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Huffman Heads Out!
Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman leaves to head Nature Conservancy of Texas
DAILY News  May 1, 2008, by Wells Dunbar
"...Big news landing in our inbox: Assistant city manager, loyal lieutenant to former CM Toby Futrell, and Kirk Watson's running buddy Laura Huffman is leaving the city to become director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. Hers is the second high-profile departure from the city in nearly as many weeks, with chief of staff and fellow member of the Tobyocracy, Kristen Vassallo, recently announcing her resignation...."

Your City Manager Semifinalists (Updated)
DAILY News  January 3, 2008, by Wells Dunbar
"...Almost three and a half hours after convening, City Council has returned from their closed-door discussions with a list of eight city manager semifinalists. The "internal" candidates are no surprise: Austin Energy General Manager Juan Garza and assistant city managers Rudy Garza and Laura Huffman..."

RG4N's 11th-Hour Gamble
RG4n wants a third party to reconcile their Northcross plans with the developer's.
DAILY News  March 27, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"... The press release: RG4N CALLS FOR THIRD-PARTY FACILITATOR City Management and Outside Counsel Fail to Move Northcross Negotiations Forward AUSTIN, Texas, March 26, 2007 Responsible Growth for Northcross (RG4N), the group opposing the Northcross Mall redevelopment plan, today called for a third-party facilitator to assist with negotiations between Lincoln Property Company, which owns Northcross Mall, and neighborhood groups. In a letter provided today to Austin Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, RG4N stated that the minor revisions made to the development plan by Lincoln and Wal-Mart do not address priority concerns in any meaningful way..."

RG4N Questions City's Legal Wisdom
Anti-Wal-Mart group wants to know why city hired outside legal staff in Northcross case.
DAILY News  February 21, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"...Responsible Growth for Northcross is in high dudgeon over City Council's appropriation of $224,000 to an outside law firm for help on the Northcross Wal-Mart debacle: "Five days after as many as 3,000 Austinites formed a one square mile-long human chain around the Northcross site, the Austin City Council approved an additional $175,000 to an outside counsel contract with Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP for legal counsel concerning development at Northcross Mall. The total contract amount is currently $224,000." It's hard to look at the city's description and see anything too nefarious: "assistance related to the filing of a second site plan by Lincoln Properties, as well as the initiation of negotiations with concerned citizens, Lincoln Properties, and Wal-Mart, concerning potential site plan improvements." RG4N counters, "This action, taken upon the advice of city staff, occurred just six days in advance of a meeting scheduled by Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman at the offices of Armbrust & Brown, the law firm retained by Wal-Mart, to present Lincoln Property Company’s response to the vision and priorities of the five neighborhood associations surrounding Northcross and RG4N..."

Power Playbill
Imagining what the city manager search is looking like?
DAILY News  November 22, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"...Likely after a few fingers of holiday cheer (or a round or two of bad stuffing), a local politico sent in this mind-blowing play concerning the city manager search. Unbuckle the belt another notch and take a look: Six members of the council: So Betty, what do you think? You're the only council member who we all trust and respect. Betty Dunkerley: I think we need to hire internally, since we're going into a two-year election cycle, and I don't think any of you want a new city manager whom we don't really know to be a wild-card in your races, right? Jennifer Kim: I do! I do! Everyone else: Shut up, fool. Dunkerley: Which also means we need to hire now so that Laura Morrison can't run on this issue, even though she'll probably win anyway, because Cid Galindo is a cartoon character, and Robin Cravey is a flake. Kim: But I want to run on this issue! It's all I've got! Everyone else: Shut up, fool. (Kim exits in tears and fires one of her staffers.) Will Wynn: So can we get this all done before my photo shoot for the "Green, Hot and Blue" issue of Details? Who are we hiring? Dunkerley: Well, Rudy Garza is too young, and Juan Garza is too old, so I'd say Huffman. Mike Martinez: Too young? Lee Leffingwell: Too old?..."

Liveblogging the Northcross Hearing…
DAILY News  December 14, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...Hopefully, the 45-minute limit still stands. – Will Futrell even rear her head? She's been in and out all day, appearing to pose with Barrientos, but assistant CM Michael McDonald currently sits in the city manager's chair. Maybe the rumors of her recent vacation time burn-through are true. Tammy Williamson will be "walking us through the site plan," says Laura Huffman..."

The Insiders
Meet City Hall's local candidates for city manager
News Story  December 21, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"...But while we wait to see the external contenders, the three declared internal candidates – Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, Aus­tin Energy General Manager Juan Garza, and Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza – are ready for inspection: all longtime public servants with histories, résumés, and paper trails. We recently spoke with the three insiders to get a sense of their careers, their accomplishments and failings, to try to discern what type of city manager each might be. The Front-Runner..."

Beside the Point
Another Futrell protégé leaves City Hall
News Column  May 9, 2008, by Wells Dunbar
"...City Hall watchers were jolted by an unexpected, if not entirely surprising, announcement last week: Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman is leaving the city to direct the Texas chapter of the Nature Con­serv­ancy. "I am writing to officially submit my letter of resignation from the City of Austin, effective May 16, 2008," Huffman wrote City Manager Marc Ott Tuesday, April 29, calling her time "a wonderful and rewarding experience." Despite conservancy offices in San Antonio, lifelong Austinite Huffman will continue to reside here...."

No Concord for Northcross?
RG4N directs its ire at the city manager's office
News Story  April 6, 2007, by Katherine Gregor
"...RG4N, an umbrella group working with area neighborhood associations, has been advocating since last fall for a higher-quality redevelopment of Northcross Mall, without a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Futrell recused herself from Northcross due to a filed conflict of interest (her husband is employed by Wal-Mart); Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman has been acting in her stead...."

Austin @ Large: Austin at Large
Why is Mala Sangre less poisonous than Barton Springs?
News Column  September 19, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Apparently, among the many virtues Toby Futrell has fostered at City Hall is the gift of prophecy. Chronicle readers may have been puzzled by a letter that appeared in "Postmarks" last week from Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman in response to a story that appeared in that same issue about the ongoing Mala Sangre saga and the investigation of APD Assistant Chief Jimmy Chapman..."

Beside the Point
The process that netted us Police Chief Art Acevedo – held up as exemplary for all future "critical hires" for the city – is starting to look like a happy accident
News Column  November 23, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"...From this point, council will consider separate candidate tracks – one for the "external" candidates Arcus found and another for the "internal" candidates already working for the city. The memo describes narrowing external candidates "to a manageable number of the most superior candidates (perhaps as few as three) for the first round of face-to-face interviews" while looking "forward to as many as three highly-qualified current City employees applying." So while the best of the external candidates may be limited to as few as three, all three rumored internal candidates (assistant city managers Laura Huffman and Rudy Garza and Austin Energy General Manager Juan Garza) advance up the bracket by default..."

Mart Growth
Will the city stand up for its neighborhoods and urban vision against Wal-Mart?
News Story  December 15, 2006, by Katherine Gregor
"...City Manager Toby Futrell recently recused herself from any direct decision-making about the site (after being questioned by the Chronicle about a conflicts disclosure statement showing that her husband works for Wal-Mart). Futrell punted to Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, who oversees all of the relevant city departments..."

Developing Stories
Two downtown projects uneasily launched
News Story  October 13, 2006, by Katherine Gregor
"..."It's a legitimate question," said Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, who got the awkward job of calling the primes to apologize and encourage them to resubmit. (All but the disqualified Black did – after finding new, unconflicted subconsultants.) Only after reviewing the standard conflict-of-interest forms submitted in round one, said Huffman, did city staff realize how many of the team members owned Downtown property...."

APD Racial Profiling: New Numbers, Old Questions
The 2003 report shows disparities but also problems with the data itself
News Story  March 26, 2004, by Jordan Smith
"...City officials agree that the disparity is disturbing, especially considering that nearly 86% of all consent searches (regardless of race) end without officers making any sort of seizure. Still, Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman said that it is unlikely that APD will simply do away with consent searches..."

Seaholm and Green District: Changes Afoot
Proposed and favored location for new central library is current Seaholm substa­tion site
News Story  December 28, 2007, by Katherine Gregor
"...In late January or early February, a request for proposals will be issued for the Green WTP site, said Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, and teams will submit detailed redevelopment visions (subject to Waterfront Overlay and Capital View Corridor restrictions). Urban designers will be invited to present a "best practices" vision for the site...."

Developing Stories: Northcross Neighbors to Wal-Mart: You don't want us as enemies
"Responsible" development sought for flagging mall
News Story  December 8, 2006, by Katherine Gregor
"...Futrell and Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, who sit at the top of the city's neighborhood planning and zoning food chain, asserted in a phone interview Tuesday that they were clueless about the Northcross site plan and Wal-Mart's anchor role before the news broke publicly. "I read it in the newspaper," said Futrell..."

Chapman out the door, off the hook
A surprise retirement spares the APD assistant chief.
News Story  December 26, 2003, by Jordan Smith
"...22. According to Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, the city has since verbally extended McLaughlin's contract twice, to end Dec..."

TCB
More on the Antone's merger, the noise ordinance, and finally, Abra Moore.
Music Column  January 17, 2003, by Christopher Gray
"...Don't look now, but Austin could have a new noise ordinance in a few short weeks. Monday night, Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman hosted a public meeting to review changes to the ordinance recommended by an advisory committee..."

Villa Muse
Villa Muse still weighing its options
News Story  April 18, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"..."One of the things we've always liked about this proposal is the proposal," said Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, who describes the plan as "extremely consistent with our visions of the [State Highway 130] development corridor." However, she points out, releasing the development from the ETJ would mean the city would have no control over what ends up on the property in an area the city will almost inevitably annex. "These are about concerns 20, 30, 40 years down the road," said Huffman, arguing that the city is being sensibly cautious..."

Environmentalism: Uncomfortable and Scratchy?
Thinking outside the (burlap) box at SXSW Eco
News Story  October 12, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...Laura Huffman, state director for the Nature Conservancy of Texas, said the game "is about teaching each of the major water users why and how they need to be worried about each other's problems." As the multiyear drought starts to look like the new norm, there's a need for forward and potentially radical thinking on water. Texas does have a 50-year statewide water plan, "which is the good news," said Huffman..."

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