The Austin Chronicle

Naked City

Council Crush

May 24, 2002, News

This week's City Council agenda is more jam-packed than Kenneth Lay's closet of skeletons. Okay, that's an overstatement -- but members do face a list of 86 items, many of significant impact, before adjourning for a few weeks. (Council, with new member Betty Dunkerley, will return to the dais on June 27.) Even the citizens' communication period should provide some excitement, with candidate-for-life Jennifer Gale announcing her next run for mayor. And fellow citizen Mary Robinson will express "support and empathy to our Budget Managers, City Council and City management for their tough painful task balancing the city's budget this year," a gesture that truly touches our hearts.

Among the many issues and items under discussion:

Alternatives for a proposed hospital district;

$393,600 in start-up funds for the new "hospital within a hospital" on the fifth floor of Brackenridge Hospital, which will provide reproductive services prohibited by Catholic directives. The money comes come from reductions in charity care payments to Seton Medical Center;

A $6 million HUD loan and equivalent promissory note to pay for building the city's homeless shelter;

Second/third readings on an ordinance enabling the peripatetic Cedar Door Bar to relocate (permanently?) to the 1600 block of Toomey Road;

Approval, on second/third readings, of neighborhood plans and rezonings for North Loop and Bouldin Creek;

A public hearing on the Upper Boggy Creek plan;

A $45,000 artwork commission contract with Carl Trominski to spruce up -- and blue up -- the Lamar Railroad Bridge Underpass at Third and South Lamar with new paint and blue lighting and reflective signs;

A 12-month agreement between the city and the Austin Area Urban League to operate a Diversion Center for juveniles who have committed Class C offenses;

An ordinance drafted by Danny Thomas asking the city to co-sponsor the pre-Juneteenth and Juneteenth parades on June 18 and 19;

Approval of Thomas' ordinance banning parking on front and side yards and making violators pay a $40 fine. Opponents contend that the ordinance contains major loopholes -- for instance, some of the 69 "neighborhood associations" listed as supporters might appear on that list only because one or two members wrote a letter to council without notifying their entire neighborhood.

A resolution, sponsored by Daryl Slusher, Raul Alvarez, and Jackie Goodman, directing the city manager's office to explore creating a program to identify the top polluters of Barton Springs and contributing creeks;

Another resolution, sponsored by Slusher and Will Wynn, to initiate an energy audit program for live music venues downtown.


At 5:30pm, council will honor Beverly Griffith for her six years on the dais. Griffith, who lost her re-election bid to Dunkerley, will receive a Distinguished Service award from Mayor Gus Garcia.

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