Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austinites may soon be able to directly support candidates through voucher donations

When it comes to political campaigning, it’s no secret that Austin has funding inequalities. Some fear these funding inequalities have fostered a lack of engagement among voters that has helped lead to the city’s notorious low turnout at the polls.Responding…

Friday, February 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Regret an ethics complaint? City may soon allow take-backs

On occasion, a complaint will come to the Ethics Review Commission only to be later followed by a request for withdrawal. However, according to current code, a request of this nature may not be honored.Concerned with the inability of plaintiffs to…

Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

The Austin people have spoken through six resolutions on displacement and gentrification

In Austin, it appears that the people have a plan. This past Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Susana Almanza of People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER) and Fred McGhee of Preserve Rosewood revealed the People’s Plan:…

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Parkland Events Task Force recommendations need more work

Almost exactly a year ago, the Parks and Recreation Department was tasked with implementing the final recommendations that were adopted by City Council from the 17-member Parkland Events Task Force.Established in 2015, the task force was given the assignment to…

Friday, February 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

2012 APD bond projects appear to be stalled on many sides

Generally, if a bond is issued with a specific project in mind, when the money is awarded, the city gives a project team five years to complete whatever project the taxpayers are funding. That is, of course, unless the costs…

Monday, January 29, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Nash Hernandez joint-use facility will remain indefinitely unopened 

For seven years, East Austin’s Nash Hernandez Building has remained empty as the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin Police Department have worked to create a 9,600-square-foot joint-use facility for Austin’s park rangers and park patrol units. As…

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission rejects Champion tract amendments

After years of lawsuits related to the development of the Champion tract, proposed amendments to the original 1996 development agreement will go to City Council without the Environmental Commission’s blessing.“We are here to tell you what the best environmental thing…

Friday, January 19, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission weighs options, recommends boat dock variance

It is always difficult to plan a project. However, conventional wisdom suggests that when three construction options exist, you pick the path of least resistance and do not select the choice that requires you to seek a variance from City…

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Hooters PUD

Unable to wait for the codification of the new South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan and its associated environmental standards, eager builders came to the Environmental Commission on Jan. 3 in pursuit of a planned unit development on the site…

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Ex-Austin Energy employee found not guilty of ethics violation

After a drawn-out series of hearings over the last seven months, the Ethics Review Commission on Jan. 10 found that retired Austin Energy supervisor Stefan Sasko made no violation of the city’s ethics regulations.However, the ruling may have implications for…

Monday, January 15, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Watershed Department issue a middle-of-the-road bond in 2018

The beginning of 2018 marked the beginning of a bond election year. At the latest meeting of the Environmental Commission, the Watershed Protection Department presented plans to ask the public for help conserving Austin’s environment through the acquisition of green…

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CAMPO keeps Conley as chair

After legal counsel proposed a unique interpretation of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization bylaws, CAMPO Transportation Policy Board members voted on Monday to keep Will Conley as chair but removed his ability to vote on policy issues.Although federal statute dictates…

Monday, January 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CodeNEXT: City says few environmental surprises in store

Conversations today about the city run like clockwork: You can guarantee that at some point CodeNEXT will be mentioned.However, although it is spoken about with regularity, there are so many varying opinions, stances and regulatory improvements being presented that it…

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water pitches rate reductions in 2018

It has been 15 years since the last time Austin Water reduced the rates for the utility. There is a chance, however, that this trend may end in January.On Dec. 13, the assistant director of Austin Water, David Anders, presented…

Monday, December 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Phantom water bill charges remain an unsolved mystery at Austin Water

For several years, water bills have been mysteriously spiking and leaving homeowners clutching their wallets and demanding answers. However, even when the public came en masse to plead that the Electric Utility Commission demand answers from city staff after the…

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Electric Utility Commission recommends purchase of more solar power

Austin has a herculean trial ahead of itself as it tries to reach 65 percent renewable energy by 2027. Thankfully, one new proposed project may make that goal achievable.Despite making up only 4 percent of the Electric Reliability Council of…

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Human Rights Commission finds the naming of Austin public spaces inequitable

In Austin, streets have their names changed from time to time. City parks, however, rarely seem to undergo name changes, but the Human Rights Commission wants to change that.On Nov. 27, the Human Rights Commission considered amending its previous recommendation…

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Changes in the Texas wholesale energy grid may increase prices

In August 2017, City Council made a commitment to providing 65 percent renewable energy to its residents by 2027. This aggressive energy plan is, according to Robert Cullick, director of communications and marketing at Austin Energy, the only one of…

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Request for lakefront bulkhead variance creates new questions 

It’s not often that a request for a variance from the city’s code has no predecessors against which it can be compared. At the Environmental Commission meeting on Nov. 15, this unlikely scenario became reality.Janis Smith, civil engineer and representative…

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Energy efficiency rebates not impacting rent 

The Austin Energy MultiFamily Rebate Program was launched in 1991, but only since 2013 has it been the focus of a data tracking initiative with the aim of investigating the possible effects of participation on rental prices.Liz Jambor, a data…

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