TDH Update: Ott Hangs On

No good vibrations as Marc Ott survives council evaluation

Ott's still in it
Ott's still in it (Photo by Jana Birchum)

So, some three hours after they started, council came out of executive session around 4pm – where the city manager’s performance was at issue.

In light of the continuing KeyPoint controversy, the timing of Marc Ott’s annual performance evaluation couldn’t be worse.

The protracted session and subsequent chatter around City Hall led some to momentarily believe council wouldn’t return unless they carried Ott’s head on a pike. A canceled press availability Ott had scheduled for this afternoon didn’t alleviate the feeling, but when council finally returned, Ott retook his place on the dais. Word in the hall is that Ott’s job is safe, but a raise isn’t in the offing.

The council’s formal delivery of their remarks to Ott still hasn’t transpired, as council took up the KeyPoint matter again upon returning – with several council members asking why the city managers’ office couldn’t have taken a more proactive role in sussing out whether the report could be made available.

“Did you hear anything from the city manager, the police chief, saying ‘Gosh I wish you released more,” Bill Spelman asked legal, or anything else to “walk” them “ through your thinking? … It seems to me if I really wanted to release as much as I could I would be disappointed.”

Spelman was center stage again on the next items, his motion to collect customer satisfaction data on taxi cabs, with an eye towards using that to award franchises in the future. Similarly, the items renewing franchises for Yellow Cab and Austin Cab were also on his mind; citing recent city code limiting one franchises’ possession of permits to a 60% limit, he noted Yellow was already over the line; instead of issuing more permits to the other companies, he suggested giving Yellow’s surplus 54 permits to other franchises. Spelman had to leave to attend another meeting, and when council returned, both franchise extensions passed unanimously.

At this moment, Item 33, dealing with the Austin Regional Intelligence Center is getting underway. The Hustle will recap all the outstanding council business next week, as TDH is taking a Memorial Day breather – and recommends you do to!

See you Wednesday!

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