MNA General Meeting Minutes, January 19, 2019

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

  1. Location: Seton Administrative BuildingDate: Saturday, January 19, 2019Time: 10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
    1. Snacks and socializing – Starting with this meeting, we’ll allot time just prior to and a little after 10 for neighbors to enjoy a cup of coffee and a bite to eat while meeting and greeting. Please come a little early and enjoy the opportunity to visit!
    2. Greetings and pleasantries, call meeting to order – Co-chairs Preston Tyree and John Wooding
    3. Minutes from the last general meeting have been approved by the Steering Committee and posted. If you spot any additional corrections, please alert the Steering Committee.

    Welcome new members and visitors; ~75 in attendance

    1. Introduce Steering Committee members, committee chairs:


    • Alison Raffalovich – Steering Committee Secretary; Co-Chair, Neighborhood Engagement Committee – help everyone in the neighborhood better understand the MNA role in community and increase membership.
    • April Geruso, Chair, Transportation Committee – coordinate activities and help everyone know what’s going on neighborhood-wide.
    • Bart Glaser – better track and engage small businesses in Mueller.
    • Richard Carr, Vice Chair of the Steering Committee, Membership Chair – Get new signs for our meetings and events.
    • Bart Jacob – Website and social media – get content up to date and better communicate to the neighborhood. The MNA page on Facebook is the official way to communicate from the MNA to neighbors (whereas the Mueller Neighbors page is unofficial and neighbor-to-neighbor). In addition there is an electronic newsletter that goes from Preston and John to neighbors via email.  Also working with Bill Kirwin to get all the content on the site up to date and complete.
    • Suzanne O’Malley – chair of Business Committee (along with Bart G) so get more businesses involved and get more neighbors active in the MNA. Coordinates small business owners offering presentations at MNA General Meetings.
    • Joan Quenan – Membership and Neighborhood Engagement – help make sure members know to renew or non-members; get Welcome Wagon restarted with the Block Captain network.
    • April Geruso – Focus on enhancing neighborhood engagement. If you have ideas for an article, want to contribute an article or otherwise comment on the Front Porch Flyer (FPF), email [email protected].
    • Maria Salas – Co-chair Engagement Committee – have more people involved neighborhood-wide, including renters.
    • Dan Updegrove – better understand what neighbors want the MNA to do for them besides the three signature annual events. Liaison to POA and help to plan for the transition when Catellus is finished with development and management moves to the neighborhood.
    • John Wooding – Engagement is a big issue; seek more diversity in our membership. Also Steering Committee liaison to Block Captain network.
    • Preston – get more members and get members engaged – in the Front Porch Flyer (FPF) and other committees. If you did not receive the FPF, go to the Peel website (you can find the link on the MNA Facebook page) and sign up to get a copy via PDF or hard copy.  Peel Publishing handles the printing and distribution of our FPF.  Long ago it was distributed by hand to everyone’s home, but then it went purely electronic.  As of January 2019, it is published and mailed to addresses by Peel Publishing.


    Not present:  Bill Kirwin – fields all inquiries to MNA via the website; Penny Brandt, Treasurer.


    1. Community Builder awards – John Wooding – recognized Luke Downs and Lila Valencia for their accessibility, engagement and community commitment. As former Treasurer, Luke sees the importance of the treasury report and have full transparency in how the MNA spends members’ dues money.  Thanks to all the volunteers who make the neighborhood so wonderful!  As outgoing Chair, Lila and others conceived the Community Builder awards to recognize people who embody the value of the MNA to the neighborhood.  Veronica del Castro and Sandy Fivecoat exemplify embrace the community values of inclusion and diversity. Lila got engaged in the MNA in the spirit of service, inspired by these folks and others like Dave Nieder.


    1. PIAC update – Michael Jones, Chair. At the most recent meeting, PIAC got a verbal update from staff on the street width issue, which impacts many neighborhoods. The Fire Department and Austin Transportation are preparing an update to go to City Council in late January or early February.  The Mueller Commission Transition Work Group Dan Updegrove mentioned is being formed, to be chaired by Ken Ronsonsette from Delwood II, and other members include Carol Drennan, Kathy Sokolic and Corky Hilliard. They will coordinate with Catellus, MNA and POA to start asking the right questions and influence decisions now that will impact us downstream.  Usually workgroups have a narrow charge and a defined lifespan, but this workgroup has a much broader charter and has no end date.  Town Center will have new apartment buildings, new mixed-use building, etc.  The Catellus Powerpoint presentation on this should be posted on the city website the week of 1/21/19.  There are two vacancies on the commission so if you’re interested submit an application; you must be a resident of this general part of town – Mueller and adjacent neighborhoods


    1. POA committee, Bill Berman. The POA maintains all the public areas, pools, etc. that you pay your monthly fees for. There will be a tree workshop hosted by the Landscape Committee at Paggi Square next Saturday 1/26 at 10 a.m. with an arborist. The annual budget of about $2 million is posted on the Mueller Central website and posted in a link from the Mueller Messenger. There is also a board for commercial interests (ETC), the Mixed Use board (mostly residents), and the master board (overlay) – all currently controlled by Catellus.  Rowhouse residents saw an increase in monthly fees but now have more comprehensive insurance coverage; Nicole will set a meeting with rowhouse residents to answer these questions so they can understand how to save money with reduced resident insurance premiums. The new park is partially open.
    2. Leona Calvo, new Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera executive director, raising awareness around workers in the free trade zone along the Mexico border. The group sends delegations to Mexico with their partner Comité Fronterizo de Obreras to better understand their working conditions and ways to improve their lives. The maquiladores often violate Mexican labor laws. Visits are Friday – Sunday and neighbors are invited to get engaged and learn.
    3. Local Business Spotlight: Michelle Paris – Whole Family Chiropractors owner.  Lives and works in the neighborhood. The small business owner incurs extensive buildout costs out of pocket but doesn’t own the land, so it’s a deep commitment to the neighborhood so please support the local small businesses. Michelle was a primary care physician in San Francisco before moving here. Recently opened RejuvaWell to address health needs beyond chiropractic with a focus on helping people influence how they age in each decade of life, and support their vision of how they want to age. Michelle is a tango dancer and sees people actively dancing into their 80s. Get referrals from other physicians who don’t have as holistic a view of aging.  Most patients are wanting to address inter-related issues at the nexus of medical and aesthetic. Can also support healthy weight goals for patients.  New Mueller clients get a 15% discount.  Location is at Berkman and Barbara Jordan, attached to Overture. Address all ages and lots of male as well as female patients.


    Announcements –

    Joy: The Austin Classical Guitar Society is doing a performance next Saturday at the AISD Performing Arts Center featuring Irina Kulikova. There will be Peruvian food for sale beforehand – go to the site at to register and indicate you’re a Mueller resident – use the code “Mueller” – to register at no cost.

    Preston: At final buildout, Mueller will have 10,000-13,000 residents and an equal number of jobs. By uniting in the MNA we can make our voices heard.  Your challenge is to bring a new member with you next month!

    Taylor Youngblood:  Coffee cups are coated in plastic so are not recyclable. Please consider bringing a mug or travel cup to each meeting so we can be a bit greener.  As of recently, plastic cutlery can go into city recycling bins.

    The second Saturday of each month is the Windsor Park neighborhood association at the United Memorial Methodist Church and MNA members are invited to attend and observe.  Part of the MNA goal is to be good neighbors with our adjacent neighborhoods.

    Adjourn 11:20

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary, Jan. 22, 2019