Public Notice: 'Tis the Season
Tailgaters and fundraisers: It must be fall
We don't really have proper climatic seasons in this part of the country, but the unmistakable signs of fall are in the air nonetheless. In Austin that means a heavy dose of UT football (men's and women's; see "Soccer Watch"), and candidate fundraisers and forums at local restaurants and community centers. See the listings below for a few of those, and Richard Whittaker's report for a look at the first major endorsement action in the Austin Community College board of trustee races. This week, the focus is on the Austin City Council, where we have at least three vigorously contested races, among the five incumbents seeking re-election after the first abbreviated terms of the first 10-1 City Council.
The League of Women Voters of the Austin Area, along with the city of Austin and the city's Ethics Review Commission, is conducting a series of candidate forums beginning tonight, for each of the five districts that are on the Nov. 8 ballot:
• Thu., Sept. 8: District 4 (Greg Casar, Louis Herrin III, Gonzalo Camacho), Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg.
• Fri., Sept. 9: District 7 (Leslie Pool, Natalie Gauldin), Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Dr.
• Thu., Sept. 15: District 6 (Don Zimmerman, Jimmy Flannigan), Hope Presbyterian Church, 11512 Olson.
• Tue., Sept. 20: District 10 (Sheri Gallo, Alison Alter, Rob Walker, Nicholas Virden), Jewish Community Center, 7300 Hart.
• Fri., Sept. 23: District 2 (Delia Garza, Casey Ramos, Wesley Faulkner), Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez.
Each forum begins at 6pm; for more information, including a list of candidates, go to www.austintexas.gov/10-one.
These People Are Making Plans for Your City
The Parkland Events Task Force has been developing recommendations for City Council on "how best to manage events at Austin's parks while balancing general public use of the parks" – an increasingly contentious topic as the number and scale of private events on public parkland have been on the rise. A set of draft recommendations has just been made public, and the PETF will hold a special called meeting this week to discuss them and gather public feedback. The meeting is Tue., Sept. 13, 6-8pm, at the Zilker Botanical Garden Meeting Room, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., and you can see the draft policy recommendations here.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is holding a number of public meetings this week, to present and gather feedback on various capital projects around town:
• Bull Creek District Park PARD staff will conduct outreach and a park user survey about desired improvements and needs, to kick off a master planning process for this 48-acre district park that connects to a larger trail system in the Bull Creek Greenbelt. Sat., Sept. 10, 10am-1pm at Bull Creek District Park (near the parking lot and restrooms), 6701 Lakewood. www.austintexas.gov/bullcreekplan.
• Dove Springs District Park engage with PARD staff and Contracts and Concessions Committee members, to discuss programming and amenity needs, including possible concessions. Tue., Sept. 13, 6:30-7:30pm, Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez.
• Palm Park and Waller Creek PARD and the Waller Creek Conservancy "invite the community to learn about the exciting transformation coming to Waller Creek." (Which sounds kind of ominous, but anyway...) There's a new preliminary design for this neglected Downtown park, based on an earlier round of public feedback; attendees can check it out, and offer additional feedback at this second round of conversations. Palm Park is at 711 E. Third on the southbound I-35 access road; the meetings are Thu., Sept. 15, 6-7:30pm, at Waller Ballroom, 700 E. Sixth, and Sat., Sept. 17, 10-11:30am, at the AISD Performing Arts Center, 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. www.wallercreek.org.