Wooten Neighborhood Association
Minutes from the WNA Meeting, March 10, 2014
President Chris Gregory commenced the meeting at 7:01pm.
Steve Rogers moved to approve the minutes from January; Patty Colligan seconded; the minutes were approved.
Sarah Gregory provided a treasurer’s report. WNA has received $105 in donations and dues, $100 of which was for the Park Committee and $443.97 for newsletter ads, some of which were paid in advance. WNA paid $3.24 to Office Depot to print the meeting agendas, and $243.60 to print the most recent newsletter. This leaves a current balance of $1763.68.
Justin Golbabai, who works for a neighborhood works program with the City of Austin spoke about the Neighborhood Partnering Program, which is part of AmeriCorps. The purpose of the program is to help neighborhood associations influence public improvement programs, and partner with the city on various projects. Justin explained that the mission of the project is, “How do we use public land to build a sense of community?” One example of a recent project was turning the median of Meadowview Lane into a pocket park. The program involves cost sharing between the neighborhood associations and the city, and the neighborhood associations’ contribution can be monetary or in-kind, and can include volunteer hours, which are valued at $22.57/hour. The next deadline for applications is June 1 for applications, and Justin said he would love to see an application from Wooten.
Will Webber, who lives in Brentwood, spoke about home security cameras, and offered advice on the system he created around his home, which has caught a few incidents around his property. His system goes above and beyond a traditional ADT system, and has monitors on doors and windows, as well as motion detectors, plus a large hard drive that records video from the cameras inside and around the perimeter of his home. The system keeps two weeks of rolling time saved on the hard drive, and the DVR and cameras are all off-the-shelf technology. Will’s cameras have captured some kids spraying graffiti on phone boxes, as well as a driver that hit a parked car in front of his house.
Linda Ritzen asked what to do with footage if you catch someone on camera breaking into your home. Will said that APD offers a website where people can generically post information about crime. Chris added that it’s likely Officer Hebbe would be receptive to that kind of information, so neighbors could bring it up with him.
Rhan Jackson provided an update on the APD Commander’s Forum, and said that WNA has been very well represented at the forums. The next one is on April 1. Neighbors can ask Rhan to ask questions at the next forum by emailing him.
Laura Tomlinson and Joanne Garrett provided a park update. It’s My Park Day was March 1, and went very well. There were 31 volunteers, and they re-soiled the new trees that were planted, prepped the tables for repainting, removed some graffiti, and picked up trash. Some Redeemer Lutheran 6th graders planted flowers in planters as well. We are still waiting to landscape the sign, because a neighbor with some experience has volunteered to do that.
Kevin Wier, of North Shoal Creek, talked about Austin Neighborhoods Council Sector 2, which is involved with the upcoming 10-1 elections in November. The main issues they are focusing on are protecting single-family homes from being developed into businesses or multi-family homes.
Adam mentioned that Steven Zettner has formed an Austin District 7 group, and has an email list and blog.
Joanne talked about CodeNEXT, which is the land development code rewrite project. She explained that neighbors can take the map they provide and mark what you like on the map and what you’d like to improve in your neighborhood. They also want people to take pictures in the neighborhood of what people like. Adam suggested Joanne come to the Wooten Neighborhood Plan Contact Team meeting to explain that exercise.
Steve said that a large part of the city still doesn’t have a neighborhood plan, and this may be a way to bring neighborhood plans to these areas. This is not the case with Wooten, which already has a neighborhood plan.
Eddie encouraged people to take time on this project while CodeNEXT is still taking input on it, because that window of opportunity to offer input will close, and neighbors shouldn’t assume that if we do nothing, things won’t change. Eddie explained that the city will rely on these maps and photographs in determining code rewrites, given the limited amount of resources they have. The deadline to complete the maps is March 22. Adam offered that neighbors could email him with suggestions.
Betsy said that the next print newsletter will be her last, but she encouraged people to use social media to get the news out. And if another neighbor wants to carry it on, they are more than welcome to continue to print it.
Dave Tomlinson moved to adjourn the meeting; Adam seconded; the meeting was adjourned at 7:57pm.