WOOTEN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Minutes of 11 January 2010
President Adam Turner called to order the January 2010 meeting, held in the Redeemer Lutheran Church cafeteria, at 7:12 PM. He announced that WNA’s Austin Police Department District Representative, Rolando Gutierrez, would be addressing the group shortly. The contents of the meeting agenda were briefly noted.
District Representative Rolando Gutierrez
Officer Gutierrez stated that crime statistics couldn’t be arranged in time for the meeting. Residential burglaries were still occurring in Wooten, with one near Ohlen Road and another in the Lazy Lane area. Daytime burglaries were most common, and homes may have been surveyed by burglars for weaknesses in security. Electronics were targeted, leading to the possibility that these homes were not randomly selected; the materials may have been seen through a window. Police response time was slow, a resident said. Officer Gutierrez noted that local staff were all on other assignments at times, and officers had to come from further away. Active neighborhood watches would be helpful, and it was suggested that the City Council be asked to add more manpower to the police force.
Neighbors were encouraged check out unusual activity and to report the incidences. Officers will stop people walking through a neighborhood and check their ID’s, look for possible warrants, etc.; in general, checking to see if their reason for being in the neighborhood is true (handing out flyers…). The more eyes and ears watching the neighborhood, the better. The next Central West Commander’s Forum is scheduled for 6:00 PM on February 2 at the McCallum High School cafeteria. Crime statistics will be available there. Though the Central West area is huge, the Wooten neighborhood has been well-represented by its residents at past Forums. An overview of crime in the area will be presented, with a focus on crime awareness.
President Turner thanked our past Secretary, Marilyn Rogers, and Treasurer, Janie Riley, for their years of service to the neighborhood association and community. Certificates of Appreciation were presented to them. Their work has indeed been much appreciated.
Janie Riley moved to accept the minutes as they had been previously distributed; the motion was seconded by Joy Roberts. The motion passed.
Treasurer Opie Gonzalez reported on activity in the WNA treasury. At the time of the September meeting, the treasury balance was $1823.78 ($1803.78 in bank, $20.00 petty cash). There was no activity in October. In November, income from dues amounted to $95 and from ad sales for the newsletter to $75, less $2.17 (copies of membership forms) from the $20 in petty cash. This brought the November balance to $1991.61 ($1973.78 in the bank plus $17.83 petty cash). In December, $15 in dues was collected, bringing the year-end balance to $2006.61 ($1988.78 in the bank plus $17.83 petty cash). Prior to the meeting, January activity included $25 in ad income and $10 in dues, with expenses of $169.25 (newsletter, Post Office box fee, and supplies from Office Depot), giving a treasury balance of $1872.36 ($1,854.53 plus $17.83 petty cash) at the time of the January meeting.
Marilyn Rogers, WNA Community Relations chair, made some announcements:
- There will be a talk regarding planting the right tree in the right place on January 25, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, at the North Village Branch Library.
- There will also be a crime and safety gathering at the North Village Branch Library on Saturday, January 23, 2:00 to 4:00 PM.
Mobile Food Vendor Ordinance
President Turner reminded the audience that the January meeting was the time when WNA was to review the City’s Mobile Food Vendor ordinance and choose whether to opt-in or opt-out. While the neighborhood had opted-in for the No Yard Parking Ordinance in the past, the association had not yet taken a vote on the Mobile Food Vendor option. [It had been discussed but tabled about a year previously, allowing residents to become more familiar with the ordinance before a vote was taken.]
It was noted that the vote would need to be recorded and the official paperwork notarized. The President read an overview of the ordinance, and there was some discussion. Steve Rogers moved to take a vote on the general Mobile Food Vendor Ordinance, seconded by Betsy Thaggard. The count showed 21 in favor of adopting the ordinance for the Wooten neighborhood. There were no votes in opposition. Then Hugh Brady moved to adopt the more strict Mobile Food Vendor stipulations that were offered; Carmen Maverick seconded the motion. The vote was 21 in favor, none opposed. Mr. Brady stated that he was a notary and would notarize the petition for WNA.
Wooten Neighborhood Plan Contact Team
The work on the bylaws for the Wooten Neighborhood Plan Contact Team progressed under the tutelage of Margaret Valenti, a City of Austin Neighborhood Planning and Zoning trainer. It was pointed out that a Contact Team was not the same as a neighborhood association, but was organized under City auspices to officially represent a neighborhood to the City. Setting up the bylaws was the first matter of business. The next organizational meeting would be on Wednesday, January 13, to finalize writing the bylaws. That would be followed by a notice to the community for a meeting where Wooten residents would vote on the bylaws and would elect officers for the Contact Team. A link to the bylaws draft would be sent to the neighborhood listserv.
Steven Zettner of Sustainable Neighborhoods (a Central Austin pan-neighborhood group) has again asked that WNA provide a letter of support for pedestrian- and bike-friendly walkways and greenways. President Turner asked approval for such a letter. Steve Rogers moved and Janie Riley seconded the motion to give President Turner permission to sign a WNA letter supporting pedestrian- and bike-friendly walkways and greenways for Sustainable Neighborhoods. The motion passed with two abstentions.
President Turner asked the group for blanket permission to act for WNA in matters that did not involve the expenditure of funds, reporting back to the group on his actions. Proposed actions would normally be distributed to the neighborhood on the listserv. There was a discussion, with the consensus being that proposed actions should come before the WNA Board for a decision, which would then be presented to the membership for approval at the next meeting.
Wooten Park Improvements
Progress on the improvements to Wooten Park were discussed. There was about $3000 left in the grant received by Michelle Smith. The trail that had been built had washed out. A muddy area has since been mulched, and silt fences are now mostly removed. The City has sowed rye grass, smoothed and graded the area, and softened the angle of a berm. There is still the need to fix the trail, and additional grass is needed. Trees are also needed, as are arrangements for water for the plantings. It was asked if more trails were planned; President Turner would like to see trails added in hopes of bringing in more users.
A new member asked if WNA had a Facebook page. No, but the association has a website, www.wootenna.com, a listserv through Yahoo Groups (and additional email postings by WNA Community Relations chair Marilyn Rogers to a supplemental WNA list), and a newsletter. The Wooten Internet bulletin board has fallen out of use. It was noted by a member that a Dallas neighborhood where she had lived some years ago had set up a Facebook page, leading to former neighbors getting back in touch with each other.
A motion was made by Steve Rogers to adjourn the meeting, seconded by LaVerne Stauffer. The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 PM.
The next WNA meeting is scheduled for 8 March 2010 at 7:00 PM.