WNA November Meeting Minutes, 11/11/13

Wooten Neighborhood Association


Minutes from WNA Meeting, November 11, 2013


President Chris Gregory called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Noting that today is Veterans’ Day, he thanked the veterans in attendance for their service.

Carolyn Spock motioned to approve the minutes from September’s meeting; Sam McClamery seconded the motion. A vote was taken, and the minutes were approved.

Sarah Gregory spoke about the new PayPal account that had been set up for the park fund. To date, the fund has received $24.41 for donations to the park.

WNA had a beginning balance of $1,547 in September. The cost of the newsletter was $532.50, the fee for the wootenna.com website domain for the next five years was $52.35, and the cost of WNA’s Post Office box was $60. WNA has also received $280 in dues, which brings the ending balance to $1187.15. Sarah said that we should be getting money from advertisers soon as well.

Marilyn Rogers discussed the most recent APD commanders forum, which she attended. The highest crimes in and around Wooten are vehicle burglaries, with Hondas and big pickup trucks the most popular targets, and aggravated assault of family members. Marilyn said that cameras around town were also discussed at the forum. There are plenty of cameras around the city, but not all of them are APD cameras. Some belong to other agencies like Capital Metro, etc., and there is now talk about the need to integrate them.

Officer Hebbe with APD spoke to the meeting about recent crime statistics in Wooten. He said that over the last three months, there have been 24 vehicle burglaries (a little higher than last quarter) and 10 residential burglaries in the area. Nine of 24 vehicle burglaries were in front of residences. He noted the aggravated robbery and burglary on Burrell from a few weeks ago, in which a car and gun were stolen. Officer Hebbe said that both suspects were later taken into custody. In the case of one other home burglary, an arrest has been made, and the adult taken into custody was a repeat offender.

Officer Hebbe provided an update on the issue of a man exposing himself near the apartments along Gault, which had been brought up at the last meeting. He said that he had asked around the department to get the issue addressed. A resident of the Gault Co-op, Ryan Nill confirmed that the individual is now in jail, after getting picked up for robbing a convenience store down the street.

Rhan Jackson asked whether 10 burglaries in three months should be considered “good.” Officer Hebbe said the number is rather low. Betsy Thaggard said that it seemed our region was lower in terms of statistics at the commander’s forum.

Josiah Ingalls asked in how many of the 10 burglaries were suspects apprehended? Officer Hebbe was not able to say exactly, but said that many of the culprits are probably still out there.

Officer Hebbe was asked about general advice for preventing crime around holidays. He advised to “hide everything,” including boxes from purchases left out by trash cans. He said that it’s likely we’ll see lots of daytime car thefts in parking lots as the holidays get closer.

Opie Gonzalez asked about the attempted burglary on Weyford from a few weeks ago, and the burglary on Kromer that occurred later that day, in which a suspect was arrested. Officer Hebbe explained that unless he has the exact case number, he can’t look the details of the case up specifically.

Adam Turner asked how we should follow up on crime incidents, and if including case numbers was best? Officer Hebbe said that even with case numbers, APD can’t always disclose information on cases because they have no way of knowing whether the requester could be a suspect. Adam asked, for clarification, whether neighbors should call 911 or 311 to report strange vehicles. Officer Hebbe said to 911, absolutely. He cautioned, however, not to follow a suspicious vehicle. He reiterated the phrase, “If you see something, say something.”

Carmen Maverick asked about tips for protecting windows from intruders. Officer Hebbe suggested burglar bars, window locks, and audible alarms.

Dale and Linda Ritzen asked about screws and nails that have been thrown on their lawn periodically, explaining that they’ve had to replace their tires because of it. This has happened along the entire side of Putnam Dr., and they’ve found them on the roof and lawn, and in the road. Dale wondered if it might be kids from Burnet Middle School as they walk home from school, but said he didn’t know who it was. Officer Hebbe advised them to buy a camera to try to catch who it is, and then bring it in to APD if someone is caught on camera doing it.

Steve mentioned Karen Barrington’s letter that he read at the last meeting, which referred to similar issues about kids being mischievous on their walks home. Steve said he went to Burnet’s principal, who acknowledged the concern and was receptive, but couldn’t do much about it.

Officer Hebbe gave out his email address before leaving. It is: joe.hebbe@austintexas.gov

Chris updated members in attendance that WNA passed a resolution in October stating that we’d like to be recognized as a community of interest with Allanadale, Crestview, North Shoal Creek, and Brentwood, for purposes of 10-1 districting. Chris said he attended the ICRC citizens’ forum and shared that sentiment. Steve said that the new map that ICRC released looks like District 7 was adjusted to stop at 45th Street, perhaps in response to our feedback. Joanne Garrett said there’s now a Change.org petition to adopt the map as it stands.

Joanne said that Tree Folks will be here to plant 70-100 or more trees this Saturday, 11/16/13 from 9am-12pm, and people are encouraged to come out and help plant trees and plants. Chris thanked Joanne and Laura Tomlinson for their work on the tree planting.

Marilyn pointed out that there are a lot of people behind the scenes who do work related to WNA. She discussed creating WNA committees to recognize and communicate that work, and appointing at least one person per committee to tackle issues. These committees would include: Sustainable Neighborhoods, Gault Co-Op, the Park, the Newsletter, Communications, Neighborhood Watch/Commander’s Forum, Recycling Block Leaders, and the Neighborhood Plan Contact Team. Joanne and Laura will continue with the Park committee, Betsy agreed to continue with the Newsletter, and Adam will continue with the Neighborhood Plan Contact Team. Chris said he would follow up to see about volunteers for the positions still open.

Chris mentioned the magnetic Neighborhood Watch car signs that WNA has, and asked for volunteers to display them on their cars s they drive around the neighborhood for the next few months. Betsy, Patty Colligan, Karen Alexander, and the Gregorys all volunteered. Chris reminded people not to follow or confront anyone suspicious.

Chris also talked about the Cel.ly idea of setting up a texting notification system when something important happens in the neighborhood. Betsy said that Burton Anderson had been considering doing something like this via Twitter. Chris explained that the service is free, and people just have to sign up to receive the messages.

Steve moved to adjourn the meeting; Dale seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:03pm.

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