Referred to Committee
Quite a few items pushed to the curb in late Council session
By Michael King,
1:13PM, Fri. Feb. 27, 2015
Despite his late public email push, Mayor Steve Adler’s proposal for more staffing was sent to committee last night for further research and review. It wasn’t alone: “Referred to Committee” sprinkled the action summation last night, as the new Council wrestled over contentious items until nearly midnight.
The headline debate was over “Item 40” – the mayor’s latest version of his proposal that his office acquire more staff – after an earlier version (Item 35, withdrawn) that would have relied on private fundraising for the Mayor’s Better Austin Foundation to underwrite new staff went down in public flames. Despite a Wednesday email blast for public pressure on his colleagues – which appeared to have created its own backlash – Council eventually voted 6-5 to refer the proposal to the Audit and Finance Committee. It remains a tentative proposal – the resolution asks only that the city manager identify five vacant positions in the existing budget and another $250,000 to parcel out to 10 Council members, limited to FY2015 – but that discussion will now take place in Audit and Finance, where chair and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo – who's been skeptical of the entire proposition – will try to advance the discussion quickly enough to return to Council with recommendations by late March.
In other actions:
• Referred to committee: A construction manager-at-risk contract for a new parking garage at ABIA
• Approved: negotiation and execution of a contract with Webb & Webb to represent the city at the Public Utility Commission in the water rate case filed by residents of River Place
• Referred to committee: amendment to long-standing agreement with West Austin Youth Association regarding use of Lamar Beach and Town Lake Metropolitan Park
• Approved on consent: resolution for amendments to city code that would block an adult-oriented business (strip club) on Congress near Sixth
• Approved: a conditional use permit for a mixed-use development on Springdale Road opposed by some neighborhood reps
• Approved (first reading only): a compromise 13,000 vehicle trip limit on a Garza Ranch tract that would enable development of the final tract on the land – very unsettled and tentative, and to return to Council in due course
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