Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, December 2, 2020

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom

Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Attending: John Wooding, Chair; John Thomas, Treasurer; Alison Raffalovich, Secretary; Bart Glaser; Bart Jacob; Koreena Malone; Taylor Youngblood; Ted Herr; Marta White; Preston Tyreel, Chair Ex Oficio. Incoming Steering Committee attendees include Damaris Nicholson; Pat DiSanza, Dale Cannedy-Azim; Sarah Roper-Coleman; Jason Sears.   Guests: Andrew Clements and Kathy Sokolic.


1.      Greetings and Pleasantries [John Wooding]

2.      Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes [Alison Raffalovich] The November Steering Committee minutes have been approved and posted. Alison is awaiting one more approval on the November general meeting.

3.      Treasurer’s Report [John Thomas] – We had two large expenses in November – the training class on systemic racism and our annual insurance premium, so there was a net loss for November income statement, but for the year-to-date income statement and the balance sheet are very healthy.

4.      Steering Committee 2021 Intros – Current Steering Committee members who are returning next year include Ted Herr, Taylor Youngblood, Koreena Malone,Marta White, John Thomas. New members include Pat DiSanza, Dale Cannedy-Azim, Sarah Roper-Coleman, Damaris Nicholson, .  John Thomas is interested in turning over Treasury duties to anyone interested in taking on the role.  

                      5. MNA Committee Updates and Reports:

5.1. Front Porch Flyer [Kathy Sokolic] –  Kathy heads the Front Porch Flyer Committee of the MNA. Originally the Flyer was a 4-page, hand-stapled edition and delivered by hand. As the neighborhood grew, the Flyer grew, and became a major source of revenue for the MNA. It took many hours per quarter from many volunteers to assemble, lay out, solicit ads, etc. With more than 100 blocks now, we were short on volunteers to hand-deliver. About 4 years ago, we went completely online to reduce labor, which undermined ad revenues, which we eventually replaced by developing MNA sponsorship relationships. It was tough to get articles submitted. Peele re-engaged us in conversation; we provide them the content and they manage advertising, layout, and mailing to residents. The Flyer is to help build community and enable the MNA to better communicate to and engage neighbors. Kathy would welcome active content and direction from the Steering Committee going ahead. Ideas, comments and content can be submitted at [email protected]. Overall the relationship with Peele has been smooth and productive except for one month where delivery was delayed. The due date is the 8th of a month for the next month’s edition – e.g., December 8 for January content.

5.2. Transportation and Urban Planning [Andrew Clements] – Andrew is Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the MNA, and Dave Nieder, Matteo Barnstone and Andrew generally represent the MNA to NCINC2, which consists of several neighborhoods on or near I-35.

5.2.1. Scoping Statement –Proposed TxDOT changes to I-35 are currently in a scoping phase that allows for public comment through 12/31. The MNA is a member of NCINC2. The I-35 project is estimated at about $8B, and may address the stretch from 45N to 45S. The portion from 290E to Ben White West is the part of that NCINC2 is concerned with. The Committee has drafted a letter from the MNA for the Steering Committee to review. The Reconnect Austin vision seeks to mitigate the division and disruption that I-35 currently creates, and their proposed capping approach would permit green space. A motion to approve the letter drafted by the Committee was unanimously approved. We will send copies to Kathie Tovo and Sheryl Cole. Individuals can also comment during the public comment period and encouraged to do so.

6.      2021 Steering Committee [John W.]

6.1.  Election of Officers – Determine date and time – Last year incoming Steering Committee met following the December general meeting to discuss officer roles and select officers to give new members time to read through the roles and responsibilities.  Officers are elected annually. Each committee has other roles. If people are interested in a role, or have questions for current officers or other volunteers, you can email [email protected] to ask questions or communicate interest in a role.

6.2.  Meeting Dates and Times for 2021 need to be selected.

6.3.  Steering Committee Responsibilities descriptions are available to 2021 members so they can think about what offices and/or committees they are interested in.

7.      Community Builder Awards [John W] – John will create a Google document for us to nominate great neighbors to be recognized with a Community Builder Award.

8.      Sponsorship Tiers [Bart Glaser] – There are various sponsorship tiers with different recognition by tier. We had about 20 sponsors in 2020, which was a challenging year with none of the signature events (Egg Scramble, 4th of July, and Fall Festival)  held during COVID, and some of the sponsors facing economic challenges.

9.      MNA Merchandise Sales [Marta White] – So far we have sold 76 masks and we had discussed donating the net proceeds to the Austin ISD Crisis Fund, which provides lunches, school supplies, etc. to students in need. We also sold Shirts, Hoodies and long-sleeve t-shirts. Combined the net sales were $275.42 and there was a motion to donate the proceeds to the AISD Crisis Fund, which passed unanimously.

10.   December General Meeting Agenda [John W]

10.1.        Sponsor Recognitions

10.2.        Community Builder Awards [John W]

10.3.        POA Review [Bill Berman]

10.4.        Local Business Spotlight 

December 2020 General Meeting 12/19 10AM via Zoom

January 2021 Steering Committee Meeting TBD

General Meeting 12/19

Respectfully submitted 12/12/2020,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary