Monday, November 7, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Apocalypse later

Must be Tuesday… There are a lot of details that will be needed to be sorted on Tuesday. (Most pressing, probably: Is it the end of the world or not? And: Where’s my bug-out bag?) Thankfully, one of the details no longer on the table is keeping track of what happens at the City Council work session. At their last meeting, Council members voted to forgo this week’s work session, as they had hinted they would be doing. Council Member Ann Kitchen explained why she was voting against holding the meeting by saying, “This is a major day for the country and for us locally. … And I think it’s highly inappropriate and would be inappropriate for us to keep the work session on the 8th.” Her comments were backed up by a majority on the dais during a discussion that also touched upon whether Council would be meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10, either, and whether the Grove at Shoal Creek rezoning case would be heard then or pushed to the next meeting to allow more time for mediation. That wasn’t really established either, but there seemed to be an informal agreement that Council members would check in on the City Council Message Board, where so far only Council Member Ora Houston has indicated that she will be at the Nov. 10 meeting. At any rate, your Tuesday schedule now has more room for panicking and refreshing your browsers. Have fun, y’all!

Go ahead: Make my day… The last meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission was a marathon one, thanks to a host of East Side demolition permits that had been postponed at the previous meeting. So it was a very tired Commissioner Terri Myers who explained that she stayed until the bitter, almost-1 a.m. end in order to ensure that the St. Annie AME Church be placed on the next agenda in order to initiate historic zoning. While she was at it, Myers addressed rumors that developers were trying to remove the historic landmark designation for Pioneer Farms. “Let’s see ’em try,” laughed Historic Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky.

Just to be perfectly, crystal clear… Last week, some temporary confusion over a tweet by one of our very own caused a bit of a ruckus. Though our own reporting on the subject was correct, we might as well point out that Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC (MTFG) is not the same as Manchester Financial Group (MFG) and that father Douglas F. Manchester does not have the same political views as his son, Douglas W. Manchester. (Not confusing at all, right?) At any rate, it was the non-Trump-loving son who contributed to Austin’s Proposition 1 campaign. In his words, “A recent social media tweet attempted to link my support of the City of Austin’s Prop 1 with Donald Trump. While I share aspirations with my father for quality development work, we have many different political views – and it’s ludicrous to try to connect dots between my support of Prop 1 to the presidential election. I would personally like Austinites to know I have not nor will not support Trump. Furthermore, I strongly believe in the inherent rights of all – including women, LGBT and minorities. The world needs more love and less hate – almost as badly as Austin needs real transportation solutions. Go Prop 1!”

This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebook of Elizabeth Pagano.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

Historic Landmark Commission: The city’s Historic Landmark Commission promotes historic preservation of buildings and structures. The commission also reviews applications and permits for historic zoning and historic grants.

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