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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 9/15/2012
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General Meeting Minutes
Wildflower Terrace
September 15, 2012
7:00 pm

1. Betsy Hilton called the meeting to order at 10:06 a.m.
No new residents identified themselves

2. Betsy announced two upcoming events:
CASA Superheroes Run 9-30-12 – early morning event, most runners will be dressed in superhero costumes
Ronald McDonald Lights of Love 12-7-12 – evening run

3. Airport Florist redevelopment – 7-11 has filed a site plan. Is an administrative matter getting the site plan approved as planned development is already compliant with zoning requirements? However, neighboring property owners have concerns about a third corner having a convenience store with gasoline pumps. There are concerns about proximity to a creek, etc. MNA has registered as an interested party and received information from the City regarding their review of the site plan. There is little we can do to prevent the planned development, but Kathy Sokolic went to a meeting where neighborhood concerns were discussed.

4. City of Austin maintenance yard – At the corner of Manor and Berkman there is a road and bridge maintenance yard. The City leased the property in 2006 when it had to move its maintenance facilities from Mueller. City bought the property now being used for a maintenance yard but is in violation of the zoning for that property. Is zoned for mixed use and City wants to change to Civic so it has have filed for a zoning change. City would actually like to tear down the building and build a new one, if funding is available. At a recent meeting regarding this property there was a lot of discussion from adjoining neighbors about how it is not an appropriate use in a residential area. May be some negotiation on future use.

5. Janelle Dozier - October 6 will be a bird watching event at the picnic tables near Southwest Greenway pond. Travis Audubon Society will be there with spotting scopes and other equipment and will give talks on birds. Will be a family-oriented event. Can bring picnic lunch. Also, Austin Wildlife Rescue rescues injured wild birds. Southwest Greenway pond may be a release area in the future. Janelle will post bird watching event on CitiCite.

5. Austin Partners In Education - Elena Lorio
Used to be teacher. Taught 11 yrs in elementary school, in underprivileged areas. Remembers wanting volunteers to come into schools to help tutor and mentor students. Then heard about APIE. Recruits volunteers from community to help students with reading and math (8th Grade only for math – currently at Webb) during the school day. Reading for 2nd grade students, middle school students. Other than AIPE, tutors furnished only for 3rd – 5th grades, so AIPE fills a gap. Especially need Spanish speaking volunteers. Listed a number of schools participating with AIPE. Tutoring / classroom coaching is a long-term commitment, from about the second week in October to the second week in May. AIPE also does weekly mentoring. Is more like a social thing where meet at lunchtime and talk to student. Tues – Thurs are the days that volunteers come in (volunteers can pick one day per week – 45 minutes each week) and can pick the time and day and school that they prefer. AIPE has training starting next week, but will be a number of training opportunities. Will teach trainees how to use their curriculum and how to motivate kids. Pearce Middle School currently doesn’t participate in classroom coaching but does participate in mentoring. Resident Dusty Harshman suggested teaming up with other Mueller neighbors as it helps vollunteers stick to it. He volunteered at Pearce last time they participated. Can also pick a buddy if you want to split up the 23 weeks. Commitment is for 45 minutes per week for 23 weeks. Coaching volunteers work with 2-3 kids in a class. They come into a class as a team and then break down into small groups. Kids at all academic levels of achievement are coached. AIPE works with neighborhood associations, churches, Hispanic organizations, etc. in recruiting volunteers.

6. Betsy – other announcements
Steering Committee at last meeting decided to set up Events Committee. Belinda Roberts agreed to head it up (has done the Halloween Festival and Egg Scramble, and will help with the 4th of July). Instead of planning such events on ad hoc basis, the Events Committee will work as a committee of the MNA. Will be authorized to do fund raising for events from outside supporters in addition to receiving grants from MNA. Betsy suggested that if anyone organizes an event outside the umbrella of the MNA and is raising funds for events that are not sponsored by MNA, they should be sure to let potential sponsors know that it is not an MNA event.

7. National Night Out – First Tuesday in October (10-2-2012)
Purpose is to help neighbors get to know each other, exchange contact info, etc. Catellus is organizing a neighborhood wide event at Ella Wooten Park from 5-7pm. Will have Police, Fire and EMS there. Will have ice cream or other treats. Will be up to individual blocks to have an event for their particular block following the neighborhood-wide event. Some people prefer to stroll around and meet with people on other blocks.

8. MNA Steering Committee elections will be held at the general meeting in January. Looking for persons who might want to run. Nominations Committee will call for nominations in late October or early November.

9. MNA Cards handed out for people to give to businesses that we might want to encourage to look at opening up in Mueller.

10. MEAT – Mueller Education Action Team. Trying to promote opening of a school at Mueller, as there is a site set aside at Mueller. Have ramped up activity in last 6 months. Dusty Harshman spoke to activities of MEAT. Usually meets at Contigo once a month – meetings are announced on CitiCite. MEAT has been meeting with School Board Trustee candidates. Mueller’s district trustee is up for reelection. Working towards designing a proper educational institution at Mueller. Multiple ideas about what it should be. Prevailing opinion in neighborhood is that may want something more flexible than just an elementary school. Primarily because want to serve entire Northeast Austin – not just neighborhood. Is a Bond Election coming up that will likely include new buildings (undesignated area – “Elementary School for Northeast Austin” – could mean Mueller) If an an elementary school is built at Mueller, neighborhood might overgrow it (expect about 13,000 people to be living in Mueller eventually). Currently, neighborhood is split into different tracks for middle schools and high schools. Would like to find way to work around that. Election will likely be in May or November 2013. MNA has a steering committee member working on the task force that is designing the bond package. One attendee suggested that MEAT bring along someone else from surrounding area to meet with public officials. Dusty said has done that to some extent. Would like to create some enthusiasm among other neighborhoods for educational issues. Betsy pointed out that Mueller has had to do some education of public officials to the effect that a majority of Mueller parents plan to send their children to public schools rather than private, charter or home schools.

11. Janelle Dozier announced that she and Don worked as Poll workers. Can work as a team. Can do morning / evening split. Is hard to find poll workers in our neighborhood. Just need to do 2 hour training online. Election judge said is looking for more people to assist, especially for next election. Is a paid position and great service to the community.

12. There followed a discussion of a recent PIAC meeting attended by a Mueller resident. He thought there was an interesting discussion about long-term plans for Mueller. There were only two Mueller residents there, other than those on PIAC board. He was surprised so few from Mueller there, so encouraged others to attend, explain what goes on at PIAC, etc. Maybe they could move location of meeting. Is currently at Carver Library on 12th Street. At last meeting, Catellus announced had completed plans for apartments at Mattie and Simond. Catellus said there had been a meeting on the Town Center 3 years ago, and that was the last time they have sought feedback. At the next meeting Catellus plans to present the final product, no feedback will be taken. Resident was surprised and concerned about that. Was explained that the PIAC is charged with making sure Catellus’s plans meet requirements of Master Plan. PIAC may change meetings from monthly to quarterly.

13. One Wildflower resident (Roy) felt the MNA generally had not been connecting with Wildflower residents sufficiently. He would like to get to know others in the neighborhood better. He thought MNA was dictating certain things to Wildflower residents, such as limiting Wildflower to one block captain. He thought they should have more. He also mentioned this in connection with a neighborhood watch program. Betsy pointed out that we have a block captain structure set up for social activities but that is not the neighborhood watch. That will run separately from the MNA, if at all. She also explained Wildflower is free to have as many block captains as they want. Another resident wanted to invite the neighborhood to a play on November 16 and November 19. Betsy said the best way to announce the event is to post it on CitiCite. There is an events area and also could post on forums, as it may get more attention.

Meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

~Special Thanks to Kevin McGillicuddy for taking notes during the meeting!~
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