Point Austin: Beside the Point

Kim shots

Point Austin
The Jennifer Kim Show continues to make entertainment headlines. Last week Naked City reported on the fledgling council member's departure from the traditional reservation over tax policy. This week the agenda got more personal, as the online politics newsletter In Fact Daily reported Tuesday that Kim had sent letters last week to most of the various board and commission members previously appointed by her Place 3 predecessor Jackie Goodman, informing them that they were expected to resign – from their voluntary positions – and would be required to reapply. Kim apparently was under the impression that she had executive authority to clear the decks for her own handpicked candidates.

Unfortunately for Kim Kommando, B&C members are not literally appointed by individual council members, but simply recommended to the whole council for actual appointment, and they serve for specific terms unless the council votes to remove them. A few appointees who received letters unceremoniously returned them – at least one wrote back to say, "No, thank you, I am not resigning" – although a few were as confused about the rules as Kim's staff. Informed by the city attorney's office that Kim couldn't just fire council appointees at will, aide Amy Everhart told In Fact that the letters were being rescinded, because Kim "just decided over the weekend it probably isn't a good idea to ruffle so many feathers." That apparently leaves lots of unruffling to be done, on both sides of the dais.

In this corner, we couldn't help but recall one of the widespread gossipy knocks against Kim's May election opponent, Margot Clarke, to the effect that in contrast to Kim's purportedly business-friendly professionalism, Clarke had an off-the-record reputation for "not playing well with others." Recess is apparently still in session in Place 3.

If today's council meeting gets around to anything other than Bucks-for-Samsung, they have plenty to do: Because of internal jockeying, they haven't entirely sorted out their own committee memberships (Item 41); they're apparently throwing in the towel on the loudly neighorhood-opposed expansion of the South Austin Tennis Center and will call for a new location, perhaps in tandem with AISD (Item 42); among various Second Street District projects, they'll officially direct the city manager to begin looking for a new location for the Green Water Treatment Plant (Item 49); and they'll undoubtedly hear from irate citizens concerning the grand jury's no-billing of an APD officer in the Daniel Rocha shooting.

The 2pm briefing (Item 59) is on the public safety and municipal court sections of the proposed 2005-06 budget, as is the public hearing set for 6pm – lots of potential for amusement there. There are a handful of major neighborhood plans seeking approval, perhaps additional fireworks over Frontier Valley zoning changes in the Southeast, and what is reported to be the final settlement in the endlessly vexed Bunny Run/Gables at Westlake/St. Stephens zoning case.

We'll believe it when we see it, carved into the ornamental limestone.

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Austin City Council, Jennifer Kim, City Council, Amy Everhart, Margot Clarke

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