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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 9/21/2013
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Meeting Minutes
Mueller Neighborhood Association General Meeting
September 21, 2013
Location: Wildflower Terrace
MNA Steering Committee Members Present: Belinda Roberts, Janeka Rector, Kathy Sokolic, Dennis Mick, David Neider, Corky Hilliard, Ani Colt, James Nortey, Grant Fisher, Cynthia Cammack, Kat Malcom
MNA Steering Committee Members Absent: Sandy Parks, Kevin McGillicuddy
TREASURER’S REPORT -- Kathy Sokolic (for Sandra Parks)
1. Sandy stated that we currently have $5943.04 in the bank, with another $50.00 to deposit (10.00 dues and 40.00 Front Porch Flyer).
2. Community Enhancement Committee - Dave Neider
a. Our next neighborhood event to encourage local business to settle in Mueller will be an eat-in/sit-in at Alamo Drafthouse. We may not be able to choose a movie everyone will like, but please attend and support. DATE: NOVEMBER 4th
3. The website committee is working on enhancing Citicite.
4. Rail Committee - Janeka
a. The volunteers for rail went to City Hall yesterday for a presentation. The Central Corridor group is moving forward. If you have questions about related positions or events, contact Janeka Rector.
5. Vote - Kathy Sokolic
a. Kathy explained items up for MNA vote:
Item 1:
Should the MNA officially endorse the City’s November 2013 proposal to issue no more than $65 million in housing bonds to continue to fund the development of affordable rental and ownership housing, preserve existing affordable housing stock, and create transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless?
Item 2:
The Citizens’ Independent Redistricting Commission is currently drawing a map of 10 single-member districts from which Council Members will be elected starting in November 2014. Should the MNA officially convey a recommendation to the Citizens’ Independent Redistricting Commission that the Mueller Community should only be included in a Central East Austin City Council District?

b. Discussion: In response to questions about redistricting, Kathy explained the current city council is not permitted to provide input into this process, and so can't reinforce the original Mueller vision. She noted that an idea has surfaced about an Airport Blvd corridor that could link Mueller with the Highland Mall area, which has similar characteristics in terms of density. She noted that a district is about 80,000 people.
Item 3:
MNA Bylaws change: Based on recommendations from the Treasurer and immediate past Treasurer, the Steering Committee recommends a bylaws change to align the fiscal year and the MNA membership year, both ending November 30th.
1. Blanton Elementary Principal - John Baker
a. John Baker, the school principal, presented background on Blanton Elementary School. Blanton met accountability standards last year, gained distinction in reading, and has begun a dual language program. The school is working to be viable in the community and a school of choice for surrounding neighborhoods. To be involved, neighbors can become classroom coaches - they are currently looking for 2nd grade literacy coaches via the Austin Partners in Education organization ( They also need volunteers - for example to help teachers get classroom libraries grade-leveled, and to read to kids. The campus advisory council meets weekly and is an open meeting. John Baker welcomed neighborhood volunteer involvement and interest in the school.
2. Mobility 35 ( - Steve Mueller
a. Kevin introduced Steve Mueller from the planning group working wtih txDOT, as well as Stacy [last name] and Rob [last name]
b. Highlights from the presentation:
• The study started when voters approved 2012 bond to see what could be done with I35. TxDOT is helping city look at issues. I35 is #1 in congestion in state. Rider 42 funding allowed analysis that found 85% of I35 traffic is for more central trips. Neighborhoods were against a bigger I35 footprint, but business community wanted more lanes. Goal is mainly to optimize 35 within existing footprint.
• Frontage roads are not used efficiently, were designed for short trips but haven't worked that way. The group is looking for ways to make them more attractive; have upgraded signals and continued upgrades will enable them in a couple of years be able to sense when changes are needed. An extra express lane can be implemented for high capacity bus transit. Lot of infrastructure needs to be built before I35; need to unload traffic closer to 183 and will need new ramps at 183/35 because ramps missing. will be built as permanent structures.
• Mobility 35 is early in the process; expect 12-15 years of long term effort for infrastructure improvements to go at least from one side of county to another.
• For this area, improvements to 51st are planned to help with the jughandle problem and take traffic to Cameron Rd.
• This is a locally driven process. Hays and Williamson Counties, RR, Georgetown are all involved. Public outreach includes 70 stakeholder meetings, 11 public open houses and 2 online, presence on website, Twitter, Facebook.
• See plan submitted to Rider 42 Committee on to understand current thinking. (Viewers can redline, mark up and send to group for review.)
• Improvements being considered - Roundabouts, including one for I35 and 51st, U-turns that ease congestion at lights and make frontage roads work better, diverging diamonds, ramp changes (including Airport exit ramp becoming an entrance ramp), would have to close short ramps to add 3rd lane at lower level (Manor, 38th, Airport - exits instead at Barbara Jordan and MLK), superstreet that would make frontage road faster for local trips.
• Total program cost 1.3-1.9 billion for everything. There are proposals of varying cost between those two numbers. (Burying I35 would be most expensive plan).
3. Announcements:
a. Kathy announced that counts of ballots showed all three measures passed.
b. Andy Brown running as Democrat for Travis County Judge (Sam Biscoe's job). 1406 Waller headquarters.
c. It was announced that Lawless St was planning to have a block party October 19th.
d. Mueller Halloween Carnival will be in Ella Wooten Park, Sunday, October 27th, 3 - 5 PM.
4. Adjourned

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