Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee Minutes, October 3, 2018

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Members present: Bill Berman, Andrew Clements, Luke Downs (Treasurer), Kathy Farley, Audrey Glaser, Bill Kirwin, Evan McClendon, Joan Quenan, Preston Tyree (Vice Chair), Dan Updegrove, Lila Valencia (Chair)

Absent: Alison Raffalovich (Secretary)

The meeting, held at Aldrich 51, was called to order at 7:04

Minutes from the Sept 5, 2018, Steering Committee meeting had been approved via email and posted. Going forward, posting of minutes will also be announced on the MNA Facebook page.

Treasurer’s Report had been distributed by email on Oct 2 and was received without comment. For the month of September 2018, beginning fund balance was $13,136.79, revenues came to $396.47, expenses were $5.33, resulting in an ending balance of $13,527.93. MNA membership as of Sept 30 was 398, compared to 396 on the same date last year; 417 in 2016; 394 in 2015; and 239 in 2014.

Nominations Committee: According to Bill Kirwin, five incumbents currently plan to stand for re-election, so the Committee seeks at least eight additional candidates to enable the Steering Committee to start 2019 with a full 13-member roster. Residents interested in standing for election were invited to attend an informational meeting on October 4 at Colleen’s Kitchen on Aldrich Street. With 12 responses in hand and an unknown number of walk-ins, the Steering Committee voted unanimously to increase the budget for the meeting from $200 to $400. Bill requested that Steering Committee members reach out to prospective candidates and held open the possibility of a second information session if needed.

Fall Festival: Evan McClendon reported that good progress has been made for staging this annual event, to be held November 10, 3-5 p.m., at John Gaines Park.  Entertainment will be provided by the Paul Klemperer Band. Evan requested volunteers to staff the MNA table. The Steering Committee approved purchase of event insurance, as had been done for the July 4th Celebration at Ella Wooten Park. Evan reported that several business firms have expressed interest in underwriting certain expenses or providing in-kind support.

Business support for 2019 and beyond: Lila Valencia noted that MNA’s approach to business community support has evolved over the years — advertising in MNA’s prior hard-copy “Front Porch Flyer” was replaced by event-specific fundraising in 2017, which, in turn, was supplanted in 2018 by seeking general support in five tiers, together with in-kind donations. Since the three annual events account for most of MNA’s expenses, Lila requested that coordinators of the three 2018 events provide feedback on their experiences with allocated hard-dollar and in-kind resources as well as any direct contacts with interested businesses.

Front Porch Flyer: One proposal was received in response to MNA’s Print Partner Request for Proposals (RFP), which stated, “The MNA believes there is a demand for return to a printed publication. MNA and FPF volunteers are looking for a print partner to support their work by addressing the printing and distribution of the Front Porch Flyer.” The RFP indicated that proposal review would take place in October with notification of the (winning) print partner by October 31st.

MNA Flyer: Audrey Glaser reported that 1,000 two-page, color, membership promotion flyers were printed and will be distributed at Fall Festival and, via block captains, to residents. The flyer is also expected to be valuable in recruiting business sponsors. A PDF version of the flyer will be posted online, accessible from the MNA home page and the MNA Facebook page.

MNA Facebook page: has already attracted over 100 followers. Steering Committee members are requested to promote the new page to neighbors and friends < >.

Yard Sale: The semiannual MNA Yard Sale, on Sept 29, was judged to be successful, including participation of Goodwill, which provided a truck at Ella Wooten Park to collect unsold items. As the community grows, more signs will be needed for future sales.

National Night Out: Several Mueller neighborhoods organized get-togethers on Oct 2, including two that received event grants from MNA. The Steering Committee agreed that the model of soliciting grants for National Night Out should be replicated in future years, with outreach via block captains as well as online announcements. It was noted that events are not required to be on the single date designated as “National Night Out.”

Audit Committee: Joan Quenan reported that she and volunteer David Overton audited the MNA books on September 20 and 27 for the months of December 2017 – August 2018.  All the books reconcile with the bank and are in perfect order. Once again the Committee commends Treasurer Luke Downs for being thorough and well-organized. Minor discrepancies were observed in membership records ad T-shirt inventory, which can be resolved easily. The committee did not audit sponsorships or gift cards, having noted that Luke has an appropriate inventory sheet; this component of the audit will be performed at year’s end.

Banking Controls: At the September meeting, Luke was asked to explore whether MNA’s Frost Bank account (and PayPal account) can be structured to enforce a dollar limit above which two signatures would be required. This capability is a standard option for commercial accounts, but not for non-profit customers. Accordingly, the Steering Committee approved Luke’s recommendation that, starting in 2019, both the Treasurer and Chair be authorized for online banking, with full access to the account and all transactions as well as email alerts for all withdrawals. In addition, the Steering Committee authorized creation of a separate savings account that is not accessible via debit card or PayPal. These new protocols were deemed sufficient to protect the MNA’s financial assets.

By-laws Revision: The by-laws revisions were approved at the Sept 15 General Meeting, subject to final copy edits. Joan will send the edited to the Steering Committee for final review prior to posting online.

October 15 General Meeting: The draft agenda approved by the Steering Committee includes a forum for Mayoral and City Council District 9 candidates; a presentation on the City of Austin 2018 bond proposal; an update from the City Transportation Department on redesign of Zach Scott St. between Airport Blvd. and Berkman St,; an update from Catellus and Associa on the Property Owners Association (POA) budget process; and final recruitment by the Nominations Committee of candidates for the MNA Steering Committee. Residents will be requested to submit questions in advance for Mayoral and City Council candidates.

Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.

Respectfully submitted 10/24/2018,

Dan Updegrove, Acting Secretary