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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Monday, October 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Differences stark among D8 candidates vying to succeed Troxclair

In the City Council district with the lone conservative Republican representative on the 11-member body, voters in District 8 face a choice in November: elect a Council member who will remain a brake of sorts on policies that largely reflect…

Friday, October 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Convention center fate looms as Tourism Commission scrutinizes Visit Austin budgets

The most recent meeting of the city’s still-new Tourism Commission followed what could become a regular dynamic for the group: detailed “in the weeds” parsing of budgets and policies related to Austin’s tourism industry, with the proposed expansion of the…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Homeless services would get a boost from recommended budget earmarks

A budget amendment expected to go before City Council later this month would seek to direct up to $1 million in new money toward improvements to Austin’s downtown homeless shelter and provide other resources to move people out of homelessness.A…

Monday, October 8, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Affordability, CodeNEXT and displacement steer candidates in District 3 forum

The city’s failed CodeNEXT process – a nearly two-year rewrite of the Land Development Code that was scrapped in August – continues to be one of the most provocative issues in local politics. One needed only to listen in to…

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Housing, CodeNEXT restart and Houston’s positions shape D1 candidate forum

Ora Houston’s decision to exit City Council at the end of the year has ushered in a crowded field of contenders for her District 1 seat, but her presence and influence are still well felt in the positions and talking…

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Small progress, but Austin still lags in enabling 5G adoption

A pair of efforts to bring 5G telecommunication technology to portions of Austin is welcome news to proponents of the smart city capabilities available with widespread use. But the city still lags far behind other Texas cities in installation of…

Thursday, October 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

CodeNEXT failure, scooters and developers lead to new look at downtown plan

The Downtown Austin Plan, conceived in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis and approved in 2011 as Austin’s commercial real estate market was kicking back into high gear, is going to get a hard look under the hood.Last month,…

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Resolution would start push for affordable housing on former HealthSouth property

On Thursday, City Council will vote on taking the first step in redeveloping the former HealthSouth property on Red River Street, which has been identified by many as a potential site for the city to create affordable housing units.At Tuesday’s…

Monday, October 1, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With cuts reduced, arts groups push city to reshape future funding

The city’s Arts Commission has asked City Council to allocate more than $1 million in extra money to arts organizations recently informed they were facing sharp cuts in their funding from the city’s Cultural Arts Division.At last Monday’s special meeting…

Friday, September 28, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Petitioners seek public vote on city’s soccer stadium deal

The activist group that worked to derail the city’s CodeNEXT land use code update has set its sights on preventing the construction of a 20,000-seat soccer stadium in North Austin.IndyAustin has started gathering signatures on petitions that would call for…

Thursday, September 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With first acquisition, workforce housing fund looks for capital to grow

A real estate investment fund aimed at preserving Austin’s fast-disappearing supply of workforce housing announced the acquisition of its first 308-unit rental property in North Austin.The Austin Housing Conservancy recently closed on the Preserve at Wells Branch in a deal…

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Ethics commission pushes Austin Energy for info on retiree’s overtime case

An Austin Energy retiree who is being investigated for allegedly misusing his sick and vacation time will get more evidence from his former employer to possibly contest the city’s case against him.The Ethics Review Commission voted 9-0 last week to…

Friday, September 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Ethics commission considers examining possible ‘dark money’ violation

Members of Austin’s Ethics Review Commission are eager to examine a potential violation of the city’s “dark money” campaign finance law that has generated press attention and speculation in city political circles in recent weeks.At Wednesday night’s meeting, Commissioner Debra…

Friday, September 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Parking, recklessness among scooter concerns for city’s disability committee

Amid concerns over the safety of people in wheelchairs and the visually impaired, the Mayor’s Committee for People With Disabilities pressed the Austin Transportation Department to take steps soon to improve the behavior of users of rentable motorized scooters, and…

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Cuts to arts groups brings call for changes to funding mechanism

Local arts groups facing dramatic cuts in their funding levels from the city could get some relief this budget year, and possibly an earlier heads-up in future budget years if their funding allocations appear headed for a decrease.The city’s Arts…

Monday, September 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts space assistance doubles in new budget, but is it enough?

The city has revived the Arts Space Assistance Program that was created in 2017 and received overwhelming demand from local arts groups facing a loss of space, but was discontinued in the current budget due to lack of funding.The Fiscal…

Thursday, September 13, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Fee increase at Barton Springs among host of aquatics centers plans

A far-reaching analysis of changes in operations at the city’s pools and aquatics centers includes a jump in admission prices for Barton Springs, one of the city’s most popular tourist and recreation spots.The new fee schedule included in a recent…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Don’t expect harmony from groups attached to $128M push for creative, culture centers

While the city’s cultural centers and the disparate arts and music communities will win or lose collectively in November when voters decide whether to approve $128 million in bond funding, it appears those groups will be working separately to campaign…

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With hotel tax money in play, Tourism Commission meetings grow heated

The second meeting of the city’s new Tourism Commission saw the group vote down a possible $3 million marketing campaign for local live music, while also dusting off the long-running debate about public safety expenses for the South by Southwest…

Monday, September 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Music groups take aim at the ballot box with new nonprofit

Two months before the November midterm elections, a consortium of businesses and nonprofits involved in Austin’s music industry have banded together with the goal of having a greater influence at the ballot box.The new Music Moves Austin 501(c)(4) nonprofit has…

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