The Daily Hustle: 9/8/10

Breaking it down with Bill Spelman

Bill Spelman
Bill Spelman (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Continuing budget week in Hustleville, we catch up with Bill Spelman for his take on the city’s spending. Surprise: He’s not in favor of going above Marc Ott’s proposed tax rate either.

Spelman notes that the “center of gravity” on the dais is against a further increase. Not that he’s in favor of going below Ott’s recommendation, either. He tells the Hustle that “going below would mean cutting some stuff that’s on the city budget we’ve seen already,” a not terribly tenable position.

Echoing similar concerns on the dais, he says finding additional funds for parks maintenance is a priority. “Our parks department has terrible maintenance,” he says, “not because they don’t work hard, but because there’s just not that many people out there doing it.” He’s also looking for some extra funds for libraries. “We have a recurring problem of scrambling, especially toward the end of the budget year, to get people in the libraries necessary to keep the libraries open. There’s still stuff that we need to add, but I’m hoping we can make some very, very small changes, additions to the budget without any kind of tax increase [over what Ott’s proposed].” He additionally wants to work on Health and Human Services funding – a topic Laura Morrison will have more to tell the Hustle about tomorrow – but says overall, “we’re talking nickels and dimes; we’re not talking millions of dollars.”

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: The Council Committee for Emerging Technology and Telecommunications meets in the Board and Commission room at City Hall, 310 W. Second, 3pm.

The Animal Advisory Commission meets in the Waller Creek Plaza, Room 105, 625 E. 10th, 6pm.

The Water and Wastewater Commission meets the Waller Creek Plaza, Room 104, 625 E. 10th, 6pm.

The Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission takes over the B&C room at 6:30pm.

The Solid Waste Advisory Commission meets in City Hall’s Council Chambers, 6:30pm.

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