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(MSCC) February 13, 2016 — This is the first edition of the Midtown South Community Council Annual Progress Report. This report highlights our progress thus far, takes inventory of our accomplishments, shortfalls, and refines our objectives.

Established in 1983, the Midtown South Community Council was formed to combat the many problems facing residents within this heavily commercialized area. Bill Stulhberg and Anna Ulitsky presided over the council’s operations during its infancy.


Our current administration includes: President John Mudd, Vice President Bill Ottersen, Secretaries Eileen Miller and Frank Kelly (who joined us in 2012, succeeding Secretary Carl Carmen), and most recently Director of Community Services Sharon Jasprizza.

Our support team includes: Executive Editor Grace Cavallo, Marketing Director Cyndie Burkhart, Rich and Bander Accounting firm (to oversee our financials and tax needs), and Attorney Howard Lieb (our legal adviser since 2001).

Our custom website was designed by Nadia Reis Shen and Fritz Washabaugh. The site offers current news, events, and resources. The website is efficient, visually appealing, and user-friendly. It is flexible and readily expandable. It is a very well crafted online business with the purpose to inform and further our initiatives.

Our newsletter announces our meetings and provides updates of our progress. It also highlights our website and newsworthy items and events. It engages the community and small businesses within midtown. We send two mailings per month to our steadily increasing subscriber list.

Our Wikipedia page furthers our presence.


The Council, with the participation of the community, continues to effectively highlight problems for the Midtown South Precinct ranging from basic quality of life issues (club nuisances, unauthorized dumping, peddlers, noise, traffic, homeless…) to criminal activity (drugs, thefts, assaults…). The (MTS) Midtown South Precinct’s management of these problems has been commendable.

We are aligning ourselves with other agencies and not-for-profit groups to further mutually shared causes—we call them our Quality of Life Partners (QLP): Midtown Community Court, UpNext, GrowNYC, and NYC Smoke Free. Some of our Quality of Life Partner relationships are in the initial stages, and some have become stagnate. Relationship building is a process and the time and effort to maintain these relationships is enormous and should be viewed as a long-term goal. As our growth continues, so shall our partners and projects.

Communicating Community concerns to the police precinct, city council, community boards, mayor’s office, and others is of great importance. We are interested in furthering direct lines of communication. (Perhaps we should think about a communications director?)

The Council has participated, donated and/or sponsored projects and events that include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. The first Council sponsored “Cop of the Month” event to recognize officers for their outstanding performance was in 2005. This event is sporadically produced.
  2. We’ve donated to funds for the surviving family of officers who have sacrificed their lives to serve our city.
    1. The Wientraub family for the tragic loss of Mr. Ronnie Weintraub, a veteran of the police force, due to health reasons incurred from volunteering in the World Trade Center rescue mission.
    2. We donated to aspiring writer Nicholas Pekearo, 28, a New York University sophomore, and Yevgeniy Marshalik, 19; both were volunteers of the Auxiliary Policing unit and were murdered in Greenwich Village on March 14, 2007.
    3. We donated to the Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos fund; the two police officers were assassinated by a deranged man in Brooklyn on December 20, 2014.
  3. Since 2006, we have regularly supported a Children’s Christmas party, which serves less fortunate, hospitalized, or homeless children.
  4. The 2009 Harmony Picnic for the city’s youths was a concerted effort by all the New York Community Councils.
  5. Since 2006, we have regularly supported the Police Precinct’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
  6. We provide annual support for maintenance and the addition of new equipment for the police precinct gym.
  7. We’ve supported not-for-profit groups and arts and education programs.
  8. We’ve supported the Community Court, Community Court’s UpNext Jobs Program and UpNext’s Father and Son Graduate program.


Membership and attendance has fluctuated. We have approximately 25 community members regularly attending our meetings. Other community members attend as the result of problems affecting them or their business. How might we grow our constituent base and how might we keep their interest in attending without cause?

We have recently changed our meeting format in anticipation of growth. The new format asks for agenda submissions. We expect this will be more efficient and will allow us more time to explore other opportunities for growth. We’ve discussed the inclusion of speakers on various subjects that may inform our members. Are there annual events we can add to our calendar? We are looking to build a willful community that will help us better quality of life for all.

Our 2015 marketing strategies were executed accurately, however the effectiveness of the mailing is questionable. We mass-mailed postcards to businesses and residents in area codes 10018, 10001, and 10036, and haven’t gained any significant increase in members. We are evaluating the card design and information, the services used, and overall benefits and cost effectiveness of this marketing strategy. We’re considering other avenues of marketing: signage, posters, bus and train displays, direct handouts, Google ad-words, purchase of email lists, etc., to identify the most effective ways to market our message.


Now that the new year is upon us, we are planning our objectives, establishing our priorities, rethinking our marketing strategies, and shaping our approach. We’ve experience more growth in the last two years than the previous years combined. New web changes are being scheduled. The implementation of QuickBooks, IRS and State filing are being managed.

We are seeking additional business and Quality of Life Partners. We are open to participation and creative pursuits from all. Our mandate is clear. Our charter is flexible and allows for a variety of initiatives, which will better the quality of life here in midtown Manhattan.

Our to-do list is growing. Among the many items to explore this year…we are putting forth effort to study and understand the issue of homelessness and help find a solution to this problem. We are exploring website and app development that will connect community, businesses, and agencies for the rescue of any person(s) in need. Housing has not escaped our attention. And we are exploring ways to promote sustainability and healthier lifestyles.

Although lofty and bold, we hope to meet the objectives of our wish list (in part or in all) in the future. Any shortfalls to expeditiously progress goals and initiatives are most likely due to the lack of manpower, and funding. Continued patience and community support will help overcome these obstacles. We will continue to strengthen relationships with our partners, build our staff, and grow our members to move our initiatives forward.

Midtown South Community Council

John Mudd, President

Bill Ottersen, Vice President

Eileen Miller & Frank Kelly, Secretaries

Sharon Jasprizza, Community Services Director

Grace Cavallo, Executive Editor

Cyndie Burkhardt, Marketing Director