We’d like to officially congratulate President Jerry Sanchez, VP Stephani Kyle, Secretary Terri Schurr (2nd term) and Treasurer Jan Doherty (2nd term), our newly-elected 2017 KNU officers. We’d also like to thank all neighbors who participated in the election process and attended our annual meeting in November. Your show of support and involvement in Kessler Neighbors United is essential to the ongoing operations, improvements and quality of life in our neighborhood. We’re exceptionally proud of the many strides that were undertaken by KNU in 2016. A review of endeavors by the board, committees and representatives follows, along with a look at the KNU goals and priorities for the coming year.
KNU Board Review
The KNU Board was busy in 2016 with the many day-to-day operations of our organization, overseeing the various committees, duties & events, and coordinating with KNU representatives for North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol, North Oak Cliff Greenspace and Old Oak Cliff Conservation League. In addition, we invested in the development and launch of a new official KNU website www.kesslerneighbors.org that covers timely content and things of interest to our member-residents. Site features include an introduction to our non-profit organization and history, committees and volunteer opportunities, conservation district information & guidelines, KNU Annual Dues information & online payment option, NOCUPP private patrol program details, monthly video Shout Out, Neighborhood News articles, Lifestyle articles, Snapshots, Supporter Spotlight & Friends contribution avenues and sponsorship opportunities, Take Notes, Calendar, Store, residents-only online Directory, Events & Happenings in and around North Oak Cliff, KNU Dues and NOCUPP Membership stats, and a host of helpful information and quick links to city services, traffic updates and other partnering non-profits.
- Annual Picnic
Spearheaded by Terri Schurr, our annual picnic was rained out on Sep 25th, and again on Nov 5th. Due to the holiday schedule, the picnic was not rescheduled in 2016. The next picnic will be held in the fall of 2017.
Organized by Cindy Pierce and with the help of 20 neighborly volunteers, the 2016 Fall and Spring Island Cleanups beautified common grounds. Throughout the year, irrigation and electrical systems on our islands were repaired, and we upgraded the last of the island lights on the Colorado/Lausanne Island to LED lights. All islands were mulched in an ongoing effort to reduce weeds and reduce water usage, and many of our island trees were trimmed. In July, KNU presented the Parks Foundation a check for $71,000 for the restoration of the Kessler Steps. We are currently waiting for a 30% design of the restoration from the City of Dallas.
Stephani Kyle’s efforts kept neighbors informed of KNU news via the monthly newsletter. If you are not receiving the newsletter via email, please contact us at email@example.com. Other sources of information regarding KNU is our Facebook page and official website.
Jerry Sanchez was at the helm to answer questions regarding the parameters of our conservation district guidelines for neighbors and keep track of any violations that occur with the City of Dallas.
Robb Puckett project managed our new online directory which has replaced the printed version. It is accessible to KNU member-residents only on our official website. Profile features and a handy messaging feature that allows you to communicate with other neighbors is at your disposal when you create an account profile.
Under the management of Jan Doherty, our organization has a healthy ending balance of approximately $55K as of October 31, 2016, due to 3 consecutive years of successful Krawl proceeds coupled with KNU Annual Dues. Operating costs are closely monitored with the lion’s share of expenses earmarked for ongoing landscaping maintenance and projects. The KNU board has identified 5 goals that will require future funding in 2017(see section 2017 KNU Goals for details).
- Holiday Lights
John and Allie Mitchener direct the 2016 Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony on December 3, 2016 at 5:30pm. The tree lights were installed by Lighting by Veterans (McKinney, TX) and feature a light display at the Colorado/Lausanne and Colorado/Kessler Parkway islands. The wooden children (restored in 2015) circle the center garden bed of the Colorado/Lausanne island. Santa Claus will attend and accept letters from children. The menorah will be placed on the Colorado/Kessler Parkway island and will be set alight in accordance to Hanukkah standards on December 24, 2016 through January 1, 2017.
- Kessler Krawl
Jason Graves orchestrated the 2016 Kessler Krawl which was held at four private homes and at the Stevens Park Golf Course Clubhouse. 200 plus guests attended the event and 248 tickets were issued. The event netted $21,758, an 18% increase over 2015, and was dedicated to the Kessler Steps project. We would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support: Presenting Sponsors Advocate Magazine, Cox Farms Market, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, David Griffin & Co Realtors, La Cave Warehouse, and ResourceOne Credit Union; House Sponsors Jeff Blackwell Construction, Hickman+Weber Group, Realtor Robert Kucharski, and Realtor Susan Melnick; Dessert Sponsor Republic Title; Event Sponsor Realtor Patty Brooks; Food Sponsors Aroma Catering, VH Kitchen, Papa John’s, Potpourri of Silk, Norma’s Café; and Beverage Sponsors Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and Volcano Water.
Dariff Barrow headed up KNU elective membership dues participation with a year-end total of $14,700 collected, $1,800 less than our 2015 dues drive. 287 of 927 KNU residences (31%) paid the elective dues, or 36 fewer households than 2015. An additional $5,215 in generous miscellaneous donations was received, $2,325 applied to general funds and $2,890 donated to key initiatives including holiday lights, beautification, streetscapes and website. We want to thank those neighbors who continue to provide financial support that keeps our neighborhood projects funded and benefits all.
- New Neighbors and Neighborhood Mixers
Donna Hitt was charged with neighbor related outreach. 60 homes were sold in the past year within KNU boundaries (50 single family homes and 10 condos). Approximately 15 welcome baskets were delivered to new neighbors who registered on our website. 3 Neighborhood Mixers were held, two at local restaurants and one in a private home. Cynthia and Mark Drennan will be coordinating our socials in 2017 and plan to host frequent neighborhood mixers and engage more residents.
- Crime Watch/NOCUPP
Terry Egger represents KNU’s participation in NOCUPP with 189 KNU residents (20%) subscribing to the North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol. Membership is $1/day and funds patrol hours by off duty Dallas Police Officers in marked cars. More participation is needed to carry the load of this security detail that directly benefits our neighborhood and ALL who live here.
Cindy Pierce represents KNU for North Oak Cliff Greenspace. The annual “Golf for the Parks” fundraiser was held on Oct 10th, and raised $26,000 that funded exercise equipment installed in 2 locations along Coombs Creek Trail and in Stevens Park. Funds were also directed to the collaborative effort by The City of Dallas and NOCGSP for an art installation in the pecan grove at Clinton and Kessler Parkway. Additionally, a new water fountain near Annie Stevens Park along the trail has been appropriated by the City of Dallas and paid for by NOCGS (to be installed 1st qtr. of 2017).
- Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
A special thanks to Doug Taylor for representing KNU in 2016 as he passes the staff to Anne Foster. OOCCL requires that an organization has 2 representatives, so please let us know if you have a love for Oak Cliff and preservation initiatives. Representatives are responsible for attending both OOCCL and KNU meetings and promoting common interests.
2017 KNU Plans & Goals
Looking forward to 2017, the board will focus on our annual Kessler Krawl fundraising event and work towards reaching specific needs and improvement goals for our neighborhood. Task forces will be created to identify project scope, outline plans and costing options, and define target completion dates.
- Kessler Krawl
Tentative plans are underway for the next Krawl, which will take place on Timbergrove Circle in March 2017. Sponsors are needed for the event.
- Top 5 Goals
- Sidewalk Restoration Campaign – Sidewalk sections throughout our neighborhood are in substandard condition and pose a hazard. We have 930 stretches of street front, including fronts and sides of houses (does not include Kessler Highlands and Middlebrook). Of the stretches that have sidewalks 60% are in Good condition, 17% are Fair and 22% are Poor. Homeowners can be found liable if a person incurs an injury. KNU will promote efforts to have these sections replaced, offering small grants to members in need of assistance. Annual limits will be set on this amount. (“Poor” means that the sidewalk has areas that are significantly uneven and pose a hazard for bikers and joggers. “Fair” means that there is degradation of the sidewalk and needs to be repaired but doesn’t pose the same hazard as “Poor”.)
- Island Makeover/Redesign (to include entrance of Timbergrove Circle) – Many members have expressed interest in seeing our islands professionally maintained with ongoing upkeep and seasonal plants for added color. Improvements to the islands add value to the overall beauty and property values of our neighborhood. The board will be exploring island updates and maintenance plans. All projects must be budgeted/funded by membership revenue, as operating costs will increase with implementation.
- Sylvan Median Restoration – Most of the medians between Colorado and Evergreen Hill were filled with lava rock and capped on each end with field stones. Over the past 10 years, rock loss has occurred due to weather conditions and automobiles. The board is working with the City to determine the cost of replacing the rock with stamped concrete that resembles brick.
- Neighborhood Reforestation Campaign – Trees are a valued asset in our neighborhood, but they also have lifespans and are prone to disease. Many of the older trees were planted in the 20’s and 30’s. To ensure a healthy & sustainable population of mature trees, ongoing care and replacement of trees is required. KNU will implement an educational campaign and provide available resources.
- Neighborhood Entry @ Coombs Creek Trail – East Kessler Neighborhood Association approached KNU regarding the Coombs Creek Trail entrance that is being designed. They’ve invited KNU to participate in the project by creating something similar on our side of the trail at Sylvan Ave. Costs are unknown and the project is in the early design stage.