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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 1/13/2008
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Notes from Mueller Neighborhood Assn meeting 1/13/2008

Attendees: Kevin Foster, Keith Romel, Kathleen Malcom, Rick Krivoniak, David Justice, Jerry Perkins, Jim Walker, Kim Wine, Dusty Harshman, Wilson Robertson, Ian Varley, Bobby Geirisch, Ashley Fisher, Grant Fisher, Karen Zabreznik

Great turnout – 15 pioneers attended.

Big topic of the meeting is the upcoming school bond public forums.

Word is that Catellus is pushing for the school very hard privately but don’t want to do it in a public forum. They have not released any results from the survey they did a while back gathering the demographics of the pioneers moving into Mueller in phase I

Catellus will be at the hearings to speak.

AISD is looking at Mueller for a regional PAC facility – has not been brought to or approved by the Mueller Commission.
There is one plan out there already that adds the PAC to the existing elementary school site – takes away all the soccer fields currently planned.
Everyone agrees on the need for a PAC for AISD but not on the justification for having it at Mueller. Have other land they can use. The subject and impact has not been fully vetted.
MNA needs to agree if want to out and out oppose a PAC at Mueller or accept it if a good plan can be presented.
The current site is not optimal form a parking/traffic flow perspective but there is no more land available by the regional retail use that could accommodate the high traffic flow/parking need that a regional use facility would create.

Some discussion points on the PAC:
We/Mueller has principles about walkability, mixed use environment, it’s why we have all retail, traffic intensive purposes pushed over by IH35.
How can you not engage the Mueller stakeholders scoping out whether a PAC could fit at Mueller. We live there, we would have to live with the traffic 220 nights a year cutting through our neighborhoods.
Current high schools have the real estate for a PAC and would benefit from having it co-located. Why wouldn’t you use Reagan – or the property at 183 & Loyola.

Crock Center has also been talked about for co-location with the elementary school.
Mueller was always planned the elementary school site to be joint use, model for the city – a city run community center along with the school.

Elementary school decision.

Latest news is the School board recommended NOT putting Mueller elementary on the bond package and the bond committee agreed.
AISD does need a reliever school in the Linder school area, South east. There still is bond money available from the last bond package, not sure which elementary school will get it yet.
Is there a chance to change the bond committee’s mind about it? Good chance to change AISD’s mind about it? Why did they suddenly decide it shouldn’t be funded?
Apparently Mueller doesn’t meet AISD’s own criteria for adding a new school to the ballot which is to wait for overcrowding and react rather than proactively plan for known demand in an area.

What else can we do? Some ideas:
Petitions – mail them to every board member
Call them personally – the bond committee members; the school board members
Two public hearing – BE THERE IN FORCE
Citizens communication at their ongoing meetings.
How do we show our force? Buttons, clapping; have people stand up supporting.
Can we get Mueller hats before the meetings?
Emailing school board members – can we get a list of board member emails and a ‘form’ letter

Two reps for Mueller on school board, Cheryl Bradley, Mark Williams, should be most inclined to support Mueller. Are they supporting us? Vera Givens appears to be Cheryl Bradley, her appointed rep

Need people at the public forums both nights
Forum/Public Hearing – 2-3 minutes each to speak

District, habit they have fallen into, wait till damage exists before they allocate funds to try and solve; Mueller did the opposite , a new development that would need an elementary – a planned approach for an anticipated need. For the district not to step up for that is ridiculous – that’s how planning should work. Have it built before the demand is there!

Discussion Points:

Needs to be named school in the next bond package. Is the right thing to do – it is called planning. Mueller is a family oriented neighborhood, the demand will be there by the time the school is built.

We want to be involved with the surrounding neighborhoods – we know there needs to be a school boundary discussion. We don’t want to be an island, we will proactively be involved.

We want to invest in our schools but if you take a 20 yr plan and drop it then you will lose us – we won’t penalize our children for your lack of planning. We want a neighborhood school for our children. Don’t throw bad planning after good.

Do you want to continue the trend of children from Windsor Park/Cherrywood not going to local public schools? Do you want our children going to school in the East area of Austin? Let’s get out of this east/west thing. By delaying you will lose out. Let’s reverse the trend – let’s return to the idea of neighborhood schools.

Isn’t our community a demographic you want in the district? We would be a value add to the district, that would benefit not just our kids. Mueller neighborhood would not be the only kids who feed to this school.

If they don’t do the school now – Catellus will need to figure out how to meet what they marketed – a neighborhood school for our children.

Need to contact Catellus and find out what they are doing to drive this point home. Catellus needs to keep us appraised of what they are doing behind the scenes.

School board has to set their ballot 62 days before the election which is May 10th. We have only a month to complete our lobbying.

UT Health System - still in limbo once pricing was discussed and interest for a medical school was not high yet; A&M just got 9 mil for land for a medical school. Not sure where it stands now. Jim Walker will check with a UT contact and ask him to come back with official status.

Windsor Park has a community garden – behind a Mennonite church – Rick K. will let us know about a work day. Karen will try to find a list of community gardens in East Austin and send out.

POA Update – There is a rule in the CCR that kids cannot be unsupervised in common areas!!??

Need support through email address,
Dusty would like to lobby towards making this rules document public; disclaim it and send it out – he will suggest to the POA advisory panel that the Rules be distributed before next meeting and have a public hearing.

Suggestion that we start a parallel effort – we create our own CCRs that we submit to Catellus. Engage a lawyer who can help us. The POA advisory panel does not seem to be following its original charter which was to respond to the concerns of the pioneers.
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