SCNA Board 8/11/20 


Gabe Ciociola, Jen Hagar, Dennis Maroney, Milo Martinez, Erin Murphy, Lynn Murray, Jenn Santo

The meeting was called to order at 7:30.


  • Jenna Ide, Director of Capital Projects, City of Salem
  • Barb Swartz, Salem Beautification Committee member

Jenna Ide discussed landscaping possibilities around the Bandstand and the Board updated her on similar potential work with Ray around the Arch. Milo stated that per the Historic Commission guidelines, there is no need to seek approval for work done at grade. Any sort of landscaping that might be done will require irrigation which all believed the Bandstand has but the Arch work would require an extension from the main system.

Dennis shared a quote for a design & installation recommendation from Plants & Pleasantries – a Salem based landscaping company, Barb suggested planters around the Bandstand as they could self-water. She also suggested double knockout roses (now used at the two traffic islands) as a very hardy planting for The Arch area. The group agreed that a good solution for the Bandstand would be a combination of curved beds of flowers accented by hardscape. Jenna felt there was sufficient monies available to fund Bandstand work from existing funds. Jenna said when that when both efforts move forward there needs to be a purchase order drawn up that would go before the City Council. Prior to that happening, the landscaper should have conversations with Ray of DPS. Update: Ray and landscaper to meet week of August 17″.

Open question: Erin asked if granite curbstones could be used for the hardscaping. Dennis to explore with Ray.

Dennis thanked Jenna for so generously using her time to come to the meeting and for her assistance on both projects. Barb was thanked as well for lending her expertise to this effort.

President’s Report

  • The crosswalks around the Common have been painted and there is a commitment to paint the crosswalk at the Narbonne House at Essex Street. Dennis to provide an update
  • NIAC meeting planned for 8/12/20 cancelled, Next meeting will be on 9/9/20.
  • Still waiting to hear on proposed Stop Sign at WSE/Andrews St. intersection.
  • Board was supportive of City’s plans to increase mask signage, to use mask ambassadors, and to offer increased testing

Friends of the Salem Common Update (Group)

  • Jenn represented the SCNA ata recent meeting of the Friends of the Salem Common (FOSC), A Conditions Report — but not a Master Plan — was presented but not distributed. The report did not address the Playground, the Common Fence, the Bandstand or the Arch. The report’s focus was on Lighting, Soil, Trees & Benches – all areas that the SCNA Is already engaging with the City & the appropriate Commissioners. The report listed recommendations in these areas without citing funding sources. Jenn will invite FOSC to our Zoom 10/13 Board Meeting.

Common Updates & Issues

  • inserts at the bottom of the Gazebo are a great Improvement along with recapping outlets.
  • Three non-smoking signs are to be installed at Playground, Bandstand & Arch.
  • Graffiti continues to be an ongoing problem which does get removed after it is reported,
  • The locking mechanism for the bulkhead is being replaced via warranty. The way the bulkhead was designed unfortunately created an attractive place for jumping. Deterrent needs to be put into place as the bulkhead company will provide only one replacement at no cost.
  • SPD received a report about the gentleman – cocoon man – who is sleeping on the Common.
  • Paint on basketball court is peeling badly and the uneven surfacing is causing water to pool.
  • Weed growth next to new playground structure should be cut when the lawn is cut.
  • Mushroom growth & ant infestation continues to spread throughout the Common.
  • Update: Ray of DPS to inspect BB court. Weed cutting added to contractor’s list.

DPS says no chemicals can be used on Common to address ant & mushroom problems.
Jenn has contacted Councilor Madore on this issue.


  • Due to Covid, all events have been Put on hold effective through the end of the year.
  • Milo to confirm all event vendors notified of cancellations.
  • SCNA T-shirts are now available on our website.


Jen will send out a newsietter shortly that may include the crosswalk painting, no smoking signs. masks signs & ambassadors and Arch & Bandstand updates,

Washington Arch Restoration:

  • Erin has been working with Milo and Lynn on draft text & graphics for the initial sign design.
  • Lynn noted that the way sign on the Common includes information that we shouldn’t duplicate on the Arch sign, Lynn also took an initial pass at the text at 350 words.
  • Erin is reviewing Lynn’s input & others and hopes to have a new version circulated shortly,
  • Sign vendor Pannier advised that the Arch sign could have an easily removable piece so that it could be updated when needed.
  • The City is engaging with us on the brick pad at the base and landscaping as noted above,
  • There is ongoing interest expressed by PEM with a meeting planned for September,
  • Erin is working with Milo, Gabe & Peter on an updated submission to Historic Commission

Treasurer’s report

Membership; Total at 39 including 11 family members & 5 businesses

Total Funds: $23,268.16

  • Checking: $10,508.11
  • Savings: $3,009.00
  • Arch Fund: $9,751.05

Memberships: $140.00
1 family, 1 business

Incurred Expenses: $118.55

  • Essex Heritage membership renewal $100.00
  • Jenn Santo (Staples) $18.55 (check #1565)

Estimated Membership/Events Expenses:

  • Due to Covid-19, there are no events scheduled for the remainder of 2020,

The next Board Meeting will be held on September 8th at 7:00 pm. Weather willing, it will again be held on the Common. Please note the earlier start time to take advantage of the light.