Point Austin: Beside the Point
Where there's smoke
In an attempt to break the deadlock, Council Members Brewster McCracken and Lee Leffingwell have proposed bringing in a third party a major accounting firm to do an independent study and presumably provide numbers that might satisfy both sides. Leffingwell says both parties appear willing to consider that option, and he believes it could be done quickly enough "We're talking about just a one-page summary" to contribute to negotiations without derailing the city's budget review process. "We're not doing the final votes until September 12 to 14," Leffingwell said, "so we should be able to do this without interrupting the process." He added that he believed the council is open to considering higher pay raises for lower job grades, something the union has been proposing.
This week's 2pm budget briefing covers Austin Energy, solid waste services, and the water utility, with public comment scheduled for 6pm.