Stories by Gene Davis

Monday, September 8, 2014 by Gene Davis

Materials Marketplace boosts Zero Waste plan

City officials are touting a new initiative they say will move Austin toward its Zero Waste goals while helping businesses along the way. The Austin Materials Marketplace is a business-to-business material reuse program. Basically, the initiative created an online database…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by Gene Davis

APD faces tough questions at community forum

During an emotionally charged public forum on police accountability, Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo defended the department against accusations that officers unfairly target minorities. The Travis County Democratic Party hosted Tuesday’s forum at the North Door after it passed…

Thursday, August 28, 2014 by Gene Davis

AISD funding situation dire, panel hears

On the second day back in school for students, Austin Independent School District Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley briefed the Council Audit and Finance Committee on the severe financial challenges the district is facing. Or, as Council Member Laura Morrison…

Monday, August 18, 2014 by Gene Davis

No ballot question on Onion Creek buyout

    The question of whether Austin should buy out 240 at-risk homes in the Onion Creek floodplain will not go before voters in November. During a special called meeting Friday, Austin City Council voted 5-1 against putting the buyout…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Gene Davis

Property tax relief hot topic at mayoral forum

During the South Austin Democrats‘ mayoral candidate forum Tuesday night, candidate Steve Adler defended his position in support of a citywide 20 percent homestead tax exemption. Fellow mayoral candidates Mike Martinez and Sheryl Cole have blasted Adler’s flat 20 percent…

Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Gene Davis

Adler has a good day, but falls short of getting endorsement

Editor Jo Clifton contributed to this report. Although he did not win their endorsement, mayoral candidate Steve Adler had a good day at the Austin Environmental Democrats meeting Wednesday, coming away with 47.5 percent of the vote. His closest rival,…

Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Gene Davis

Environmental Democrats hear Riley, Tovo, but make no endorsement

In front of Wednesday’s standing-room only crowd at the Austin Environmental Democrats forum, micro houses– so-called “granny flats” – proved a defining issue between Council members and District 9 candidates Kathie Tovo and Chris Riley. However, neither of them was…

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 by Gene Davis

Public Safety Commission endorses distracted driving ordinance

Public Safety Commissioners got a preview Monday of recommendations to expand the city’s ban on texting while driving. The recommendations from the Distracted Driving Working Group – formed by City Council in January via a resolution – propose banning the…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Gene Davis

Rights commission recommends source of income as protected class

After hearing stories from low-income residents about how they were vilified while trying to use housing vouchers, the Austin Human Rights Commission last night backed a recommendation to make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against people based on the…

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 by Gene Davis

Public Safety Commission calls proposed APD budget inadequate

Public Safety Commissioners did not attempt to hide their displeasure Monday with the proposed FY 2015 Austin Police Department budget.   APD’s budget plan calls for $307.6 million, which is a $12.2 million increase from FY 2014 and adds funding…

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Gene Davis

Facing financial losses, Austin Water considers 15.2 percent rate hike

With the Austin Water Utility projected to lose another $27 million this fiscal year, David Anders, the utility’s assistant director of finance and business services, said customers could potentially see a 15.2 percent rate hike in their water service bills…

Monday, April 14, 2014 by Gene Davis

Public Safety Commissioner criticizes APD’s sting operations

A member of the city’s Public Safety Commission is criticizing the Austin Police Department’s tactics in two recent sting operations in the downtown area. Commissioner Kent Anschutz last week accused police of clogging the jails and courts with people accused…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Gene Davis

Public Safety Commissioners voice concerns over SXSW security

In their first meeting since the South by Southwest drunken driving tragedy that killed four people, Public Safety Commissioners voiced their concerns Monday that aspects of the festival are growing out of control.   Commission Chair Kim Rossmo said the…

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Gene Davis

Mental health agency seeks to meet standards to expand coverage

With more than $13 million at stake this fiscal year, Charles Harrison, chief financial officer for Austin Travis County Integral Care, told community members at a March 20 forum that a combination of projects aimed at increasing health care services…

Friday, March 7, 2014 by Gene Davis

Struggle coming over which agency should lead on prescribed burns

After hearing that wildfire prevention efforts led to the prescribed burn of approximately 200 acres in 2013, several Public Safety Commissioners said this week that they worried that any burn not led by the Austin Fire Department poses a safety…

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by Gene Davis

Public Safety panel backs expanding city’s texting-while-driving ban

After hearing the city’s chief prosecutor say that drivers on their cell phones are 23 times more likely to be in a wreck than a driver who isn’t distracted, the Public Safety Commission approved a resolution Monday asking City Council…

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Gene Davis

Health care collaborative to receive $29 million in federal funds

The Central Health Board of Managers gave a rare standing ovation Wednesday night after hearing that Travis County’s new healthcare delivery system for low-income residents is the recipient of $29 million in federal funding.   With an additional $20.3 million…

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 by Gene Davis

AFD calls for more rescue boats, improved notification systems

Just more than a month after the Halloween flood devastated parts of Austin and Travis County, Austin Fire Department representatives told the Public Safety Commission Monday that more rescue boats and an improved emergency notification system are needed to better…

Monday, December 2, 2013 by Gene Davis

City management increases restrictions on employee gifts

Sparked by a case where city employees walked away with $11,000 in prizes from a work-related convention, Human Resources Director Mark Washington has outlined a new policy that places stricter limits on the gifts city employees can receive while on…

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Gene Davis

Leffingwell appoints committee to explore Innovation District

Mayor Lee Leffingwell, using descriptions such as “a catalyst for long-term prosperity” and “creating the Austin of the future,” set high expectations for an Innovation District being planned just west of the future Dell Medical School Campus at the University…

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