NACA GENERAL MEETING
Thursday October 16, 2008 Wooldridge Elementary 1412 Norseman Terrace
The meeting was called to order by Anthony Williams at 7:02pm
The September meeting minutes were distributed and reviewed. A motion was made and seconded to approve the September minutes.
There was an open floor discussion on proposals for re-planting and maintaining the two raised bed gardens located at Payton Gin and Hunter’s Trace. Verdi Landscaping has submitted four proposals. The main difference between the first two proposals is the installation of boulders on the perimeter of the garden. The third and fourth proposals include watering and the installation of another garden on the center islands of Rundberg from North Lamar to Metric.
Linda made a motion to use BFI beautification funds to re-vitalize the two beds at Payton Gin and Hunters Trace which will include watering and to allow the board to decide which of the first two proposals would be best. Bob Baker seconded the motion. Eleanor made a motion to allow the board to suggest changing the type of plants which would be planted. This was seconded. A motion was made to table discussion on proposal four. This was seconded by Joshua Tallent.
A motion was made and seconded to table discussion on the former nursing home property located on Galewood.
Mr. William Bacon gave an update on the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Plan. Some streets in the area have been paved but not re-striped. A plan will be developed within the next five week which includes a list of streets that need improvement. All residents in that area will sent a survey about the proposed changes. If 65% of the ballots that have been returned are in favor of the plan, then the suggested improvements will be made. Speed cushions are one option for traffic calming.
Anthony asked for volunteers to serve on the 2009 NACA Board of Directors Nominating Committee to develop a slate of officers for the January election. Members on the committee must be paid members.
Ann Teich discussed the new NACA Sojourners Litter Abatement Pilot Project.
There was also an open floor discussion on ideas for re-planting the barrels located at Little Walnut Creek Library.
Meeting: Back to Basics: How to Have a Better Life; Speaker Mr. Mike Levy
Mike is an advocate of improving basic services in the City of Austin, including EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and the fire and police department.
Mike estimated we are about 400 police officers short of where we need to be for a city the size of Austin. He stated the best deterrent to burglary and juvenile vandalism is police visibility.
Code enforcement officers are lacking also. This also includes restaurant code enforcement. There is no effective code enforcement mechanism in the city. Linda stated that we don’t have enough political will to enforce the cases. Officer Lee Davis states that they ticket repeat offenders. For some offenses there are three phone numbers and city departments that can be contacted.
Dallas allowed code enforcement and police to work together to deal with offenders.
Benchmarking is contacting other cities to find out what works and what doesn’t.
The Field Release Citation option for lower level misdemeanors was discussed. Interaction and intuition with the citizen is vital in determining if a citation would be issued or an arrest made. The City of Austin is still working out the protocols for this option.
Mike stated that the downtown fire department has the same number of officers as they did in the 1970’s. This is not adequate with the completion of the high rise residential buildings.
Mike stated that arborists should work with COA Energy Department to determine how some trees need to be pruned away from electrical lines.
Mike suggested working with other neighborhood associations to develop a significant number of residents with the same concerns and can make their collective voice heard at the City Council.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.