The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Hustle: 8/26/10 (Updated)

By Wells Dunbar, August 26, 2010, 1:25pm, Newsdesk

Update: Calling this City Council meeting slow doesn't do it justice, with all major items – rezoning for the Walsh Tarlton condos in the Barton Springs zone, and items addressing the major Indian Hills and Whisper Valley subdivisions – postponed until the afternoon zoning agenda.

However, the meeting did hold some monstrous moments.

The bulk of the morning was taken up by a presentation from Capital Area Council of Governments executive director Betty Voights. Serving 10 counties, CapCOG is “kind of a strange animal,” Voights said. “We can do anything but enforce laws and levy taxes,” she said, noting the COG works on regional-level projects. She detailed their current work with the Area Agency on Aging, providing support to 911 call centers, air quality and solid waste planning, and conducting a regional training academy. Upcoming initiates for CapCOG (which council member Chris Riley serves on) include a growth and development assessment, next generation 911 service tailored to text and smartphone capabilities, and more.

Following a brief, unscheduled discussion of the Sealholm art wall and the Art in Public Places approval process, at the behest of Laura Morrison (which was cut short by Lee Leffingwell as the discussion was unposted), council broke until Citizens Communications. Envrio activist Paul Robbins spoke last, and was flanked by a couple friends: bag monsters, driving home Robbins' call for a plastic bag ban. According to Robbins, the monsters are on a cross country tour rallying against the “urban tumbleweeds” which are an aesthetic nuisance and environmental threat.

One other note: Leffingwell noted the September 30 council meeting will be held at the Carver Center, fulfilling a campaign process to take meetings outside of City Hall to make them more accessible to the public.

Still on the agenda: the aforementioned zoning matters, and action on the drawn-out Seaholm art wall.

Original post: Hey there - the Hustle's back. We'll be keeping an eye on today's City Council meeting, with an update to come later in this space today. Until then, leaf through our agenda preview of the day's main topics, the Totescast, and this week's news section.

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