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Dawson Neighborhood

DNA and DNPCT Meetings – Feb 2015

This editorial was submitted by our Webmaster, Chad Vanderlinden.

UPDATE: two months have finally passed, and the Official Draft Minutes from the Neighborhood Newsletter are now attached to the end of this editorial for comparison.

“Let me lead by saying that I REALLY want to be able to provide all of you with the Minutes from the meetings. The official Minutes of DNA and DNPCT are the responsibility of DNA Secretary Sandy McMillan and DNPCT Secretary Julia A. Kimber (AKA Julie Woods), respectively. Unfortunately, we usually only see these minutes in very abbreviated form in the neighborhood newsletter two months afterwards. We hope to return to former years, when the full text was released publicly within a reasonable amount of time. We cannot continue to treat the Minutes as something to rubber-stamp in the first 3 minutes of meetings. The Minutes are a window into the activities and decisions made by these organizations.

This was a well-attended meeting, and folks were in high spirits, to say the least! I forgot to count how many people were in the room, but we had 5 speakers, about 8 first-time attendees, around 4 people left after the first hour, and at least 22 folks remained to vote on DNPCT matters later. That’s over 30, like last year! But, only 1% of our population of about 3000.

DNA Meeting, 6:30-7:20

(Agenda item 2A) The first speaker was Director of Operations – Greg Anderson from Habitat for Humanity. He mentioned that the building they’re moving into here in Dawson was opened in 1959 as a Kroger grocery store. My friend Sonja was the one who recalls that the back section was once the “Kit-Kat Club”; open for only a short time. In 4 months, H4H will be combining several new employees with additional volunteers to form the construction team. They plan to have the new ReStore open in August 2015. They need volunteers and donations!

(2B) The second speaker was Mr. Daniele Fedonni from AmeriCorps VISTA. I think this group has spoken to us before. I forgot to sign his contact list for more info on his City/County project, or I would know more soon. Please forward his contact info to me!

(2C) Then, two staff-members and 1 student from Dawson Elementary Service Club came to recite an affirmation of fellowship with our neighbors, and invited us to join them during the school day on Fri, March 13 to help them paint a Community Mural on the school grounds.

(4) New business included my questions about the newsletter, and I ended up volunteering to deliver at the apt complex at 3501 S. 1st. Sandy needs more volunteers, too! See her contact info HERE. Marisa Fushille gave us the heads-up about volunteering for the Annual Citywide Creek Cleanup on April 11th. Her contact info is at that link, too. Get on her list ASAP and let her know what size you wish for your free t-shirt.

Regarding the newsletter: DNA has 875 legal-sized copies printed of each issue. It costs $90, and the bill is paid for by the business sponsor for that issue. Freestanding houses are given first priority for delivery. There are currently about 12 delivery volunteers. DNA has now been cleared to distribute issues at the HEB grocery store, and also provides some to pick up at several apartment mgt. offices.

As I have been submitting these items repeatedly since September, 2014 without reply, I also publicly stated my intention to have the following 4 items added to the next DNA Agenda. DNA President Myron Smith stopped me from speaking at all about these non-controversial improvements to our way of doing things in Oct 2014, and intended to do so again at this meeting. I repeated my request, and her reply was “Ten seconds!”. Here is the text which I summarized in that time in front of 35+ witnesses:

“1) Vote to distribute Neighborhood Newsletters 1 full week before Neighborhood Association Meetings, to give neighbors more time to contemplate the information and consider attending,

2) to publish unabridged Minutes on the official email list within 72 hours after each meeting, for the benefit of those who were unable to attend, so that we may all have better understanding of our neighborhood’s decisions, and are informed earlier than the current 2 months,

3) to publish unabridged Agenda items on the official email list as each item is added, so that we have better understanding of what is upcoming in a more timely fashion, and are informed earlier than the current 24 hours,

4) to formally permit announcements of Dawson-based non-commercial social events in the newsletter.”

Please let me know if I missed anything.

DNPCT Meeting, 7:25-8:30+

(3A) DNPCT Officer Elections were held this evening! Please congratulate the following new Officers:

Chair is Peter Davis, 
Vice Chair is Martin Harris, and 
Secretary is Julia A. Kimber.

These three dedicated neighbors basically just swapped hats. By way of explanation, October is Nominations for both DNA and DNPCT. DNA votes for their Officers in December, and DNPCT votes for Boardmembers. Then, in February, DNPCT votes again to make three of their Boardmembers into Officers. I’ve no idea how the list of nominees was composed for that, but there were no contested offices.

The full cast and crew are posted here:
http://dawsonneighborhood.org/neighborho…

In addition, Chad Cosper was formally accepted as a Boardmember, his nomination being overlooked back in October by a miscommunication.

(3B) The neighbors then voted against opting-in to the Restricted Front Yard and Side Yard Parking ordinance (12-5-29), 13 to 9. This segment of the meeting took up about 45 minutes, despite only 10 minutes being allocated for it. About 10 neighbors were given the opportunity to speak for or against the ordinance, and while I was prepared to give a short presentation, I chose not to, in favor of using my printed map and emails from City of Austin Staff to help answer other’s questions.

I made a “friendly amendment” which ought to appear in the official Minutes. I say it ought to, but let’s wait and see. I pointed out that the available quorum was too small to be representative of our neighborhood. I proposed that if we voted to opt-in, that the application sent to the City Council to add us to the Restricted Parking map should show only the properties of neighbors who wanted to be included. The Chair refused to allow this, despite another neighbor attempting to second the amendment. This is when 40-odd minutes of unstructured discussion occurred, until The Chair called for a show of hands to table the amendment. It was then tabled, and the ballots printed by The Chair were collected.

One unresolved issue remains about DNPCT bringing this issue to a vote year after year, since at least 2008, when I first find it mentioned in Newsletter Agendas. DNPCT feels that they are required or compelled by the City to schedule an annual vote for opting into this ordinance. It was learned that the City contacts them in advance of the February annual opportunity to remind them of it. It was also learned that Vice-Chair Peter Davis personally requested the vote be placed on the Agenda this year.

However, this contradicts the ordinance itself, and information written to me by Maureen Meredith, Senior Planner, City of Austin Planning & Development Review Dept. She  stated:

“You are correct in questioning this because, like you said, our process is to accept the applications during the month of February. It’s up to the neighborhoods to decide if they want to have the ordinance adopted for their area or not.”

In other words, if the neighbors desire to opt-in, they can ask the Plan Team to file an application. After 7+ years of voting “NO”, I think we have made our interest clear by now!

(4) Corinne Sumpter-Gonzalez was the last speaker, and provided an update on parking permits between Stacey Ln and LaMesa Dr. Here are her own words about it:

  • “The City recently designated two blocks on El Paso for RPP.
  • All of my neighbors (with the exception of one empty lot owner and one house) on these two blocks signed a petition to the city.
  • The next step was DNA approval, which was given in October.
  • The City designated me as the coordinator for our zone of RPP.
  • Residents of these two blocks are able to purchase permits for $10 each annually- up to 4 total per residence.
  • Two of these may be hang tags that can be used by guests.
  • The street signs went up about a month ago, and we have been working to get permits to those who want them.., I facilitate that with the city.
  • Residents pay the fee for the permit directly to the City in our case, as our neighborhood assoc does not have a bank account and therefore cannot process payments.
  • Permits will be renewed annually, so I will begin that process late this year (probably late November).
  • Enforcement has begun in the last week, and some tickets have been issued to cars parked without a permit.
  • When they come out to check on RPP violations, the transportation dept is also taking the opportunity to patrol for cars parked in the no parking zone at south 1st and El Paso, which often causes traffic backups with folks trying to turn.
  • All info about RPP generally is on the City’s website.”

I want to give a special thanks to Chair Peter Davis. Through the leadership he demonstrated tonight, he has helped our neighbors to understand our needs and dynamics in a way that no essay from me could ever do. Best of luck through the coming year, Peter.

Warm Regards,
Chad Vanderlinden”

Updated: names, details, as they are made available.


Official Draft Minutes attached from April Neighborhood Newsletter:

DNA Draft Minutes: The regular bimonthly meeting of the Dawson Neighborhood Association was held on Monday, February 9, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. with the president and secretary present. The minutes of the last meeting were approved as printed in the newsletter. No officer/committee reports or actions to record for New or Old Business or Issues in the Neighborhood. Guests: 1) Greg Anderson gave a presentation on Habitat for Humanity; 2) Dawson Elementary School gave a presentation on its First Knight Club and events; and 3) Daniele Fedonni gave a presentation on Community Health Assessment. The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m. Sandy McMillan, Secretary

DNPCT 2-9-25 Draft Minutes: Meeting called to order by Peter Davis. Donna Knapp moved to approve, Myron Smith seconded, last meeting’s minutes approved. Election of the board: Peter Davis Chair, Marty Harris, Vice Chair, Julie Woods, Secretary. Discussed whether to vote to correct the omission of Chad Cosper in the last meeting’s board election and set aside the issue, given his absence. Chair opened discussion of the Front yard Parking ordinance. Chad V. proposed a friendly amendment to the ballot, which was voted to be tabled as not permitted under current COA requirements. Cynthia Medlin shared an update re. Priority Sidewalk program with COA. Discussion of the Parking Permit Zone on El Paso between 1 st Street and LaMesa. Results of the Front Yard Parking ordinance vote announced: 9 in favor, 13 against, with 2 abstentions and 2 blanks. Ordinance not adopted by the DNPCT. Membership report: new pending members include Katie Stoltz, Jon Notarthomas, Erin King, Vicki Gercans, Marco Mancillo, Greg Anderson, Robin Moore and Russell Moore. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m. Julie Woods, Secretary

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2 Comments

  1. Gordon Thorn

    Would you pleases give me some info on the parking permits mentioned in your minutes (?) or point me in the direction of where I can find it myself. I suspect these permits won’t help my problem. Unfortunately the City allowed the Wilson Flats to be built w/o sufficient off street parking so the over flow ends up in front of my house, especially on weekends & evenings.

    Reply
    1. admin

      This came up during (4)”Old Business” in the last 6 minutes of the DNPCT meeting. I’m afraid she began speaking without being introduced. I’ve listened to the recording, but what exactly she said was unclear. Each point below is just the gist I got from it.

      She asked DNPCT to look into the residential parking permitting process to restrict …2 areas. The neighborhood is zone 36… She’s been in direct contact with the City so she is the contact person for the effort at this time. Residents will be permitted to purchase up to 2 parking permits in the form of stickers and/or hanger tags. The tags might be orderable in March. The City would have the parking restrictions in place and permits could be acquired around November. she is arranging to distribute them herself.

      For what it’s worth, here is the clip of that portion of the meeting:
      http://dawsonneighborhood.org/files/DNA-ByLaws-Newsletters/audio/20150902DNPCT-ParkingPermits.mp3
      I’ll post this as a comment on Nextdoor, and perhaps someone there will identify the speaker and clarify!

      Reply

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