Minutes from September Steering Committee Meeting

Ann Hart Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) Steering Committee

September 7, 2022

The hybrid meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Chair Koreena Malone. 

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: Andrew Clements, Danielle Henderson, Kathy Sokolic, and Taylor Youngblood 

Jason moved that the agenda distributed in advance be approved.  Sarah seconded.  Motion passed.

Jason moved that the Minutes of the July 7, 2022 SC Meeting and the July 16 General Meeting be approved.  Marta seconded.  Motion passed

Treasurer Jason Sears provided a brief update on MNA financials.  Total equity as of August 31st was $24, 527.95 including cash on hand, gift cards, and merchandise.  Jason will e-mail the Profit and Loss Statements and the Balance Sheets for June, July, and August 2022 to SC members and present them at the next meeting.

Jason reported that there had been some malfunctions with the MNA website recently.  Janelle Sims of Wagging Labs, our IT provider, has performed an initial assessment and believes she can fix the problem in 2-4 hours over and above the time we already pay her for.  Of course, she can’t guarantee of the time required until she starts working. Her fee is $75/hour.  Note that the specifics of this proposal are in a document in the Google Drive.  After discussion, Shelly moved that we set aside $525 for up to six hours of Ms. Sims’ time.  If she fixes the problem in four hours as predicted, we’ll only spend $300 of the amount earmarked for the repair.  Sarah seconded the motion and it passed.

Koreena reported on two Block Grant applications.  First, she left messages notifying the applicant for the Fairy House proposal that her application had been approved and the individual didn’t respond.  Koreena will try one more time and then, if she still doesn’t respond, assume that the person has changed her mind about the project.  

The second application was submitted by Lita Box and involved a visit by Santa to Lake Park on Sunday, November 27th from 9 to 11am.  All would be welcome.  Steering Committee members asked many questions and expressed several concerns about this proposal.  The main worries were related to the possible number of attendees if the event were held in such a popular, public location.  SC members wondered about liability.  Furthermore, the POA has to approve events that take place at Mueller’s parks.  General consensus was that we were not comfortable approving the event at that site even though we applauded Lita’s desire to be open and inclusive.  Koreena will talk to Lita about possibly modifying the parameters of the gathering and she’ll also talk to our insurance agent about our liability coverage for events.

Kathy Sokolic reported that she has identified a potential publisher for the Front Porch Flyer.  Neighborhood News publishes a few newsletters for different neighborhoods and would be happy to take on the MNA as a customer.  Kathy shared a mock-up edition to show SC members the general style of Neighborhood News’ publications.  She noted that our previous publisher, Peel and Associates, had printed and distributed the Front Porch Flyer for free before they dropped us as a client.  Neighborhood News would charge $100/month for 12 monthly issues.  Print editions would go to every home in the neighborhood and we would also receive an electronic version to post and/or e-mail.  Kathy is willing to underwrite the initial one-year contract by covering half the cost (i.e. $600 of the $1200 total).  Concerns were raised about the amount of paper and the fact that some neighbors may consider the newsletter junk.  After discussion, Sarah proposed that we approve a one-year contract with Kathy covering half the cost.  After one year, we’ll do our best to assess whether a paper newsletter adds value to our community.  Josh seconded and the motion passed.

Sarah shared an update on Sponsorships.  She explained that we’ve been offering five levels of sponsorship with a fair amount of overlap in terms of the benefits to sponsors.  She proposed that we simplify the levels and differentiate between the levels more.  The new levels would be Friend of the MNA, $500 and above; Tower of Support, $1500 and above; and Neighborhood Navigator, $2500 and above.  SC members asked many questions:  What about in-kind sponsors?  Do the levels represent an annual sponsorship?  Are event sponsors recognized, too?  All agreed that more work is needed in this area but the new levels of support were an excellent first step.  Shelly moved to adopt the three new sponsorship levels.  Josh seconded and the motion passed.

Koreena was happy to report that Austin Energy had agreed to let the MNA use its meeting space for General Meetings on Saturday mornings.

Koreena reported that over half the SC members had attended the Board Training on Saturday, August 13th (Koreena, Brett, Erin, Shelly, Jason, Sarah, Marta, and Josh?).  Mission Capital provided the materials.  Part of the session focused on possible amendments to the bylaws.

Regarding the Bylaws, Shelly Baldwin offered this report:   

After a lot of work by our Bylaws Committee and the Steering Committee, we are nearly ready to present a final draft to the general membership. The first step will be for Koreena to take our completed draft to Boulder Advocacy to look at the document for any legal issues. When they have okayed the draft, we will be ready to present it to the general membership at our September meeting. At that time we will post the Bylaws on the MNA website for viewing, as well as a drop down form for questions and comments. We will collate these forms and will offer two different 30-minute Zoom sessions for anyone who cannot access the form or has questions. If necessary, a special Steering Committee meeting will be called in October to look over any necessary issues. Otherwise, the draft will be put to the general membership for a vote in November.

At that point in the meeting, a heated discussion ensued about the sections of the bylaws having to do with financial practices, specifically Section 6.12 regarding approval of expenditures not included in the annual budget.  The Bylaws Committee will continue its work and keep the Steering Committee informed.  SC members agreed that an extra meeting was necessary and scheduled it for October 5th at 7pm. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Hart, MNA Secretary

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