NACA GENERAL MEETING
Thursday March 19, 2009 Little Walnut Creek Library 835 W. Rundberg Lane
Eleanor Langsdorf called the meeting to order at 7:02pm
The February meeting minutes were distributed and approved.
Brian LaCour stated that at the end of February the balance in the NACA bank account was $14,409.14 of which $10,407.34 is designated for beautification projects.
Roberta with Petsitters was acknowledged as the monthly business sponsor.
Mark Ruben, Project Manager with City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, gave an update on the status of the North Austin Recreation Center. Survey results for ideas for the recreation center include a swimming pool, a computer lab and a police substation. Officer Lee Davis expressed support for placing two officers at the center.
They have made a presentation to the Network of Asian American Organizations and recommended they complete a survey to determine what they would want at the center. Mark recommended that a North Austin Steering Committee be developed with representation from neighborhoods and businesses in the area.
It will take an estimated 1.5 years for the design, permit and bid process or the construction of the facility to be completed. The size of the center is an estimated 18,000 square foot facility, which would take an estimated 1 year to build; therefore, it will be 2.5 years until opening.
There was a discussion on the fliers in English and Spanish to notify people of the City of Austin ordinance, which states that you cannot park in the front yard in the NACA area. Legal issues concerning the distribution of this flier are being researched. The flier, once approved, will be able to be printed from the NACA website. Eleanor suggested that we write or email city council people that we want this ordinance enforced. Terry Laborde suggested putting “courtesy notification” on the title of the flyer.
Linda Moore gave an update on the research for code enforcement in other cities. She stated that other cities have a separate department, which reports to the city manager. Budgets are larger with more code inspectors. External inspections are given every year and if you fail the external inspection then an internal inspection will be done.
Caro DuBois gave an update on the plantings at the library. Heat resistant plants have been planted. A motion was made to utilize $300.00 in beautification funds to help maintain the potted plants at the library. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
Brian LaCour recommended utilizing $5,000.00 in Allied/BFI beautification funds for purchasing a one year Certificate of Deposit with a one to two percent return. Barry Woltag suggested researching a money market account. A motion was made and seconded to purchase this CD.
There was a discussion on the traffic issue on New Hampshire and Bradford and speeding on Jamestown. Steve Marino asked NACA to research if others are experiencing problems with this. Speeding on Jamestown from Research Blvd to Fairfield was discussed. Eleanor asked for
residents that are experiencing problems with this to contact her. She will compile a list of residents affected to see if we can get the City of Austin to perform a traffic calming study in these areas. Joshua Tallent suggested we approach Lanier High School to address the problem with students speeding on adjacent streets.
A domain name for NACA was discussed. The cost would be 10 per year per site. Naca- austin.org, and naca-austin.com, acaaustin.org and nacaaustin.com were suggested to purchase. A motion was made and approved to purchase all four of these sites. Keith Huntsman stated that we are experiencing problems with our current host main.org due to limitations on the space we can use (one to five megabytes). Keith suggested a domain name that will allow more space for posting information and having a chat room.
Jack Morrisey with the Austin Fire Department Station 8, which is part of Batallion 3, is a very active area, which means they get seasoned firefighters. Budget cuts are being proposed including head count reduction on fire units from four to three. Tuesday March 24th a meeting will be held to discuss the budget situation for our area. Jack asked for NACA support to keep the 4 man unit staff and to disapprove of rolling brownouts.
The City of Austin mayoral election will take place on May 9th.
Terry Laborde asked if Kristin Harrison would give a summary of the NACN meeting from March 18th which addressed the noise issue at the Crockett Center.
Program: Austin True Crime; Speaker, Jeff Ward
Their website www.austintruecrime.com will be launched in over a week.
Austin True Crime will be a crime focused publication. They are going back to the original model for the newspaper, which is if you report crime in the paper that circulation will increase. Sensationalism of crime effected that correlation. They want to localize the media. All reporters and content will be local crime. The articles will be blunt and factual. He has been investigating the problem of the parking ordinance and drinking alcohol in the front yard.
He suggested a few strategic tactics to effect change. The police department is supposed to act as your agent to enforce the law. They also serve elected officials, which can cause a conflict. If you call 911, give your name and number and state you would like to speak to an officer and stay where you are. If you make repeated calls about the same problem, then that will empower the police department to engage the political machine to address and take care of the problem. A person suggested that NACA publish these documented repeat calls.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.