings across the parish which the public can attend for specific information was given members through our website and the city’s website.



No Meeting




        2015

Jan. 8







Feb. 12






March 12





April 9






May 14




June 11




July






Aug. 13





Sept. 10













Oct. 8









Nov. 12











Dec




Speakers included Frank Duke,  Planning Director for EBR Parish, who spoke on his proposed revision to Section 8.201 of the UDC.  He also explained the upcoming restructuring of the UDC.  Jennifer Mayer, from CASA explained what they do and their need for volunteers. Josh Crowe Program Manager for SSO (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) explained their work upgrading the sewer system and how to be contacted when work will begin in various areas of the parish.



Justin Dupuy, Code Enforcement manager with DPW explained how the city-parish’s Blight Court operates.  He reviewed the various types of violations neighborhoods can report using the city’s 311 Call Center number.  Carey Chauvin, Chief Building Official, explained how voters approved the splitting of DPW into six separate departments.



Eric Romero, Information Service Director, introduced the city”s “Open Data” website data.brla.gov.  Mary Stein, EBR Assistant Library Director, and Andrew Tadman, Library Coordinator of Reference & computer Services introduced their new website:  citykey.com



Scott Shean presented “A Review of Options for Gating Lake Sherwood Acres.”  Clifford Grout, First Vice President on the Federation’s board explained how to do research on the Legislature’s website for bills and statues.  This is important particularly if you plan to create or have created a Crime Prevention District as you have state laws you must then follow.



Spencer Watts, the East Baton Rouge Public Library Director explained what the library system hopes to do if the Library Tax is renewed.



Reception at the Main Library celebrating the Federation’s new logo.  The logo was designed to give the Federation a distinct recognizable image the public can quickly associate with us.



No Meeting, but two workshops were held to study the Ordinance Revisions listed on the Office of the Planning commission’s website:  Character Areas and Map, Fee References, Floodways, Floodplains, Drainage and Water Quality; Landscape-Proposed Buffer Standards; Parking; Urban Design Standards; and Definitions.


Gillis Morin, planning program coordinator; Ryan Holcombe, assistant planning director; and Frank Duke, planning director gave a general overview of ordinance revisions regarding Landscaping, design levels and parking in commercial, but not residential areas.


The Federation hosted a Forum for the candidates seeking election to the Louisiana State House and Senate. Present at this first event were Metro Councilman Ryan Heck seeking a seat in House District 69, Metro Councilwoman Donna Collins Lewis seeking a seat in House District 61, and Antoine Pierce seeking a seat in House District 66. Also speaking was Justin Dupuy, with Code Enforcement. He explained the current definition of a “family” He also addressed to what extend someone can and cannot conduct a business in a residential area, and Parking. You may have as many vehicles as you can fit in your garage, carport, and driveway (driveway can only be the width of the garage/carport opening) up to the sidewalk/street. Parked vehicles cannot block the sidewalk. Parking on the grass in the front of a house other than in the above described driveway is not permitted no matter what surface you put down.



Hosted the second half of our Forum for the candidates seeking election to the Louisiana State Legislature.  Again… this was not a debate, but an opportunity to learn about each candidate’s platform and credentials/experience.  There is nothing quite like having a face-to-face meeting with someone when you are deciding whether or not to support them with your vote.  This also was an opportunity for present and future legislators to get to know about the Federation and what we do to maintain Baton Rouge as a great place for business to call home.   Over these last two meetings we heard from 13 candidates.
 

This last meeting of the year will include a wide variety of topics.   Judy Young, a notary, will explain how to get a lien on a home when the owner does not pay the mandatory dues required in their deed.  Christopher Kersey, manager of the Highland Road Park Observatory will address the problems with light pollution (light trespass, glare and sky glow).  He will share suggestions on how to have light without the negative effects.  Also speaking will be Warren Kron, GIS Manager for the City of Baton Rouge.  The city is rolling out another research tool we all need to learn how to use.  They were kind enough to volunteer to come and demonstrate its use.  We will also have our election for positions on the Board and our Annual Report will be presented.


There is no meeting this month, but REMEMBER in January we will be permanently moving the meeting location to the Main Library where there is built-in equipment for PowerPoint presentations, Wi-Fi , a microphone, and better acoustics. The parking lot is paved and better lighted.



     2014

January 9



February 13



March 13







April 10



May 8



June 12







July



August 14




Sept. 11




October 9





Nov. 13






December

-Accounting procedures for Crime Prevention Districts


-Writing effective newsletters -- presented by George Morris, Advocate reporter


-Reception for new members
-Top Ten Things a Homeowner Can Do to Protect their Family and Property ... Home Security presentations by reps from BRPD, EBRP Sheriff, Vernon’s Hardware (doors, windows, lights and locks), Baton Rouge Police Supplies (personal security), and Custom Security (alarm systems)


-Baton Rouge's BLIGHT INITIATIVE with DPW's Carey Chauvin


-Presentation on FutureBR design levels by Janet Tharp


-Marketing your Association via use of computer
-Legal issues
-Parliamentary procedures
-Taking official minutes
-Non-profit status


-No meeting this month


-Captain Randy Aguillard (EBR Sheriff's Office) will present the latest annual report
-City ordinances regarding commercial signs in residential areas


-Election of Nominating Committee
-"Amending Deed Restrictions" - Attorney Wade Baumgartner


-Nominating Committee's presentation of its list of Board nominees
-"Servitudes and How They Impact Homeowners" - Attorney Wade Baumgartner
-"Who Do You Call" - FGBRCA Board member Cliff Grout


-Annual Meeting
-Board election
-"The Timing of Zoning Requests" - Frank Duke, Baton Rouge’s new Planning Director
-Complete Streets Vision & Policy Statement - 2014


-No meeting this month



     2013

January 10



February 21




March 14








April 11





May 9



June 13



July



August 8



Sept. 12




Oct. 10




Nov. 14






December


-Learning parliamentary procedure



-Rollout of the Federation's new website - www.fgbrca.org or fgbrca.webs.com

-Using Nextdoor to send free HOA email alerts


-BREC's upcoming survey solicitation: plan to participate, to tell BREC which park features you want (and do not want) at local parks
-Barry Meyer with The Arc - Baton Rouge: helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including opportunities for food donations and fruit-tree gleaning
-Announcement by LaTech Security: Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology in solving crimes - information meeting on March 19 at 10741 Coursey Court (near FedEx)


-Status update: SPUD 1-13 C2 Green Cottage Rental Community (Aquatic Club)
-Best Practices workshop -- programs, success stories, newsletters, communication methods, compliance practices, lack of yard care, trash, parking, etc.


-Presentation by GBR city attorney regarding definition of "single family"


-Crime Prevention Districts


-No meeting this month


-Q&A with veteran HOA attorney Elliott Atkinson


-Accounting practices for HOAs
-Election of Nominating Committee


-Crime Discussion - EBR Sheriff's Office
-Board Nominees


-Annual Meeting
-Board election
-Troy L. Bunch: FutureBR:Past-Present-Future
-Reception


-No meeting this month