City Counseling

It May Not Be Loud, but It's Comprehensive

The big news from City Council this week – aside from the fact that it's actually meeting, following a two-week hiatus – started already. The gang held a specially called meeting Wed­nesday to hear the city's economic outlook and five-year financial forecast (see "City Faces $30 Million Shortfall," left), so don't be surprised if council members are dressed in all black this Thursday, April 23. With a schedule this full, formal mourning should be short-lived: Big-ticket discussions will include Item 22, which awards the $1.3 million contract to craft the city's Com­pre­hensive Plan to one of three firms; Item 50, seemingly designed to rectify laughably low decibel limits for restaurants that host live music by waving reapplication fees for certain restaurants and expediting their review (see "Off the Record," p.55, for more); Item 54, tweaking the Downtown Plan by taking adjustments to Capitol view corridors off the table and "presenting the scope of work" to affected boards and commissions; and a 2pm briefing on the controversial Barton Springs Pool Tree Assessment, which recommended immediate removal of 28 trees at the park, 30 in all.

Other matters of note include Item 10, awarding a $100,000 renovation of the Howson Branch Library to disgraced former Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (this after Hays County rescinded a KBR contract following protests from Iraq war vets), and Items 33 and 34, wherein Austin, Travis County, and Pflugerville accept $1.9 mil­lion in stimulus funding for public-safety-promoting Justice Assistance Grants, the lion's share of which goes to the city for new sworn positions. Rounding out the day are zoning Items 76 and 77, rezoning Stubb's for its planned enlargement, and Item 92, a public hearing appeal to zoning approval of an addition to Hyde Park Baptist Church, with none other than Place 5 candidate Bill Spel­man listed as one of the aggrieved parties. Looks like Spelman's in for an early taste of the jam-packed agendas he can expect to return to on council.

Upcoming Forums

PODER MAYORAL FORUM Thursday, April 23, 6pm. Space 12, 3121 E. 12th.

TRAVIS CO. LIBERTARIAN PARTY FORUM Saturday, April 25, 3pm. Ventana del Soul, 1834 E. Oltorf.

SOUTH AUSTIN CIVIC CLUB FORUM Monday, April 27, 6:30pm. Covington Middle School, 3700 Convict Hill Rd.

HISPANIC ORGANIZATIONS WORKING TOGETHER AS ONE FORUM Monday, April 27, 6:30pm. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 6121 N. I-35.

JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL FORUM Wednesday, April 29, 7pm. Dell Jewish Community Center, 7300 Hart.

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