HNA Meeting Minutes for March 17, 2021

Link to recording of the Zoom meeting:

Minutes from HNA regular meeting 3.17.21

President Coan Dillahunty called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.

The minutes from the January 20 and March 3 meetings were adopted.

Coan Dillahunty gave the treasurer’s report in Bruce Fairchild’s absence. The checking account balance, which began at $4159.70 on January 20, now stands at $4711.21 after the deposit of member dues. The money market account remains roughly the same at $2509.45.

Parks Committee report from Carolyn Palaima:

--After weather-related delays, the maintenance work on the trail around the golf course is going well and will wrap up around the end of March.
--The PARD online survey about the future of Hancock Golf Course opened March 9 and will close March 23. Everyone is encouraged to complete this survey.
--PARD remains on the same timeline as Assistant Director of PARD Anthony Segura presented at our January meeting: PARD will make recommendations to the Parks Board in April, and the issue will be presented to City Council in May.

--Coan Dillahunty announced that the Executive Committee and Parks Committee held a joint meeting over the weekend to discuss components of a statement to put forward on behalf of HNA. This will allow the neighborhood to go on record in favor of some specific ideas about the golf course.
--On Wednesday, March 31, there will be a special meeting at which HNA members will be able to vote on specific elements of the statement. This statement will be posted to the website in advance. Following that meeting, the executive and parks committees will assemble the final draft of the statement to put forward to the city.

Transportation Committee:

Coan Dillahunty announced that Natalie Niles Arguello attended the recent NCINC (North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition) meeting on behalf of HNA. TxDOT’s second “virtual public scoping meeting” is open now through April 9 at 5 p.m. All Hancock residents should complete TxDOT’s second survey, even if they took the first one.

There was no news from the Zoning Committee.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to presentations for and against Proposition F, one of eight propositions on the May ballot. Prop F changes the mayor’s powers.

Andrew Allison of Austinites for Progressive Reform spoke for the proposal.
This group is behind Prop F as well as Props D, E, G and H. Its goal is to make Austin government more “representative, responsible and accountable.” Andrew stated that in an era of voter suppression, cities have a role to play to increase turnout and ensure representation. These ideas have all been tested and implemented in other cities.

--Prop D moves the mayoral election to presidential election years, when there’s the highest and most diverse turnout.
--Prop E implements ranked-choice voting (if permitted by state law), which would eliminate expensive and low-turnout runoff elections.
--Prop G adds another single-member council district to keep up with Austin’s growth.
--Prop H is a campaign finance reform measure that gives voters $25 vouchers to contribute to city candidates of their choice. In Seattle, a similar program has increased the number of candidates who can run, diversified their donor bases, and led to increased voter turnout.

Prop F would “let voters and not politicians choose the person who leads the city.” Right now Austin is one of the largest cities in the country with an unelected city manager who runs the executive branch of local government by setting daily policy, writing the budget and choosing department heads. Shifting some of these duties to an elected mayor would provide checks and balances. Prop F would make this person democratically accountable. The change would also remove powers from the mayor that are legislative in nature and retain them to the council.

Mason Ayer of Austin for All People spoke against the proposal.
He said that Austin’s success as one of the most desirable cities in the nation is due partly to the system of government we’ve had for decades; why would we want to change that? Consolidating power in the hands of a single mayor elected to a four-year term is not the solution to the problems of voter suppression Andrew identified.
--Under Prop F, the mayor would have the ability to set council meetings but wouldn’t be required to attend.
--Austin’s shift to a 10-1, geographic district system in 2012 has expanded representation on council, and giving the mayor veto power over a council decision negates council members’ voices. The 2/3 council vote required to override a mayoral veto is too high of a bar.
--A city manager is a professional trained to manage a very large budget. Putting that power in the hands of an elected official without that training is dangerous. If the mayor gets to appoint heads of all departments, there’s a risk of him/her appointing friends or donors to those positions.
--Finally, Ayer asked, if this is a pro-democracy move, why are we voting on something so important in a historically low-turnout May election during a pandemic?


Q. What problem does a strong-mayor system solve? Can you give us a local scenario where a strong mayor would have been better equipped to handle the situation?
Andrew: Going to 10-1 was a great step forward, but it also exposed flaws in our city manager system. Several times over the past 5 years, council has voted unanimously on something, but what the council agrees on is not implemented, or is implemented slowly or late. It’s as though the city manager has an “administrative veto,” one for which there is no override. It’s very rare for the council to fire the city manager, so in these situations, voters have little recourse.

Q. What is the worst-case scenario if Prop F passes? Walk us through a situation that could happen under a strong mayor that you think most voters would dislike.
Mason: It is rare for council to fire the city manager, but that person can be removed via a simple majority vote, or council can force her/his resignation. But with an unaccountable mayor, voters only have a chance to replace that person every four years. Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City all have strong mayors, and we don’t want to be like them. Imagine that a political hack is elected mayor and is managing the budget and appointing department heads based on personal favor.

Q. I would appreciate hearing more from each side about how Prop F would impact racial equity in Austin. What specific ways could Prop F reduce or fail to reduce racial disparities in housing, health care, education and more?
Andrew: The clearest way to look at this is to look at who chooses the city manager today, and who would choose the mayor in the future. Currently the city manager is chosen by council and mayor, generally in a unanimous vote. We live in a city that is a majority people of color, but most council members come from majority-white and wealthier areas due to the city’s history of segregation, so the “electorate” for the city manager is structurally unrepresentative of the city as a whole. Under Prop F, a much more diverse electorate would choose our chief executive via citywide vote.
Mason: We have made great progress on council diversity with the 10-1 system. A strong mayor has the potential to negate council’s voice.

Q. If Austin changes to a strong-mayor system, the mayor will be responsible for administrative and budgetary tasks that the city manager currently handles. This seems like the mayor would need to be someone with executive management experience rather than, primarily, a political visionary. Can each group talk about the qualities you think are most important for a mayor to hold?
Mason: The City of Austin is like a big corporation, and to be effective the mayor would need some kind of background running a bureaucracy. City managers go to school for this; the idea is they operate outside of politics.
Andrew: The city isn’t a corporation, it’s a democracy, and we have to trust the voters. Right now we have the legislature (the council) choosing the executive (the city manager) rather than trusting the voters to choose the chief executive of the city. “Politics” is another word for voting, and we need leaders who are responsive to voters. The ideal qualities of a mayor will be what voters decide they should be, not what 11 people in a conference room decide.

Q. Both groups acknowledge the changes made by the shift to 10-1, so why would it be a good idea to give the mayor veto power over a council decision?
Andrew: It’s a question of checks and balances. You can read on our website about the powers the mayor would lose under Prop F and how power would be split. Council would be able to override a mayoral veto, confirm appointments, have budget authority, and appoint the city auditor, who oversees the executive branch. The council and mayor both have checks over one another, like in our other American systems.
Mason: The 2/3 vote required for council to override a mayoral veto is a very high bar to reach.

Q. Do other peer cities with strong mayors all give the mayor veto power?
Andrew: Yes, every strong-mayor city with a population of more than 500,000 has a mayoral veto.

Q. The Code rewrite or Code Next2 has been very contentious with a great deal of citizen involvement. With a strong Mayor who appoints the head of Zoning and Planning commission what effect would that have on decision making on Code change?
Mason: We really don’t know. I would hope the mayor would appoint someone with expertise in this area, but it could be a member of the good-old-boys’ club. Also, the code rewrite is one of the biggest changes our city has experienced in decades, and there have been many opportunities for citizen input. Changing to a strong-mayor system is at least as big a change, but there hasn’t been the same level of community input.
Andrew: The elected mayor would appoint the head of the department (which the unelected city manager does currently). The mayor would lose the ability to appoint someone to the Planning Commission, which would be replaced by the appointee from the new 11th district. Ultimately any land development code or zoning change has to pass through council as an ordinance – the mayor can’t pass that on his/her own.

Q. Why is there no provision requiring the City Council confirm any department head nominees to be confirmed with a majority vote?
Andrew: Today, the city attorney is appointed by the unelected city manager. In our proposal the mayor picks the city attorney, who must then be confirmed by council. The council could also remove and replace that person (a power council does not have today). Currently, public safety chiefs are confirmed by council and department heads are not. Under Prop F that would stay the same; we don’t want to change too much at once.

Q. How does Austin for All People stand on Propositions D, E, G and H?
Mason: We aren’t taking a position on those.

Q. Proposition H would create a public campaign finance program in which every registered voter gets two $25 vouchers to contribute to the city candidates of their choice. Where does the money for "Democracy Dollars" come from?
Andrew: The total cost would be less than $850,000 per year from the general fund. This was originally recommended by the 2018 appointed Charter Review Commission, but it was never put on the ballot, so we revived it. This would replace the current public finance system, which only provides financing in runoffs, so the money that currently goes toward that program could go toward offsetting this – if we implement ranked-choice voting, we can eliminate runoffs.

Closing statements:
Mason: We have seen strong opposition to Prop F from a wide range of groups, including both labor and the Real Estate Council of Austin as well as environmental groups. May will be a low-turnout election to decide something this important. For more information:
Andrew: We have to examine the origins of our current city manager system, which was implemented in the 1920s largely at the behest of Monroe Shipe to serve his own business interests. One of the first policies to emerge from the new system was the segregationist 1928 city plan. “In these days we should be examining where our systems come from, and if our systems have questionable origins, we should be questioning whether we should be keeping them at all.” For more information:

Coan Dillahunty adjourned the meeting at 8:06 pm.

Agenda for the March 17, 2021 Meeting of the Hancock Neighborhood Association

The HNA March regular meeting is this *Wednesday, March 17 at 7 pm *(zoom link below). Here's the agenda for the meeting:

- *Call to Order:* Coan Dillahunty
- *Committee Reports and Announcements*: 7:05 - 7:20
- *Presentations RE: Strong Mayor Prop F*
7:20 -7:40 Presentations
7:40 - 8:00 Q and A

Description: On Saturday, May 1, Austin will hold an election for residents to vote on 8 propositions.

Most of the items are city charter amendments; one is a city code amendment. Proposition F proposes to modify our form of city government by I’ve included the actual ballot language below.

We will have representatives from groups supporting and opposing this for Prop F, and a member of Austin for All People will present a case against it. Each group will have 10 minutes to present, and then we’ll have a total of 20 minutes for questions.

Please mark your calendars for this election (in-person early voting runs April 19-27) and for our HNA meeting. This is a chance to learn about a potentially significant change to our city government.

*Charter amendment to change from a council-manager form of government*

*Proposition F:* Shall the City Charter be amended to change the form of city government from ‘council-manager’ to ‘strong mayor-council,’ which will eliminate the position of professional city manager and designate an elected mayor as the chief administrative and executive officer of the city with veto power over all legislation which includes the budget; and with sole authority to hire and fire most department heads and direct staff; and with no articulated or stated charter authority to require the mayor to implement Council decisions.

You can read the rest of the propositions here:

*Zoom Information:*

One tap mobile link:
+13462487799,,92842489566# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 928 4248 9566

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Best regards,

Coan Dillahunty
HNA President

Exec/Parks Committee Meeting Held Sunday, March 14

The executive and parks committees had a joint meeting Sunday, 3/14/21, to discuss the process of crafting a statement about the golf course for member approval. More information will be shared at our Wednesday, March 17 meeting.

HNA Meeting Minutes for March 3, 2021


HNA March 3 special meeting notes

The meeting was called to order by HNA President Coan Dillahunty at 7:05 pm.

The group agreed to have the meeting recorded.


Background information presented by Coan Dillahunty:

  • The land has been a golf course since 1899, became a city-run public course in 1951 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Recently the city has been trying to resolve the course’s finances. It has been losing money for at least the past 6 years. Other golf courses have also lost money. As a revenue-generating unit of the city, golf is expected to contribute to the bottom line, and City Council has asked PARD to offer a solution.

  • The city contracted the National Golf Association to study all city courses, and NGF’s 2019 report said Hancock needed $700,000 to $900,000 in improvements. Because of the shortfall and stated need for repairs/upgrades, PARD decided to open a Request for Proposal for bids from private concessionaires to take over operations.

  • Under a concession agreement, the use of the course could change. It could be a different layout, a driving range, possibly with nets. Nothing’s been decided but these things have been discussed.

  • PARD is not closing the golf course or selling the land. The city is not considering building shops or homes there. Hancock Recreation Center is not going to change.

  • PARD has stated it plans to continue some form of golf at the site and retain nonpaid, passive park uses (like the walking trail).

  • Next steps: PARD is going to send out another survey in the near future, and it’s important that everyone in the neighborhood fill it out.

  • HNA will adopt a resolution to share with the city about how members think the course should be used in the future, based on people’s current use and future priorities for the space. The resolution will be drafted with input from our own neighborhood-only poll and will be voted on at a future meeting.

Hancock Conservancy presentation

Speakers: Kristene Blackstone (HNA member) and Adam Sparks (HC founder, Cherrywood resident)

  • The Hancock Conservancy exists to preserve green open space, make it more accessible and restore the environment around Waller Creek. People inside and outside Hancock neighborhood have been involved with HC, talking to people about what they envision for the space and cleaning up after the snow day.

  • Adam’s background: been in Austin since 2007, loves parks, no one is paying him to do this. He attended the stakeholder meeting in February 2020, where PARD presented the NGF study. This included three potential recommendations for the space, one of which was turning the space into a passive park (although this was not what NGF recommended). Adam wanted that option to be considered and so did other people at the meeting. He developed a survey that included the option of a park, and many respondents were interested. He has asked for PARD’s next survey to include this question.

  • Adam: We are here because the current model for golf is not sustainable. It’s time to seek a long-term solution. Parks conservancies have raised millions of dollars for Austin
    parks (Pease, Shoal Creek, Waller Creek/Waterloo, Barton Springs). Residents of several hundred nearby apartments could use this park.

  • Four key asks: more time from the city to figure this out; no driving range; if the city moves forward with a concession agreement, make it a Request for Information rather than a Request for Proposal so the public could see it; if golf continues, expand existing passive park elements and restore the area along the creek.

Q&A with pre-submitted questions

Q. PARD’s Community Parknerships program has several “configurations” or tiers of criteria for partnerships with private organizations. Tier A requires a 7-year history of collaboration with PARD and 5 years of philanthropic fundraising. Tier B requires a 3-year history of collaboration with PARD and 3 years of proven fundraising or the capacity to raise funds for a specific project. Tier C entities are “Friends of X Park” or “adopt-a-park” groups made primarily of volunteers.

As conservancies, which of these criteria do you meet or propose to meet?

A. Tier B, we would raise money on behalf of the city and turn it over. We’re getting set up to become a nonprofit or work under the umbrella of a larger group.

Q. Describe the park you envision for the Hancock space.

A. We will have a concept plan by the end of the month. It includes riparian restoration (like Willowbrook Reach in Cherrywood), tree canopy, great lawns, and Blackland Prairie restoration.

Q. How much would it cost to transform the existing golf course into that park, and how did you arrive at that figure?

A. Keep Austin Beautiful has a program with money and volunteers for the creek restoration. That could begin right away. Blackland Prairie restoration is expensive, so the lawn would be maintained as-is in phase 1, converted to Blackland Prairie in phase 2. We want to keep it as-is (no amenities), so initial estimate is $200,000-$400,000. Maintenance: $100-150K to water, mow, maintain trails and empty trash.

Q. How would you raise that money?

A. Austin Parks Foundation has small grants, and we know private donors are interested.

Q. How long would it take?

A. We’ll have more info soon with our park concept plan. Golf may turn a profit this year and could be continued for a few more years while we try to raise $500K.

Q. Have you raised money yet?

A. No, we are working with Austin Community Foundation to become a subsidiary. We have donors lined up and want to raise money before the April Parks Board meeting.

Q. From a community engagement standpoint, what city officials have you met with?

A. Five City Council offices, Austin Parks Foundation, Pease Park Conservancy, Waterloo Greenway, park planners for Zilker, neighborhood associations, Parks Board members


Member/audience questions

Q. What environmental professionals or experts have you been in contact with to design this space? It is a requirement of being a PARD partner to have such a plan presented to the COA for review.

A. UT professors, Watershed Protection Department riparian restoration staff, Wildflower Center staff

Q. When will you be a 501c3?

A. Until it becomes a park we can’t raise money. We want to be/create a subsidiary (under Austin Community Foundation) so it can hold the money in trust.

Q. How would the park affect parking in the neighborhoods adjacent to the park?

A. There would be parking in the lot, on 41st
and on Peck.

Q. Have you considered the risk of the public park initiative to a citywide vote? The last time that happened in Hancock the other 9 holes became a shopping center. It would be terrible unintended consequence to lose the green space we have now to re-development.

A. We are fiercely against development and think other voters share that view.

Q. PARD said a passive park would incur a maintenance cost of $200,000 a year, which would come not from GolfATX enterprise fund but from the General Fund which is counter to what Council has asked from PARD. How will you cover these immediate costs if it will take you several years to be an effective conservancy?

A. That estimate was rough. We’ve been asking what it would take to maintain park of this size and think it could be less than that.

Q. What funds for the riparian restoration funded by the existing organization have already been allocated to current projects?

A. We’ve been talking with the person who did Willowbrook Reach in Cherrywood, and expenses are low.


Hancock Golf Course Conservancy presentation

Speakers: Kevin McKinney and Andrew Dillon (HNA members), David Courtney (Hyde Park)

  • Kevin’s background: Has lived across from the golf course 26 years.

  • Goal of the conservancy is to preserve the existing course and raise money on its behalf. It has been losing money, but in 2020 there were more than 20,000 paid rounds, even though the course was closed for two months because of Covid. It’s had 11,000 rounds already this fiscal year, more than double the same timeframe last winter, without any additional promotion or the investment NGF says it needs. Golfers like it as it is. This trend of increased rounds will continue.

  • We know people use the park for other things (including yoga). Hancock is a green space, passive park, modern golf learning facility, proven money maker and home for wildlife.

  • Andrew’s background: Has lived on 37th
    Street for 22 years and has started to golf. No one’s against parks – Austin has 300 – but there are only six golf courses. Golf takes up a small percentage of land for parks. Hancock is historically significant and quaint/funky. It’s not a country club. The numbers suggest the course hasn’t been managed well. The course managers could invite people to play for free to get them started in the game. We could take a closer look at the hours that allow for non-golf activities at Hancock.

  • David’s background: Has lived in Hyde Park 20 years. We already have many parks (Shipe, Eastwoods, Patterson, Mueller etc.) nearby, and Hancock as a facility is also open to everyone who wants to pay to play there. We’ve been at this crossroads before, and in 2012 the will of the neighborhood was to keep the course. I’m willing to walk the course with anyone who wants to know more.

  • Kevin: Watch the presentation PARD did with Hancock Conservancy March 16 to see how PARD staff are talking about this situation differently than they originally were.

Q&A with pre-submitted questions

Q. What strategies have you identified that could close the funding gap?

A. The financial numbers are already better right now. An obvious solution is food or beverage trucks. We could hold tournaments, “Friday night at the Hancock” movies with low-key acoustic unamplified music, fundraising events at the rec center.

Q. The city has said the Hancock Golf Course needs a number of upgrades. As regular golfers, what do you think is needed to improve or upgrade the course or the overall golf experience?

A. Very little needs to change. Open the pro shop, add food and beverage, golf carts for rent, pull carts. We can plant trees and do cleanups.

Q. Are you focused on maintaining the existing course layout, or are other golf activities, such as a pitch and putt or driving range, or a reconfigured course, acceptable options in your view?

A. We’d like it to remain a 9-hole course as it is. We are totally against a driving range.

Q. How much land do you believe can be used for passive activities (e.g., Frisbee throwing, yoga, croquet, volleyball) which would not interfere with the golf course as it is?

A. There is space in the southwest corner and along Red River; also, people can walk the cart paths early in the morning when there’s just a couple of golfers out, and it doesn’t cause problems. There are other spaces the whole community could benefit from, but it’s been hard to get that message through to management.

Q. Are you a 501c3?

A. We will be if we need to be; we expect to be approved for a sponsored fundraising account through Austin Parks Foundation.

Q. PARD’s Community Parknerships program has several “configurations” or tiers of criteria for partnerships with private organizations. Tier A requires a 7-year history of collaboration with PARD and 5 years of philanthropic fundraising. Tier B requires a 3-year history of collaboration with PARD and 3 years of proven fundraising or the capacity to raise funds for a specific project. Tier C entities are “Friends of X Park” or “adopt-a-park” groups made primarily of volunteers.

As conservancies, which of these criteria do you meet or propose to meet?

A. We could immediately become a Tier C.

Q. From a community engagement standpoint, what city officials have you met with?

A. PARD, GolfATX, Austin Parks Foundation


Member/audience questions

Q. You said something earlier about not wanting people outside the neighborhood to have influence, what did that mean?

A. The HNA and people who live near the course should have the most say in how we want our neighborhood to be. People who have chosen to own homes here may have done so partly because they appreciate the course as it is.

Q. I found that I couldn’t really use Hancock as a park – non-golfers get kicked off. How would you increase revenue without losing access for nongolf uses?

A. These can coexist. [There was some disagreement about whether non-golfers are asked to leave.]

Q. Ideas for coexistence in light of the danger of people getting hit by golf balls?

A. Signage about where the danger spots are could help, and we (as HGCC) could help with that.

Q. Would fundraising events be open to all?

A. We wouldn’t exclude people; we’d start by promoting it to the neighborhood.

Q. 2020 and 2021 are atypical times because of the pandemic/quarantine. It seems like the course will return to its regular financial profile when the pandemic subsides.

A.. It’s more popular than ever, and we have multiple major pro tournaments in Austin that get people inspired to play.

Coan remarked that he heard some points of agreement between the groups, namely that neither supports a driving range.

Coan adjourned the meeting at 8:21 pm.

Special Meeting of the Hancock Neighborhood Association March 3, 2021

The City's schedule for the future of the Hancock golf course is still on track with a couple of key dates coming up: A survey from PARD about the golf course will be coming out soon and following the survey, PARD is expected to present their recommendation at the Parks board meeting on April 27th.

Following our HNA January 20th meeting where PARD presented on the golf course and answered questions, the HNA Executive Committee has decided to call a special community engagement meeting on the Hancock Golf course's future rather than waiting for our regularly scheduled HNA meeting on Wednesday, March 17th. The special meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 3rd, at 7 pm using Zoom (information below).

The meeting will start with a brief introduction from HNA and will be followed by presentations from both the Hancock Golf Course Conservancy and Hancock Conservancy. Each group will provide a short, 15-minute educational presentation that will include their vision for the Hancock golf course's future and supporting information on their initiatives. Following each presentation, there will be 15 minutes of Q and A for each group.

While members will be able to ask questions from the floor, please post your questions on the HNA Groups.IO email list. We'll share those questions with both groups in advance of the meeting so they'll be prepared to answer your questions.

This meeting is being conducted for informational purposes only and no resolutions or votes will be conducted at this meeting. We're looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting and are eager to see your questions!

Zoom Meeting Information:

Meeting ID: 926 0339 1788
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+13462487799,,92603391788# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 926 0339 1788

PARD Follow-up to January 20, 2021 HNA General Meeting Questions

Hello Neighbors,

Anthony Segura from PARD has provided the following response to our
questions raised in the January 20th HNA General meeting:

Best regards,

Coan Dillahunty
HNA President

Anthony Segura's Presentation to HNA

HNA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes for January 26, 2021

Notes from 1.26.21 executive committee meeting


The executive committee met on Tuesday afternoon, 1/26/21, and discussed the following:


The status of committees:

  • As president, Coan will represent Hancock to the Austin Neighborhoods Council

  • HNA can have two representatives on CANPAC, the city’s neighborhood plan contact team. Bart will continue to be one of these.

  • Inventory of continuing members for Parks, Zoning and Historic committees and new members who’ve expressed interest in Transportation

  • Discussion of newsletter and ads – Robyn is leading relaunch

  • Discussion of a new business liaison committee

  • Discussion of hopes/dreams for a membership committee whose charge could include outreach to apartment dwellers

  • Discussion of how our bylaws require committee meetings to be open to all members, and how that would apply to special called committees and the executive committee. An open session can be helpful to hammer out details before they go to the full membership.


Bylaws revision:

  • A committee including Bart, Robyn, Hugh Bender and Justin Clemens is working on this

  • Current bylaws are from 2015

  • In 2018 some volunteers worked on revisions; the current committee has a draft and is reviewing/incorporating ideas.


Discussion of website:

  • An update to the website is in the works

  • We plan for it to include “How do I… ?” FAQs to help members contact the city about code compliance issues, sidewalk repairs, etc.

  • The website will continue to be the official repository of information, but people need to be reminded to check it

  • Discussion of the roles of the website, future newsletter, and and whether an e-newsletter would be useful between print newsletters


Working with Kathie Tovo’s office:

  • Coan is working on a letter of introduction to her staff


Discussion of how to coordinate volunteers and match people with opportunities


Discussion of how to proceed with the discussion about Hancock Golf Course’s future

  • We agree that the first step is further education (including the answers to questions submitted on 1/20 to PARD)

  • We are working on a plan to get information to everyone and take input from members in small groups.

  • There’s a lot to do but we need to move quickly to be effective.

HNA Meeting Minutes for January 20, 2021

Minutes: HNA Regular Meeting; January 20, 2021

Call to Order: Hugh Bender

Treasurer’s Report:
Balance in Checking account is $4,200; Balance in Money Market account is $2,500

Parks Committee Report:
Texas Conservation Corp (TXCC) is scheduled to start work on February 22, 2021, with expected completion by March 12th of the repair and maintenance of the entire trail. We will be using STA-LOCK, a waxy epoxy-like material that hardens under pressure on grades higher than 5% for more stability and lower maintenance. Estimated cost approved in 2019 is $31,790.

In working with PARD and TXCC on this contract, the Parks Committee has laid the structure for an ongoing agreement with TXCC for long-term maintenance of the trail, which is the next step after the trail repair is completed. $100,000 has been committed from the HNA funds held at the Austin Parks Foundation for future payments on long-term maintenance.

Historic District Committee Report:
The district survey has been completed. There are 4 recommended historic districts in Hancock, yet to be announced.

Bylaws Special Committee Formed:
New special committee formed to review and make recommendations on HNA bylaws.

Introduction of new APD District Representative:
Will Harvey is the APD contact for the area that includes Hancock His contact information is:
Phone: 512-974-8123; Email:

Update on IH-35 Redesign Plans:
Introduction of Brendan Wittstruck (email: with the North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition, or NCINC2. It is a coalition of 11 neighborhood associations bordered by more than 3 miles of I-35, which includes Hancock. Information on their mission and TxDOT’s plans can be found at: .

Election of Officers for 2021
Running unopposed and voted in by consent:
President: Coan Dillahunty
Treasurer: Bruce Fairchild
Secretary: Robyn Ross
By vote:
Vice President: Bart Whatley
(Vote: Bart=67; Ella=51)

Agenda for the January 20, 2021 Meeting of the Hancock Neighborhood Association

Hancock Neighborhood Association Zoom Meeting

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

7pm – 8:30pm


Join Zoom Meeting

To Be Sent out to The HNA Group  Tuesday, January 19th





Call to Order: Hugh Bender


Treasurers Report:  Bruce Fairchild


Committee Reports and Announcements


Presentation by City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department


PARD Staf will  provide an update on Hancock Golf Course including activities to date, revised timelines, key dates, community engagement process, result to date and answer questions as time allows.


Announcements: Hugh Bender


Update on the IH-35 Redesign Plans:  Robyn Ross


Elections of Officers – (See abelow on those running)


Vice President




Other Business







HNA Social – Meet the officers: After the meeting is adjourned, everyone is welcome to stay on zoom for  an informal open social discussion to meet the new officers and discuss neighborhood issues.

PRESIDENT  - Nominee Coan Dillahunty

        Nominated by Julie Strong


As a 20-year resident of Hancock living on Red River, Coan has volunteered in the service of Hancock in several capacities over the years. Most recently he led the migration from Yahoo email group to and has served as a moderator for the last three years. He and Jen, his wife, also participated in the Local Historic District Initiative Committee of HNA which aimed to inform neighbors and encourage healthy dialogue about historic preservation. The committee facilitated a city-led meeting and produced and distributed a flier and website ( for the initiative. He has also served as an information technology consultant for the HNA working most recently on a system to accept online dues payment. Coan is smart, open-minded, thoughtful and deliberative, and he loves this eclectic neighborhood.


        Seconded by: Jetta A. Todaro


VICE PRESIDENT - Nominee Bart Whatley

        Nominated by - Ann Tucker

As a longtime resident of the Hancock neighborhood Bart Whatley has been asked to serve in a various roles with the Hancock Neighborhood Association because he has shown an open mind, a focus on process, and a willingness to impartially investigate the many complex issues that have come before our membership.


He is HNA’s appointed member to the Central Austin Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee (CANPAC) (the City of Austin recognized Neighborhood Planning Team); he worked on the Neighborhood newsletter; he led HNA’s neighborhood planning activities using his skills as a professional architect and planner. He understands our need for timely and accurate communication among our membership. His communication and computer skills, including social media, will assist HNA's efforts towards implementation of our future. As a longtime resident of the neighborhood with years of participating in neighborhood meetings and planning activities, he understands our history and the need for collaborative dialogue between our longtime and new residents.


Bart is the type of leader who tries to solve problems; he has served this Association in many unseen roles with thoughtfulness and distinction, and will continue to do so.


        Seconded by: Kevin McKinney



        Nominated by Kristene Blackstone

In her day job as a product designer, her role is to gain buy-in and build consensus amongst stakeholders. She has years of experience facilitating workshops in which large groups of executives who have competing priorities come to agreement on a single vision. These design thinking workshops could help our neighborhood make decisions about important topics in a way that establishes trust and buy-in within our community. Her expertise in technology would help her to automate some of our administrative practices. For example:

  • -Improving the website CMS and design so that communicating with our residents is easy for the executive committee 

  • -Streamlining the member sign up process & making it seamless with the website. 

  • -When neighbors pay dues through the website, our system could automatically enroll them into our listserv, and populate their information within a member spreadsheet. 

  • -When members lapse in yearly dues, automate an email reminding them. And until they submit a new payment, the member spreadsheet will automatically mark them as inactive until payment is received. 

  • -Automate a process where neighbors may check if they are up to date and registered on our website. 

As a member of the executive committee, she would help facilitate transparency and ensure that our neighborhood association represents its residents. She is a homeowner in our neighborhood and is excited to contribute to our evolving community!


        Seconded by:  Sam Osborne


SECRETARY – Nominee Robyn Ross

        Nominated by - Jackie Burniske

Robyn is committed to supporting and taking action in the best interest of the Hancock neighborhood. She has lived in Hancock for 7 years. Recently, she led the initiative to inform the Hancock neighborhood about TXDOTs proposed changes to I-35. She composed a flyer and coordinated distribution of the flyer in the neighborhood. She also informed the neighborhood through email. This is one specific example of her commitment and strong work ethic for the neighborhood. - Jackie Burniske, 800 East 44th St

        Seconded by:  Kathy Macchi


TREASURER – Nominee Bruce Fairchild

        Nominated by - Carolyn Palaima:  

Bruce has been HNA Treasurer for 10 years or so and has kept solid records for reporting back to the membership at the regular meetings. He maintains the dues paid list each year and manages payments for the HNA 4th of July Parade and now the HNA Zoom and io fees. His experience has made the process of keeping the accounts for the HNA seamless.

        Seconded By:  Terri Myers

POSTPONED: November 18, 2020 Meeting of the Hancock Neighborhood Association

Dear Hancock Neighborhood Association Members

The purpose of this email is to inform everyone that's tonight 's much anticipated HNA regular meeting has been postponed.

Because of the interest in tonight 's meeting and the vote on competing resolutions regarding the future of the Hancock Golf Course, we attempted to put in place a structure that limited attendance at the meeting to just HNA members. To accomplish this, we asked asked that HNA members register with me by Sunday so that we could provide a Zoom link only to HNA members. Unfortunately, many existing members, who
have every right to attend the meeting, only contacted us last night and today , which caused us to exceed the maximum number on the Zoom meeting. As a result, we concerned that some HNA members would not be able to attend the meeting and vote on the resolutions.

In addition, it came to our attention that, at 4:15 this afternoon, the Hancock Conservancy sent out an email calling for anyone interested in attending tonight ’s Hancock Neighborhood Association meeting to call one of its organizers to get a Zoom link to the HNA meeting. As indicated above, we have been going to great lengths to keep tonight 's meeting limited to just HNA members. The Hancock Conservancy’s
solicitation of attendees and request that they vote for its resolution compromises the HNA’s ability to decide alone and without interference which resolution the residents of the HNA want to support. Because the Zoom link to this evening’s meeting is being made public, there is no practical way to ensure that only HNA members vote.

We will keep you advised as to how we might be able to address these problems and when November's regular meeting will be rescheduled. Please stay tuned to Yahoo! groups and the HNA website for information.

Hugh Bender

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