Naked City

News briefs from Austin, the region, and beyond

Sandra Harkins of the city’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development office updates community members on redevelopment plans for the East 11th and East 12th streets corridor, a slow-moving project that’s testing the patience of neighbors and landowners. 
See “<a href=http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid:1037397><b>ARA ‘Conversation’</b></a>” for more.
Sandra Harkins of the city’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development office updates community members on redevelopment plans for the East 11th and East 12th streets corridor, a slow-moving project that’s testing the patience of neighbors and landowners. See “ARA ‘Conversation’” for more. (Photo by John Anderson)

AE GM Search in the Wind

Austin Energy may have its new general manager by early July, according to Scott Fry of Mycoff, Fry, and Prouse, the consulting group currently vetting applicants for the city. The firm has narrowed the candidate list to "eight or 10" likely suspects, Fry told the Chronicle this week, and he expects the city will announce its short list around June 14, hold a public candidate forum at the end of the month, and name the top two choices – if not the winner – as early as July 1. Fry confirmed that several candidates are "internal" (currently or formerly employed by AE) but declined to give further specifics. City Hall watchers have floated four names:

Bob Kahn, formerly CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and, before that, AE deputy general manager, general counsel, and vice president for legal services;

Cheryl Mele, AE deputy general manager and chief operating officer;

Kerry Overton, deputy general manager of shared services; and

Karl Rábago, VP of distributed energy services.

Former General Manager Roger Duncan retired in February. Duncan, whose credentials reach back to the local anti-nuke movement of the late Seventies, has played no small role in the forward-thinking green initiatives for which AE has often been celebrated. Whoever takes his place will be filling some big – albeit lightly treading – shoes. – Nora Ankrum

Stick 'Em Up

The Austin Police Department is teaming with the Greater Austin Crime Commission to host a gun buyback program this Saturday, June 5, 9am-3pm, at Austin Cornerstone Church, 1101 Reinli, in Northeast Austin. The Guns4Groceries program offers anyone a chance to surrender a firearm to police – with no questions asked – in exchange for money: An air gun or BB gun will net you $10; handguns and rifles will get you $100 apiece; each assault rifle will bring $200. Guns should be brought unloaded; ammo and guns should be stored separately in paper bags. This is Austin's first foray into the gun buyback business. – Jordan Smith

East Riverside Needs You

The city has issued a call for nominations for a working group to help create a new form-based code for the East Riverside Corridor. The code will "help achieve the vision of a walkable, transit-supportive corridor" in the area's master plan. Nominations are due June 14; self-nominations are accepted. Working group members will serve as go-betweens for the community and city staff, commit to a monthly series of public meetings and working group meetings, work through detailed consideration of ERC Regulating Plan issues, and help staff prepare for public meetings. All representatives need to be committed to the vision in the council-adopted master plan. The Planning Department's proposed makeup for the 12-member group is heavily weighted toward residents of the immediate neighborhoods. Staff propose including only one developer and one commercial property owner. City planner Erica Leak said the city is still considering how to engage East Riverside landowners and developers as partners in support of the vision. For more info, including the staff presentation at a May 17 public meeting, see www.eastriversidecorridor.com. – Katherine Gregor

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin Energy, General Manager, Roger Duncan

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