Naked City

Full Plate for Council

The City Council's most important act of the week may happen behind closed doors in executive session, when they "discuss the separation and transition of City Manager Jesus Garza, and the appointment and employment of an acting City Manager." Under the current scenario, Garza won't leave his post until April 30. But there's momentum at City Hall to make his deputy, Toby Futrell, acting city manager ASAP.

Also on the agenda is the proposal to undo, at a cost of $4 million, the city's intended lease of a third downtown block to Computer Sciences Corporation (see "CSC-U-L8R," p.16), which should pass without incident. Other hot hits:

Final approval of the Holly Neighborhood Plan and its attached rezonings, which would complete the task of planning the inner Eastside. Begun in early 2000, this process was supposed to last just eight months.

Appropriation of another $775,000 for the star-crossed Austin Music Network. Sixty grand of that will come out of the hotel-bed-tax-fed Cultural Arts Fund, long eyed as a funding source for AMN. Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Goodman's plans to change the rules under which the arts fund is distributed to local artists -- an eternally controversial process -- are again on the agenda.

Discussion of unspecified "issues" related to the city's lease with the Center for Mexican American Cultural Arts -- specifically, whether the CMACA board is living up to its obligations. The multi-million-dollar CMACA complex, approved in the 1998 bond election, is slated to be built on the shores of Town Lake just west of I-35.

A public hearing on the Seton/Brackenridge "hospital-within-a-hospital" (aka the "pagan floor") plan.

And another, at 6pm, to discuss "whether the City Charter should be amended to provide for the election of the council from single-member districts." If the council approves, the proposal would be placed on the May ballot. Austin voters have rejected single-member districts five times in the past, most recently in 1994, but it's hard to imagine what anyone would say at this or future hearings that would dissuade this council from putting an SMD plan on the May ballot.

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