Steering Committee Minutes, April 4, 2018

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee Meeting

Minutes submitted 4/10/2018

Location: Aldrich 51

Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Time: 7PM to 8:30 p.m.

Officers present: Lila Valencia, Chair, Preston (Ty) Tyree, Vice Chair, Luke Downs, Treasurer, Alison Raffalovich, Secretary

Members present: Ana Acosta, Andrew Clements, Audrey Glaser, Bill Berman, Bill Kirwin, Dan Updegrove, Evan McLendon, Joan Quenan, Kathy Farley

Members absent: None

Guest(s):  Ani Colt

Meeting called to order: 7:04 p.m.                          Meeting adjourned: 9:15 p.m.


  1. Greetings and pleasantries [Lila Valencia]
  2. Approval of previous meeting minutes [Alison Raffalovich] – Minutes were approved by email and have been posted on the website.
  3. Treasurer’s Report [Luke Downs] – Beginning balance of $8881.30, revenues of $2412.60, expenses of $10.81 for a balance of $11,183.09. 25 new members in March. Evan will re-approach Starbucks for potential coffee sponsorship for general meetings.
  4. Morris Williams Proposed Hike/Bike Trail vote at general meeting [Lila] – After a vote there, we will send our letter of support to City Hall and to the MLK neighborhood association.
  5. Mueller Yard Sale [Joan & Lila] – April 14, 8-noon. The Goodwill truck will come 12-1:30 at Ella Wooten Park to collect leftovers. Associa is putting up the signs for us (including ones Laura Spoor had) to ensure they protect the irrigation system.
  6. Committee Updates
  7. Audit, possible action [Joan & Dan] – Joan agreed to chair the committee. The working team to formulate the committee’s charge were Dan and Joan and they presented the proposed role and scope of the committee, including an initial audit going back two years and henceforward annually. Andrew suggested a slight wording change and Lila suggested that the committee set timeline milestones. Luke proposes an initial audit, surface any suggestions for process improvements, and a repeat 6 months later to see whether process changes have had the desired impact, thenceforward annually.  Once we have this further defined, we should add to the bylaws.  The bylaws limit Steering Committee participation in the Audit Committee to one Steering Committee member, so Dan does not plan to serve on the committee.  David Overton has volunteered to serve; Joan will seek another member and plan to conduct the audit by the end of April.
  8. Aging and Neighborhood [Ani] – Focusing on two projects: (1) Alzheimer’s Prevention Program and Research in Mueller. Hoping to line up UT or Texas A&M to run a study to see how regular meditation can help people. (2) Exploring concept and potential sources of support and financing for “Huntley Square at 51st and Berkman,” a modern village with young and old living together with an emphasis on diverse, environmentally conscious living. Of particular interest is providing alternatives to traditional nursing homes by incorporating elements of the Green House Project.  The site envisioned is the vacant lot delineated by 51st Street, Berkman Street, Barbara Jordan Boulevard, and Aldrich Street.  Four units around a fountain.  Ani has had meetings with community members, a developer and architects.  Ani is reaching out to Greg Weaver and Catellus. For info or more ideas, contact [email protected].  With Joan Huntley’s help, meeting with the mayor Sunday.

iii. Finance/Budget [Luke] – don’t yet have all the finance updates from the Egg Scramble.

  1. Sponsorship Updates [Lila] – Lila has a spreadsheet of existing and potential sponsor businesses. Please send her any contact info (name, email, phone) of managers, etc. at the businesses. Audrey, Kathy and Ty will help to round up contacts. Of our annual goal of $12,000 cash, currently have commitments for $8,500 cash and $2,967 of in-kind, for a total of $11,467. Consider authorizing additional expenditures for 4th of July to do trash receptacle drop-off and pick-up.  Event-specific insurance is roughly $600 per event.
  2. Bylaws – Nhat is working on proposed bylaws updates.
  3. Neighborhood Engagement – Dennis sent a survey for the Steering Committee to provide commentary and has gotten 5 responses. Several SC members thought that the survey was for block captains.
  4. Creation of MNA Page, possible action [Lila] (5 mins) – Could create a page on Facebook, can have our own guidelines for comment curation, etc. This would allow us to have some separation of the MNA brand from the Mueller Neighbors Facebook page that is available to anyone. We’d need someone to create the initial page and have admins who would manage it. We could invite people to like the page from Mueller Neighbors, Nextdoor Mueller, etc. Write up proposed action and policy.  Our Front Porch Flyer postings would also show up in the feeds of people who “like” the group.  Motion to create a Mueller Facebook page with Lila to identify potential volunteers to create it as well as policy/guidelines (which will evolve) was introduced and passed.
  5. Engagement Ideas [Alison and Audrey] (5 mins). Andrew and Lila have noted on the Mueller Facebook page that John Gaines Park is organizing monthly happy hours on the First Friday for their neighbor residents. If Steering Committee members are willing to staff a table with blue cards let Lila know. Ty will staff the table for an hour this Friday; they can pay for the membership on their phones from the MNA website.   Audrey and Alison had a brainstorming discussion to increase engagement and will next meet with Dennis Mick to see about engaging the block captains, creating a flyer with the value proposition.  Add a mention in our newsletter of the free ticket offer from the Austin Classical Guitar Society to get the word out as they requested on the 4/28 concert.  Alison and Audrey will co-chair and Lila will introduce us to former committee members/chairs.

viii. Website

  1. Purchase of G-suite, possible action [Luke] (5mins) – A motion to support purchasing it for the new website was introduced and passed.
  2. Online member enrollment [Luke] (5 mins) – We have the option to automatically bill people who pay their dues online with a credit card annually (with advance email notification). Anyone who was unhappy could have their transaction reversed. A motion to institute automatic renewal beginning October 1 when we begin accepting 2019 dues was introduced and passed.  We will also send reminder emails to past members who have not yet paid their 2018 dues.  Steering Committee members noted that passing the motion does not take away the MNA’s flexibility to adjust the annual dues rate in the future.
  3. Transportation/Urban Planning – no update
  4. Space Community Initiative – no update
  5. Neighborhood Transition – Bill B. on behalf of Bill and Karen. The POA believes the committee belongs under its auspices. The MNA Transition Committee voted to transition to the committee to the POA with Steering Committee members continuing to participate. There would also be participation from the Mueller Foundation and PIIAC.  Maybe a coalition format would make more sense than a POA committee.  The committee will share an email from Karen that describes the thinking and ask representatives from the committee to provide more information at the next Steering Committee meeting. A motion to table the decision for now was introduced and passed.
  6. Egg Scramble Debrief [Lila]
  7. Thank yous
  8. New chairs – the current chairs will not be able to serve next year. If you know anyone who would be interested, let Lila know and they can get guidance from Lila and the outgoing chairs.
  9. MNA Directions, Survey, possible action [Dan Updegrove] – There was feedback to Dan’s draft and he has no cycles to iterate further this month, so Ty and Andrew will take it to the next revision. Alison and Audrey will review again from the Community Engagement Committee standpoint. A motion to subscribe to Survey Monkey for as long as needed for $37/month was introduced and passed.
  10. Fourth of July [Bill B. & Bill K.]– Bill and Bill will present a proposed plan next month.
  11. March General Meeting agenda [Lila] (5 mins) – send any requested updates to Lila
  12. Egg Scramble Debrief
  13. Yard Sale Debrief
  14. The Jordan at Mueller, Foundation Communities
  15. Texas Outdoor Family
  16. Summer Playgrounds Program
  17. MNA Directions Summary
  18. Morris Williams Hike/Bike Trail Proposal, possible action
  19. Local Business Spotlight: HEB or Whole Family Chiropractors
  20. Possibly Habitat for Humanity about the 11 houses planned for their build here


General Meeting 4/21 10AM @ Seton

Steering Committee Meeting 5/2 7PM @ Aldrich 51

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary