Council: Ridin' the (R)App
Council continues TNC debate
Near the end of Tuesday's City Council work session, Mayor Lee Leffingwell remarked wryly that the dais discussion of regulations for transportation network companies (i.e., ride-booking services Uber and Lyft) is clearly not concluded, even though the proposed resolution (Item 38) will reach its third reading today (Oct. 16). While the discussion has mostly proceeded as a shadow campaign debate between Council Members and District 9 opponents Chris Riley and Kathie Tovo, the whole Council is uneasy on the matter, and could well flip on whether to proceed on contract negotiations with the companies (which continue to seem content with illegal operations). (See "Council: Third Try for Ride-for-Hire," p.18).
Also likely to raise sparks on today's agenda are a couple of items (24 and 33) trying to walk back the city's auditor's ruling that former Zero Waste Advisory Commissioner Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez engaged in a "conflict-of-interest" on ZWAC. Council's authority in the matter is limited, and the work session discussion focused largely on what might be possible (see "Witch Hunt," p.16).
Other Items of interest on the 70-item agenda:
• Item 23: A resolution to explore negotiating room with the Lower Colorado River Authority on the city's ownership interests in the Fayette Power Plant (Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, CMs Bill Spelman and Riley).
• Item 28: A resolution directing staff to move forward on "Family Friendly Housing" strategies for the central city, a joint project of the city, AISD, and Travis County (Tovo, Laura Morrison, Mike Martinez).
• Item 29: A resolution hoping to find some way the city can stick another legal roadblock in the Highway 45 SW Project, now rolling toward construction (Tovo, Morrison).
• Item 35: A resolution proposing an escalating living wage rate for the civilian city work force, with a task force to explore implementation (Martinez, Tovo, Morrison).
• Public hearings on "efficiency dwelling units" and the Pease Park Master Plan.
The morning briefings (if there's time) include potential proposals for Walter E. Long Park (Decker Lake) and a re-attempt to review the Re-entry Roundtable. There's also the usual brace of zoning cases, and it's Arbor Day, Social Innovation Month, and Archives Week. Let's hope soon it's Back to City Hall Day – Travis Co. Commissioners Court is beginning to feel like Overstayed Guests Month.