Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee Minutes, January 2, 2019

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Location: Aldrich 51 @ 2604 Aldrich Street

Date and Time: Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

Attending: Co-chairs John Wooding and Preston Tyree; Secretary Alison Raffalovich; April Geruso; Dan Updegrove; Bill Kirwin; Bart Glaser; Bart Jacob; Maria Salas; Joan Quenan; Suzanne O’Malley.

Not attending: Richard Carr, Penny Brandt

  1. Greetings and pleasantries [John & Preston] (2 mins) 7:02 meeting called to order – April looking to build community
  2. Approval of previous meeting minutes [Alison Raffalovich] (2 mins) 7:02-7:04 – Quorum has approved and the minutes have been posted.
  3. Introductions (5 mins) 7:04-7:09

John Wooding – working with SC ideas and feedback and homing in on neighborhood engagement and the Front Porch Flyer, and Preston Tyree – work with businesses and document our processes better for continuity

April – build community and neighborhood engagement; Dan Updegrove – continue momentum we established last year. Bill Kirwin- co chair July 4 again with someone else’s help, Bart Glaser – help engage the business community, Alison Raffalovich – neighborhood engagement, Bart Jacob – how do we scale as the neighborhood grows, Maria Salas – willing to co-chair neighborhood engagement and engage more diverse neighbors, affordability, engage renters, Joan Quenan – stay on audit committee, support Penny and ; Suzanne O’Malley – liaising with businesses and lining up sponsors to present at each meeting, do a Town Hall to get District 25 representative Roger  to better engage with Mueller (which had 70% turnout)

Lila Valencia (chair ex officio) has documented major sponsor and existing sponsors and will contact those for whom she has email addresses as well as when or whether they were contacted.  If we can collectively help collect emails for the other businesses in Mueller she’ll send initial info to them and invite them to reply to [email protected], which goes to the co-chairs and .  Maybe try to aim for $15,000 this year; in 2018 targeted $12,000 and got about $14,000.

Luke Downs, former treasurer – transitioning treasurer role and willing to stay on Finance Committee and Penny is open to being chair; support the Front Porch Flyer.

John and Ty are sorting out mechanics of co-chairing but off to a strong start.

A motion was made to honor Lila and Luke at the General Meeting on January 19 with Community Builder awards, which passed unanimously.

  1. Treasurer’s Report [Luke Downs on behalf of Penny] (5 mins) 7:09-7:14

It generally costs about $10K to run the organization for a year so we have roughly 12 months of reserves. We have a few gift cards with about $1200 balance, which is the only item not reflected in cash.  All outstanding expenses have been settled.  We also still have 10 t-shirts in inventory. The membership at 101 reflects the fact that membership resets annually, so we restart with zero membership at the beginning of each year. We need to send out a reminder to people to renew their membership, which theoretically would be vice-chair’s job (Richard). Luke will counsel the people taking on aspects of his role on what they should do.  Membership has been flat since 2015 although the neighborhood as grown by about 30% (to ~7000 in ~3500 units). The Front Porch Flyers have gone out and people are beginning to receive them, which go through the mail to all addresses in Mueller.

  1. Business details [Luke Downs] (10 mins) 7:14 – 7:24 – In addition to treasurer and membership hand-off, Luke and Lila need to hand off physical assets (tents, signs, etc.) to current SC members. Maria will take the 5 tents and needs help transporting them to events; Preston can help with the trikeshaws. We have the banner and pole for the MNA tent at neighborhood events as well as marching in the 4th of July parade. The PO Box keys – one is with Luke and he will give it to Penny, and if Lila has the other she’ll give it to Preston.  John will be listed as the official contact for the MNA on our registration paperwork. John, Preston and Penny will be notified by the bank for every transaction made in the MNA account. Bill Kirwin will continue to coordinate response to emails coming to the general MNA “contact us” email (with copy to John and Preston).  The Steering Committee responds to grant requests for, say, refreshments at block parties that are open to all; need a grant coordinator to facilitate Steering Committee voting on the request and respond back to the requestor and inform the treasurer if it’s approved for reimbursement for the actual approved expenses. Criteria include being open to all in Mueller, provide receipts and one or more photos for the website and/or Front Porch Flyer. Preston will resurface the procedure for grants and we can finalize it and post the update on the site.  Joan is willing to be grant coordinator (working with Richard at whatever his level of interest is).
  2. Event update and possible action [Egg Scramble – need co-chairs, July 4th – Bill K will co-chair so recruiting a co-chair, Fall Fest – Kathy will co-chair so recruiting a co-chair, spring and fall Yard Sales – Laura Spore and Laura Bruce normally assist picking a date by doing a poll of neighbors, and Joan in the past coordinated with them and got with Goodwill to provide a truck and helping promote the event; April will coordinate this year and Joan will provide her with transitional assistance]– Preston and John will recruit co-chairs.
  3. Discussion re: New Meeting signs: [Preston] (5 minutes) – Looking for at least 3 people to help distribute and collect signs on Wednesday before general meetings. Richard has offered to coordinate the signs.  Preston has been taking the lead on putting out the signs, which fit into plastic sleeves. Now that we have stable meeting times and locations (Seton Administration except in summer, when it’s at Wildflower Terrace), it would be nice to print the signs on plastic semi-permanent signs with UV ink; estimate about $400 for 15 signs. Turnaround is very quick.  Marta White’s daughter (Lila has Marta’s contact info) has a printing business and may be interested.  We could approach Staples and/or Sir Speedy, which has printed for us in the past and included stakes.  Sam at the UPS Store did all the signs for the 4th of July and he lives in the neighborhood.  Preston will get quotes and provide the feedback.
  4. Committee Updates:
    1. Set reporting schedule for the year – try to have a good cadence for committee reporting. Transition Committee:  Karen Sharp chairs the transition committee and Dan is Steering Committee liaison.

Transportation and Urban Planning – April will chair; Preston will confirm that Andrew is ready to step aside. Richard as liaison.

Community Space Initiative – Karen Sharp is chair; April as liaison.

Aging in Neighborhood – Ani Colt chair.

Local Business – Suzanne chair; Bart G. as liaison.

Finance Committee – Penny, with Joan and Dan engaged; aim for an initial budget in time for the next Steering Committee meeting based on a planning meeting with the finance committee.

Block Captain Network – Dennis Mick is chair and John as liaison.

Website and Social Media – Meaghan Regier (if she’ll wants to continue – Preston will check with her; otherwise Bill K will chair) with Bart Jacob as liaison and to help post upcoming events to social media.  Lila will help hand off the Mueller Neighborhood Association Facebook page as well to this committee.

Front Porch Flyer – Kathy Sokolic chair; with Bart and April as liaisons.

Nominations Committee – Bill K will check to see if Dennis Mick wants to continue to chair; Bill K as liaison.

Neighborhood Engagement Committee – Alison and Maria co-chair.

Membership Committee –

    1. Front Porch Flyer (10 mins) – the first edition was 12 pages. We’ve been asked by Kathy S and Dusty Harshman to provide a monthly update from the Steering Committee due the 10th of each month.  Look to committee liaisons to provide 400-500 word articles to update the community on what the committees are doing and how neighbors can get involved.
  1. Steering Committee Objectives (discussion) [John]  – Common theme in email discussion was branding/awareness and neighborhood engagement.  In 2018, we did a pilot engagement effort to walk blocks with the new brochure and recruit members, raise awareness and recruit potential block captains. Maria and Alison will talk with Dennis in advance of next month’s Steering Committee with background on engagement to date and ideas to re-energize in 2019 and beyond.  Block captain engagement and engagement generally has been very cyclical.  Try to zero in on what works and what’s generalizable. Front Porch Flyer is one way to highlight things that work to bring neighbors together, and also a great way to get branding and information flow out. One way to measure FPF effectiveness is increase in dues-paying active members. We could poll quarterly – did you read the FPF?  What do you think? Another measure of engagement is attendance at monthly meetings and what they do there. It’s harder to engage renters but they are a large percent of our neighborhood population so it’s worth trying to engage them more effectively.  Joan will work with Wildflower to reserve the room for summer general meetings and has tied off with Aldrich 51 for Steering Committee meetings in 2019. Bill K notes that Texas Mutual may also be willing to make rooms available if we need a fallback.  Plan a January strategy meeting at Preston’s house to discuss engagement and branding.  As with last year, we can do another MNA directions survey.  Dan will email it to the whole steering committee.  For picking up coffee for the January 19 general meeting from Starbucks ($36 for two boxes) by 9:30, ordering it 30 minutes ahead.  Maybe get a sponsor – Kerbey Lane, Lady Quack’s, Halcyon to provide coffee as their in-kind sponsorship.

Discussion of Rhonda Reynolds’ email request for a healing conversation around MLK day with a diverse group of attendees. General discussion was to see if anyone from the Steering Committee wants to help support organizing it, but not have it be an official MNA-sponsored event.  If the runway is too short we could consider something similar at a later date.  Joan is willing to work with Rhonda on a 3-hour conversation structure and will let her know. Suzanne suggested reaching out to people who engaged in the conversation around African-American neighbors having had police called on them.

  1. January General Meeting agenda [Preston] (10 min)
    1. 10.1. Social Time (20 min) – encourage people to arrive ready to mingle to enjoy coffee and snacks and visit with each other; use our HEB gift card for a few snacks.  We have the Seton Room 9:30-11:30 and we have space agreement through January; Lila has asked about extending through 2019 and they are due to discuss it on Monday.  Dan will get bagels or something similar from HEB and coffee and have them there by 9:35 for social hour at 9:45. Preston will be there by 9:30; call to order at 10:15.
    2. 10.2.  Review of 2019 directions
    3. 10.3. Local Business Spotlight: TBD

General Meeting 01/19 10AM @ Seton Administration 1345 Philomena Street

Steering Committee Meeting 02/07 7PM @ Aldrich 51

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary

Jan. 15, 2019