The Daily Hustle: 7/29/10 (Updated)
Council meets today
By Wells Dunbar,
12:45PM, Thu. Jul. 29, 2010
Later update: Says it all.
Update: City Council chambers were packed this morning, crammed with staff to address council’s lengthy return agenda, and dozens of allies of the Workers Defense Project, there to congratulate council on inserting a provision requiring rest breaks at construction sites into city code.
However, except passage of the rest break provision, big ticket items were delayed until the afternoon. Two morning presentations on the November transportation bond program -- an overview, and a financial analysis -- were postponed until after council could discuss them in executive session. The same goes for any action on the Nathaniel Sanders II settlement, which didn’t even appear to be among the bond-related items in council’s early executive session. They broke soon after 11:30am, and seem certain to go back behind closed doors after noontime Citizens Communications concludes. That still left a few items of interest in the morning, though. Spicewood Springs neighbors spoke out against the large shaft slated for their neighborhood to construct a water transmission line from a tank to Water Treatment Plant Number 4, as two separate items related to the controversial plant came up (and later passed, among the same 4-3 split vote, with Laura Morrison, Chris Riley, and Bill Spelman the nays).
Texans for Accountable Government’s John Bush gave an impassioned presentation against an item inking a deal with defense contractor Northrop Grumman for two small, robotic, bomb examining vehicles. Noting that while citizens don’t have a choice over their taxes being used to finance wars, he said “you, the City Council, does have the option not to give $257,000 to one of the world’s top three defense contractors.” While he spoke, a procession of gruesome slides documenting carnage wrought in Iraq and Afghanistan unfurled on the screen behind the dais. Council remained silent for want of a motion after Bush spoke, until Bill Spelman said “no one wants to approve this measure” following the applause that greeted Bush’s words. However, despite his reluctance to contribute to “a war profiteer like Northrop Grumman,” Spelman argued the devices were needed, and council agreed, approving the item unanimously. We’ll be back later with more on the meeting as it progresses.
Check out this week's preview of the meeting, a run down of the agenda, and Michael King's incredible summation of the Nathaniel Sanders II saga, to be continued today.