Naked City

Council Crumbs

What pleasures await Mayor Gus Garcia at his first City Council meeting? On top of a truckload of divisive and obtuse neighborhood issues (see "Austin@Large," p.24), the council will consider the following:

Selling three tracts in the Barton Springs zone acquired with money authorized in the May 1998 bond election by Prop. 2. The funds will be used to buy yet more land and conservation easements -- which the city claims was the idea behind the Prop. 2 program all along -- but some environmental leaders have already complained about how these sales are being conducted.

Annexing the Avery Ranch (recently de-annexed by Cedar Park), the Wildhorse Ranch on 290 East, and part of the Barker Ranch, adjoining the lately controversial Frate Barker Road in the southwest. The city's strenuous opposition to widening Frate Barker led Travis County to remove it from the just-approved road-bond package.

Buying a whiz-bang new "agenda management" computer system for upward of $620,000. The system is supposed to make City Council proceedings largely paperless by allowing members to point-and-click to backup information right from their laptops.

Deciding on a meeting schedule for 2002. If Council can't put all their agenda items to bed by the end of this week's meeting, they'll hold two follow-ups in December.

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