Minutes of the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) General Meeting
February 18, 2023
The hybrid meeting was called to order at 10:20am by Committee Chair Greg Keller after confirming quorum. The meeting was recorded and archived.
Steering Committee (SC) Members present: Joy Butler, Brett Hall (?), Ann Hart, Greg Keller, Meisha-Ann Martin, Chris Ruzin, Sarah Seraj, Karen Swenson, Preston Tyree, Kaz Wojtewicz.
Greg thanked everyone for attending and informed everyone that we would use Robert’s Rules of Order to guide the meeting.
Guest Scott Johnson updated attendees about his upcoming fundraiser at the Alamo Drafthouse. He is coordinating a viewing of the documentary “Chasing Coral” on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:00 pm. Proceeds will fund contributions to the following: GoFundMe for outstanding expenses of the late environmental activist Jack Goodman; the City of Austin Homeless Student Fund; The City of Austin Parks and Libraries Fund; and the replacement of the Bull Creek Watershed sign on the corner of RM 2222 and McNeil Drive.
Micheal Jones reported that the PIAC met on February 14th and focused on three agenda items: 1) lifted the residency requirement of where members of the Mueller Commission have to live; 2) Sustainability of Mueller’s Affordable Housing Program; referred to Austin City Council for study and longterm oversight once Catellus is out; 3) Financial update—revenue from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) exceeds bond debt. Next PIAC meeting is March 14th at the Austin Energy building.
Karen Sharp , Transition Committee Chair of the Property Owner’s Association (POA) reported on the committee’s first meeting of 2023. We have less than two years to prepare for a smooth transition, assuming completion of Mueller by December 2024. The committee will meet monthly going forward and anticipates possible changes to the Mueller Covenants and governance policies. Karen will keep MNA members informed and will be asking for increased participation. She highlighted the need for neighbors to volunteer for the Events Committee which will set policies related to the use of our public spaces. She noted that she and Joe Denton now sit on the Master Board, representing residential property owners. Catellus has agreed to fund a video telling the story of the Mueller Development which should serve as a helpful communication tool.
Chair—Greg admitted that the Steering Committee is off to a slower start than he had anticipated. That said, we’ll move forward with the existing volunteer energy and participation, not feeling locked into what has been done in the past.
Treasurer’s Report—Chris R. shared January 2023 income was $904.80 and expenses were $2270.41, noting that some annual bills were paid last month.
Vice-Chair’s Report—Preston “Ty” Tyree shared the committee consolidation and reorganization structure that the Steering Committee developed at its February 1st meeting (details in the minutes of that session). He assured everyone that all the functions and activities were included.
Regarding major events, we still don’t have a chair for Spring Fling which may mean that it will be cancelled. Planning for Eid on April 29th is going well. There will be food and activities at Branch Park and all neighbors are welcome. Fourth of July and Fall Fest both still need chairs and volunteers.
Membership–Karen Swenson reminded everyone to pay dues for 2023. We had over 400 paying members at the end of 2022 but only about 100 people have renewed for this year. Taylor Youngblood is focusing on reenergizing the Block Captains and plans a gathering for those volunteers soon.
Bylaws—the Steering Committee will appoint a liaison at its next meeting.
Yard Sale is set for April 1st. Joan Quenan needs help posting the signs.
Greg moved to discuss strategy for updating the Bylaws. Motion seconded and passed.
Joan Quenan shared a “redline document” with proposed changes to the MNA bylaws. She summarized the changes saying that most represented grammatical corrections and rephrasing to eliminate redundancy and/or confusion. Specifically, she highlighted that the MNA is a 501(c)4; “Associate Members” would be called “Sponsors” in keeping with current practice; meeting frequency would be changed from “at least quarterly” to “monthly meetings that can be canceled,” and quorum at general membership meetings would be 10% of members or 20 voting members whichever is larger at any given time.
Joan’s presentation was followed by discussion and questions, mostly centering around members’ desire for more time to review the proposed changes.
Ty moved that we have a second reading of the proposed changes to the bylaws followed by a vote at the next general meeting. Seconded and passed.
Chris R. shared the proposed 2023 MNA Budget. Notable expenses are a 30% increase for storage and $1200 for a printed newsletter. Due to the number of questions and the lateness of the hour, Andrew moved that we consider this a budget reading and postpone voting on the budget until the next general meeting. Motion seconded and passed. Chris R. will share information about the proposed budget with MNA members before then.
On behalf of the Transportation and Urban Planning (TUP) Committee, Kaz shared a Power Point about the I-35 expansion, noting that “Reconnect Austin” was the source of most of the slides and statistics. The TUP recommends that the MNA go on record as being against the current expansion proposal. Kaz moved to authorize the TUP to send letters from the MNA to CAMPO and other entities offering alternatives to the current proposal. Seconded. After discussion, the motion passed.
Also related to I-35, Andrew Clements noted that the Austin City Council was sponsoring a press conference at 9am on March 23rd at City Hall. He encouraged neighbors to attend.
Next Steering Committee Meeting: 3/1/23
Next General Membership Meeting: 3/18/23
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 pm.
Ann Hart, MNA Secretary
Note that all documents mentioned in these minutes are considered part of the meeting record.