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Dawson Neighborhood

Feb 2016 Neighborhood Newsletter

Please forward this post to any and all neighbors who might be interested. The printed edition is only delivered to a select few!

Click here to visit the download page for the February 2016 Neighborhood Newsletter and browse our Archives of almost a hundred old Neighborhood Newsletters, Minutes, Meeting Summaries, Agendas, By-Laws and more!

Starting a couple of years ago, we had a secret squirrel smuggle the Draft Newsletter to us before official distribution, so we could provide it to all neighbors and give everyone more time to read it. Since then, the Newsletter Editor has begun to post it online a week in advance of meetings. This month, it came out two weeks in advance. Yay! We think this is an improvement, though we won’t place bets on it being a permanent change.

This newsletter is the tract sheet produced by our Neighborhood Association. We provide you with this electronic edition for two main reasons. First of all, the Ass’n only delivers the paper edition to a selection of free-standing, single-family homes 4-6 times per year. Yes, if you are two out of three of our neighborhood’s population who live in apartments, condos or duplexes, then you’re not a priority to the Ass’n. Nor do they see fit to deliver to the homes of their critics or accept the volunteer services of folks outside their social circle. It’s a propaganda sheet anyway, which you’ll see when you open it. In fact, be sure to look at December’s, too.

Secondly, this Newsletter is the only place you will find the Draft Minutes from the previous meeting two months past. It also is the only place you’ll find the Draft Agenda for the upcoming meeting. It’s typically delivered the day before that same meeting. You can probably see the problem with that timing. You’d think the Minutes would come out shortly after meetings and the Agenda would be available in advance. You want to engage folk’s interest and give them time to arrange to attend, right? And that’s what the Ass’n actually used to do, until mid 2010. The current (and re-elected) Secretary of both DNA & DNPCT refuses to do these things out of personal choice:

“I have stated elsewhere that Chad and anyone else are welcome to write summaries and post them wherever they wish. What I have also stated is that *I* am not going to write those summaries, nor am I going to coordinate the efforts of other people who wish to write them. When I signed on as secretary, that was not one of the duties that I volunteered for. I do not wish to take on more duties as secretary and that is reason enough. I am baffled that I have to keep repeating this statement, which is why I resorted to “no means no,” which seems clear enough.” – Julia A. Kimber (AKA Julie Woods) March 27, 2015 [Link to nextoor.com, if it has not been purged, it will be soon. Take a screen shot.]

What a go-getter, eh? You realize, she has the Draft Minutes in hand at the end of each meeting, and the Agenda weeks beforehand. She forces us to duplicate efforts because she wants the information to chill for two months. She also states (and let’s see if you can get your mind around this) since the current editors of  Robert’s Rules, have a FAQ page on their website, where they advocate brief Minutes, that her hands are tied and she must make those Minutes as brief as possible. And boy does she do a good job at that. If you can’t read her cryptic abbreviations, then you don’t catch anything objectionable.

Julia frequently “settles” disputes in-meeting by declaring herself “a lawyer”. However, she has demonstrably been a home-maker for over a decade now. Linkedin lists no “Julie/Julia Woods/Kimber” who has law credentials. Her husband W. Eliot Kimber disclosed that she was a member of the NC Bar in the 1980’s. He concedes that she has not held a license in over 20 years but warns anyone from accusing her of having been disbarred. No-one has, to our knowledge. We’re not sure if Julia’s self-embroidery is actionable, but we don’t think our neighborhood’s best interests are being served by her commanding the title and authority not vested upon her.

February Agenda

 

So, here’s DNA and DNPCT’s Draft Agenda for February, 2016. Notice anything missing? Detail! We hold that this sort of impractically abridged Agenda, released just on the cusp of the meeting itself, is too little, too late. We’re working to change that, and both our survey and DNA’s survey show that our neighbors support that. HERE is an example of what we propose.

We have the Internet, folks. We have mailing lists. We have websites and other social media. There is no shortage of resources to publicize what is planned for each upcoming meeting, and this information can even be kept on a daily-updated list available to the public. The sooner folks can learn about additions or cancellations to the Draft Agenda, the sooner they can best prepare to attend a meeting and make their voice heard! We have been trying to bridge this gap by attending meetings to take notes and publishing Meeting Summaries. We wanted to bring video such as our City Council has, but the ex-Secretary kicked off the December election meeting with a vote to ban videography.

Issues with the Draft Minutes

Even a cursory glance will reveal that they have a problem with some “Chad Vanderlinden” guy. That’s me. I was a candidate for multiple offices, and they couldn’t have that. They did not follow the Association’s By-Laws, nor Robert’s Rules at this meeting, inventing bizarre voting procedures which they had never used before. They presented a farcical printed ballot inviting Members to circle to vote for, and strike out to vote against candidate’s names. This is not supported by By-Laws or Robert’s Rules. Objections were laughed off. Somehow, I only got one vote when at least 10 folks were there to support me. The minutes they printed are highly sanitized, obviously.

Issues with the Draft Agendas

See Planning Contact Team, line 3a: “New officers announcements”. Just *announcements*, you say? Per DNPCT By-Laws, there is a requirement for the DNPCT Boardmembers ” (10A) The Board shall elect officers from its members at the first regular meeting after the December regular meeting.”, meaning the February public meeting. They have actually done this ONLY ONCE, at my insistence, Feb 2015. It appears that DNPCT has resumed holding secret work meetings and making decisions without public invitation or the presence of the DNPCT Members. Per By-Laws, DNPCT only has “(7B) Regular” and “(7C) Special” meetings, both of which require at least a week advance notice to all Members. In fact, all meetings must be public per “(7D) DNPCT meetings shall be open to the public.” It is a fact, not opinion, that they disregard this inconvenience.

Issues with the Newsletter

DNPCT Chair Pete Davis

If you’re still reading, let me point out the article about “Restricted Front Yard Parking Application Process”. Though there is no attribution, the style and vocabulary clearly identifies DNPCT Chair Pete Davis of Birmingham, UK. He’s the chap that wrote the longer-than-one-page editorial in the December Newsletter. This gave his wife Sandy McMillan, the now-ex Newsletter Editor/Secretary/sole surviving DNA Officer of 2015 an excuse to omit the Candidate’s Biographies though she was directed to do so by the Membership’s vote at the October Meeting (3.a).

As written, It’s obvious Pete’s trying to structure your thoughts along appropriate channels here. Feel the guidance flow through your brain. His spell is strong, and oh so bright. The fact is, the “conspiracy” to spread “misinformation” which he writes about has been his own. Since at least 2009, the DNA Newsletter has falsely printed that this particular matter is up for a vote “at the direction of the city” or “as the city requires” -until we cave in and vote in favor of adopting the ordinance! These exact words have come straight from Pete’s own mouth. He’s especially unhappy that we worked with the City of Austin to curb his manipulations.

The Members of Dawson Neighborhood voted NO on this ordinance every year for at least 7 years now. I think it’s time Mr. Davis gave it a rest.

About the Neighborhood Newsletter

The Dawson Neighborhood Association (DNA) issues this semi-private newsletter 4-6 times a year, typically on the day just before public meetings. The Ass’n has no Treasury, so it selects one area merchant to pay the $90 cost of printing 875 double-sided black and white pages in return for an ad on the front. It is distributed door-to-door, mainly to our 630 single-family homes, by 10-12 volunteers. The full route is 10 miles long. We provide the Newsletter online here to benefit our 2000 apartment and condo dwellers, who now make up over 2/3 of the more than 1550 households (circa 2010, US Census) in the neighborhood.

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