It's still the light spring season at City Council, with the next meeting not until next Thursday, April 10, and a relatively unburdened draft agenda in the works. There are a couple of posted items that might raise dust on the dais, notably the proposed policy on interim budget adjustments that got punted forward after a contentious March 18 work session ("Point Austin: Spending the 'Surplus,'" March 21). The draft policy, sponsored by Council Member Chris Riley, is nominally on the consent agenda, but more than likely it will get worked over a bit more by council members and perhaps a citizen or two. If the policy is adopted as is, budget adjustments would be confined to one midyear meeting, for one of three purposes: 1) extraordinary emergencies, such as fire or flood; 2) financial risks due to delay; 3) special income (e.g., grants) tied to designated expenditures. No. 2 has the most wiggle room – could last year's interim affordable housing spending have met that test? – but it's possible that the three spending items raised earlier, under this policy, would just have to wait until the new budget year.
Three scheduled afternoon/evening public hearings feature the return of vested (grandfathered) development rights, a proposal to let breweries sell beer on premises, and the adoption of the latest version of the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan into the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. There probably won't be much argument about the beer.
There's also a resolution, sponsored by Riley and co-sponsored by CM Bill Spelman, to begin updating the city's greenhouse gas goals under the Climate Protection Plan – not likely to be much opposition at this point, but expect plenty of buzz when staff eventually returns with a recommendation.
Meanwhile, the November Council races continue to rumble into action. A few candidates have been working their districts for weeks, and a few have already hosted campaign kickoffs (Jimmy Flannigan, District 6, and Mandy Dealey, District 10, last week, and Mike Martinez is holding an all-day tour for his mayoral race on Saturday). And since last I updated, more folks have filed treasurer designations – the first official campaign action – with the city clerk. The new big name is former Council Member Jackie Goodman, who this week filed to run in District 2. Also, a third candidate for mayor designated a treasurer on April 1 – Randall F. Stephens, a web designer and CEO of online advertising site AdBirds.
Based on previous declarations of intent, there are undoubtedly more to come, but here's the list of treasurer designations, as of midday Wednesday:
Mayor: Stephen Adler; Mike Martinez, Randall Stephens
District 1: Andrew Bucknall
District 2: Jackie Goodman
District 3: Susana Almanza, Mario Cantu, Shaun Ireland
District 4: Greg Casar, Marco Mancillas
District 5: Ann Kitchen
District 6: Jimmy Flannigan, Matt Stillwell, Jay Wiley
District 7: Jeb Boyt, Ed English, Pete Salazar Jr.
District 8: Darrell Pierce, Ed Scruggs
District 9: None
District 10: Tina Cannon, Mandy Dealey, Robert Thomas, Sheri Gallo, Marjorie "Margie" Burciaga
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