City Council was busy as all get-out this week, with a work session on Tuesday, a special called meeting on Wednesday, and its regular, 100-plus Item meeting on Thursday. Hot topics include CodeNEXT, a vote to appoint Brian Manley the permanent chief of the Austin Police Department, and growing tensions over the creation of a tourism commission. See "City Cyclone," June 15, and coverage throughout the section.
Houston won't seek re-election. In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, District 1 Council Member Ora Houston announced that she won't join the race to defend her seat. "It has been a joy, privilege and a huge responsibility to represent the 'blended family' of District 1," said Houston, concluding, "I will continue to represent all constituents with integrity, vigor and compassion until my term ends."
Joining the d1 race is Vincent Harding, who on Tuesday left the Travis County Democratic Party, where he'd served as chairperson for the past three years. See "A New Era for the Travis County Democratic Party," June 15.
Competition for McKalla Place is heating up, as developers Capella Capital Partners and Whitfield-Chen have announced desire to build mixed-use developments on the land being sought by Precourt Sports Ventures for a Major League Soccer stadium. See "Soccer in Austin?" June 15.
Public Information Information: The city established a new "Public Records Center" this week to handle the ever expanding volume of open records requests. Under the new procedure, reporters or others requesting documents will be asked to create a "customer account" with their email address and password – for an online system that will allow them to track and manage requests and documents. For more, see www.austintexas.gov/news/new-system-submitting-public-information-requests-launches-today.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Schenectady's Gary McCarthy for the 2018 Mayors' Climate Protection Award, in acknowledgment of the cities' efforts in promoting renewable energy and other programs aimed at mitigating global warming.
Beto Conquers The Counties: Beto O'Rourke's campaign succeeded in visiting all 254 Texas counties. The expansive road trip is novel to state Dem campaigns, which typically focus largely on major metro areas.
Couple of Conventions: If you're wondering where your state leaders might be over the next week or so, Republicans will flock to San Antonio June 14-16 for their state convention, while Democrats meet in Ft. Worth, beginning June 21.