CITY OF NEWARK
DOWNTOWN NEWARK PARTNERSHIP BOARD
Thursday, January 15, 2009
City Manager’s Conference Room
220 Elkton Road
Board Members Present:
Marilyn Minster, Chair
Roy H. Lopata
Board Members Absent:
Maureen Feeney Roser, DNP Administrator/Interim Planning and Development Director
Elizabeth Dowell, Planning and Development Department Secretary
Bryan Rash, Cruizers for Christ Car Club
Larry Gilbert, Cruizers for Christ Car Club
Jean White, Resident
1. Review of minutes of Downtown Newark partnership Board meeting held
Thursday, December 11, 2008.
Motion by Mr. Charma, seconded by Mr. Funk, the minutes of the December 11,
2008 Downtown Newark Partnership Board meeting were unanimously approved.
2. Presentation on potential car show for August 2009.
Ms. Minster introduced Bryan Rash and Larry Gilbert from the Cruizers for Christ
Car Club who presented information about the potential car show.
Mr. Rash introduced himself and explained that he headed up Cruizers for Christ
Christian Car Club. Mr. Rash had discussed the car show with Mayor Vance Funk when he
went to see him for a property settlement. Mr. Rash said that a discussion began concerning
the fact that Newark had not had a car show for several years and that Mayor Funk indicated
to Mr. Rash that the City would still like to have a car show. Mr. Rash said that Mayor
Funk gave Mr. Rash DNP Administrator Maureen Feeney Roser’s telephone number and
asked that he call Maureen to discuss bringing a car show back to Newark.
Mr. Rash then met with Ms. Feeney Roser who in turn invited Mr. Rash to present
his idea to the DNP Board.
Mr. Rash stated that Cruizers for Christ Christian Car Club is a car club that is about
outreach and community service. This gives them the opportunity to serve the community.
He stated that they do auto repairs and donate automobiles to people in need. He also
thought that with the economy the way it is now, they would like to do a benefit for the
Delaware Food Bank through the car show. He stated that the Car Club partnering with
Newark would help the community by bringing people to Newark and benefit the Food
Bank as well. He hoped that the show would generate enough funds to donate to the Food
Bank of Delaware and put funds in the Car Club bank account to help with car repairs and
donations as well.
He stated that the Car Club was capable of putting on a car show and that the show
would be extremely family oriented. He stated that if the DNP Board approved the event,
Ms. Feeney Roser indicated that she could help out with advertising the event, and the Car
Club would distribute flyers to the car club community. He stated that Cruizers for Christ
Christian Car Club had built a good relationship over the last six years with the car club
community and that the show would bring in a good crowd. He then showed the Board
flyers from past car shows that the club had done with two churches (4 shows with one
church, 6 with the other).
Ms. Feeney Roser clarified that what Mr. Rash was proposing would be a one-day
show on August 8th. Mr. Rash then showed the Board an itinerary of the day. Mr. Lopata
asked if they had ever done a car show hosted by a municipality. Mr. Rash indicated that
they had not. Ms. Feeney Roser indicated that the car shows, in the past, had been co-
sponsored by the DNP because there were a lot of City expenses (loss of parking revenue,
extra trash cans to be put out and picked up, street cleanup afterward, and increased staff
time). Ms. Feeney Roser also explained to the Board that she had discussed with Mr. Rash
that she would need to talk with the City Solicitor to make sure there was no issue about
separation of church and state. She stated that the Solicitor’s opinion would be forthcoming.
Mr. Rash showed the Board a sample flyer for the event and stated that changes
could be made.
Ms. Foreman indicated that the benefit of having a car show would be to attract
more people to the restaurants and the retail establishments, and that even if no money was
raised, the benefit was still there. Ms. Minster agreed, but indicated that the Partnership
wanted to keep expenses low. Mr. Gilbert indicated that the event would be free to anyone
who would want to come to the show, but that the cars participating would pay a registration
fee. Part of the registration fee for cars would be to bring a canned good donation for the
Food Bank. The Food Bank of Delaware will help with the collection of canned goods.
Mr. Rash indicated that the show would bring a lot of spectators to downtown. He
also stated that they set the timeframe so that it would cover the lunch and dinner hours
(12:00 – 8:00 p.m.). He stated that some people might stay overnight, but for the most part
there would not be overnight stays. Cars come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey
and Delaware and that they anticipate 300 to 400 cars. They would use Main Street,
possibly the Newark Shopping Center and any private lots to park cars. Mr. Gilbert
indicated that the Car Club would take care of the funding for the bands, prizes, registration,
etc. They would like to use the University’s Academy Lawn for the music and for games
for the children. There will not be a rain date. The Board asked if there was a restriction as
to who could have a car at the event. Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Rash stated that anyone could
register a car, and that everyone was welcome.
Mr. Lopata explained that because of the church/state issue, if the Board agrees to
the event, the event would need to be structured so that the City would not be sponsoring it.
Mr. Sonnenberg stated that if the Board is interested in supporting the event that the Car
Club would have to abide by any restrictions that the Solicitor would have. Mayor Funk
indicated that the Solicitor might say that the church would need to be deemphasized, and
call it the Newark Car Show. He felt that having the cross and the Newark Partnership on
the flyer together was problematic. He asked if the money was going to the Food Bank and
not the church. Mr. Rash and Mr. Gilbert stated that there was not a church involved and
that Cruizers for Christ Car Club is independent. Mr. Rash stated that he would take the
cross emblem off of the flyer, but that he would want their club name to remain. Mayor
Funk stated that the emphasis should be Newark Car Show at the top of the flyer. Mr. Rash
said he could adjust that.
Ms. Minster stated that the proposal would be taken to the City Solicitor and the
Board would await his answer. Mr. Rash said that a decision as soon as possible would be
good since they are setting up their car show calendar schedule presently.
Mayor Funk suggested voting on this item subject to the City Solicitor’s approval.
Motion by Mr. Godwin, seconded by Mr. Sonnenberg, to approve the potential
Newark Car Show subject to the City Solicitor’s decision. The motion unanimously passed.
(Please note: The Solicitor opined that the DNP, as a Committee of City Council, could not
sponsor the event. Without this support, the event is not possible because it was designed to
use City parking facilities, etc. Mr. Rash has been informed).
Next, Ms. Minster thanked Sally Miller and Suzy Rogers for going to the Delaware
Main Street workshop on Main Street Program Organization. Ms. Minster stated that the
workshop was very worthwhile.
3. Discussion regarding vending machines on Main Street.
Ms. Minster began the discussion by saying that the Board referred the information
concerning vending machines to the DNP Design Committee. Mr. Charma reported that the
vending machine was a free-standing DVD dispenser that would be placed in front of
Happy Harry’s on Main Street. He reported that the Design Committee was not in favor of
the vending machine because they were concerned about vandalism, stickers being put on
the machine, more street clutter (advertising), and were generally concerned about street
aesthetics. The Committee felt that a vending machine that was flush with the building wall
and attached to it might be okay. However, the general opinion of the committee was that
they did not want to see a free standing vending machine because then there would be more
vending machines and they would detract from the aesthetics of the street.
Mr. Lopata stated that he wanted to discuss the vending machine placement with the
City Solicitor because it might come under the City’s vending ordinance and that vending
machines may be controlled already. He explained that the ordinance had to do with
vending in front of an owner’s store and that the ordinance had just recently been revised.
Mr. German stated that he had only seen these types of vending machines inside buildings.
There was more discussion on types of vending machines and security issues. No decision
was made pending the Solicitor’s opinion on this matter.
4. Discussion regarding recycling containers on Main Street.
Mr. Charma reported that the Design Committee had a lengthy discussion on this
topic. He stated that Committee generally was not in favor of the containers but are in favor
of green design and green recycling efforts. The Committee cited reasons for not be in favor
of this project. They are:
Adds to street clutter
Clearer cleaner pictures of what the containers look like
Number of units.
Types of adds
Mr. Charma reported that one company that is marketing these containers is Creative
Advertising, Inc. The Design Committee felt that the type of advertising on the containers
may be prohibited by City Code. It may come under the sign regulations. Mr. Charma also
said it may cause problems because, for example, Grottos could buy advertising on the
recycling container placed outside Peace a Pizza to advertise their store. This could create
problems. Mr. Charma stated that the Committee talked about alternatives. He also said
that they were not opposed to the recycling effort but that this particular proposal was not a
fit. Ms. Foreman suggested that the store owners could make an effort to recycle inside their
establishments. Mayor Funk stated that on Sunday mornings there were lots of plastic
bottles in the trash cans in downtown Newark. Mr. German suggested putting recycling
containers close to the UD to see what type of response there would be.
The Board agreed to support a pilot recycling program headed by the Public Works
Department using the City’s recycling containers with no advertising on them.
5. Items Submitted by Board
Vice Chair position (Minster)
Ms. Minster asked for nominations for the position of vice chair. Mr. DeMicco
nominated Bob Ashby. Mr. Godwin seconded the nomination. Ms. Minster said
that she has spoken to Mr. Ashby and that he said that he would be willing to accept
the position if he was nominated. The motion was passed unanimously.
Certification Institute Training 1/26/09 – 1/30/09 (Minster)
Ms. Minster reported that Ms. Feeney Roser will complete her certification as a
Main Street Manager and that her certification will be given to her at the National
Main Street Conference in Chicago.
Ms. Minster directed the Board members to the budget sheet in their packet. The
budget reflects the Partnership’s income and expenses. She reported that the budget
was balanced and that there were no deficits. Ms. Feeney Roser told the Board that
the green sheet listed how the money was spent last year. (See Attachment A) Then
Ms. Feeney Roser went through the proposed 2009 budget line-by-line so that the
Board could decide how the money should be spent. Items noted are below:
o Historical Society: received $5,000 in 2008; $2,000 projected for 2009
Mr. German suggested matching what the Historical Society raised, dollar-
for-dollar, up to $2,000 The Board members unanimously agreed.
o Annual Meeting & Celebration: $3,850 is projected for 2009. Ms. Minster
asked if this much was needed for the event. Ms. Feeney Roser explained
that the event brought in $2,020. There was a discussion on cost vs. monies
raised. There was a suggestion to increase the cost of the event. Mr.
German suggested canceling the event. Other Board members felt that it is a
good event and they would like to continue to have the event. It was also
suggested that the invitation list be expanded.
o Annual Volunteer Reception: $1,900 is projected for this event for 2009.
Ms. Minster stated that the Annual Volunteer Reception and the Annual
Meeting are both good ways for the merchants and the community to visit
and enjoy each other. Ms. Feeney Roser explained that the Volunteer
Reception is a thank you to the volunteers for their help – this includes
everyone who serves on a Committee during the year or helps with our
numerous special events. She also stated that she requests sponsorship to
help pay for the event. She explained that the sponsors pay for the bar bill,
that Mr. Ashby donates the food and the Board gives the volunteers a gift. It
was suggested that to save cost the gifts could be eliminated or scaled back.
Ms. Feeney Roser said that was something to consider for 2010 since this
year’s gifts were already purchased due to event timing.
o Design Committee: The budget includes an Architectural Assistance Grant
(1 only), Winterfest or Replacement Banners, and a new Downtown Project
tba. Mr. Charma indicated that the Committee would be doing fundraising
to support these projects.
o Economic Enhancements: Business Recruitment Fund $5,000 (This new
budget line item is intended to be used to reward and motivate realtors to
bring targeted businesses to downtown Newark); Business Recruitment
Brochures reprint, $2,500, (the cost will be split with the Planning and
Development Department); Web Page Improvements $5,000, the content of
the web page is to be updated with all businesses that are downtown; TV
Commercials $6,750, includes a possible springtime commercial, air time for
TV and a proposal from Film Brothers to do shots of upcoming events (stock
footage that could be sent with press releases). Ms. Minster said that she
thought the Christmas commercial that was done was wonderful. Mr.
German suggested moving the utility grant money into extra advertising in
the community that would help existing businesses. Mr. Charma agreed that
some of the money could be funneled into advertising. Ms. Feeney Roser
stated that if the money was not used for utility grants then it could be
moved; Print Advertising $4,500, Ms. Feeney Roser stated that this amount
was in addition to the Holiday Ad Campaign.
Ms. Feeney Roser told the Board that she could go back and look at the
budget and see if she could come up with more money budgeted for
There was more discussion on advertising and what it could mean to the
o Events: Ms. Feeney Roser explained that the designated amounts for the
2009 events were just about what was spent last year, with the exception of
the concert series. There was discussion about the fact that the money spent
on advertising the Concert Series was not worth it. The event is not well
attended. There was discussion on the possibility of bringing in rising artists
that would bring more families into downtown. Since the Concert Series is a
Parks and Recreation event, the Board could only make a suggestion to
obtain a rising star/well-known local artist for the event. For Sundays Are
For Sundaes promotion in 2008: $3,000 was used for advertising. Ms.
Feeney Roser reported that 8 businesses participated. Mr. German said that
there was not a spike in business during the summer due to this promotion.
Mr. Ashby and Mr. Godwin agreed. The Board decided to cancel Sundays
are for Sundaes for summer 2009. Main Street Mile: $4,200 was spent on
the Main Street while $4,800 (covering expenses and providing $600
towards the DNP budget) was raised. In addition, $2,500 was also raised
through the Main Street Mile to support the Newark Police Department’s K-
9 Unit. Mr. Charma and Mr. German had ideas as to how to make the event
even better for 2009.
o Merchants: $6,000 listed is the money to be taken out of the existing Gift
Certificate float for start-up for the new gift certificate program. There was
discussion on the new program, the new company keeping the float,
merchants receiving their reimbursements promptly. Mr. German did not
want the Partnership to sign a contract that allowed the company to keep the
float. Ms. Feeney Roser explained that the Planning and Development
Department staff could not continue to run the gift certificate program as it is
now because it is labor intensive and because merchants do not get their
money promptly enough. She explained the benefits of the new program; it
will only be used in downtown, the merchants don’t have to use different
equipment, they don’t have to change banks, and they get their
reimbursement immediate, and it costs the Partnership nothing after the
initial outlay of buying them. Ms. Minster stated that the new gift certificate
program had already been approved at the last DNP Board meeting. There
was more discussion concerning the stability of the company to be used.
Ms. Feeney Roser stated that references had been checked. (Please note:
After the meeting, additional information about the Program was collected
and distributed to the Board based on questions raised at the meeting). The
Holiday Ad Campaign projected budget is $6,230.90. Ms. Minster stated
that she felt that the Holiday Ad Campaign last year was very well done and
the money well spent. Ms. Feeney Roser stated that this year’s amount is
approximately the same as last year. Mr. Lopata reported that he had heard
from two different merchants that this year was the best holiday year
financially they had ever had. Ms. Feeney Roser stated that she was working
on a survey to give the merchants to poll how they felt their holiday season
o Parking: Meter Powder Coating Project will entail purchasing new guts for
the meters and refurbishing the outside of the meters. The outside of the
meters will be powder coated black to complement the streetscape design.
The project will cost about $14,000 all together. The project has been
reviewed by the Design and Parking Committees, which believe the powder-
coated meters will be attractive with the new streetscape already in place.
It was suggested that area businesses and merchants could sponsor banners
for the downtown area. Ms. Foreman stated that the Newark Arts Alliance
would like to sponsor a banner. The Partnership will look into the
Please note: a revised draft 2009 Budget has been prepared based on the
Board’s discussion above. (Please see Attachment B). The Board will
finalize this budget at its next meeting.
6. Items submitted by Staff:
Restaurant Week – 1/19/09 – 1/25-09
Ms. Feeney Roser showed the Board the itinerary and reported that it would be
in the January 16th edition of the Newark Post. In addition, restaurants will be
given a Restaurant Week banner for outside their establishment. Dana Johnston
(Community Affairs Officer) worked very hard on advertising the event. Ms.
Feeney Roser reported that Spark carried the event, it was in 55 Hours the week
before the Board meeting, and an article was in the News Journal the week of the
Board meeting. Some of the proceeds from the event will go to the Food Bank.
Volunteer Appreciation Reception – Thursday, 2/5/09, 5-7 p.m., Deer Park
Ms. Feeney Roser passed out the Board members invitations and said that she
hoped that the Board members would attend and that it was a great opportunity
thank the committee members and volunteers for their service.
Click & Mortar Workshop – Wednesday, 2/25/09, 8-10 a.m., Caffe Gelato
The owner of the largest internet retailer of lady bug themed items in the world
will speak on how to set up your own internet business. The workshop is free.
Pre-registration is required. Please RSVP by 2/20/09
Newark’s Wine & Dine Downtown – March 28, 2009, 4-9p.m.
Ms. Feeney Roser requested that any Board members who would like to serve
on the planning committee for the event, let her know.
Discussion regarding Business License Fees
Ms. Feeney Roser asked that the Board members think about an increase in the
business license fees. The Downtown District runs from Apple Road to
McDonald’s Circle and the CSX line to Delaware Avenue. All business licenses
are changed to $25 annually to support the DNP. The businesses that are inside
the Downtown Business district do benefit more from the DNP than the
businesses outside the district. This is a topic for future discussion.
Discussion regarding Committee focus in 2009 for work plan development
Ms. Feeney Roser stated that this is the time that the committees begin deciding
what their work plans should be for the year. The two market based strategies
that the DNP Board wants to focus on were: building a parking garage and
creating a viable retail district which included Newark Shopping Center, Main
Street and Elkton Road. Ms. Feeney Roser asked the Board if they had ideas as
to what the committees should focus on in the upcoming year. Mr. Charma
stated that he thought that the committees took the market based strategies into
consideration when the work plan was developed. He said that the Design
Committee spent a lot of time on it. Ms. Minster asked the Chairmen to go back
to their committees and ask them to focus on these strategies. Mr. German told
the Board that parking was still an issue for Main Street and that we needed to
move forward quickly to build a parking garage. Mr. Lopata responded by
saying that the parking garage was an important but complicated issue and it
continues being discussed and details being worked out.
8. Next Meeting Date:
The next regular meeting of the DNP Board will be held on March 12, 2009. The
Board agreed that the meeting time will be 6:00 p.m. Mr. German graciously
volunteered to provide the food for the next meeting.
9. Public Comment
Mrs. White commented that recycling education would be beneficial. She also
stated that one risk of the new gift certificate program would be if the business went
out of business; and that if this happened the resident who had bought the gift
certificate would be mad at the City if their gift certificate was on honored.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.