Jeff Archer called the October RNA meeting to order at about 6:50 pm. He introduced Karen McLinden, RNA immediate past president and chair of the nominating committee. She said that a few people were retiring from the steering committee and so the committee had looked around for folks with young families to be involved. This slate of officers and steering committee members will be presented and voted on during the November meeting:
Dale Gray, RNA President
Jeff Archer, Incoming President 2016 and immediate past president
Joyce Brown, Secretary
Karen McLinden, Treasurer
Members at large
Chris and Gina Allen
John Burgess and Sarah Cunningham
Matt and Carolyn Haney
Dianne Holley Mountain
Ryan and Kelly Pirkl
Richard and Kim Relph
Karen said that presidents usually serve two terms; however, Jeff Archer can’t serve his second term next year because he’ll be busy with the legislative session so he’s offered to be president in 2016. Dale will serve his second term in 2017.
Jeff introduced Mandy Dealey, who could not be here last meeting when many of the city council candidates had three minutes to address the crowd. Mandy is running for District 10, the district that runs south of Rosedale and stretches west.
Mandy Dealey said that she has lived in Austin for over 30 years and served on more than 12 nonprofit boards and chaired a number of large nonprofit boards like Planned Parenthood, the nonpartisan Texas Lyceum, Preservation Austin and KMFA classical radio. She has served on six City of Austin boards including the Planning Commission, Downtown Commission, Charter Revision Task Force and the Indigent Health Care Task Force. She said she decided in her early 30’s that public service was her passion. When she was 42, she went back to school and earned her master of public affairs from the LBJ School . She is also a graduate of Leadership Austin and Leadership Texas. She said she is honored to have been endorsed by both the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle, as well as virtually every environmental group and many others. She said since there are 8 people running in District 10, there will most likely be a run-off.
Jeff mentioned that Rosedale is split between two districts, and there is also a school board election. Early voting is available through Friday. If you are voting a straight ticket, don’t forget to scroll down and vote in the bond elections as well.
Alison Alter said that because Rosedale is split into two different districts, we as a neighborhood hope that whoever wins will work together to hear our interests.
Allison Allen announced that she is busy making plans for the Movie in the Park, scheduled for Nov. 8. The movie will be the Peter Pan favorite, Hook. The movie will start at 6:00, but fun festivities like the bounce house and food will be starting at 5. She hopes everyone can come.
Alison Alter announced another party. Charlotte of Charlotte’s Fiesta Flowers is organizing a party on Sunday, Nov. 9 from 4:00 to 5:30 to thank the many businesses who have donated toward the Ramsey Park renovations. Taurus Dog Training will be hiring a band. Many businesses will be arranging for fun activities and delicious food such as Upper Crust Bakery, Fork & Taco, Stinson’s Bistro, Pinthouse (beer) and Snap Kitchen. The party will be held in the lovely back yard of Charlotte’s Flowers, just a half block north of the park on Burnet Road. Alison said that without these businesses donating so generously to the Ramsey Park fund, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
She said that the Ramsey Park fund is within $10,000 of our $480,000 goal. Construction is underway. PARD should be pouring the sidewalks in the next two weeks, and then Phase three will commence with the playscapes going in. And because we have the funds in the bank, we seem to have made it to the point where we can accomplish much of Phase 4, which includes a fitness area for adults, more benches and amenities, and possibly some additional water fountains, if we can work it out with the city that we don’t have to replace all of the plumbing to the street. Because Phase 4 will be accomplished using only Ramsey Park Fund money and no city money, it is a slightly different process. Erika Brown is working hard interviewing contractors.
Alison mentioned that the shade over the basketball court will be coming down for about three weeks. The company that installed the shade came out to inspect it and noticed a small problem that they want to get fixed, so they will take it down for repairs. She reminded everyone that if you see someone breaching the fences in the construction area, to please immediately call 911. It’s a big problem for the integrity of the play equipment as well as a safety issue. She also mentioned that the Ramsey Park fund is still accepting donations. $100 will get you a yard sign (though we have very few left); $250 will get you a 4×8 brick, $500 an 8×8 paver, and $1000 will earn you a 12×12 paver on our Walk of Friends sidewalk that will be located within Ramsey Park. She said that if you’ve already donated and are entitled to a brick or paver, go to ramseypark.org and fill out the online form and we will see you get one.
Bull Creek State Land – Leslie Pool who is running for a council seat for District 7 (north Rosedale) also has been very active on the Bull Creek Neighborhood Coalition. She said that the city’s attempt to figure out a way to buy the land fell through. Rosedale is part of the Bull Creek Neighborhood Coalition, as are six other neighborhoods. She said the bid process to purchase the land started this morning. It was in the newspaper. It will be posted for three weeks, and then developers have 20 days to get their bids in. The deal could wrap up in mid-Jan. HEB (Stratus) is very interested in buying that land, and TXDOT is very interested in HEB buying that land. The land could go for $60 or $70 million. The city had the opportunity to buy it for $28 million, but the mayor and the state did not want that to happen. It’s unfortunate, she said, because the city could have developed that land, sold it, and made quite a bit of money. However, the state would not have gotten as much as it will now, which is why they didn’t want the sale to the city to happen.
This is the test case. The state is interested in selling a lot of its unused property across the state, such as the state school.
Code Next – Chris and Gina Allen reported briefly on this. They said CodeNext will be a very long-term project with an advisory group looking at ways to fix the land development code. There are three options: to keep it the way it is, change it a bit (though it could be a little or a lot), or completely scrap it and come up with something new. Chris said that CodeNext has a great website with lots of information. Chris said part of the reason they say they want to overhaul the city codes is because there are so many convoluted rules. However, many of those rules represent hard-fought battles that Chris/Gina and the RNA has fought for since 1984 and have resulted in working compromises between conflicting interests such as the McMansion and tree ordinances. Chris said that if all those fights have to be fought all over again, we’ll create mountains of rules, not less.
Jeff adjourned the meeting at 7:45 pm.
[Thanks to Mindy Marble for capturing these minutes for everyone]