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Who’s minding the store? Alter

Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Jo Clifton

With four people absent, today’s City Council meeting is scheduled to start late and end early. Council Member Alison Alter will chair the meeting, which will start at 11:30 a.m.

Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Delia Garza are all attending the Equity Summit 2018 in Chicago, which started Wednesday and runs through Friday. Council Member Ellen Troxclair is on maternity leave, having just given birth to her second daughter. Council needs a quorum of six members to approve any item.

At the summit, Adler and Tovo are attending meetings on displacement, and Garza is serving on a panel about equity in economic development. Garza said she would not have agreed to serve on the panel if she had known that Tovo and Adler would also be gone that day, but she stressed that the topic is of particular importance to her and the city. Adler said that Austin competed to be part of the cohort of cities participating in the meeting on displacement and that he thought it was important for them to be there.

Adler announced at Tuesday’s work session that Alter would chair Thursday’s Council meeting but that controversial items would be postponed.

Council Member Ann Kitchen argued in favor of starting the meeting at noon with citizen communication and not taking a lunch break, with the expectation that the meeting would end fairly early in the day. Then staff announced that the 10:30 a.m. Austin Housing Finance Corporation portion of the meeting would be postponed to another date. However, City Attorney Anne Morgan pointed out that one member of Council will need to be there to gavel the meeting in at 10 a.m. because the agenda has already been posted with that time.

Council Member Pio Renteria announced that he has a long-standing doctor’s appointment at 9:30 a.m. and will not be able to attend the meeting until he gets back from that, probably around 11 a.m. Kitchen stated that she would be out between 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Alter said she would prefer to start the meeting at 11:30 a.m., and that’s where it stands. Some zoning cases are scheduled for 2 p.m., with a public hearing scheduled for 4 p.m.

Photo by John Flynn.

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