WOOTEN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Minutes of 12 September 2011
The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Christina Muller at 7:01 PM in the cafeteria at Redeemer Lutheran Church. She noted that an agenda had been prepared, but that other items were welcomed.
APD Guest Speaker Christopher Megliorino
VP Muller introduced our new Austin Police Department District Representative, Senior Police Officer Christopher Megliorino (512.974.5852, Christo.Megliorino@AustinTexas.gov, www.cityofaustin.org/police). He told us that he was familiar with our Adam 1 sector, and had 24 years of experience. He believes in crime prevention, and noted that our area was active with problems, particularly along US-183 and other major roads. He spoke of a marijuana arrest when someone was stopped in a school zone, of family disturbances, burglary of vehicles along Research, with a particular focus on the cars of Toyota customers. He encouraged Neighborhood Watch groups and suggested it would be helpful to attend the “Train the Trainer” workshops that were offered by APD. People should not be reluctant to call 911, though a call to 311 would be re-routed to 911 if appropriate.
A member asked Officer Megliorino for suggestions on how to make homes safer. He replied that it is rare that burglars hit a home when residents are likely to be there. Daylight burglaries are most common, occurring when residents are at work. He suggested keeping properties lit all night, rather than using motion sensors; planting thorny bushes (but keeping them trimmed); using cameras (make them visible); employing an alarm company if affordable. Dogs of any size are good. Marilyn Rogers said the cheapest alarm for most would be their car alarm system, which can be triggered remotely with the key.
There have been a rash of car burglaries – drug addicts will break in for change or small items to carry and pawn. Also, children can do crazy things when not in school; there is an 11:00 PM curfew everywhere for those 16 or younger. It seems counter-intuitive to suspend a misbehaving student, who then is “on the street” and out of the structured school environment. Sometimes a single arrest may clear several burglaries.
Questions were asked about cell phone use in school zones. The no-cell-phone-use-in-school-zones is in effect when school is in session. Whether it was legal to park and call in an active school zone was not known. Officer Megliorino will be in the area checking for speeders. There may be some grant money to get more electronic speed board reading signs. Those found to be racing, even if not racing against another vehicle, will be jailed. There was some discussion about places where it was legal to race one’s vehicle. There is a new program for traffic calming that is done street by street, rather than in an entire neighborhood. Officer Megliorino’s presentation ended at 7:25 PM.
An announcement was made reminding neighbors that there were two meetings regarding transportation development scheduled in September on the Burnet Road/North Lamar Boulevard Corridors from RR-2222 north to the Domain: the North Lamar one on Tuesday, 20 September at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, the Burnet Road one at St. John’s United Methodist Church on Thursday, 22 September. RSVP information to Beverly Silas was provided. This information was also made available on the WNA listserv.
Treasurer Opie Gonzalez reported that the July beginning balance was $2,542.28. In July, ad income was $235.00, dues income was $45.00, and interest income was $ .32, for an income total of $280.32. Newsletter printing costs were $192.00, giving a July ending checking account balance of $2,630.60. Interest of $ .34 was added in August, bringing the account to $2,630.94. In September the checking account was debited by $3.73 to reimburse/bring the $16.27 petty cash account to $20.00. At the time of the September meeting, the WNA treasury totaled $2,627.21 in the checking account, $25.00 in the savings account, and $20.00 in petty cash.
Treasurer Gonzalez provided an accounting of how our newsletter ads were supporting the association. We had collected $257.50 in ad revenue for July, with a newsletter printing cost of $192.00, leaving a profit of $65.50. The account was holding $202.50 for later newsletter runs: $157.50 was paid in advance for October 2011; $45.00 was paid in advance for January 2012.
VP Muller then asked if there were any changes for the minutes that had been posted to the Wooten website. Hearing none, she asked if there was a motion to approve the minutes. Marilyn Rogers moved to approve the minutes as distributed; Steve Rogers seconded the motion; the minutes were approved after a vote was taken.
* Marilyn Rogers mentioned the Help Shape Airport Boulevard meetings; information can be found at www.airportboulevard.com.
* We were reminded that Austin is under Stage 2 water restrictions: watering is allowed on Saturdays for odd-numbered residences, on Sundays for even-numbered residences. Automatic sprinkler systems may be used from midnight to 10:00 AM, hose-end sprinklers from midnight to 10:00 AM and from 7:00 PM to midnight. Watering by hand may occur at any time.
* Rogers also noted that the APD Region 2 (Northwest/Northeast) Commander’s Forum was scheduled for Tuesday, October 11. It would cover Part 3 of “Train the Trainer” classes (James the Burglar video). The gathering is from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at 12429 Scofield Farms Drive.
* National Night Out will be held on October 4 in Austin. Celebrations around the neighborhood offer different activities and treats. If your gathering is requesting the presence of police, forms should be filed with APD by September 16.
* A free lecture by Bookstop founder and entrepreneur Gary Hoover was to be offered at 7:00 PM on October 13 at the Unitarian church.
* The WNA Yahoo group membership is growing.
* Steve Rogers reminded the members that there would be a Wooten Neighborhood Plan Contact Team meeting at 7:00 PM in the back room at Mr. Tramps the following Monday, 19 September. The WNPCT’s focus is on proposed changes to land use as outlined in the Wooten Neighborhood Plan, providing input/advice to the City (which may or may not be followed). A Vice-Chair and Attendance Keeper would be elected at the September meeting. WNPCT reviews proposed changes. Recent issues include a landlord who wished to change a duplex to a triplex (brought to the neighborhood association before the WNPCT was established), and a woman who was thinking about buying a house on Brockman zoned Light Office, hoping to remodel it into a hair salon (not allowed under current zoning). Both proposals were discouraged, one by WNA, the other by the WNPCT contact. The City may be the force behind some prospective changes.
* Adam Turner commented that it was nice to have some new folks actively participating in WNA.
* Jim Bedrich on Shadowood told of a pair of neighbors, an elderly woman with a partially-disabled son, who had a couple of intruders try to get into their house when they didn’t answer their door. The doors were locked, so the fellows didn’t gain entrance. They were described as being on bicycles and carrying backpacks. Another situation developed with other neighbors, a pair of brothers who wanted to invite “friends” over for poker. The game night traffic was 18 cars of people who were there to gamble. The membership was reminded that krimelabb.com was a good spot to check on criminal activity around the City.
* Joshua Merritt said he was collecting Box Tops for Education to donate to Wooten Elementary School. He was going to ask his wife Kelly if they were the same as Labels for Education.
* The problem of low water pressure in the neighborhood was brought up. Members were encouraged to call in to have the pressure measured. It does appear to be a wide-spread issue.
Election of Officers
Marilyn Rogers, Victor Engel, and Betsy Thaggard volunteered and were appointed as the 2011 WNA Nominating Committee. The slate they offered to the membership was Joshua Merritt, President; Carolyn Spock, Vice-President; Sarah Gregory, Secretary; and Marilyn Rogers, Treasurer. All four offices were opened for nominations from the floor. There were no additional nominations. The slate was elected by acclamation.
A motion was made by Adam Turner to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 PM.
The next WNA meeting is scheduled for 14 November 2011 at 7:00 PM.