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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Steering Committee Minutes 8/2/2011
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MNA Steering committee Meeting Minutes – August 2, 2011

Host and Chair, Betsy Hilton, lead the meeting at 4001 Mendez Street.
Ashley Fisher: present (also RMMA Plan Implementation Advisory Committee (PIAC) Chair)
Diane Gierisch: present (also Pool Committee member)
Corky Hilliard: present (also RMMA Plan Implementation Advisory Committee member)
Betsy Hilton: present
Kevin McGillicuddy: present
Candice McKay: present
Travis Michel: present
Dennis Mick: present
Jerry Perkins: present (also Austin Neighborhoods Council representative)
Shellie Shores: present
Kathy Sokolic: present
Reem Zoun: absent
Don Dozier: present


1. Introductions
2. Quorum confirmed and meeting was called to order by Betsy Hilton
3. Approval of Minutes – Candice McKay
Last month’s meeting minutes were approved with the following correction:
Diane Gierisch was nominated by Corky Hilliard Ashley Fisher. The motion was seconded by Ashley Fisher Corky Hilliard. Ashley Diane declined the nomination.

4. Treasurer’s Report - Don Dozier
The cash balance on 8/2 was $3901.70.
There was a brief discussion on the financial responsibility for renting Browning Hangar at 4550 Mueller Blvd for various events. Committee chose to maintain current arrangement. For rental inquiries, one may contact Tammy Chapel at Mueller Central at 512-703-9202.


5. Goals & Big Woo (items group would like to accomplish) - Betsy Hilton
As discussed at the last MNA Steering Committee meeting, the officers (less Candice McKay) have met a couple of times to set some goals for the coming year. Corky helped by facilitating the first meeting. The goals out of the officer discussions fall along the following lines:
• Providing value to community
• Hosting fun activity
• Updating by-laws
• Organizational structure and communication with various committees
Per Betsy’s request, the committee provided input on the officers Big Woos & Goals. Those raised by the remaining committee members during the meeting are elaborated below and include the following:
• Collaborating with other nearby neighborhood associations
• Cultivating community inclusivity with surrounding neighbors
• Increase MNA membership and bring awareness to its benefits
• Maintain majority representation within PIAC
• POA board appointment

Betsy asked group to provide input on Big Woos:
Jerry would like to see the committee improve our relationships with other neighborhoods by collaborating with other nearby neighborhood associations on specific projects.
Corky reminded us that one of the six guiding tenets of Mueller is neighborhood compatibility: Enhancing the equality of life in adjacent communities (see also attached). Corky would like to set a goal of further integrating with surrounding neighborhoods. This was echoed by Dennis. There is a Mueller 101 course available to inform new residents on the six tenets and philosophy of Mueller. There is a concern that some of the civic district’s planning is contrary to the neighborhood’s goal to maintain inclusivity. Kevin suggested this as a topic for the Front Porch Flyer.
Corky’s Big Woo is membership and she would like to see the committee set a membership target each year. Kevin & Kathy expressed the need for a plan to determine when new residents arrive to solicit new members. Diane suggested we better coordinate the General MNA meetings, Steering Committee meetings, PIAC, etc, so that they are more effective for all interested properties and increase attendance and consider consolidating some meetings. Dennis suggested the committee utilize the resident email list (with proper management with the members’ permission) to increase initial membership and renewals. It is estimated that 60% of the members have an email address on file that could be used in an innovated invoice and renewal process.

Travis agreed that setting a target goal for membership is important as well as establishing and advertising the benefit and value of membership. Suggestions from the group include the following:
• Offering events that are fun for all ages
- Foodie/Music showcases
• Choose a project to champion that would benefit entire neighborhood as a whole (such as a physical improvement) and consider including other neighborhoods. Ashley suggested we look into non-profit opportunities.
Betsy pointed out that appx 40% of Mueller residents are MNA members.
Betsy introduced a goal to maintain a majority within the PIAC.
• PIAC (Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Plan Implementation Advisory Commission) has 7 members (including Ashley & Corky) whose purpose is to advise the city council on implementation of Mueller’s Master Plan and other redevelopment issues.
Another committee goal is to obtain an appointment on the POA (Property Owners Association) board. Betsy will research this further to determine the appointment schedule and how representatives are selected.
6. By-laws - Betsy Hilton
Betsy proposes we appoint an ad-hoc by-laws committee to address points officers have already culled out (i.e. conflicting verbiage concerning dues - per household vs individual). Don will lead the committee. Corky, Diane, Dennis, and Kevin all volunteered to assist. Committee will meet and come up with a deadline for when they will report back their findings. Ashley suggested Drew Harris (former Steering Committee member) should be contacted to assist.

7. Committee Structure - Betsy Hilton
Betsy reported on the officers’ discussion on existing committee structure (see attached chart) and requested input from the remaining committee. It was suggested that we increase participation in our MNA grants and have other committees submit their budget and a work plan to the Steering Committee. Among other ideas, committee budgets could be used for purchase of promotional items and event planning. It was noted that the by-laws require a standing Audit Committee and a standing By-Laws Committee
Diane suggested we incorporate plans and budget from other informal groups (committees) into Steering Committee.

Chairs in other committees don’t need to be Steering Committee members, but there is some reporting/communication needed regularly.


Suggestions for other Ad-Hoc committees include the following:
• ANC (Austin Neighborhood Counsel) Committee - to facilitate external relations and neighborhood harmony. There is room for Mueller to have another representative on the ANC. We only have one now. ANC meetings are once per month. East neighborhood ANC meetings take place once per month. Past Steering Committee Chair, Grant Fisher, would be good in this capacity. It was agreed to appoint Grant for this role.
• Audit Committee – purpose and plan for this committee is to-be-determined. Don emphasized that the Treasurer should not chair the committee, but could assist in establishing an audit process. This topic was tabled for the next meeting after reviewing by-laws.
• Membership/Welcome Committee – to welcome new residents and educate them on the benefits and value of MNA membership and help maintain high renewal rates. Shelley suggested we consider formalizing MNA’s role in this committee.
• Block Captains Committee
• Social Committee – There was a discussion on whether there is a need to create a formal Social Committee or continue to let individual volunteers steer social functions within the neighborhood. There was a suggestion to create a Social Liaison or Point of Contact on the Steering Committee to stay updated on events. Jenny Robson was mentioned as a good candidate for this role if it is established. This discussion will continue as we consider whether a budget for social functions is warranted and if there is a need to regulate them.
• Education Committee – There is no formal Education Committee within MNA. An informal group, MEAT (Mueller Education Action Team), exists to cover a variety of educational topics. The idea of establishing an Education Liaison or Education Point of Contact within the Steering Committee to stay abreast of relevant topics for the neighborhood was discussed. A decision was not made, but Jerry suggested we engage Reem Zoun (absent) for ideas and to see if she is interested in leading further neighborhood educational efforts. Betsy will explore the idea further with Kim Wine and reach out to Reem and report back to the committee.
• Newsletter Committee – The Front Porch Flyer is part of the MNA and was initially funded by the MNA, but ads now provide enough funding for its publication. The financials are co-mingled. Corky suggested that the editor is mandated as Steering Committee member (acting or honorary). Dennis commented that existing editor (Elizabeth Butman) does a good job without the responsibility of committee membership and it may not be necessary or fruitful to further burden the editor with the responsibilities involved with Steering Committee membership or establishing an official Newsletter Committee. Ashley suggested that Vice-Chair serve as Newsletter liaison to fulfill the need for a better conduit for money requests, communications, etc. Corky wants that person to have a defined responsibility as a member of Steering Committee.

8. Upcoming Meetings – Betsy Hilton
The next General MNA membership meeting will be held at the Browning Hangar on Saturday, August 20, at 10 a.m. Topics and/or speakers may include Neighborhood Night Out, Gere Smith, Children’s Museum, Austin Children’s Shelter, Committees.
The next Steering Committee meetings will be held on September 6 and October 6. Locations will be determined.

9. Additional Business/Open comments
Diane pointed out there is a Catellus Budget Committee for POA budget. Shelley suggested we consider formalizing MNA’s role in this committee. Ashley suggested our role is to further support & promote the community. Jerry suggests we do this alongside other neighborhoods. Don reminded the committee that the Steering Committee controls our budget and can utilize it to fund various activities and objectives as warranted.
National Night Out is Tuesday, October 4. Mueller is the center of the city-wide celebration of event from 5-7 p.m. Browning Hangar will have major city-wide events with free food, games and crime prevention talks/events. Betsy will investigate if/which forms are required for police and fire support for this event.
Pool - Diane requested feedback on changing the minimum age for independent pool usage from 15-years-old to 13-years-old. After committee discussion, it was agreed to leave the rule as-is.
ANC Training on Boards & Commissions will be held on August 24, and is open to all committee members. Jerry will post the details to CitiCite.

Candice was approached by Acton Academy Middle School requesting assistance in promoting the school as it is moving closer to Mueller. It was agreed to table this topic until decisions have been made on the Education Committee and/or Liaison.
AISD Board of Trustees & Education Representation - Corky reported that Mueller currently shares a rep with 78704. Chairman of the Board, Mark Williams, is aware of this. Sharing a rep with a neighborhood that is not physically close does not promote cohesiveness and is a disjointed way to structure neighborhood representation on the board. Chairman claims that there has been no expression of concern regarding the organization of board representation and appears to be an advocate of the current structure. Ashley moved that we write a letter expressing concern over our trustee boundaries and desire to be contiguous with our neighbors. Jerry seconded the movement.


10. Meeting Adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
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