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POA Proxy forms & Meeting packet
posted by Kathy Sokolic on November 17th, 2013 8:30 PM
We also invited all four folks currently on the ballot (nominations can be taken from the floor at the meeting) to the MNA meeting. We asked them some questions and received some answers, posted here. We thank each of them for stepping up to the task, and hope they continue to be engaged in the community!!Susan Egan1. How do you see your role as a "minority" member on the POA board (one resident with 3 Catellus-appointed members)?I'd like to think that each board member brings to the table the ability to present and defend an independent point of view; I don't think of the resident board member's role as one that's adversarial with the appointed members. As the resident board member, I will openly request and consider other residents' input and ask for their rationale and/or defense of their positions, and use this information when representing them (and myself). Ideally, the input received will be representative of most residents...but (obviously) the final decision may not necessarily be popular with all.2. How do you see your role and responsibilities as part of the POA?My role is to seek and provide a voice for residents in our community, and to attend and speak up at board meetings and in other communications. I'd expect to bring residents' concerns to board meetings as appropriate, and ensure that our dues are used in a fiscally responsible manner.3. How will you gather opinions from the residents, or communicate with the residents of Mueller?There are currently several means to gather opinions, including the Mueller Facebook page (with its restricted audience). I would expect to set up an e-mail address specifically for POA business, as well as providing online forms for residents' input. As the number of POA members increases, it's likely online forms will be the preferred mode of communication. For the few in Mueller who don't have access to the forms, written communications can be manually added or block captains can help to gather information. The MNA is also a potential source from which to gather opinions.4. How do you currently keep up with community concerns?I regularly watch and contribute to both the Mueller Facebook group and the Mueller citiCite pages, and receive daily updates from Spotcrime (which shows police data in our area). 5. What are the current issues of importance at the POA, in your opinion?At this point (and as a 5-month resident here), my observations suggest that the POA needs to deal with 1) enabling uniform covenant enforcement (which includes residents' concerns with tree trimming and/or landscape maintenance), 2) crime (auto break-ins, vandalism and crimes of opportunity) and 3) obtaining direct resident feedback, including votes, on issues of importance to them. I'd also like to see better use of the Mueller website.6. What are your top priorities as a member of the POA?Being the first resident board member brings with it the opportunity to solicit residents' top concerns and bring awareness to the rest of the board, ideally including potential fixes for the situation(s). This is my top priority now. On an ongoing basis my priorities include (not necessarily in order) maintaining common areas, ensuring that covenants are uniformly enforced, making good fiscal decisions and trying to ensure that decisions the board makes are in the long term best interests of the residents.7. Do you have any opinions on how to resolve differing residents' opinions on issues of importance within Mueller? Examples include trees, fees, poo in the pool.Every decision made on behalf of the neighborhood will make some people unhappy. I feel it's important to balance needs and wants with practicalities...and ideally come up with a compromise or win-win solution. People are more likely to accept decisions when their input has been considered and some parts have been incorporated into the end result, and when the rationale behind the decision has been explained. It's also important to solicit opinions from large (representative) numbers of residents, to avoid making decisions that specifically favor a small, vocal group or a short-term solution. If there is something else you'd like the residents to know that hasn't been touched on here or in the submittal to Jennifer Harvey, please feel free to include it here.My professional background is in analytical chemistry and quality engineering in high tech, mostly with IBM. I'm a long time Austin resident and in the past lived in the northwest suburbs, primarily because of the school situation. Austin was busing students all over the place when I moved there, and I wanted a stable public education for my children. Each neighborhood where I lived had resident-run HOAs. When the redevelopment of Mueller was announced, I began following its progress with the hope of moving here. Unfortunately, in early 2008 a job transfer took my husband and me to upstate New York for 4 years. That fall, I was elected to the all-resident board of my 280-home homeowner's association, and I remained on the board until our return to Austin was imminent. While on the East Hills board as secretary or VP, I worked on communication (developing a blogsite), covenant enforcement (communicating violations in a non-confrontational way) and assisting other board members as needed. I also have done quite a bit of volunteering in the Round Rock Independent School District, where I was nominated for (and received) several awards from Partners in Education. I am currently semi-retired, so have plenty of time for POA board business.Dr. Alan Schussel1. How do you see your role as a "minority" member on the POA board (one resident with 3 Catellus-appointed members)?As a "minority" member on the POA board, I see myself as a peer board member that share the same interest in seeing the neighborhood prosper. I also want to be on top of things like any other residents living in Mueller and want the best for all of us. 2. How do you see your role and responsibilities as part of the POA?I listen and provide input that is shared by the community and try to influence outcomes favorable to us in the short and long term. I see myself as a valuable member since I am a resident and I share the same concerns that many of us living in the neighborhood may have. My role and responsibility as part of the POA is to constantly be on top of things and be inquistive with regards to policies, procedures, fiscal responsibilities, and safety. 3. How will you gather opinions from the residents, or communicate with the residents of Mueller?I will send out mass email to the neighborhood residents for feedback from the community as a whole. I will allow for residents to contact me via email their concerns or updates. I will also maintain open communication lines electronically.4. How do you currently keep up with community concerns?I read all email sent by POA and will listen to any neighborhood concerns. One example is the potential parking issue due to the expansion of new homes and businesses in Mueller. Another example is the Metro Light Rail going through Mueller. 5. What are the current issues of importance at the POA, in your opinion?In my opinion, the neighborhood is growing fast and there needs to be consistent oversight to ensure the quality and safety of the neighborhood is of utmost priority. 6. What are your top priorities as a member of the POA?My top priorities as a member of the POA are ensuring that the POA board listen to the community concerns and being fiscally responsible while maintaining the safety and enhancement in Mueller.7. Do you have any opinions on how to resolve differing residents' opinions on issues of importance within Mueller? Examples include trees, fees, poo in the pool.I do have a personal opinion about tree care (I see inconsistent tree care in the neighborhood) and the need to develop policies to improve tree care and work together to ensure that the trees remain healthy. While we may not always satisfy everyone's concerns, I am willing to go for the "happy medium" since we need to balance for the majority of the community living in Mueller. Fees are necessary for the viability of the neighborhood but as long as we remain fiscally responsible, the goal is to keep the fees reasonable for all of us even if it means checking for resources to get lower bids to obtain services for our neighborhood. Lastly, poo in the pool is a safety concern for the swimmers. We need to review the policy to see if we need to enhance the policy to address the issue of pool violations and safety (not to mention the inconvenience and cost to clean up and sanitize the pool). If you have any further questions or needing clarifications from me, I will be more than happy to answer them for you. Tim Moriarty1. How do you see your role as a "minority" member on the POA board (one resident with 3 Catellus-appointed members)? I see my role to be the voice of the community as the minority member. Even though this position would be in the "minority", it provides an important sounding board to the other members.2. How do you see your role and responsibilities as part of the POA? My role is to be a conduit for information exchanges between the board and the Mueller community. I have a responsibility to take concerns of the community to the board and also be engaged with the board so that I have a clear picture of what is going on and be able to articulate that to the community.3. How will you gather opinions from the residents, or communicate with the residents of Mueller? On line surveys allow people to express their views at their own convenience. Conducting monthly office hours is also a good way to start to establish relationships within the Mueller community.4. How do you currently keep up with community concerns? The community message board as well being on various email distribution lists.5. What are the current issues of importance at the POA, in your opinion? Managing the growth within Mueller and some of the pain points that go along with it like parking, public safety, maintenance and 6. What are your top priorities as a member of the POA? Develop relationships with other members of the board, understand the current issues that need to be addressed and be able to seek input from the community to help resolve them. Understand the current governance structure and budget. 7. Do you have any opinions on how to resolve differing residents' opinions on issues of importance within Mueller? Examples include trees, fees, poo in the pool. These are all important issues within the community. I believe we have to look at each issue to understand the root cause in order to develop a plan to address them.Betsy Hilton1. How do you see your role as a "minority" member on the POA board (one resident with 3 Catellus-appointed members)? I will strive to be a conduit of information between residents and the POA and will need to use my powers of persuasion to impact decisionmaking on the Board.2. How do you see your role and responsibilities as part of the POA? Will work to encourage POA Board to think about the long-term, after Catellus is gone, and make decisions in the best interest of residents. I would ask for updates from POA committees, such as budget and landscape committees, and provide an information conduit for residents.3. How will you gather opinions from the residents, or communicate with the residents of Mueller? I already communicate transportation issues through CitiCite and Facebook, and anticipate expanding communications to MuellerAustinOnline, the Front Porch Flyer and the Mueller Messenger. Block captains are also an important avenue for getting information to residents.4. How do you currently keep up with community concerns? CitiCite, facebook, private messages, face-to-face communication with neighbors and residents, and meeting attendance.5. What are the current issues of importance at the POA, in your opinion? Enforcement of covenants - zero enforcement = zero rules. Predominant issues are security, pools, trees and overall budget. Budget needs to be watched closely so it doesn't balloon after Catellus leaves.6. What are your top priorities as a member of the POA? Communication, security, budget.7. Do you have any opinions on how to resolve differing residents' opinions on issues of importance within Mueller? Examples include trees, fees, poo in the pool. Community input and education are critical. Everyone won't agree on a solution - need to work to help find some middle ground and agree upon negotiated solutions.
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