Neighbors and friends:
What a year 2016 was. As I reflected on my biggest goal as Chair, to ensure the low barrier to participate in the MNA, I am proud that we have taken several positive steps forward. At the same time, am humbled that there is still much more to do.
As Mueller becomes exponentially more attractive, there will be less folks who move here with full knowledge of the planned unit development (PUD) history, or the intricacies of the masterplan and all its intentions. People may simply move here for the Thinkery, Lake Park, or the Sunday Farmers’ Market. With this shift, it could be tempting to cast people out if they do not understand why our pools allow public access; why we do not fence off the park and close the gate at night; or why we advocate so strongly for a northeast regional school rather than one that only serves Mueller residents (see article, page 6). While it is crucial for us to work hard to protect the goals and values that Mueller was founded upon, the MNA should maintain a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for newcomers, especially folks with no background in urban planning whatsoever, to find relevant information and voice their informed opinions.
I want to specifically applaud Ed Vasquez, Dave Neider, and Mateo Barnstone, who participated in a healthy discussion on Capmetro Connections 2025 earlier this year. It showed that we could disagree without being disagreeable. An open discussion was had without any prerequisite of expertise, ability to write detailed resolutions, or special connections with any groups or persons. The issues will only become more complex as the PUD and the city grow, and the difference in opinion may happen more often as we simply have more people. I hope the MNA remains representative of the many rather than the platform for a few.
Your humbled and inspired chair,