• Going nowhere – for now. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Tuesday he's decided to stay in Austin rather than continue to purse the police chief vacancy in Dallas. See "State of the Art."
• City Council meets today (Thursday, April 29), mulling items including a "form-based code" pilot zoning program for Airport Boulevard, project prioritization for the city's Strategic Mobility Plan (which could inform the city's potential November bond program), and more – nothing as contentious as last week's adoption of Austin Energy's climate protection plan, which you can read about in "City Hall Hustle."
• Speaking of the transportation bond vote scheduled for November, council's Audit and Finance Committee learned Tuesday that the city's current bonding capacity is approximately $170 million, meaning the bond election would be held to half that, $85 million, instead of the earlier projected $100 million.
• The city's initial updates on the fiscal year 2010-11 budget continue, as council received briefings on the city utilities financial state Wednesday. Early projections have the city facing a budget deficit of $11 million, with property taxes increased to the rollback rate. For more, see "City Counciling." The city manager's proposed budget won't be presented to council until the end of July.
• UT's University Unions board says it will continue to accept feedback through May 7 on the fate of the Cactus Cafe. The board was originally set to issue a decision on Friday. See "Rush to Judgment on Cactus?," and "Off the Record," Music, for a full report.
• Dipping into savings: Austin ISD board of trustees voted April 26 to approve spending up to $7 million out of undesignated funds for the 2010-11 academic year.
• Local officials attended the Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new child-abuse investigation facility next to the Center for Child Protection; the campus will improve coordination between the advocacy organization and public agencies. Another win for kids this week: The Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity opened its doors at Dell Children's Medical Center with plans to take a multidisciplinary approach to helping families address childhood obesity issues.
• Yes, a check is money: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals voted 9-0 to overturn a 2008 ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals that checks are not covered by the state's campaign finance laws. This reopens the money-laundering prosecutions of John Colyandro and Jim Ellis for transferring funds between the Republican National Committee and ex-Congressman Tom DeLay's Republican Majority PAC.
• Gov. Rick Perry is refusing to debate Democratic challenger Bill White unless he releases decades' worth of tax returns. At the same time, Perry has filed for an extension for his 2009 taxes. White has complied with election law requiring that he make public all income earned while he's running for statewide office.
Quote of the Week
"My heart's really here."
– Police Chief Art Acevedo, explaining his decision to withdraw his bid for Dallas police chief and continue his service in Austin. See "State of the Art."