Minutes from October Steering Committee Meeting

Ann Hart Front Porch Flyer

Minutes of the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) Steering Committee

October 5, 2022

The Zoom meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Chair Koreena Malone.  The meeting was recorded and archived.

Steering Committee (SC) Members present:  Shelly Baldwin, Erin Gaines, Brett Hall, Ann Hart, Koreena Malone, Josh Rudow, Jason Sears, Sarah Seraj, and Marta White, ex officio

Guests present: Danielle Henderson, Greg Keller, and Taylor Youngblood 

Shelly shared a message about kindness and respectful behavior during meetings.

Shelly moved that we accept the agenda that Koreena distributed via e-mail prior to the meeting.  Ann seconded.  Motion passed.

After Ann made a couple corrections, Shelly moved that the Minutes of the September 7th Steering Committee and the September 17th General Meeting be approved.  Sarah seconded.  Motion passed.

Koreena introduced the topic of storage for consideration and discussion.  Currently, MNA property such as banners, signs, plastic eggs, and other miscellaneous supplies are stored at multiple neighbors’ homes.  This creates a few problems.  For one thing, it’s very difficult to keep track of who has what or, for that matter, what the MNA even owns.  For another, it is a huge imposition to ask neighbors to store equipment indefinitely.  Over the past month, Koreena has researched multiple options and, as of right now, the cheapest one seems to be a small unit at Extra Space Storage for $64/month.  SC members discussed pros and cons as well as a few different scenarios that could play out over the coming year.  Ultimately, Sarah moved that we allocate a maximum of $1000 for one year of storage starting as soon as possible.  Shelly seconded and the motion passed.  We are not by any means obligated to spend the entire amount.

In Kathy Sokolic’s absence, Koreena shared an update on the Front Porch Flyer.  Koreena, Kathy and Danielle met with Susan Schopp of Neighborhood News, our potential publisher.  Specifically, they asked her about the ability for residents to opt out of receiving printed newsletters as well as the ability for neighbors in apartment buildings to receive them.  It turns out that the EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) system makes opting out virtually impossible.  Furthermore, the system delivers to apartment buildings by dropping a stack of newsletters in the lobby for residents to pick up.  They do not typically deliver enough copies for every unit in the building.  Discussion ensued about various aspects of this delivery system especially the unfairness to neighbors in apartment buildings.  In light of this new information, SC members expressed concern about finalizing the deal with Neighborhood News that we agreed upon in September (see 9/7/22 minutes).  Koreena and others will do some more research and report back in November. 

Koreena opened discussion on two new Block Grant applications.  Both requests are for $150 to subsidize block parties the first weekend in October.  The events have already been announced on the MNA Facebook page.  Respective locations are the Threadgill courtyard and the corner of Mattie and Scales.  Our usual process is that neighbors submit receipts to get reimbursed for their expenses after the parties are over.  Sarah moved that the SC approve both requests.  Joy seconded and the motion passed. 

On behalf of the Equity Team, Joy reported that 16 participants completed the 16-hour training, “White People Working for Racial Justice.”  Brett and Taylor completed the course and shared a little bit about the experience.  Everyone who participated agreed that there was a tremendous amount of information to digest and they look forward to meeting together more in the future.  Awareness and accountability were two common themes among participants.

Koreena mentioned a couple lingering “to do” items from the Board Retreat in August.  One is developing a New Board Member Orientation packet.  Mary Ellen Mondi has agreed to help with that task.  The other is developing a Conflict of Interest Policy because the MNA has never had one before.  Koreena will share Mission Capital’s templates of both Conflict of Interest Policy and Board Agreement for SC members to use as a starting point.

Shelly reported that the MNA currently has 310 paid members, the most since 2019.

Sarah asked SC members for their input on how to charge sponsors who pay in the middle of the year.  Since our fee structure is for a whole year, she wondered if mid-year sponsors should pay a pro-rated amount.  An alternative suggestion was for each sponsor’s year to begin whenever they paid.  In that scenario, sponsors would be on staggered schedules but would all receive publicity at four neighborhood-wide events, just not necessarily in the same order.  There was some concern that that would be too confusing to keep track of, but Sarah assured everyone that once she created a spreadsheet, it would be easy.  The benefit of this latter approach is that we receive a full year’s payment from every sponsor.  Sarah will use this approach going forward.

Danielle reported that Fall Fest planning is going very well and that the event has been publicized in multiple ways.  There is still plenty of room for more volunteers.  SC members expressed their deep appreciation to Danielle for sharing so much time and talent with our community.

Looking ahead to 2023, Damarice, Josh, and Jason will cycle off the SC completely at the end of 2022 and Koreena will move from the Chair position to the Past Chair position which is ex officio.  In turn, Marta, the current Past Chair, will step off the SC.  This means that the Nominating Committee chaired by Greg Keller will need to recruit four neighbors to fill open positions.  Brett and Sarah agreed to help him along with Taylor Youngblood and Andrew Clements, two neighbors who volunteered to help at the last General Meeting.

Koreena reported that she talked with our insurance agent about our coverage.  Overall, it’s very good but it doesn’t cover an active shooter at one of our events.  We could consider adding that but she warned that it was very, very expensive.  No action called for right now.

Regarding the Bylaws, Shelly Baldwin reported that the proposed amendments to the by-laws will soon be uploaded to the MNA website for public review and comment.  Furthermore, Shelly and Erin will hold two Zooms to allow neighbors to ask questions about the proposed changes. 

The next SC meeting is November 2nd.  After some discussion, the General Meeting scheduled for November 19th was changed to November 12th.  At that meeting, MNA members will vote on the bylaws and the new Steering Committee members.  Shelly will need help with the voting.

On behalf of the MNA’s Transportation and Urban Planning (TUP) Committee, Josh presented a letter from the Cherrywood Neighborhood Association regarding proposed changes to I-35.  The CNA would like the MNA to express its support for the CNA’s ideas by signing the letter (in the Google Drive for this evening’s meeting).  Sarah moved that we sign the letter as the MNA Steering Committee (as opposed to the MNA).  Shelly seconded and the motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 9:26 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Hart, MNA Secretary

Note that all documents mentioned in these minutes are considered part of the meeting record.