Council: Back in Action

Members return to a lengthy to-do list


City Council hasn't met for a regular meeting since late June, but members have been busy ... and will continue to be. (photo by John Anderson)

City Council returns to the dais today, Thursday, Aug. 9, with a full slate of 113 Items, including the long-awaited changes to our Chapter 380 economic incentives; extension of Integral Care's Expanded Mobile Crisis Outreach Team; and a temporary police sick leave donation policy. There'll also be public hearings on the proposed property tax rate (see this week's budget feature), the lowest it's been since 2010, though complaints are still sure to come – and members need to finalize the bond package for this November.

Due to a confluence of events, today's meeting, Council's first "regular" meeting since June, is already their fifth this week. On Monday, after a noon Capital Metro work session on Federal Transit Administration grants, members took in City Manager Spencer Cronk's first budget proposal presentation. Mayor Steve Adler was Council's only representative to make comments at that event, so expect to hear a few interjections from members today about which needles they'd like to move.

If Monday's double-up wasn't enough, Tuesday's morning work session featured a briefing on the Seaholm Waterfront Proj­ect, which will revitalize the old power plant district. Then, after considering a cluster of legal items in executive session, members moved to an afternoon session on Precourt Sports Ventures' proposal to bring a soccer stadium to McKalla Place, which goes to a vote today (see "Pick your plan for McKalla Place"). Council continues to sift through the agreement for the pesky details. Last weekend, CM Alison Alter posted a New York Times story to Council's online message board that details the economics of Major League Soccer, particularly how players are developed and swapped between clubs. Alter has questioned why the agreement counts the team's proposed Youth Devel­op­ment Academy – an MLS requirement – as a $48 million community benefit.

MLS and the annual budget process seem puny in comparison to the anvil dropped last week when Adler suggested scrapping CodeNEXT and hitting reset on a comprehensive land development code rewrite ("So Goes CodeNEXT"). Council is expected to vote to terminate the process today, and the issue is already being seized upon by those vying to replace Council's incumbents in this November's election, a dynamic sure to last throughout the fall.

Unfortunately, the demise of CodeNEXT doesn't mean fundamental disagreements on density get to be buried along with it. Unless there's a substantive shake-up in November, we'll continue to see those manifest themselves on the dais for the foreseeable future.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Council
Council: Almost Time Again
Council: Almost Time Again
A busy return from summer break

Nina Hernandez, Aug. 3, 2018

Council: Break’s Over, Budget Time Begins
Council: Break’s Over, Budget Time Begins
Number crunching

Nina Hernandez, July 27, 2018

More by Nina Hernandez
County on Pace to Set Record for In-Custody Deaths
County on Pace to Set Record for In-Custody Deaths
Arthur David Westley is sixth to die in custody this year

Aug. 10, 2018

Austin Justice Coalition Gets Grant
Austin Justice Coalition Gets Grant
$20,000 in funding will allow AJC to “advance justice”

Aug. 10, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

City Council, Steve Adler, Spencer Cronk, Alison Alter, Major League Soccer, CodeNEXT

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle