RNA Meeting Minutes – 2014 July

Jeff Archer – president of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association, convened the meeting at 6:45 pm. Two candidates for Rosedale’s two new city council districts were present to introduce themselves: Leslie Poole and Tina Cannon.

Leslie Pool is a candidate for City Council District 7, which encompasses Rosedale north of 45th Street. She said she lives in the northern part of Rosedale on Shoal Creek. She’s lived in Austin for 34 years. She’s lived in the southwest, northwest and northeast parts of Austin and moved to Rosedale 12 years ago. The issues that matter to her are protecting neighborhoods, traffic and mobility, affordability, and trying to preserve the iconic places that make Austin special. She said she doesn’t want to leave; she got here when she was 25. She remembers when this area used to be suburban and now it’s part of the urban core. She recognizes and wants to work on the conflicts that arise between the urban and suburban core.

Filing opened on July 21 and closes on Aug. 18th. She brought a petition. She has to gather a certain amount of signatures to get on ballot. You have to live in District 7 to sign the ballot, and you can only sign once. She believes that the district lines are pretty arbitrary. She said that no matter who wins, everyone will all have to collaborate. District 7 is surrounded by five other districts.

She’s served on a number of different boards and commissions: Arts Commission, Downtown, Water/Wastewater commission, Telecommunications, and the Seaholm Power Plant commission, as well as a number of task forces.  The Seaholm Power Plant Re-use Planning Commission fought to keep the historic power plant tower from being torn down and advocated for it to be used for public art space. She attended graduate school at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

There are seven candidates running for the city council seat in Dist. 7. Runoffs have already been scheduled for December. Apparently there is an average of 7 people running in each of the city council districts.

Tina Cannon is a city council candidate for District 10, which encompasses Rosedale, south of 45th. She has been in Austin since 1992. She lives in Northwest Hills. She is a partner in an entrepreneurial advisory firm and director of client relations for another firm. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelors in Accounting.

She said her pet peeves are property tax reform and the City of Austin utility company.

She’s concerned that the water utility is being run poorly, and rates are increasing by 30 – 40 %. She’s asking for an out-of-state audit. She said that Austin is only reusing 5% of its water; San Antonio is reusing 40%. She’s been talking to developers who are creating their own retention ponds, capturing water in a unique way.

She said that District 10 is pretty evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, and that it’s mostly a white district and a very active voting district as a whole.  She said she has to be as equally concerned about what goes on in southwest Austin as she does in northwest Austin – it’s all one city.

She said that for property taxes, businesses pay on average 60% of their appraisals of the value of their property, while homeowners pay 100% or more. The corporations have lawyers to represent their interests. She feels it’s a completely unbalanced system.

To learn more about these candidates, visit:


Jeff reported that Crestmont Park lovers have told him they’re still working with the city on maintenance. They’re intent on getting up to park status and getting the trail improved. The bridge seems to be undermined more by the last rain. Jeff expressed doubt that city has the resources to mow the park on a regular basis.

Joyce noted that the city is hoping to get it back into a native state but it’s in transition. They want native plants so they are not mowing, but since they’re not mowing, the invasive plants are taking over.


Ramsey Park project: There are real tennis players out there, enjoying real tennis courts. Construction has started on the basketball court.

A lot of people are buying bricks and paving stones for the Ramsey Park Walk of Friends. It’s brought in about $6,000 so far.


The Ramsey Park July 4th Carnival grossed $2129; it had $356 in expenses, and netted $1773.  About $700 came from the bake sale.

Kim Relph said that the Rosedale Neighborhood Pool Party will probably take place Saturday, Aug. 23rd, since school starts 25th. Aug. 24th is the last day the pool is open. We will keep everyone posted.


A neighbor, Bill, voiced concern that Poth (across from Yarborough Library and adjacent to the creek on the east side) has applied for another building permit. Their construction permit has expired and now they are renewing it. They wanted to put in mixed use building but ran into height and parking problems before. Bill lives right behind them.

Jeff said that he will check with RNA’s zoning committee, but he wasn’t aware of Poth asking for any exceptions or variances.


Jeff reported that the mother-in-law or “granny flats” proposal to lower the lot size requirements to allow garage apartments is on the fast-track through city council and it seems like a majority on city council support it.

Joyce Brown said that currently, houses with garage apartments are required to provide 3 parking places on the property. This new ordinance will take that away. So a rental person will park in front of someone else’s house in Rosedale, with all the single car driveways.

The city council has taken a first reading on it.

Mindy noted that with the rental property next door to her, 2 renters live in front, 2 in the garage apartment in back and one boyfriend is a frequent visitor, so there are often 5 cars parked around that property.

Jeff said that perhaps the RNA steering committee should discuss adopting a resolution either for or against the granny flat proposal.

Tina said there were a lot of people supporting the measure at the last city council meeting, so if anyone is against it, they need to speak up. Tina said she is against it.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.