April 2009 Meeting Minutes
1 April 2009 - 17:07, by , in Forums, No comments

Introductions:

NACA GENERAL MEETING

Thursday April 16, 2009 Little Walnut Creek Library 835 W. Rundberg Lane

Eleanor Langsdorf called the meeting to order at 7:01pm

Announcements

Linda Moore with Amelia Bullock and with Estate Mate LLC and Joyce Hart with Alterations by Choice were the two NACA business members recognized.

Kay Vargas will be the new APD Administrative Assistant at the APD East Central East Substation. She was recognized for her outstanding service with the APD North Central Command.

The March meeting minutes were distributed and were approved after one correction was noted.

Brian La Cour stated that at the end of March the balance in the NACA bank account was $11,803.50 of which $1,294.77 remains for operating expenses.

Taco More Restaurant has a leakage or garbage juice issue. Eric Kaufman with the COA is investigating.

Barry Woltag gave an update on the Quail Creek Park grant application. As of March 23rd, a site plan was developed for renovating the jogging trail so it will be weather proof. Barry is still waiting for the cost estimate. It could range up to $20,000.00. A pledge of $3,000.00 from Allied Waste Beautification Funds was granted by the NACA Executive Committee. Barry will use this to motivate other businesses to donate matching funds for the grant. The grant application is due April 30th.

A suggestion was made to utilize beautification funds for making signs for Quail Creek Park in English and Spanish on where to properly put trash.

Brian Almon gave an update on the rezoning case on the Settlement Property on Galewood which is an old nursing home. The property owner wants the zoning changed from GR (General Retail) to GRMU (General Retail Mixed Use) so he can lease rooms on a longer term basis. The NPCT are considering these requests.

Flyers were distributed to notify residents of parking in the yard. Concerns about walking in someone yard’s was mentioned. Angela Baker stated that “No Trespassing” signs must be posted.

Officer Lee Davis discussed the broken car windows on Blue Quail and Quail Creek. The gang unit has been contacted. The transient camps are also being investigated. On May 6th, a cleanup will occur in the transient camps. Please call 911 to report incidents so trends can be assessed to justify deploying officers in those areas.

A problem with feral cats was discussed. To date 82 cats have been trapped, spayed or neutered from two streets in the neighborhood. The property management company at Cross Creek has told them not to trap anymore.

Speaker: Marc Ott, City Manager of the City of Austin

This was his first opportunity to visit with this neighborhood.

Marc has been Involved with city management for 26 years. He was with the City of Fort Worth for the over five years. His motto is that public service must become before self service.

He has filled 17 executive vacancies with the City of Austin since he has arrived. The first female fire chief was hired. Parks and Recreation Administrator, Sarah Hensley, was hired. Mar has reached labor agreements with the Fire Department and EMS which involved a fair cost payout to attract the best candidates for public servants.

He has dealt with the challenges of the cities financial condition. An 8% increase in sales revenue was initially projected. A budget shortfall of 8 million was projected. For 2009, a significant budget gap of 25.3 million dollars existed. A 2.8 billion dollar budget was approved. Currently, the City of Austin is facing a budget deficit.

Sales tax revenue had declined 13% this year. A decline of 3% was budgeted. For February, sales tax revenue decline of 14% existed.

In this latest reduction cycle, Mr. Ott was criticized for the fire labor deal that was negotiated. Four person staffing was discussed and the overtime that has been paid out. Three person staffing was considered less safe. Flexible staffing was proposed that would have the least financial impact.

Now he is in the process of paring the 2010 budget. He is anticipating a significant budget gap for 2010; however, opportunities are available. Transparency and process are two areas of focus in the budget process. Citizen involvement was encouraged.

Environmental initiatives have been established. An individual for coordinating these environmental initiatives might be hired.

Code Enforcement was discussed. Angela Baker stated that for an older neighborhood, we rely on effective code enforcement. Marc does not know if additional code inspectors can be hired. In Fort Worth, people still complained about a lack of code enforcement. The due process that is protracted and stretched out is a challenge with enforcement.

The single stream recycling program was discussed. Marc said the current poor recycling market was a problem but hopefully will improve. City staff is currently evaluating building a Material Recovery F acility independently or by contracting with the private sector to do it.

Increase in crime in the neighborhood was discussed. Marc will protect from reductions in police officers. Hiring 50 additional officers is being considered to allow two officers per capita.

Marc is planning on spending time walking the streets with city managers and employees to understand the challenges that neighborhoods face.

The next meeting will be held at the Lanier High School cafeteria where the band will be playing. Please arrive early.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.

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