A New, Novel Approach to Neighborhood Organization and Representation

Hi all,

As you may know, I’m keenly interested in neighborhood affairs, and the conduct of neighborhood organizations and associations, especially when these neighborhood organizations and associations fail to adequately represent those they claim to serve.

Most neighborhood organizations adopt a hierarchical approach to representation, where there is one set of neighbors that enjoy greater privileges, usually the “directors,” and another set of neighbors that enjoy lesser privileges, usually the “members.”

The distinction sometimes is extreme. In my neighborhood, Warfleigh, directors forbid members from observing or participating in their board meetings and refuse requests to provide copies of meeting agendas and minutes.

Is there a better way forward?  Is there a form of neighborhood organization and representation that allows all neighbors to enjoy the same rights and privileges?

Well, yes!!

I’ve spent a few days reviewing Indiana code and statute and have drafted some bylaws that would create a truly open form of neighborhood association and representation. I provide a link here:

The drafted bylaws apply to the Warfleigh neighborhood, but the geographical region could be expanded, or altered to apply to a different region.

Please be kind, it’s just a first draft.

I do understand the bylaws are long and boring.

But here’s the simple solution: eliminate the distinction between directors and members, eliminate the restriction on the number of directors the association may have, and create a neighborhood association where everyone who wants to may enjoy the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

Here’s the simple way to pull it off (umm, maybe not so simple?!):

(1) An individual incorporates.

(2) The incorporator holds an organizational meeting initially with a limited set of directors to establish foundation and infrastructure.

(3) The initial set of directors divide themselves into two groups, one with greater terms of service and one with lesser terms of service.

(4) The organization solicits nominees for director positions prior to the end of the terms of service of directors with lesser terms.

(5) If the interest in director’s positions exceeds the number of expiring terms, then the number of directors permitted under the organization’s bylaws expands.

(6) Then, at the time of elections, directors elect to the board every individual interested in becoming a director and serving the neighborhood and their approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

And what results?

A truly open and democratic neighborhood organization where anyone and everyone who is interested in serving the neighborhood may enjoy the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

Could this approach fail? Certainly!!

Would there be any harm in trying? No!!

Who’s in??!!

(I wonder what I might have missed, or what flaws there may be in an approach such as this. Very interested in any insights, reflections, and comments.)

And, yes, I know, I appear to have too much time on my hands!

Jim Polito


WNA Board Meeting to Elect Officers

Hi all.

The WNA will hold a Board Meeting or Meeting of Directors April 12th (see warfleigh.com). The WNA will elect officers at this meeting (bylaws, Section 4.07.E). The WNA will not permit the neighborhood or voting members to either observe or participate in this meeting. Additionally, the WNA will neither provide meeting minutes nor an agenda for this meeting.

Go, neighborhood democracy!!

Jim Polito

I Failed as a WNA Director – Or is the WNA Failing?

Hi all,

As you may know, I’ve attempted to help serve the neighborhood since 2012 when changes in federal legislation caused precipitous increases in flood insurance premiums. At the same time, the local levee and floodwall project designed to bring relief stalled and all progress ceased as every midtown neighborhood organization (e.g., BTNA, MKNA, BRVA, Midtown Indianapolis) forcefully lobbied to terminate the project. Additionally, at the same time, the association “representing” the Warfleigh neighborhood, the Warfleigh Neighborhood Association (WNA), rejected pleas by its voting members (including me!) to advocate on their behalf in support of the levee and floodwall project (in fact, the only official WNA efforts related to the project was to join others such as the Friends of the White River seeking to delay the project over environmental concerns).

In response, the grassroots “Save Warfleigh” and “Finish the Floodwall” organizations emerged (this website is an artifact of that movement).  Together we held demonstrations, petition drives, signage events, social media outreach and, eventually, gained the support of city, state, and federal elected representatives. The project now moves towards completion!! Ummm … at glacial speed!

Since then, I’ve been wary of neighborhood organizations that claim to represent the interests of their voting members but fail to do so – especially in an open and transparent manner. Unfortunately, this unease and wariness extends to the WNA which frequently meets in closed sessions of directors, denying neighbors and voting members access to the WNA’s deliberative process, and, at the same time, failing to provide the neighborhood and voting members with any record of such meetings, including minutes and agendas.

WNA transparency issues are not new, and over the years I worked tirelessly as a voting member trying to help improve WNA practices and policies. I made only little progress. Accordingly, I joined the WNA as a Director in October 2021.

Unfortunately, I’ve failed again.

The WNA has rejected every transparency enhancing recommendation I’ve provided, and leadership does not hesitate to remind me of such.

Alas! I’ve resigned (additional reasons included financial management practices).

You’ll find below the last report I submitted as the chair (and only member!!) of the WNA’s “governance committee,” as well as my letter of resignation. I’ve slightly reordered items in the governance committee report to include an upfront summary.  While I’m extremely heartened by new WNA member and volunteer activity and wish the WNA success, I’m also extremely disheartened by the continued inability or unwillingness of entrenched WNA officers to lead the organization in an open and transparent manner. The WNA is the only local neighborhood organization whose directors meet privately, without observation by voting members, and without providing voting members with timely minutes and agendas of such meetings.

Please know I will continue to independently serve the neighborhood as I’ve done in the past!


Governance Committee Report


February 8, 2022

WNA Meeting of Directors

Committee Report: Governance Committee

The Warfleigh Neighborhood Association (“WNA”) Governance Committee has duly met and provides this update and these observations and suggestions based upon its continued observation of and participation in the WNA.  As per previous reports, the WNA Governance Committee only seeks with its report and recommendations to increase the efficiency and integrity of WNA conduct and operations.

1. The Governance Committee adopts as its goal statement the following:

The goal of the WNA Governance Committee is to help ensure the WNA is an open, honest, transparent, inclusive, representative, and democratic neighborhood organization.

2. (reordered). The WNA Governance Committee repeats previous recommendations WNA directors by vote have failed to support:

(a) The WNA must reject its “autocratic” leadership approach in which it grants solely to one WNA director and solely to one WNA voting member exclusive access to some WNA information (e.g., results of WNA elections). This does nothing except to marginalize both WNA directors and voting members and helps establish the WNA as a closed, exclusive organization with privileges for some, but not all.

(b) The WNA must open its Meeting of Directors to observation by voting members. Absent such, the WNA at a minimum should post Meeting of Directors agendas and minutes.

3. (reordered). In summary, the WNA Governance Committee recommends the WNA modify its leadership practices to include the following:

a. Fully and immediately responding to all voting member requests for information regardless of what the WNA might believe the intent of such requests.

b. Advance planning for all WNA meetings that includes providing voting members and directors with meeting notices and agendas at least one week in advance of any meeting.

c. Providing voting members with visibility into WNA Meetings of Directors.

d. Providing voting members with Meeting of Directors minutes.

e. Provide voting members with Meeting of Directors agenda.

f. Establish a central document repository.

g. Establish strong document control procedures.

h. Establish a WNA website from which voting members may securely download documents.

i. Abandon any notion of excluding neighborhood participation in neighborhood leadership and stewardship by privately meeting as directors in contradiction of WNA bylaws to determine who may or may not serve as a WNA director.

4. The Governance Committee believes effective governance requires effective meetings which requires effective planning. At the same time, the Governance Committee notes leadership of the WNA often adopts a “just-in-time” planning approach to planning meetings, especially as it pertains to Meetings of Directors. For example, WNA leadership practices include providing on the day of, or on a day in advance, WNA Director’s meeting agendas. This precludes appropriate planning and research by WNA directors which precludes effective meeting which impairs effective governance. The WNA Governance Committee recommends WNA leadership adopt a more robust approach to meetings and governance and recommends, for example, WNA leadership provide agendas for Meetings of Directors at least one week in advance of such meetings so directors may appropriately prepare. This has further advantage. Namely, the WNA may then through its website share with voting members Meeting of Directors agendas. This enhances openness, transparency, and inclusiveness.

5. The Governance Committee believes effective governance requires strong document control procedures which includes both: (a) establishing a central document repository, and (b) adopting strong document change control procedures. The Governance Committee finds distressing that after years of operation the WNA has failed to do either. This leads to troublesome consequences. For example, the WNA, in contradiction of its bylaws, recently held an election in which it sought to re-elect all WNA directors rather than either “Class A” or “Class B” directors as required by bylaws. This emerged as the WNA did not have a central document repository and could not locate records establishing a list of directors and the classes of service in which they reside.

(a) The Governance Committee has as an example established a common “Google” drive that could serve as a central repository for all pertinent WNA documents. This could include, without limitation, meeting notices, minutes, and agendas; WNA bylaws; records of director’s terms of service and records of director’s membership in either the Class A or Class B of directors; neighborhood maps and block steward responsibilities; list of committees and list of committee members … The drive currently includes various folders: Minutes, Notices, Agendas, Bylaws, and Administrative. Access to this drive has been shared with four WNA directors.

(b) The WNA Governance Committee additionally provides as an example the link below which shows the relative ease with which WNA documents can be shared with and accessed by voting members using the drive established above: (LINK TO BYLAWS DELETED)

 The WNA governance committee notes the WNA could choose to limit access to documents on the shared drive to either WNA directors, WNA Voting Members, or all depending on sharing parameters selected.

(c) The Governance Committee of the WNA recommends all pertinent WNA documents include change control procedures such as that provided in the example below to help ensure the integrity of WNA documents.

WNA Bylaws:

Version 2.0February 2022Modifies bylaws to allow both odd and even number of directors. Adds provisions to allow reconciliation of tied votes.

6.  The Governance Committee notes that at least three WNA directors now have expressed an interest in limiting those who can serve as WNA directors to a slate of directors “approved” by the WNA through a “vetting” process. WNA directors in support of this perspective note the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association (“BTNA”) adopts such an approach.  The WNA Governance Committee strongly recommends against adopting such an approach and notes the following:

(a) WNA bylaws do not permit such an approach,

(b) Unlike the WNA, BTNA directors do not meet privately, without observation by voting members, without sharing agendas, and without posting minutes. Accordingly, the BTNA is not an appropriate comparison group.

(c) Such an approach and such a practice are clearly not consistent with a neighborhood organization that seeks to be open, honest, transparent, inclusive, representative, and democratic.

(d) The WNA risks a potential public relations “nightmare” if it pursues such an approach. Social media headlines may read, for example, “WNA directors decide to meet privately without minutes or agendas to determine who may or may not join them to serve the neighborhood.”

7. Effective governance requires a fully functional website safely accessible by all, especially as it pertains to document downloads including minutes, notices, and agendas. The WNA website in this regard is not fully operational (see below). The Governance Committee recommends the WNA modify its website so that voting members may feel secure when downloading WNA documents. Generally, the WNA should seek to develop a website that it can maintain and update.

Respectfully submitted,

James A. Polito

Chair, WNA Governance Committee


Letter of Resignation


WNA Officers,

Thank-you and the WNA for accepting this note of resignation effective upon transmittal.

Proximate concerns include those related to the financial management of donor funds.

The WNA indicated in its last two Meetings of Directors it holds dedicated funds of donors for which it has no plan of using in the near future, for which it provides neither reporting nor accounting as required by WNA bylaws, and for which the continued holding of such by the WNA has been questioned by donors.

I also understand these funds were held during the time the WNA had no elected directors and, accordingly, should not have claimed to exist.

I hope you can understand why I view this as a potential liability and one I do not wish to face in service to my neighborhood.

For this reason, among others previously shared (e.g., misaligned goals) I tender my resignation.

Thank-you for providing me with the opportunity to serve the neighborhood, and please reach out with any questions or concerns.

 Jim Polito


The END!!


Winter 2022 Levee and Floodwall Update

Hi all,

Well, here’s the most recent update I’ve been able to obtain. Please don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t work for the City, nor do I have any particular relationship with the City other than being able to obtain updates because of past efforts to help bring to completion the levee and floodwall project.

Issues and items identified in the last levee and floodwall update (October 2021) included the following:
(1) Passive wall testing. A positive and complete Levee Safety Evaluation Report requires the USACE to test the passive wall infrastructure along Westfield Boulevard at the 52nd Street crossing. This test was completed. However, the subsequent inspection revealed weld cracking from expansion of wall materials.  The USACE is currently completing a contract modification so it may complete the desired repairs.
(2) 52nd Street rebar replacement. Increasing structural integrity along the foundation of the flood wall crossing at 52nd Street required placing additional rebar steel in the roadway. This work was completed late December 2021.
(3) Video inspection of the foundation drains along the floodwall. Storm water pipes and other utilities, if any, within fifteen feet of the toe of the levee or floodwall must be inspected to ensure there has been no displacement or deflection of infrastructure impacting the flood works and levee and floodwall project. This work was not completed as of October 2021 and remains underway. Open items include additional video inspection.  The Corps is modifying work contracts to allow for this. Additional open items include finalizing extensive, standardized reports of completed visual inspections.
Finally, and unfortunately, the above work, previously projected to be completed by end of year 2021, now has an estimated May 2022 completion date. Then, the Corps submits final project documents to FEMA for its review. This completes the Corp’s certification process and triggers the FEMA accreditation process. The accreditation process is expected to be completed within 4 – 6 months, and so final relief now is not anticipated by the City until year end (December 2022).

Frankly, based on continuing repeated delay with project certification, I do not expect relief to occur until spring/summer 2023.
Thanks, and please reach out with any questions.

Jim Polito

ps … on an unrelated note … I’m trying to increase viewership among a current events channel I’ve created. It primarily serves my introductory economics students, but, heck! … just in case you might like short daily clips of current events:


WNA November Meeting of Directors: Proposed Agenda and Commentary

Hi all,

The WNA meets virtually Tuesday, November 9, 6:30 pm for a Meeting of Directors. The WNA will not make this meeting observable to WNA Voting Members (??). Unfortunately, the WNA must address many administrative issues due to previous “inadvertence.” I’ve shared the agenda below with WNA directors, however, the WNA has yet to release its “official agenda.” It’s not clear which WNA member has the authority to do this because all WNA directors currently are similarly situated with equal authority and responsibility. I’ve also included comment on some proposed agenda items, and a “prologue” establishing the basis for these comments. I’ll try to provide meeting minutes if possible.


The WNA seeks to be a “representative neighborhood association.” The WNA in the past has claimed to represent the Warfleigh neighborhood in matters of public affairs and public policy. This representation includes claiming to represent the neighborhood in communications and meetings with public officials, public agencies, and elected representatives. If the WNA seeks to make such claims in the future, then the WNA must provide the Warfleigh neighborhood with “due process,” including acting in compliance with its bylaws which intend to protect the neighborhood from an inappropriate form of governance.

Proposed Agenda

I.  Establish Quorum

II. Confirm Meeting Appropriately Noticed

WNA bylaws require the WNA notice meetings of directors. The WNA in the past has chosen not to do so. The WNA yet has done so at the time of this post. The WNA should seek to act in accordance with its bylaws.

III. Approval of Agenda (with opportunity to adjust upon approval of directors)

IV. Approval of Minutes of 10/12/21 Annual Meeting

The WNA minutes of the Annual Meeting indicate the WNA may wait until its next Annual Meeting (March 2022) to appropriately constitute the board. This is in error: (1) no member attending the meeting suggested this as a solution (the WNA did record the meeting), (2) this is not consistent with a plain reading of the bylaws, and (3) the suggestion is illogical. For example, suppose through “inadvertence” the WNA again inappropriately constitutes the board in its March 2022 Annual Meeting. The WNA position suggests this error would need no remedy until the March 2023 Annual Meeting. The error therefore would go uncorrected for a year, with the plain result of no actual remedy. The WNA would continue to aggrieve voting members for a year. The WNA must appropriately constitute the board of directors and establish an odd number of directors by the next voting member meeting.

V. New Business

A. Release Election Results

(1) A WNA voting member requests release of detailed election results. The WNA has yet to either address or acknowledge this request. If the WNA claims to be a representative neighborhood association, then the WNA must respond to voting member requests. Failure to do so needlessly disenfranchises WNA voting members.

(2) I have requested the WNA release detailed election results, especially considering “B.,” below. The WNA has yet to address this request. Similarly situated directors should have equal access to all available information.

(3) The WNA should not create “classes” of voting members within the neighborhood: (i) “first-class” voting members who have privileged and exclusive access to WNA information (and meetings), and (ii) “second-class” voting members who the WNA denies access to privileged and exclusive information, including meetings. This, again, disenfranchises voting members and contributes to the WNA’s trust deficit.

B. Appropriately Constitute Board

WNA bylaws require the WNA seat an odd number of directors. A WNA voting member in our Annual Meeting requested we only seat an odd number of directors. The WNA must resolve this issue prior to its next voting member meeting, with a Regular Voting Member meeting currently scheduled for December.

There are at least three straightforward solutions:

(1) A director may voluntarily resign from the board, only missing the January Meeting of Directors, and seeking re-election in the March Annual Voting Member Meeting.

(2) The WNA may postpone its December Regular Voting Member Meeting until the March Annual Voting Member Meeting (bylaws do not specify how frequently the WNA must hold Regular Voting Member Meetings).

(3) The WNA could rely on election results and only seat the nine directors receiving the highest percentage of votes. The “tenth” director would miss the January Meeting of Directors and could seek re-election in March.

C. Election of Officers

D. Stagger Terms of Service (Determine Class A and Class B directors)

The WNA no longer has record of “Class A” and “Class B” directors. Accordingly, the WNA now must assign a subset of directors to a one-year term of service, and another subset of directors to a two-year term of service. This will re-establish staggered terms of service so the WNA never in the future need re-elect all directors at one time. At least two solutions exist:

(1) Stagger terms of service on a voluntary basis.

(2) Stagger terms of service based on an underlying principle, for example, establish director classes based on previous terms of service. Here: (a) first-time serving directors would have an opportunity for a longer term of service, and (b) previously serving directors would have shorter terms of service.

E. Determine Terms of Service – October to October, or October to March?

The WNA schedules its next Annual Voting Membership Meeting for March 2022. We now have conflicting terms of service for directors. Does the term of service of a Class A director span from October 2021 to October 2022 or from October 2021 to March 2022? Similarly, should the term of service of a Class B director span from October 2021 to October 2023 or from October 2021 to March 2023. The WNA should establish terms of service for Class A directors that expire in March 2022, and terms of service for Class B directors that expire in March 2023.

F. Visibility of Meetings of Directors – Notice Meetings?? Open or Closed??

WNA bylaws require the WNA notice Meetings of Directors. Due process requires the WNA do so. The WNA has yet to do so. Additionally, the WNA chooses to deny voting members observation of its Meetings of Directors.

The WNA increases its trust deficit in the neighborhood when it meets privately without notice to conduct neighborhood business such as electing WNA officers. Voting members wonder why the WNA would close to voting members observation of the election of WNA officers. Voting members wonder why the WNA must conduct any business privately without notice. The WNA should post meeting notices, agendas, and minutes – especially those required by WNA bylaws.

G. Permitted Information in Website Biographies

The WNA less than fully responsively addresses voting members outreach and concerns, including e-mails received through the WNA website. This creates frustration among voting members. The WNA contemplates forbidding including in director’s website biographies e-mail addresses through which voting members directly may contact willing directors. The WNA should support a director that seeks to increase accessibility to WNA Voting members.

H. Neighborhood Infrastructure Partnership Program          

I. Review of Bylaws

J. Duties and Expectations for Board Members

K. Other Business 

VI. Announcements/Recognitions/Reminders

VII. Agenda Items for Next Meeting

VIII. Adjournment

The WNA: Some Messy Governance Issues

WNA: Some Messy Governance Issues

Hi all,

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m now a director of the Warfleigh Neighborhood Association (WNA). My goal is to help create an open, inclusive, and transparent neighborhood association that conducts itself in accordance with its bylaws. I have much confidence the great group of directors with whom I work will do many wonderful things. Unfortunately, we have some messy governance issues to first address, and I share them here to help promote transparency. These include:

(1) Unelected individuals serving as directors and officers (and its consequences),

(2) Inappropriately constituted board of directors,

(3) Restoring staggered terms of service,

(4) Misaligned terms of service,

(5) Failure to release election results, and

(6) Open meetings and lack of transparency.

Please know the thoughts below only offer the perspective and opinions of one board member. They do not represent the position of the WNA.

Jim Polito

(1) Unelected individuals serving as directors and officers. The terms of service of three of the previous six directors expired in March 2021 – because directors serve staggered two-year terms (Class A Directors and Class B Directors). The WNA then had two options: (i) hold an election (the WNA met virtually during this time), or (ii) remove from the board of directors those whose terms had expired.

Unfortunately, the WNA did neither and this is a bit problematic:

(a) Unelected individuals served on the board of directors of the WNA from March 2021 to October 2021. Unelected individuals should not serve on the board of the WNA and should not claim to represent the neighborhood as a director of the WNA.

(b) The WNA board must consist of at least five members. If the WNA board consists of less than five members, then the WNA had until the first member meeting after March 2021 to correct the matter. The WNA did not do so, even though it held member meetings between March 2021 and October 2021. One neighbor has interpreted this to mean the organization no longer existed between March 2021 and October 2021 because it cannot exist with less than five board members as required by its bylaws.

(c) At least one, and potentially three, unelected individuals served as an officer of the WNA from March 2021 to October 2021 as an officer’s term expires as their term of service expires.  This means the WNA could have operated from March 2021 to October 2021 without a President, Vice-President or Treasurer.  Unfortunately, we do not know exactly what happened because the WNA does not know who are Class A Directors and who are Class B Directors.

(d) The preceding means the WNA now may not have either a president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer. The term of service of an officer expires at the same time as their tenure as a director expires. A previously serving director whose term of service expired in March 2021 now is not an officer of the WNA because they again were elected in October of 2021 after their term expired in March 2021.

(e) The preceding may call into doubt any action, results, and votes taken by the WNA between March 2021 and October 2021 as three unelected individuals acted as WNA directors, and at least one as an officer, with no basis for doing so.

(2) Inappropriately constituted board of directors. The WNA recently held board of director elections. Unfortunately, the elections were not consistent with WNA bylaws which require an odd, rather than even, number of directors be seated.

(a) The WNA board now has three choices: (i) violate its bylaws, (ii) reduce by one the number of “elected” directors, or (iii) increase by one the number of elected directors. Unfortunately, the WNA cannot violate its bylaws. Additionally, new directors only are elected at annual meetings, the next one occurring in March 2022.  Accordingly, it seems the WNA now must reduce by one the number of directors to be consistent with its bylaws.

(b) We must reduce by one the number of directors by the next voting member meeting held in December. I do understand the WNA believes we have until March 2022 to correct this at the next Annual Meeting – see final minutes of the meeting posted on the WNA website. This may be problematic:

(i) While one member provided pertinent sections of the bylaws indicating the WNA must resolve this by the next voting member meeting, no one in the meeting indicated this voting member meeting would be the Annual Voting Member meeting. The minutes should be corrected.

(ii) I believe this may be based on an incorrect reading of the bylaws.  Specifically, there are three types of Voting Member Meetings, Regular, Annual, and Special. The WNA bylaws indicate the WNA must resolve the election error no later than the next Voting Member Meeting, without specifying which type of meeting. Consequently, the WNA must resolve this issue by the next Voting Member Meeting which will be a Regular Voting Member Meeting held in December. This only makes sense. Otherwise, an election error could persist for the entirety of a year, that is, the period between Annual Meetings when elections are held – which means the error never would have been corrected.

(c) Prior to recent elections, the WNA board consisted of six members. This means the WNA did not act in accordance with its bylaws since at least March 2020 and potentially longer.

(d) The WNA may wish to revisit this bylaw provision (among others). Increasing participation is the likely goal of allowing an even, rather than odd, number of directors and the WNA needs to increase participation. Unfortunately, seating an even number of directors also has the potential for impairing WNA progress as matters requiring votes of the WNA directors may fail to be resolved because of a lack of a majority vote.

(3) Restoring staggered terms of service. WNA directors, according to bylaws, have staggered terms of service. There never should be an election in which all directors must be re-elected. Instead, only one-half (1/2) of directors should be elected at any annual meeting. Unfortunately, as above, the WNA lost record of Class A and Class B directors and corresponding terms of service. Accordingly, to restore staggered terms of service, the WNA must now decide which directors have a one-year term of service, and which directors have a two-year term of service.  While of course this is a matter of debate, directors serving their first term should not suffer from the inadvertence of the previous board. First term directors should have a two-year term of service, directors who have previously served should have an initial one-year term of service.

(4) Misaligned terms of service. The next WNA Annual Voting Membership Meeting is scheduled for March 2022. We now have conflicting terms of service for directors. Does the term of service of previously serving board members now span from October 2021 to October 2022 or from October 2021 to March 2022? Similarly, should terms of service of first-time board members span from October 2021 to October 2023 or from October 2021 to March 2023. Again, while this is debatable, the term of service of previously serving board members should expire in March 2022 and the term of service of first-time serving board members should expire in March 2023.

(5) Failure to release election results. The WNA is now approaching a week since its director’s election and has yet to release requested election results – both as requested by a director and as requested by a voting member. Additionally, we’ve failed to even respond in one way or another to our voting member. Again, while subject to discussion, the WNA should release election results:

(a) The results readily are available else the WNA could not have confirmed the results of the election.

(b) It’s reasonable to expect all directors have equal access to all information – no information should be privileged. Additionally, because we have no officers at this time, no one can claim privilege because of their office.

(c)The WNA does not own the data it collects and maintains. The voting members own this data.

(d) The WNA is a representative, democratic organization. Representative, democratic organizations release election results when requested.

(6) Open meetings and lack of transparency. Failure to release election results perpetuates the negative perception of the WNA as a closed, private, and secretive organization.  Additionally, the November Director’s meeting where we elect directors and resolve the above issues will be both consequential and controversial.  We should make available for voting members observation of, but not participation in, the next Director’s meeting scheduled for November.

Generally, the WNA is perceived by some neighbors as an organization that lacks transparency, and we must address this – it impairs the neighborhood’s faith and trust in the organization, which impairs participation in the organization. For example, recent social media posts each from different individuals include the following:

– The Warfleigh neighborhood needs to be informed. It’s a social club. There needs to be a neighborhood association that is transparent and works for us rather than dictating what’s to happen.

– While I appreciate the volunteerism and commitment implicit in WNA board membership, it appears that some improvements may be necessary in the organizational operations to create transparency. It is a fact that prompt online communications are essential in modern society.

– The WNA’s lack of transparency on this issue lends me to taking the “opposition” perspective.

– Like I mentioned earlier I believe the WNA is a social club and not many are invited to play. I haven’t attended any meetings lately because I am over the top frustrated and disappointed in the WNA so I don’t know if that still takes place.

– The sad thing is it shouldn’t have had to come to this. We now must research the history of the WNA (Articles of Incorporation) in order to get it to act in compliance with its bylaws and post meeting notices, and, ideally, minutes and agendas

WNA Elections and “Irregularities”

Hi all!

I’m pleased to announce the Warfleigh Neighborhood Association (“WNA”) recently held elections and now has ten (10) board members, including five (5) newly elected board members. The expansion of the number of seats on the board should be helpful, and I’ve been elected as one of them!! I’m privileged and honored to be able to serve the neighborhood with such an accomplished and well-meaning group of people.

Unfortunately, due to “inadvertence” – lack of attention or care – the WNA seated an even, rather than odd, number of directors.  From the bylaws:

“The Board of Directors shall consist of an odd number of members with no fewer than five (5) and no more than fifteen (15) Directors. The Board of Directors shall have the right to increase or decrease the size of the Board of Directors within these limits. If the number of Directors is fewer or greater than these limits by reason of vacancy or removal, or because of inadvertence or events outside the control of the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors may continue to act and conduct all lawful business of the WNA, provided that the discrepancy is corrected no later than the next Voting Member Meeting.”

The WNA now must address this by the next Voting Member meeting, likely scheduled to occur in December. This may be difficult:

(1) The WNA has yet to release actual election results despite certain requests, and

(2) the WNA minutes of the election proceeding indicate the WNA has until next March to correct this (see http://www.warfleigh.com).

The latter was not discussed at the election proceeding and the assessment is based on an incorrect reading of the WNA bylaws. Specifically, there are three types of Voting Member Meetings, Regular, Annual, and Special. The WNA bylaws indicate the WNA must resolve this error no later than the next Voting Member Meeting, without specifying which type of meeting. Consequently, the WNA must resolve this issue by the next Voting Member Meeting which will be a Regular Voting Member Meeting, likely held in December. This only makes sense. Otherwise, an election error could exist for the entirety of a year, that is, the period between Annual Meetings when elections are held – which means the error never would be corrected.

I’ll keep you posted!

Jim Polito

Levee and Floodwall Update – Fall 2021

Hi all,

Here’s the most recent information I’ve been able to find:

On May 10, 2021, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) team responsible for the Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project (INFDRP) met with FEMA to discuss submitting remaining documents and estimated timeframes for FEMA review and Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) completion. Submission documents for the final USACE levee “certification” process include the completed Hydrologic and Hydraulic analysis as well as the USACE Levee Safety Evaluation Report (LSER). At the time of the meeting, three items needed to be completed before the USACE could finalize the LSER:

(1) Passive wall testing. A positive and complete Levee Safety Evaluation Report requires the USACE to test the passive wall infrastructure along Westfield Boulevard at the 52nd Street crossing. This work was bid to a contractor, and the USACE and contractor began preparing to test the passive wall on September 14, 2021. The passive wall test included raising the passive wall by flooding the interior of a barrier constructed along the foundation of the structure. The test concluded successfully.

(2) 52nd Street rebar: Increasing structural integrity along the foundation of the flood wall crossing at 52nd Street requires placing additional rebar steel in the roadway. This work first was identified nearly a year ago in our October 2020 levee and floodwall update. The work has been bid to a contractor. However, the work has not started yet as the contractor now works through the right-of-way permitting process. USACE indicates all project work will be completed no later than December 15, 2021. The City indicates it does not find this delay concerning. However, given the work has not yet started, it is not difficult to imagine this timeline slipping. We will have greater visibility with our winter (February 2021) update.

(3) Video inspection of the foundation drains along the floodwall. This work is not reported as completed. The City expects this work will be completed quickly once started, and indicates it will attempt to obtain a planned start date for this work from the contractor.

Pending completion of the above items, “certification” of the INFDRP will be complete. USACE then will submit all documentation to FEMA for their review and “accreditation”. FEMA determines their own schedule for completing the “accreditation” process, which includes floodplain map revision. Given the proposed/allowable inter-agency schedule, USACE continues to estimate an effective date for the newly revised floodplain map between August 2022 and May 2023.

Finally, to my Warfleigh neighbors: The next neighborhood association meeting is Tuesday, October 12, 6pm (virtual). I’ve nominated myself for an open position on the board of directors. Please attend the meeting and give me a vote (?!) if you would like to help me continue to find ways to serve the neighborhood.

Jim Polito