Council: Rehab and Reuse
Will TNCs make it back to the agenda?
By Michael King, Fri., Oct. 10, 2014
City Council next meets Thursday, Oct. 16 (work session Oct. 14), still in comfortable exile at Travis County Commissioners Court, while work crews continue rehabbing their City Hall digs to accommodate the next 11-member Council. Compared to the recent agendas, next week's posted 68-item draft looks like a walk in the park, although that could change by Friday's deadline. Members are anticipated, for example, to return to a third reading discussion of what to do about "transportation network companies" (media-euphemised as "ride-sharing") – i.e., Uber and Lyft, the headline subjects of the last couple of meetings. That's not yet on the draft agenda, presumably because of tinkering-in-progress, but it was also clear that not all the members were on board for the first two readings, so it may get stickier as they proceed. Other proposals of note:
• Potential adoption of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
• Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole's resolution to explore an economic development corporation (recommended in the Downtown Austin Plan and the Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Report).
• A resolution (also by Cole, who has others on affordable housing and "social impact financing") wondering if the city can somehow acquire ownership of both units at the Fayette Power plant.
• Several resolutions responding to the controversy over the apparently bungled "conflict of interest" charge by the city auditor against Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez (See "Then There's This: The 'Witch Hunt' of a Commissioner," May 30).
• Another resolution opposing SH 45, this one directing the city manager to "take action" (not yet specified) concerning construction (CMs Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison).
The morning briefings include the postponed update on Re-entry Roundtable, and an unspecified report on the "Walter E. Long Request for Qualification," undoubtedly for one of the many projects percolating over the northeast metropolitan park and lake.
There are more zoning discussions (over a dozen) than a single meeting is likely to shake a stick at, and almost as many public hearings, including one on the Pease Park Master Plan and another that might raise sand on an ordinance addressing "efficiency dwelling units in certain multifamily zoning districts."
Proclamations will include Arbor Day and Save for Retirement Week (good advice, alas), but our favorite this session is National Reuse Day, to which the journalism biz is thoroughly devoted. Thanks for the proclamation; we've been reusing the same jokes for years.
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