MNA Steering Committee Minutes, September 4, 2019

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Location: HEB Community Room, 1801 E. 51st

Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Time: 7-9 p.m.

Attending:  Co-chairs Preston Tyree and John Wooding, Treasurer Dan Updegrove, Secretary Alison Raffalovich, Taylor Youngblood, Penny Brandt, Bart Jacob, Bart Glaser, Chair Ex Officio Lila Valencia

Not Present: Maria Salas, Richard Carr, Suzanne O’Malley, Bill Kirwin, Joan Quenan

Guests: Andrew Clements, Dave Nieder, Matteo Barnstone, Jennifer Power-Miller


1. Greetings and pleasantries [Preston]

2. Approval of previous meeting minutes [Alison Raffalovich]

3. Committee Updates:

  1. Vote: Transportation & Urban Planning: Support for Proposed Mueller PUD Zoning Changes [Dave Nieder, Matteo Barnstone and Andrew Clements]  Affordability continues to be an issue in Austin and it only gets more challenging.  The code has not been updated since 1984. Mueller is ripe grounds for initiatives the city has been interested in embracing and a potential blueprint for other parts of the city. The MNA resolution adopted in 2016 lays out the challenges the city faces and the opportunity to address them within Mueller. It supports city approaches to increasing density and proposes increasing our PUD hard cap on units and the floating cap on density based on the transportation impact analysis.  Density has been increasing but we had not yet hit the cap. The resolution suggests how Mueller could accommodate density beyond the cap and requests the city look at revising the PUD to increase the caps within the design principles and maintaining all existing and planned parks while maintaining 27% affordable housing. It went through the Land Use and Transportation Committee to the Steering Committee and was approved by a decisive majority at a General Meeting vote. It also was sent to the PIAC, and the current proposal from Catellus looks to be very much in line with the resolution. Andrew recapped highlights of Jim Adams’ presentation at the August general meeting.

4. Vote: MNA Support for Patterson Park Proposal: Jennifer Power-Miller, representing Friends of Patterson Park.  They have been working on developing a neighborhood park plan and are now implementing it in alignment with community priorities.  They are pursuing funding to augment limited city funds. There is an energized group of volunteers and they recently won Neighborhood Partnering Grants for $50,000 to improve the playground and $40,000 for additional seating, an info kiosk, grills, etc., as well as a third grant for new benches, etc.  The Friends have identified their next priorities and are asking neighboring associations for a letter of support for their next proposed improvements including:

a. Tree planting, educational signage (applying for a Neighborhood Partnering Grant of $3,000 – $5,000)

  • Enhancing the safety and playability of the basketball court and baseball field – such as resurfacing the basketball court, adding youth-height baskets, adding a shade structure and a safer backstop and a small row of bleachers for the baseball field, for a grant of $100,000

There was a motion for Steering Committee to provide a letter of support in favor of the Friends of Patterson Park for this current proposal and potentially for future ones as well. Jennifer will provide sample wording to jumpstart us.

5. Treasurer’s Report [Dan Updegrove] –  Overall financial health: Assets $18,433; Liabilities $2,419; Net Fund Balances $16,014. See Appendix A for details.  MNA’s strong

financial position is attributable to accumulated advertising revenues from the hard-

copy Front Porch Flyer newsletter (discontinued in 2017 and reinstated without an advertising revenue stream to the MNA in 2019) as well as generous financial and in-kind support from area businesses in the Sponsorship program.

Year to Date Revenues & Expenses, as reflected in the checking account — Revenues

$13,690; Expenses $8,241; Net revenue $5,559.

Dan provided an aggregated, cash-only 2019 budget vs. actual report, shown in Appendix C. (Recall that we built the budget in two components, a baseline (“pragmatic”) set of income and expense items, plus an “aspirational” set.) This report shows that actual cash revenue of $13,690 exceeds the “total” budget of $13,520 by $170. Actual expenses as of August 31 total $8,242 against the total annual budget of $13,315, which would support an additional $5,073 in spending for the remaining four months. Note that in addition to the Fall Festival and routine monthly meeting and administrative expenses, we have current year funding for additional grants, and up to three new initiatives.

Dan also provided this report on the MNA Treasurer transition:

“First, I’m grateful that Bart Glaser, an experienced financial officer in both for-profit and non-profit sectors, has volunteered to assist me for the duration of the year and to be available to facilitate the handoff of duties to next year’s Treasurer. Thanks, Bart!

“Second, thanks to Penny and her predecessor Luke Downs for providing both immense amounts of financial records and explanations about MNA and its financial affairs. I hope Bart and I can continue to call on them from time to time.

“Third, I now have Frost Bank signature authority, an ATM card, and online access. I also have online access to, the online service that receives and transfers online membership fee payments. I have the cash box, containing checks, petty cash, gift cards, etc., as well as a key to the P.O. Box. Email to “[email protected]…” is distributed to Bart and me.”

Dan also noted that for several years, through December 31, 2018, MNA’s finances were managed using QuickBooks, an accounting software platform to record income and expenses, assign them to specific account codes, and produce various reports. QuickBooks resided on the personally-owned PC of the Treasurer. Accounting for the past eight months has been done using several Google sheets, which introduces complications and lacks the rigor of a true accounting system.

Dan recommended that we license QuickBooks Online Plus for $21/month and input all 2019 transactions retroactively as well as transfer archival data from the former Treasurer’s PC to QuickBooks Online to support multi-year analysis and reporting. There was a motion to approve funds to license QuickBooks Online Plus, which passed unanimously.

Appendix A — MNA Current Assets and Liabilities

Savings acct balance $        5,007.89 Frost Bank
Checking acct balance $       12,575.23 Frost Bank
Checks to be deposited $             0.00  
Petty cash $           100.00  
HEB Gift card balances $         749.85 4 cards (64789, 71149, 71156, 71164)
Pledges receivable   Still working on this; may be zero
Subtotal financial assets $      8,432.97  
Misc Alam tix & food cards   11 tickets; 5 x $10 food; 8 popcorn
Unsold T-shirts at cost   Some counting to be done on this
Misc tents, signs, etc.   Some counting to be done on this
Total Assets $        8,432.97  
Accounts payable $         (81.38) Estimated for coffee & mtg food, Mar & May
Check uncashed $    (2,337.39) Ck # 805 – – T-shirts – Aug 26
Checks missing   # 776, #780, #781, #783-795 (may be voided)
Total Liabilities $    (2,418.77)  
NET ASSETS 16,014.20  

Appendix C: Budget vs Actual (excluding in-kind resources) – As of Aug 31, 2019

  Pragmatic Aspirational Total YTD Actual (*)
Dues $             1,700 $                 700 $            2,400  
T-shirts $                           0 $                   20 $                             20  
Tip jar $                             75 $                             25 $                           100  
Sponsorships (cash) $                        8,000 $                        3,000 $                      11,000  
Total (cash) income $              9,775 $              3,745 $              3,520 $      13,690
Meetings & Operations $               1,515 $                   50 $               1,565  
Egg Scramble $               2,000 $              (250) $              1,750  
July 4th $               3,500 $              (500) $              3,000  
Fall Fest $               2,000 $              (500) $             1,500 $                 0
Discretionary Grants $               1,000   $              1,000  
New Initiative 1 TBD   $               1,500 $              1,500 $                0
New Initiative 2 TBD   $               1,500 $               1,500 $                    0
New Initiative 3 TBD   $              1,500 $               1,500 $                   0
Total (cash) expense $              10,015 $              3,300 $            13,315 $        8,242
Net (cash) income $               (240) $                 445 $                 205 $        5,448
(*) YTD revenues & expenses are limited to transactions in the checking account.

There was a motion to accept Dan’s Treasurer’s report, which passed unanimously.

6. There was a motion to swap Maria’s two-year term for John’s one-year term as Maria has requested to step aside at the end of the year due to personal commitments.  The motion passed unanimously.

7. Yard Sale event update [Joan via Ty] Based on the poll, it is planned for October 12 from 8 a.m. – noon. 

8. Fall Fest Event update [John] – planned November 9 from 3-5 p.m. in John Gaines Park. Taylor will have a Sustainability/Zero Waste table there. 

9. PARK[ing] Day event update [Ty] – This is city-wide and beyond, scheduled for September 20, where people take a parking space and, with a permit from the city, turn it into a park for one day. It is particularly popular in the downtown district.

10. Halloween update [Ty] – it’s not an MNA-sanctioned event, but it is a huge event for Mueller. Belinda Roberts has helped to organize a trash pick-up group of volunteers afterward in past years, so Taylor will see if she and Kathy Sokolic can feature it in the next Front Porch Flyer.

11. Neighborhood Map project [Bart Jacob] – Last month Windsor Park Resident Mohan Rao presented what Windsor Park has done with an area Google Map.  Bart and Richard met with him to learn his approach and Bart has taken a pass at a Mueller prototype based on that.  Bart’s map prototype includes MNA business sponsors, for example.  The Steering Committee discussed accepting Bart’s offer to further build out the map and begin to determine criteria for inclusion.  Bart will send a link to the Steering Committee members so we can review it and make suggestions.  Each item on the map can only be included in one category or layer due to Google limitations. Bart and Taylor will also look at the feasibility of adding the block captains as a layer.

12. Event insurance [Dan] – in the spring we talked about general liability and Directors & Officers v. event insurance or a bundled approach to all three that is cost-effective and less workload on individual event organizers. There was a motion to pursue getting an integrated policy quote for all three events, general liability and D&O, which passed unanimously. Dan will get that quote and present it to the Steering Committee.

13. Reserve Fund report [Dan] – Catellus recently released a draft reserve study prepared by Facilities

Advisors Texas, a consultancy, which identified all the key components of the Mueller infrastructure above a certain value, together with each component’s expected life expectancy, current repair or replacement cost, and an annual inflation assumption. The model then determined how much property owner assessments dedicated to capital reserves would have to increase over the 30-year period to ensure the reserve fund balance stays above zero. The POA Budget Committee will review the report in great detail in the coming months and are asking Catellus for additional detail and clarity where needed. There are no near-term actions for the Steering Committee but Dan wanted to give us a general update. Dan will stay in touch with the POA budget committee and keep the Steering Committee apprised.

14. September General Meeting agenda [Preston] – 9/21 at 10 a.m. at the Seton Administration building

  1. Welcome to new/renewing members and guests
    1. Treasurer’s Report
    1. POA Report
    1. PIAC Report
    1. PUD Amendment and possible action
    1. Patterson Park plan update and possible action
    1. Fall Fest update
    1. Q&A with Julie Oliver, a candidate for The United States House of Representatives, TX District 25 (which includes Mueller) will participate in a discussion (with a moderator TBD – Suzanne O’Malley has offered to serve in the role), target 20 minutes. Mueller folks can send advance questions through [email protected] or write them on slips of paper during the discussion at the Sept. 21, 2019 MNA meeting.  The two other candidates running to represent Mueller in the U.S. Congress have been invited to a same-format discussion but haven’t yet provided their preferred visit dates.

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary, October 7, 2019