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City Council set to adopt budget today
Monday, September 13, 2010 by Michael Kanin
As the Austin City Council convenes in a special called budget session this morning, members could be looking at a roomful of people wanting to talk to them about the city budget, water rates and taxes. Or perhaps not.
The Council is meeting at 9:30am to take care of a number of matters regarding its ongoing work to develop the city’s 2010-2011 budget, including adopting the budget on first reading—and if they can get at least five votes, all three readings needed for final passage.
The only item actually posted for a public hearing is the property tax rate. However, a large number of people are expected to be at the meeting, including singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, to protest the proposed rate increase in the rates from the Austin Water Utility, one of several matters that must be considered separately.
The Save Our Springs Alliance, along with about a dozen other groups, is campaigning against the water budget. It has sent a letter to Council members asking them to vote against the rate hikes, saying they are excessive and would not be necessary if the city was not building Water Treatment Plant 4. SOS claims that the plant is not needed and building it will waste taxpayers’ money.
In addition, last week the group sponsored a robo-call message to taxpayers from political operative Linda Curtis, outlining the SOS position and calling for people to attend Monday’s meeting and protest. While Curtis’s message may have reached the masses, it might not have made it to City Hall: the number she gave for contacting Mayor Lee Leffingwell was incorrect, according to several people who heard the message.
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