Mueller Neighborhood Association
General Meeting Minutes
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Seton Administrative Building
Austin, TX 78723
1. Greetings and pleasantries [Lila Valencia] (5 mins)
o Welcome new and non-members
2. Introduction of MNA 2018 Steering Committee and Officers [Lila] (5 mins)
3. Treasurer’s Report [Luke Downs] (5 mins)
4. Recognition of service for Dee Desjardin, Catellus [Betsy Hilton] (15 mins)
5. POA Board update [Residential Boardmember Joe Freeland] (10 mins)
6. Mueller Commission update [Chairman Michael Jones] (5 mins)
7. Local Business Spotlight: TBD
Item: Greetings and Introduction of MNA Steering Committee and Officers – Lila Valencia
Item: Treasurer’s Report – Luke Downs
Starting balance: $8419
Income – dues $456
Expenses – $20 for domain name registration, $34 for general meeting coffee
Current balance $8821, 172 2018 members
Item: Recognition of Service for Dee Desjardin, Catellus, who is retiring –
Betsy Hilton: Dee has been involved with Mueller since before the pioneers first moved in. She has been
the face of Catellus for more than 10 years, liaises with the City and is very active in all
issues that involve Mueller. She’s most recently been POA board chair and on the
Transportation Committee. She also has facilitated resident/feedback on many issues, like
the HEB, Performing Arts Center. She’s always served with a keen sense of what Mueller is
and should be and she’ll be missed!
Lila has long relied on Dee’s knowledgeable, patient counsel, particularly navigating the new
school bond. Brian Dolezal, new VP of Marketing for Catellus, will be succeeding Dee in the
role. At the POA Let’s Talk meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Mueller Central, hope to be
able to honor Dee in person and provide a quick developer update.
Brian went to U.T., worked at Tate Austin PR firm, and has worked at Catellus since 2006.
Brian and was a pioneer himself on Emma Long (but now in the Delwood II neighborhood); he acknowledges he has big shoes to fill but wants to be as engaged and communicative as possible.
Gerard Kinney: Gerard lives in Cherrywood and a lifelong Austinite as well as architect for
the Mueller Tower. Involved with the vision and concept for Mueller since the early 1980s,
including chairing the Mueller Task Force that helped establish the vision. From Dee’s first
moment of engagement, she has been very instrumental in making the vision a reality. Dee
has really helped forge the strong relationship between Mueller and the surrounding
neighborhoods including traffic, park accessibility, and interactive communication. She can
facilitate discussion around difficult topics with mutual respect and openness, ensuring all
voices get heard.
Ani Colt: As a newcomer to Mueller, Dee was always accessible, helpful, available and kind.
Item: POA Board Update, Joe Freeland Residential Board member replacing Betsy Hilton
Joe has lived in Mueller for 2 years and is on the Mixed Use Association – residential; there
is also Employment Center/Town Center, and the Mueller Master Association which is an
umbrella over the other two. Our other residential board member is Ashley.
Joe wants to help increase awareness of what the POA is, particularly as residents step up
as Catellus prepares to step away. First Board meeting with be Thursday. The POA is
responsible for common areas including parks, pools, etc. Various committees include Pool,
Landscape, Rules, Resident Activities. Over the next 1-2 years, the POA Rules Committee
plans to review and update the community rules. If you are interested in serving on any of
the committees, contact Angie Castro at Associa.
Associa is the property manager, with Angie Castro as the primary contact (replacing
Jennifer Harvey). Joe would love to encourage residents to attend the quarterly Let’s Talk
sessions starting with the one this Wednesday. It’s a great opportunity to hear from
Catellus. Catellus is the developer – who purchases the property from the city and then
resells or leases to landowners and tenants. Catellus still has majority control of the POA
board. Associa is essentially contract staff for the POA – hires landscaping, ensures the
pools have lifeguards.
Betsy Hilton: The Resident Activities Committee used to organize occasional social events in
Mueller and the surrounding neighborhoods. It would be great to have additional members
and pick the activities back up, and the POA will pay for the refreshments. If MNA knows
that the Resident Activities Committee needs help or is generating interest, we will try to
Mayor Pro Tem Staffmember
Joy Hartman is here on behalf of Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo to listen to the proceedings
and has a petition to get signatures to have Kathie Tovo on the ballot again.
Item: Mueller Commission Update from Chairman Michael Jones
Heard from the city on Vision Zero. There were 76 traffic fatalities in 2017, and reminded
everyone of the importance of slowing down, particularly in residential areas. Mueller
remains an innovator in this area.
The Historical Landmark Commission will refer the effort to have the Tower designated as a
landmark on February 27.
Update to the fire code – proposal that all streets must be 25 feet across minimum.
Mueller Commission’s position is to recommend flexibility to accommodate public safety as
well as unique neighborhood characteristics. As a result, the City Council deferred the
decision to June and asked the Fire and Public Safety Departments to work to come back
with more accommodating language.
The next Commission meeting is Tuesday March 20 to hear an update from the Mueller
Foundation, which just completed a third-party audit, and the U.T.’s plan for its 10 acres in
Mueller, reportedly somehow related to the medical center.
The developer update states that Zach Scott construction paving will be complete soon,
then await inspection from the city before it can be opened to traffic; anticipating May.
Tilley should be completed in December. The Commission also recognized Dee at the last
meeting and thanked her for all her patience in listening to concerns and overcoming
challenges at all the steps along the way.
Item: New MNA Website Overview – Lila Valencia and Dusty Harshman
The Website is being rolled out and is a great resource for upcoming Calendar Events. Janel
and Barrett Sims have done a great job creating the site (still at muellerneighborhood.org)
under Dusty Harshman and Meaghan Regier’s direction, with additional great input from
Lila, Luke and others. The Block Captain section now has additional detail, and Dennis Mick
is head of that committee this year.
The Committees section lists the Chairs and Liaisons for all committees, so you know who to
contact if you want to get engaged.
The Grants page explains the guidelines for applying for grants for block parties, Bike to
Work Day, etc. The Sponsors section recognizes our annual sponsors. HEB has agreed to
donate $2500, and Catellus has donated $250.
You can also join the MNA through the site and can buy for multiple adult family members.
The website committee is looking at enabling auto-renewal at some point in the future.
The new website is also responsive across various devices including laptops, mobile phones,
etc. Currently the Front Porch Flyer is on the site only, enabling photo galleries, videos, etc.
May or may not return to print editions in the future.
Residents are invited to review FAQs and recommend any additional topics to address,
filling in the contact form on the site. Dan McAtee is creating a map of the neighborhood’s
Little Free Libraries.
Item: Announcements – Open Floor
Lila: The public hearing on rezoning for the Tower is February 26 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. POA
Ani: Texas A&M Active Living Study is having an open house Tuesday February 20, 4-6 at
the Aldrich 51 social area, it’s an informal drop-in format.
Also looking at how Mueller can be a model neighborhood in working to prevent
Alzheimer’s Disease. AARP has moved into the Triangle Building and wants to get involved,
and Texas A&M may as well. Please get involved if you have ideas.
Lila: Bill K and Bill B are co-chairing the July 4 annual event, so contact them with any
suggestions or feedback from past events.
Richard Wood and Leila Melhem are co-chairing the spring Egg Scramble, so reach out if
you’d like to get engaged and help out.
The Austin Classical Guitar Society is performing at the PAC Saturday 24 at 8 a.m., enter the
promo code “Mueller” for half-price tickets.
Greg Hitt: Running for district judge; primaries are March 6. Several Democratic candidates
are running and no Republican has entered so the primary will be the deciding race.
Preston Tyree: Had a District 46 candidates’ forum on affordability, gun control and other
topics and had good input from candidates. Ty recorded the session’s audio, with
participants’ permission, if you missed it and want to hear the discussion. As our
neighborhood association continues to grow, we will be one of the larger neighborhoods so
we should be very involved. Ty will look into linking to the audio file from the MNA website
and/or link to the whole file in DropBox.
Joan: Get out and vote in the primary!
March Meeting 03/17 10 a.m. at the Seton Administration Building
Alison Raffalovich, Secretary