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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Workforce housing group eyes four apartment complex purchases in 2019

An investment group focused on preserving workforce housing units around Austin has announced plans to add 1,200 more apartment units to its portfolio in 2019.The Austin Housing Conservancy Fund expects to purchase four apartment complexes around the city this year…

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Disability committee wants study to bring attention, dollars to issues

The Mayor’s Committee for People With Disabilities has asked city staff to begin gathering information on how to commission a comprehensive report on the quality of life of and prominent issues facing the city’s disabled community.The committee voted unanimously at…

Monday, January 14, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Music commission pushes for action on ‘agent of change’

Members of the city’s Music Commission are pushing staff for action to produce an “agent of change” ordinance that City Council can vote on to bring some clarity to friction between entertainment venues and nearby hotels and residences.At last week’s…

Friday, January 11, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

City charter would push possible stadium election to November

Petitions calling for an election that could challenge the city’s deal for a new soccer stadium aren’t expected to be certified until early February, but city staff has already decided November is the soonest a referendum election could take place.Citing…

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Political accelerator ready for next class of future Council hopefuls

Having been an active presence in Dallas-area Democratic and political organizations prior to relocating to Austin four years ago, Zenette Dorsey noticed some unique traits about local political discourse around big issues.“Austin is going through an identity crisis with the…

Monday, January 7, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

New event deadline means clarity, crunch time for SXSW planners

The Austin Center for Events has set a hard deadline of Feb. 8 for applications for special events scheduled to take place during spring festival season, or the 10 days in March that span the South by Southwest festival.Setting that…

Friday, December 28, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Tovo to keep focus on housing, homelessness issues in 2019

Questions of where and how people live in Austin – specifically in District 9 – remained a front-of-mind issue for Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo in 2018.Whether she was on the City Council dais or involved in campaign events ahead…

Thursday, December 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Pool proud of progress at all levels in 2018

Leslie Pool doesn’t restate Tip O’Neill’s legendary adage “All politics is local” when looking back at 2018 and ahead to 2019. Still, when reviewing the policy and on-the-ground actions that have mattered to her the most, the small neighborhood moves…

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

For Garza, D2 growth brings services and focus on land use

There’s a blown-up map of Southeast Austin in the office of District 2 Council Member Delia Garza, with multicolored overlays providing a look at the total scope of residential and commercial development in progress in the area.There are dozens of…

Friday, December 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

After re-election, Adler in ‘do stuff’ mode for 2019

As upbeat as Mayor Steve Adler stays most of the time when talking about the stalled and heavily criticized CodeNEXT rewrite of the city’s land use code, it’s still easy to hear the exasperation and disappointment that lingers over the…

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Budget amendment means new $150M Austin Energy HQ at Mueller

Austin Energy will move its offices on Barton Springs Road to a new headquarters at the Mueller development in North Austin, a move that is expected to save the city roughly $1 million per year.Last week City Council unanimously approved…

Monday, December 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Reporters’ Notebook: On tacos and cities

Bullish on tacos… Anyone who’s heard Mayor Steve Adler invoke his civic pride at events over the past four years has undoubtedly heard him praise the availability and variety of breakfast tacos as a badge of honor for the city.…

Friday, December 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Tourism Commission pushes for broader use of hotel tax dollars

Austin’s Tourism Commission wants to see the city push for more latitude in how to spend local hotel occupancy tax dollars, with an eye toward next year’s session of the state Legislature.At Monday’s meeting, the commission approved a recommendation for…

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Waller Creek taxes ID’d to possibly fund $30M in housing for homeless

City staff members have recommended that City Council consider using funds from the tax increment refinancing zone (TIRZ) created for the Waller Creek improvement project and system of parks as the biggest funding source for providing housing and services for…

Friday, December 7, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin economy looks sunny, with affordability as the biggest cloud

Austin business and policy leaders were shown a optimistic picture of the state and local economy Thursday at the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic forecast, with the smallest concern on the horizon partly a result of the city’s strong…

Thursday, December 6, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Local pols examine impacts, options in state school funding debate

Leaders from all levels of government in Central Texas, plus most of the area’s school districts, learned Wednesday that they could be in for budgetary hits if state lawmakers pass limits on local property tax increases without restructuring the state’s…

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin looks to other music cities as ‘agent of change’ ordinance develops

If Austin is to make real progress in its new round of trying to pass an ordinance intended to calm noise complaints between residential buildings and entertainment venues, a number of lingering issues from the shelved 2017 effort will have…

Monday, December 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

D1 forum looks at city’s role in affordability, health care, displacement

The runoff election to fill the seat of District 1 Council Member Ora Houston may well hinge on the approaches candidates Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar take to persistent East Austin issues such as housing affordability, health care access and…

Friday, November 30, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Renteria, Almanza show stark differences in D3 runoff forum

A recent forum between District 3 City Council candidates Pio Renteria and Susana Almanza – who are siblings – showed that the runoff election may center on how much one of Austin’s fastest-growing areas should change in the years to…

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin, TravCo leaders brace for state laws targeting revenue, local control

Austin leaders have started gaming out the budget cuts and possible staffing and service reductions that would come from possible state caps on property tax increases.At last week’s meeting of the Austin Regional Affordability Committee, city staff briefed a consortium…

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