WNA meeting overview for May 9, 2022

There were 18 people in attendance including some new faces.  We went around the room and introduced ourselves, said what street we live on and how long we’ve been in the neighborhood. Longevity: Mr. McGlamery and his wife bought their house in 1956 and said there were more cornfields than houses back then.

The Treasurer reported the following:

$25 in cash, $1397.13 in the general fund, which comes from dues and advertising, and $1967.14 in the park improvement fund, which comes from donations and various fundraisers.

President Brian Mater confirmed that he has secured the meeting location for the remainder of the year: the Redeemer cafetorium, located at the corner of Lazy and Anderson — enter under the “Welcome” sign. We meet the second Monday of odd numbered months at 7p.m.

Election of officers was the main point of business.  The by-laws state officers cannot hold the same office for over two years and that elections are to be held every September with new officers taking office as of 10/1. The current slate of officers have well surpassed their 2 year mark because of the pandemic so it was decided to hold a special election at our last meeting.

Each officer gave a general overview of their primary duties as follows:

President, Brian Mater – Serves as the primary POC and Representative for the WNA; runs the meetings; schedules meeting space.

V.P., Patty Colligan – Mainly handles communications including the posting of meeting notices to social media. The V.P. also oversees the meetings in the event the President is unable to do so. (Patty has also helped update the WNA website and would like to revitalize the newsletter if there is enough interest.) 

There was brief discussion regarding the newsletter including the need for volunteers to supply content and help with distribution if we are to have one in the future.  It was suggested we reach out to the schools in our neighborhood, including students, regarding supplying content. We would also need advertisers to help offset the cost of printing.

Treasurer, Laura Tomlinson – Collects dues including maintaining the PayPal and Venmo accounts; checking and renewing the P.O. box, located at Northcross Station; maintain the membership list; and submit required paperwork (990N Form) to the IRS.

Secretary, Joanne Garrett – Takes meeting minutes and posts to social media (FB and ND) and the WNA website. I also notify the “sign brigade” when it is time to put out the yard signs, announcing the upcoming meeting.

There is a more detail on the various positions and their duties listed in the WNA bylaws (PDF).

We discussed what has occurred at past WNA meetings including updates from our APD District Representative and City Council Representative.  We’ve also had presentations from special guests, which have included Capitol Metro and various business who have wanted to build and/or open establishments within our neighborhood.  

Mike Mitchell, the V.P. of the Wooten Neighborhood Planning Contact Team (WNPCT), gave an overview of the purpose of that group.  This team serves as an advisory board to the City of Austin about zoning exceptions and changes,  although (admittedly) have very little power, especially in today’s Austin.  It is, however, good to keep this group active should something come up that requires more action and input from the neighborhood at large. Various attendees shared general information regarding various zoning and building-related items including impervious cover, multi-family structure permitting etc.

The WNPCT meets every other month and all residents of Wooten are welcome to attend.  While we normally would meet over dinner at one to the establishments within our boundaries, we recently moved to Zoom.  Hopefully, we will be able to meet again in person in the upcoming months. Watch social media for scheduled meetings. The next one will be held on Monday, August 8th at 7 p.m. when we will elect new officers.

 Mr. McGlamery spoke to our current council rep, Leslie Pool, about all of the excessive building while residents are being asked to ration water. He also wrote to Council regarding Austin Utilities rerouting $100m into a slush fund which, according to Mayor Adler, who is the only one that responded to his letter, said the fund was needed to pay for EMS among other departments. (APD, AFD and libraries are not funded.)  Note: he discussed this with Pool in the same conversation and she said she favors doing away with this slush fund.  All the while, Austin Utilities is talking about raising rates…

Mr. McGlamery also talked to Leslie Pool about getting more swings installed at Wooten Park. She referred to PARD, but they said no funding is available currently. He did tell them about the broken “bowl swing” which was repaired shortly after talking to them. Laura Tomlinson suggested we could submit a grant request to PARD/APF for additional equipment; she mentioned that grants (along with donations from Wootenites) had paid for the pavilion.  We’ve also had luck in getting PARD to respond when we’ve pointed out the need for water fountains etc.

The ongoing concerns about traffic and speeding in the neighborhood and what to do about it was discussed.  Sandra, who lives on Fairfield, told the group what they did in order to get speed “cushions” installed over there. I’m sure this conversation will be ongoing and we need to involve our City Council Rep(s) – current, Leslie Pool / incoming Chito Vela.

Once again the group was encouraged to call in ALL gunshots and car burglaries. While there is little APD can do regarding car burglaries after the fact, it’s good to get them on the record with the hope for more police patrols when available.  In the meantime, DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR!

Regarding gunshots, there was a good response from APD when 6 shots were reported at Lazy and Wooten (before the May meeting)

Mr. McGlamery wanted to make everyone aware of the food pantry he volunteers at every Wednesday from 1-3 pm.  If you or someone you know is in need: Hyde Park Baptist Church, located at 3810 Speedway, can help.

Regarding the main piece of business (election of officers), Sandra Menjivar-Suddeath agreed to serve as Secretary and Patty Colligan, who was the current VP, agreed to serve as Treasurer.

No one came forward to assume duties of President.  Brian Mater graciously agreed to continue in that role until someone volunteers to serve in this role. The position of Vice-President is vacant.

— Submitted by Joanne Clem Garrett, WNA Secretary 2019-2022