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APA gets 2 years for TLAC repairs
City Council members voted 5-2 Thursday to, among other items, grant an extension to Austin Pets Alive!'s lease on the former City of Austin Town Lake Animal Shelter. The resolution ultimately allows the group to repair the facility and occupy it while the master plan for the Lamar Beach area comes together. The TLAC facility would still "come down," in the words of item lead sponsor Council Member Mike Martinez. The opposing votes belonged to Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Bill Spelman. Leffingwell moved to limit the extension to September 2015 amid concerns from City of Austin Animal Services Director Abigail Smith, who worried that APA could not come up with funds for necessary repairs. Spelman sought a compromise to set the extension at a year. As the Monitor first reported last week, the TLAC facility failed a recent state inspection.
Council OKs $5,000 Homestead Exemption
Austin City Council members OK'd a $5,000 homestead exemption for city homeowners Thursday. This is not to be confused with the much larger 20 percent exemption proposed on the campaign trail by multiple Council candidates. That latter exemption would bring the city in line with other local entities, including Travis County. Should the new Council choose to go with a 20 percent exemption, it would have to find millions of dollars' worth of additional cuts or other savings to accommodate it.
Rep. Doggett to campaign with Casar
Austin's popular Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett has thrown himself into the City Council District 4 runoff in support of Greg Casar. Casar led in the Nov. 4 election over his runoff opponent, Laura Pressley. Casar garnered 38.6 percent of the vote as compared to Pressley's 21.5 percent in a field of eight candidates. In a news release Wednesday, Casar reported that since part of District 4 overlaps with Doggett's Congressional District 35, "we decided to knock on some doors side by side, throw a fundraising event to help support the campaign and then break bread with our supporters at a wonderful, family-owned restaurant" on Saturday. Casar has support from numerous Democratic organizations and local labor groups. Pressley announced Wednesday that she has been endorsed by the Austin Gray Panthers as well as two former opponents.
Council names interim city auditor
After toying with the idea of appointing Deputy City Auditor Corrie Stokes as the new city auditor outright, City Council pulled back Thursday and voted to name her interim auditor instead. Council voted 7-0 for a substitute motion, appointing Stokes as the acting city auditor. That will be effective Dec. 1. The substitute motion also states that "the Council expresses its full confidence that Corrie Stokes demonstrates the qualifications and has the requisite experience to be a high-performing city auditor in service to the city, and strongly urges the new Council to appoint her as city auditor."
Latest Headlines for Friday, November 21
It may have taken an executive order, but President Barack Obama seems to have headed off a dispute between the City of Austin and Travis County. The long-standing controversy involving Sheriff Greg Hamilton’s participation in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s…
Monitor reporter Tyler Whitson joins publisher Mike Kanin to talk TNCs with the City of Austin’s Gordon Derr and Carlton Thomas as well as UT Professor Kara Kockelman to talk transportation networking companies. The show is posted below:
Worries about water — and Central Texas’ persistent drought — have derailed, at least temporarily, plans for the Decker Lake golf course. After hearing concerns from Austin Water Utility Director Greg Meszaros, City Council voted 7-0 to postpone consideration of…
The Austin City Council approved the contentious city coyote management plan Thursday evening, to a loud round of applause and a few woofs of approval from community members sitting in the audience. “This may not be the last word on…
Following lengthy discussion and public input, City Council unanimously passed an interim ordinance Thursday that limits overnight concrete pouring in parts of downtown from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and initiates a 60-day stakeholder process for a permanent solution. The…
City Council members Thursday quietly passed a resolution that instructs Austin City Manager Marc Ott to “forward to Council any written communication received by the City Manager from the State of Texas, or any agency of the State of Texas,…
City Council will likely consider a new utility debt policy soon, after learning from staff that customers have accrued about $76 million in electricity debt alone, mostly over the past three years. Staff also reported that customers owe more than…
A proposed local historic district within Travis Heights won the unanimous support of the Historic Landmark Commission this week. “I received something like 17 letters in favor of this, and only one letter in opposition,” said Commissioner Terri Myers. Bluebonnet…