11-14-23 Meeting Minutes

Native Tree Planting 2023
November 8, 2023
Holiday Decoration Contest 2023
November 21, 2023

11-14-23 Meeting Minutes

November 14, 2023

Garden District Civic Association Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 6:30 PM

Location: Jason Hessick’s, 2361 Wisteria St.


In attendance: Jason Hessick, Justin Kozak, Babeth Schlegel, Mary and Willie Fontenot, Mike Schexnayder and Heather Day.



  • Champagne Stroll- Babeth has glasses and signs left over. She will put them in the storage facility. Heather will put Champagne into storage. The Board thought the wrist bands weren’t needed. Name tags would be preferable with the hosts having different name tags. The Champagne went quickly. Maybe don’t fill the glasses quite so full. The first and last houses need more Champagne. For next year it was suggested that 2 cases be given to the first and last houses and 1 1/2 cases for the second and third houses. Babeth will do a spreadsheet with all the information. The musician at John’s house, Devin McCarty, was a big hit. (rhythm & blues) Possibilities for future houses are the Seymore’s, Madeleine Conger, Eversburg’s, Bridgett Teak, Hance Hughes, Thomas Hingle (Wisteria & 22nd), Lucky Law Firm’s and Donna Britt’s former home. October 20th might be a good date.
  •  Tree Planting: There was a demonstration by Baton Rouge Green of proper trimming of roots before planting a tree and then of how to plant it. Five teams with five volunteers in each team planted the trees in neighbors’ yards. Most of the volunteers came from our neighborhood. There were three leaders from Baton Rouge Green. A few trees were delivered to other neighborhoods. Mid City Redevelopment Alliance was involved and will inspect the planted trees. At White Light Night, this Friday, they are planning to make an announcement about the tree planting grant program.


  • Beautification + Operations – There are no updates from BR Water about getting a water supply at Park and Magnolia and Terrace and Eugene. Mike Schexnayder believes that the Terrace intersection has a better chance. There might be too many tree roots at Park.
  • Financials – Not available.

Security Update from Seth Gautier: Below are a list of notable criminal reports which occurred within the GDCA during the months of September and October:

  • 9/6-1000 Park Blvd-Vehicle Theft 9/20-1900 Cherokee-Vehicle Theft
  • 9/20-800 Park Blvd-Vehicle Burglary 9/24-1800 Myrtle-Vehicle Theft
  • 9/28-1000 Park Blvd-Vehicle Burglary 10/17-1800 Olive-Vehicle Burglary
  • 10/21-1100 Park Blvd-Theft 10/27-2500 Myrtle-Residential Burglary

It needs to be noted there has been a rash of vehicle thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to the ease in which criminals have found to hotwire them. This has been a city-wide issue as these vehicles are being targeted. The overwhelming incidents are centered around vehicles, which are most likely parked on the streets of the GDCA. As always, keep your vehicles locked when not occupied. Remove all valuables and firearms, especially anything that is in plain sight. It will not hurt to take further steps to protect your vehicles with physical anti-vehicle theft devices and/or factory/aftermarket alarm system Discussion:

  • Membership
    • Welcome Packets: Heather brought a case of Champagne to the meeting for the welcoming packets. Anita has the bags. There were no new homes sold in October. From now on the plan is to announce new neighbors at the monthly Board meetings and let a nearby Board member deliver it.
    • Raising membership prices was an issue raised at September meeting. The attendees did not think this was needed or appropriate.  At least three people signed up for non-renewable memberships so they could buy less expensive Champagne Stroll tickets. This was a one-month membership.
  • Events
    • Holiday Decoration Contest – Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 – Michael Myers offered to pull a hay wagon behind his truck for the judges. The hay wagon will hold at least a dozen people and the truck will hold four. The Board would like to accept his offer. The board will ask Josh or John to Instagram a message announcing that the first one to three people who respond will be allowed to ride the hay wagon and act as judges. Mary will ask the Board members who plans to ride, so we will know how much room we have. Prizes can be $20 gift cards from local businesses. Suggestions are: Barracuda Taco, D’s Garden Center, Pelican to Mars (Justin will ask), Radio Bar (Heather will ask), The Parker Barber (Justin will ask), Video Arcade (Justin will ask). Others are welcomed as well. Mary offered to coordinate the event.
    • Board Holiday Party – Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023
    • Annual Meeting – February, after Mardi Gras (Feb. 23)
  • Communications
  • The newsletter might come before Thanksgiving. It should have the Holiday Decorating Contest details, a story about the tree planting, the Champagne Stroll and a security update.
  • Website: The website is often out-of-date. After each board meeting, maybe someone could let John know what updates are needed. Perhaps, Justin could be taught and allowed to update it. There should be a list of current board members. We don’t need bios and photos. 
  • New signs and sturdier frames – John’s crew is working on designing signs to be more easily read for Holiday Lighting Contest, Easter Egg Hunt, Fall Picnic, Champagne Stroll,  the Annual Meeting and a non-event sign introducing the civic association. They could be reused with a sticker to change the dates. The frames could be built so they remain in the medians. When there is no upcoming event a sign saying “Are You a Member of the Garden District Civic Association? Learn more at GDCABR.ORG”. A QR code could be put on it to take them there. The Board voted to have 10 sign frames made, allowing for two extras in case of damage. It is less expensive to order ten than to order eight. Eight printed signs will be ordered for the events. Hance voted via text at the meeting. Those present voted unanimously in favor of the expenditure. John is also in favor.




We need Board members to ask for gift cards as prizes from Barracuda Taco and D’s Garden Center.

  • Who will do it? 

All Board Members – Please consider who would be a good person to add to the board and voted on at the next Annual Meeting.

Babeth will update the Champagne Stroll spreadsheet.

Justin will put out the newsletter. (Remember to thank the tree volunteers.)

Ask Pelican to Mars, the Parker Barber and the Video Arcade for prize gift cards.

Mary will try to contact BR Water Co. about the plumbing possibilities at our two signs.

Coordinate the Holiday Lighting Contest.

Michael Myers will arrange to have his hay wagon available on Dec. 14th.

Josh or John will send out an Instagram to get volunteer judges for the lighting contest.

John will work on the signs, finishing the Holiday Lighting first.

Heather will ask Rado Bar for a prize gift card.

Jason will review the By Laws.

Board Members: Prescott Bailey, Heather Day, Mary Fontenot, Jason Hessick, Josh Howard, Hance Hughes, Anita Parsons King, Justin Kozak, Jacob Luneau, Ted Magee, Katherine Mount, Michael Myers, Mike Schexnayder, Babeth Schlegel, John Williams.

Volunteers: Clayton Fields, Claire Pittman, Anne Trapp and others