The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Hustle: 7/8/10

By Wells Dunbar, July 8, 2010, 8:10am, Newsdesk

In the print edition this week, the Hustle looks at a council subcommittee discussion of social service contracts, and specifically, the mission to prioritize and stretch the city's scant bucks.

While it arrived too late for publication, a vacation-bound Laura Morrison wrote in yesterday with thoughts on the subject.

From council member Morrison:

In a nutshell I would describe our discussion at the meeting as 'spirited' rather than contentious. My concern in setting priorities is that we maintain the broad picture of the continuum of needs rather that narrowing it to only basic services. That also means having an understanding of funding from other sources and what their priorities are to minimize gaps. Obviously transparency and accountability are key in this process as is ensuring our allocations bring maximum benefits for least cost.

Another element to keep in mind is that our comp plan includes a health and human services component. A community discussion on that will begin in the near future and will likely have some bearing here. Our current comp plan with it's interim update actually lists the priorities that we use now. I would have some discomfort in modifying that to any major degree without including stakeholders in the discussion. In addition to what the priorities are, we are addressing how funds are allocated within those 'buckets'.

All that said, we have much more work to do but I believe we are on the right track.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: The Office of the Police Monitor's Citizens Review Panel is meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 6pm.

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