MNA General Meeting Minutes, June 15, 2019

MNA Secretary Article, Front Porch Flyer, Meeting Minutes, Mueller Neighborhood Association

▸     9:45 | Social Time

▸     10:05 | Welcome | Preston Tyree, Co-Chair

Austin Energy expects to break ground this year on a new headquarters to house 850 employees on the 3.3 acre tract behind Texas Mutual Insurance.  They have not yet determined exactly which commercial tenants will occupy the ground floor. They have reached out to MNA Steering Committee members to start a dialog about how Austin Energy can be the best neighbors as they get ready to occupy their new Mueller home in 2021. John Wooding and Alison Raffalovich will meet with them Wednesday, June 19 to begin the conversation.  Neighbors who have ideas are invited to share them at [email protected]

Three members of the Windsor Park Neighborhood Association (WPNA) Climate Disaster Committee, including Martin Luecke (former president of the WPNA and current member of the Mueller Commission (PIAC)), spoke briefly.  WPNA unanimously approved their Climate Change and Global Warming Resolution (see below) after two consecutive meetings to hash it through. WPNA now intends to seek similar resolutions from all the 80-ish other neighborhood associations across Austin to establish a united voice to local and state governments and to Congressional representatives. MNA members may wish to develop our own version of the resolution.

▸     Minutes from the most recent Steering Committee and General Meetings are on the MNA web site.

▸     10:10 | Treasurer’s Report | Joan Quenan for Penny Brandt – See full May financial report below.  Summary: Total Balance $19,014.92. In checking the beginning balance was $10,628 with revenues of $4295.50 (dues and sponsorships) and expenses of $913.93 (final expenses related to the Spring Egg Scramble).

▸     10:15 | POA Review | Bill Berman – Bill is one of two resident members of the Mixed Use Board Property Owners Association, which Mueller property owners will control in a few years.  There is a Row House Meeting Sunday June 16 at 4 in Mueller Central.  The Landscape Committee is interviewing alternative landscape maintenance providers, including Five Star, the current provider, when the current contract expires in January 2020.  If you have concerns or feedback, please email Patricia Thoms, Bill Berman, Joe Freeman, or Janelle Dozier (Landscape Committee Chair).  Karen Sharp, who chairs the MNA Transition Committee and represents MNA on the POA Transition Committee, is starting a series of articles for the Front Porch Flyer explaining the Master Board, Mixed Use Board and ETC Board. As Catellus winds down and property owners assume more responsibility for managing Mueller, Catellus is reviewing the existing governance and POA committee structure. The POA Transition Committee is also looking at building awareness and creating institutional knowledge about the activities and role of the POA to ensure we are well-prepared at the handover. Neighbors are also looking to provide more resident input into Catellus decisions that will continue to impact the community after they leave. The turnover will be at the time when Mueller is 90% built out with the exact date still to be determined. 

▸     10:20 | Mueller Commission | Corky Hillard for Michael Jones – In times of change and transition, there are great opportunities for influence, and she encourages everyone to get involved as citizen participants. Mueller was always conceived as a place where residents would be involved.  Governance mechanisms include the POA, which evolves as new property owners move in; MNA for making the community a place we want to live; and the City Council-appointed Mueller Commission to ensure the design for Mueller is implemented in good faith.  There are 11 members of the Mueller Commission, with each City Council member appointing one member and the mayor appointing the 11th. Many of the 11 are from Mueller or adjacent neighborhoods.  Like the POA, the Mueller Commission has a transition committee looking toward the handover, which may come in 2025.  One important aspect is sustaining the affordability program – with a goal of making 25% of the housing affordable.  We are at about 28%, which is where we have been for quite a while. Catellus also works to engage woman- and minority-owned businesses for construction. We also want all commercial buildings to have vibrant first-floor tenants that have lots of activity so people are on the streets and using the space so it’s not abandoned after dark.  Construction on the Austin Energy building starts August 5, with planned completion in April 2021.  The committee doesn’t meet in July but otherwise every second Tuesday of the month from 6-8 – see https://www.austintexas.gov/rmmapiac for more info.

▸     10:25 | 4th of July Parade and Festival | Preston Tyree for Bill Kirwin – We’ll have the Boss Street Brass Band, Station 14 firefighters and fire truck and Travis County Sheriff’s officers on the 9 a.m. walk from Paggi Square (on Robert Browning between Ruiz and Paige west of Berkman) to Ella Wooten Park.  At the park we’ll have the Kiddie Express Train, Lady Quackenbush’s Bakery (also providing the sound system), face painters, balloon artists, bicycle decorating (ages 0-5 and 6-12), our major MNA sponsors and Casey’s Snowballs, which will sell snowcones.  We are looking for volunteers to sign up for the event.

▸     10:30 | City of Austin (CoA) Animal Protection – Wildlife | Sarah Winston – Sarah works at the Austin Shelter on Levander Loop at the largest no-kill shelter in the country. If you call 311 when you see a coyote or a fox, then the calls are flagged for Sarah’s attention.  Except for feral hogs, all wildlife have a role to play in the overall area, and she can give you education on how to coexist with wildlife while discouraging them from being on your property.  It’s unusual to see coyotes in the day, and if you see one they should be hazed – put your arms up, open up your jacket, make noise – make yourself look larger than they are and be loud. If they become a daytime nuisance the city has hazed them with paintball guns. They should generally only be out at night so be sure to bring in your pets at night. Venomous snakes in the area are rattlesnakes, coral snake (“red on yellow kill a fellow”), copperheads and water mocassins. There are lots of bats in the area, and if you see one on the ground, it may well be rabid. Do not pick it up or let your pet pick it up. If there is contact, let the city know as those affected may need rabies boosters.

▸     10:40 | CoA Corridor Program Office – Airport Blvd | Mandy McClendon – Lives in Hyde Park and uses Airport Boulevard frequently.  The 2016 Mobility Bond included $480 million for the Corridor Mobility program to fund improvements for Airport, Guadalupe, Riverside, Burnet and 5 others. The Corridor Program Office oversees the improvements, which has also received about $30 million in grants.  Lots of data collection:  traffic counts, crash counts, etc.  The entire stretch of Airport from 183 to North Lamar will be affected to improve transportation for all modes of travel.  There will be a continuous ADA-compliant sidewalk, bicycle lanes behind a curb, key intersection improvements. Airport Blvd. has the top 3 crash intersections in the city (at MLK, 12th Street and Oak Springs).  They’ll improve signals and bus stop locations to try to make traffic flow and safety better.  Most construction will be 2021-2024, and perhaps start earlier on the high-crash intersections and sidewalks.  Over the next 12 months, they will complete the final design phase and welcome input and comments from area residents. AustinTexas.gov/airportcorridor.   Work will start at the North end at Lamar and progress down the corridor over time.  There will be up to 22 improved traffic signals and up to 10 pedestrian-activated signal crosswalks, new shared-use paths – a sidewalk facility that accommodates pedestrians and bicycles.  There will be drainage and pavement improvements. There are also plans to improve flow at 45th and Airport.  They meet with TXDOT weekly to, among other things, coordinate with their I-35 improvement projects. Residents are encouraged to funnel ideas and suggestions through the Mueller Transportation and Urban Planning Committee. 

▸     10:55 | Local Business Spotlight | Jacquelyn Einaugler, Realtor

A couple of times a year, Jacquelyn invites neighbors to a free Alamo Mueller screening with complimentary drinks and snacks. Jacquelyn did a free drawing for four tickets to Toy Story on Sunday 6/23. She lives on Paige and is available to answer your real estate questions.  She loves the neighborhood and she and her husband have a 1- and 6-year-old.  Her group, One Eye Realty Group, part of Compass, have sponsored Fall Fest in past years as well.  Compass Realty now up-fronts cost of home improvements before you put your home on the market, and recover the cost with no interest charged at closing.  She is happy to talk to you about potential selling, buying or other real estate questions in strict confidentiality.

▸     11:05 | Adjourn

Frost Checking Account
Beginning Balance $10,628.00
Revenues
Membership Dues $45.00
Credit Card Fees $0.50
Kathy Farley $250.00
Mueller Silent Market Team $1,500.00
Ascension $2,500.00
Total Revenues $4,295.50
Expenses
G-Suite $6.36
Face painter (Ck 777) $75.00
Zach Scott block party (ck 770) $99.16
Face painter (Ck 778) $75.00
YMCA (ck 775) $238.00
Egg scramble (ck 782) $260.65
Block Captain M&G (ck 774) $159.76
Total Expenses $913.93
Ending Balance $14,009.57
Frost Savings Account
Beginning Balance $5,005.35
Incoming $0.00
Interest $0.00
Outgoing $0.00
Ending Balance $5,005.35
Checking and Savings Combined $19,014.92

WINDSOR PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

MAY 11, 2019 MEETING

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING RESOLUTION

Whereas there is a deep concern for causes and effects of Climate Change through Global Warming, the Windsor Park Neighborhood Association (WPNA) urges governments, groups and individuals at all levels to take strong rapid action to reduce climate warming – “mitigate” global warming as recommended by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

WPNA urges the Austin City Council, the State of Texas’ governing and enforcement bodies, and the US government to enact policies strong enough to make these bodies global leaders in action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  We also urge all local, state, and federal utility agencies and energy providers to transition to renewable energy grids by 2030.

WPNA takes no political position regarding parties, groups, or individuals or politicians, and urges governments to rapidly adopt the following policies on a nonpartisan basis:

At the city and regional level, efforts to reduce emissions and build resilient infrastructure including, but not limited to:

  • Reform the land use code to slow the rate of growth of urban sprawl, taking into consideration the concerns of neighborhoods;
  • Reduce single-occupancy trips via radical improvement to public transit system ridership capacity and utilization;
  • Fully fund the Austin Bicycle & Sidewalk Master Plans;
  • Subsidize and incentivize electric-powered vehicle access;
  • Promote generous telecommute policies and universal high speed internet access;
  • Adopt a 2030 goal of 100% net-zero carbon emissions from city-controlled generation;
  • Mitigate and manage the long-term adverse health, economic, and other effects of pollution and climate change.

WPNA urges the Texas Legislature to pass legislation providing for:

  • Study of additional controls on oil and gas facilities to reduce methane and other emissions, such as those in HB 225;
  • Reduction of methane flaring and venting sufficient to protect the health of all Texans;
  • Enactment of emission reduction steps such as those suggested in model legislation available from the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club.

WPNA applauds Congress for including numerous provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill that have positive effects regarding climate change, but seeks significant action from Congress, including:

  • Prompt funding of studies to determine the most cost-efficient methods for the United States to achieve an electrical generation system by 2030 that is carbon neutral;
  • Decisive legislation to ensure that by 2030, the United States shall achieve carbon neutral electricity generation for the nation as a whole;
  • Ensure the building of or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘smart’ power grids;
  • Eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and high-speed rail;
  • Ensure the removal of greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible;
  • Impose a fee on the producers and the importers of fossil fuels, where fossil fuels include crude oil, natural gas, coal and their derivatives; and, annually or more often, distribute the fees received to US citizens on a per capita basis.
  • Ensure that greenhouse gases from CAFOs be measured and reduced;
  • Ensure that the US government works collaboratively with farmers and ranchers to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible;
  • Increase support for programs to make methane reduction by livestock operators as cost efficient as possible, for example by supporting research on this topic.

Furthermore, WPNA acknowledges that the effects of climate change will have a disproportionate impact on already vulnerable communities and individuals experiencing poverty and will further exacerbate income equalities. 

WPNA accepts the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as scientific consensus on the topic of climate change.  When discussing this resolution with legislators and the public, if representatives of WPNA wish to state other opinions, they will identify these opinions as personal. 

WPNA will, until further notice, take the following neighborhood-level actions to mitigate global warming:

1. Urge residents of Windsor Park to take individual actions to reduce global warming;

2. Promote climate change mitigation efforts by highlighting climate actions of neighbors and local business, starting with a series of “Climate Corner” articles in the neighborhood newsletter, Window on Windsor;

3. Invite all neighborhood stakeholders to develop community initiatives to reduce global warming.