BBB: The Economics of Imagine Austin
Panel rescheduled to July 27 at the North Door. Doors at 6:30 p.m.
What makes for sustainable development? How best to build a city that never seems to stop growing? And what is the relationship between city code and Austin's future? Join us for the Austin Monitor's next Beers, Brains, and Betterment event. Panelists include CodeNEXT Code Advisory Group member Jim Duncan, longtime Austin planning watchdog Jeff Jack, AURA's Steven Yarak, and City of Austin CodeNEXT representative Matthew Lewis. As per the usual, Austin Monitor publisher Mike Kanin will moderate.
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Whispers View all
Leffingwell to speak in Seoul
Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell will be taking off to Seoul, South Korea, next week, where he has been invited to give the keynote address at a conference on the creative economy. While he was on City Council, Leffingwell was a big booster of Austin's creative economy, including Austin City Limits; the SXSW Music, Interactive and Film festivals; and Formula One. Last May, Council approved creation of a Creative Content Incentive Program within the city's Economic Development Department. The aim of the program is to increase Austin's competitive advantage in attracting TV, film and digital media projects to town to create more job opportunities for the local creative workforce. According to information released at the time, such projects are eligible for an incentive of up to .75 percent of wages paid to local workers. Leffingwell was a strong supporter of the incentive program, as well as a number of other job creation initiatives. In a 2012 report, TXP Inc. reported that the creative sector contributes just over $4.3 billion annually to Austin's economy. Leffingwell said Seoul's Mayor Park Won-soon invited him to give the speech.
McDonald takes job at Central Health
Stephanie McDonald will start her new job today as chief of staff at Central Health after a brief stint as vice president of public policy for the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, McDonald served as an aide to former Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and as executive director of the nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy. McDonald has worked in various communication campaigns in both the public and private sectors. She will report to Central Health CEO Trish Young Brown.
Chavez retirement party set
This Thursday, friends of Gail Chavez will gather at the Ginger Man, 301 Lavaca, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., to celebrate her retirement from the city. Chavez, who served as the first point of contact for many people visiting City Council offices, retired in early June. In addition to directing traffic on the second floor, she was the city's Proclamation Coordinator, writing approximately 2,000 certificates per year honoring various individuals and groups. Chavez worked for the city for nearly 16 years, serving under every mayor from Kirk Watson to Steve Adler. Many of her friends at City Hall, including employees who participated in Chavez's lunchtime run/walk program, miss her smiling face and knowledgeable assistance. The city has not yet hired a permanent employee for the job previously held by Chavez, although rumor has it that it is expected to happen at the end of August.
Happy Independence Day!
Today, the Austin Monitor will join city of Austin administrative offices and other municipal facilities in observing Independence Day by publishing a lighter edition than usual. At the city, pools will remain open and garbage collection will remain on schedule, but City Council offices, the Small & Minority Business Resources Department's office and Plan Room, the Entrepreneur Center and Business Solutions Center, the Austin History Center, Watershed Protection and Austin Utility Walk-In Payment Centers, all recreation and senior centers, all museums, all cultural arts centers, all nature centers and all botanical gardens will be closed. Additionally, Austin public libraries will be closed today, July 3, and Saturday, July 4. The Austin Animal Center will be closing early on the Fourth of July. Holiday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, July 4, many downtown roads will be closed for the HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks. To see a complete list of closures for this event and others, visit the city's website.
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