SRCC EC Meeting Minutes — January 2018

MONDAY, January 22, 2018 6:30 PM
Joe’s Crab Shack Meeting Room
600 East Riverside Dr, AUSTIN, TEXAS

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1. 6:30 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome & introductions of new members
Presenter throughout: Gretchen Otto, SRCC President, unless otherwise noted.

2. 6:35 Membership & voting announcements. Reminder that SRCC current dues status is required to participate in SRCC business and actions such as voting and making motions. Reminder of changes to bylaws regarding voting members of EC.

3. 6:40 Approve minutes from October 23, 2017 Executive Meeting
Reminder: schedule for Executive meetings: 3rd Monday of the month; 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Joe’s Crab Shack. Proposed meeting dates through rest of term: Feb. 19, April 16
Motion: Sam Martin/Laura Gass Weaver to approve the 8 approve/0 oppose/ 1 abstain

4. 6:45 Report from the President: Website changes; Update/complete officer duties; Expand volunteer roles doc; Finalize steps for e-votes; Improve record-keeping of past votes, go back and fill in gaps from the past (since 6/2016 and before 2011)
Presenter: Gretchen Otto, President
Gretchen reviewed goals to be finished before the end of her presidency. The website has been updated, thanks to the help of Garrett Nick and his team of minions! Documents in the “Process Docs” on Google Drive have been updated for the main officers. A few members are still working on theirs. Carol & Gretchen will work on the document that explains miscellaneous jobs. Dan & Gretchen are working on the document that explains how city notices are handled (that are mailed to the president or vice-president of SRCC.) SRCC has a scanner that has been used to scan in these documents and stored in Google. There was a discussion about the need for a projector. The challenges of connectivity were discussed and the possibility of either purchasing one or making it a policy to let presenters know that we don’t. The “Motions” list is updated since 2012.

Gretchen also shared using Google Groups that can be used for emailing. is for the Executive Committee plus all members of committees (not just the chairs who are in the executivecommittee group) is for standing committee members and liaisons who are not voting members of the EC. is for the 5 officers. is for Area Coordinators. is for the CodeNEXT ad-hoc committee.

5. 6:55 Presentation of 2017 End of Year Fiscal Report.
Presenters: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer; Sam Martin, Finance Chair
Sam shared a spreadsheet showing expenditures for the years 2013-2017 and a forecast for 2018. The forecast for 2018 was approved at the last executive committee meeting. Sam shared with Tom Groce that the re-institution of the neighborhood watch might find costs arise, and can be dealt with.

6. 7:05 Committee check-ins on events/goals/issues
Presenters: Committee Chairs. 1) Planning and Zoning – Whip In OMV; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility; 5) Public Safety – Neighborhood Watch training; 6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications (chair needed)

Historic Preservation Committee:
The Red-Purcell House (at 210 Academy) has recently been sold and it is going to the Landmark Commission about a possible addition to be added on to the back of the house. The Landmark Commission would like input from SRCC regarding this house and has postponed their hearing to give SRCC time to respond. The addition on the house is modern-looking, but from the street the appearance of the house will be preserved. (The addition is on the back and one side.) The owner intends to reside in the house. The owners do not have to have a variance.

Planning and Zoning:
Russell could not attend tonight, so Gretchen reported what she recalled. Planning and Zoning was kept in the loop for the Red Purcell House. The committee has been working with the owners of 1109 Travis Heights Blvd. regarding a variance. The Whip In is under new ownership. They are expanding the kitchen, stage area, bathrooms, and they are applying for an outdoor music venue permit. (They had one previously and it lapsed.) They have hired someone (a local musician, Harold McMillan ) to manage their music events and the renovations for the stage and sound. They have created a sound abatement plan. Harold is going to come to an upcoming meeting to present the changes to SRCC. He is hoping that SRCC will write a letter of support for the outdoor venue permit. We discussed possible hours and their impact on nearby residents. He suggested we vote and stipulate the ending time. Gretchen shared that SRCC has limited ability to prevent the OMV permit, but we should stay on top of how things progress.

Motion: Angela Reed/Dan Fredine to present to the Landmark Commission a non-oppositional stand to the addition of the Red Purcell House (no variance required. 9 approve/ 0 oppose/ 0 abstain

Aria Grande (affordable housing) located at Woodland & I-35 have their permits. The development is Sage Brook Developments. Construction has not begun yet. SRCC should stay alert that the agreements made between the builder and SRCC will be honored.

Mobility: Mike Kelly reported
Cap Metro will report at an upcoming SRCC meeting so that we can have input to changes that will impact us SPECIFICALLY ALONG THE SOUTH CONGRESS CORRIDOR .
-An update was published to the website regarding the traffic mitigation needs on St. Edwards Drive. The Austin Transportation Dept. is moving forward. The department has stated that it has enough input from SRCC. Elloa Matthews reported that the data they used was old and the petition that was signed was prior to the neighbors were aware of 18-wheelers use of St. Edwards Drive. Elloa contacted Kathy Tovo’s aide Joi and it was suggested that the Area 9 transportation engineer be contacted rather than the D3 engineer who approved both the ROW variance and the traffic mitigation. SRCC EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBERS WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION that the Transportation Department would come back before moving forward.
-The sidewalk for St. Edwards Drive is scheduled to BEGIN CONSTRUCTION in 2018

Neighborhood Watch: Tom Groce
-Asked questions about what areas and what hours would be patrolled. Gretchen shared that previously volunteers determined this was up to the volunteer who was patrolling. (Previously a google doc was used to sign up.)
-A training has been set up for Feb. 12th, 7:15-9:15.
-Tom asked about how to share the information with neighborhood members. Gretchen suggested that a post made to the website would reach a lot of people thru both the post and a monthly email that goes out to highlight website news. An announcement can also occur at the upcoming SRCC General Meeting. Information can also be shared using the list serv and Nextdoor Travis Heights.
-It is helpful if the Watch has representatives from all of the areas.

7. 7:15 Check-ins on events/goals/issues
Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood; CodeNEXT (see item below); NPCT; ANC*; SCC*; South Central Waterfront; St. Edward’s

St. Eds: Elloa Matthews
Elloa filed a public information request to obtain the data the city used to approve traffic mitigation on St. Edwards Dr. She and Area 5 Co-Coordinator began contacting neighbors who signed the petition four years ago asking the city for speed mitigation on St. Edwards Dr. Neighbors are rescinding their support on the petition because since they signed the petition, the city granted a Right of Way waiver allowing 18 wheeler trucks to deliver to the St Edwards Operations Building. The 18 wheeler trucks will now drive over the proposed speed humps within 15 feet of neighbors windows. Many at the meeting agreed that the City traffic engineer in training who presented the St. Edwards Dr. mitigation plan at the December meeting agreed to meet with neighbors in Sherwood Oaks who would be impacted by traffic humps/mitigation before moving forward. Gretchen will send a letter to the city.

Nominations Committee for 2017 SRCC elections
-Candidates needed for president and treasurer.
-Carol is ill, so Betty Weed spoke in her place.
-We have a full slate of officers with the exception of president. As we have many people stepping forward to take on projects, the president’s role would be an overseer position rather than taking on projects themselves. The main role of the president would be to run orderly meetings, keeping on top of email and passing them on to the appropriate designee, and representing SRCC. Gretchen will be mentoring the person to help in the transition.
-Betty reported that there are a number of people being contacted regarding the possibility of taking Gretchen’s place.

8. 7:25 Update on CodeNEXT Committee. Recap of SRCC activities and status of referendum signature drive.
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
CodeNEXT: Gretchen Otto
-Signatures are still being collected to request an election over CodeNext. (It would be added to the November election.) Right now, the City is working on the third draft.
-Wildflower Church is having an informational meeting on Sunday, Feb. 4th, 2-4, about CodeNEXT

9. 7:35 Nominations Committee for 2017 SRCC elections–candidates needed for president and treasurer.
Presenter: Gretchen Otto/Carol?


10. 7:45 Renaming of Fulmore Middle School. AISD is considering renaming schools with names tied to the Confederacy by August (Fulmore is named for Zachary Taylor Fulmore, a private in the Confederate Army). AISD has postponed making a decision but just need to keep this on our radar.
Presenter: Elloa Matthews/Gretchen Otto
Fulmore is among those being considered. Elloa shared that John Henry Faulk has been suggested as a new name, in light of his history. His childhood home on Live Oak, became Green Pastures Restaurant, now Maddies. It was the first restaurant in Austin to allow black and white patrons to dine together. He was a radio show commentator in NY who defended the rights of the little guy in the 1930’s and 1940’s and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was accused of being a communist and then blacklisted during the Red Scare of Hollywood. His family was dedicated to civil rights long before it was hip to fight racism. The old downtown library is named after him and his name is carved in the library wall at Fulmore. The library location was previously an exterior wall but now is inside due to expansion.

11. 7:50 Consideration for SRCC to develop and adopt a policy to address harassment, hostile environment, and discrimination.
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
-It was brought up that it would be prudent to have a policy to deal with disrespectful or cruel behavior towards SRCC or its members. Our current bylaws don’t have specific information about expelling a member, because Robert’s Rules explains it in detail. The church also has a policy, but it is unclear if we are expected to follow their policy.
-ANC is seeking legal advice about how to respond to a fake website that has been put up that states falsehoods of ANC and its members.
-Gretchen reminded us that anyone could start an ad-hoc committee to survey other organizations’ ways of dealing with this issue and begin working on a policy statement for SRCC.
-There was discussion about whether this would need to be added to the bylaws and Gretchen stated that instead, it could become policy (with a vote) similar to the docs that already exist as policies of SRCC.
-Dan suggested an announcement be made at the February meeting to see if we have members who can help and join the ad hoc committee. David Karoly will be the chairperson.

12. 8:00 Bouldin Creek Community Development Corporation is becoming South Central Austin Community Development Corporation and they are inviting other SCC NAs to join.
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
Gretchen reported that about 8 years ago an organization formed (from Bouldin Creek NA) to deal with money received from Hyatt when they were redeveloping. This money was to be used for affordable housing. Because of the small area of Bouldin and limited opportunities for affordable housing within those boundaries, the organization is expanding to include other neighborhoods in South Central Austin. They would provide a framework to manage funds that could be put towards development for affordable housing. SRCC is asked to consider joining the new South Central Austin Community Development Corporation so that we can pool any future funding and resources. Concern was raised about legal ramifications of SRCC joining such a corporation.

13. 8:10 ANC is offering Errors and Omissions insurance to neighborhood associations.
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
Twice now, developers have brought suit against NAs. ANC is considering getting an insurance policy for protection. (These are called “SLAPP” lawsuits and are really an intimidation technique.) Sometimes the Insurers refuse to cover suits. SRCC is interested in hearing more. Elloa will keep us posted.

14. 8:20 Winter/spring newsletter plans–articles needed!
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
Newsletter is going into motion this week. Gretchen needs articles or article ideas. The Newsletter designer has just had surgery, so Gretchen may have to find someone else this time around. Gretchen needs the articles by the end of the week (word file).

15. 8:25 Elections Potluck–need volunteers
Presenter: Gretchen Otto
Potluck/Election—Traditionally area coordinators bring drinks, ice and food. They also help with set-up. The Potluck occurs this time around on Tuesday, March 6th, starting at 6:00.

-We still need volunteers for the following open positions: Newsletter Editor (in charge of making newsletter happen), Communications Chair.
-Still also looking for Area Coordinator for Area 4a.

Agenda Prepared by Gretchen Otto, and Dan Fredine,
Minutes recorded by Mary Friedman

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