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Stories by Jo Clifton

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Clerk certifies anti-CodeNEXT petition

City Clerk Jannette Goodall on Monday certified that she and her staff had validated enough signatures to require the city to place a referendum on CodeNEXT, the proposed rewrite of the city’s Land Development Code, on the November ballot.According to…

Monday, April 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Changes ahead for Planning Commission?

At this week’s meeting, City Council is scheduled to consider changes to how members of the city’s Planning Commission are selected. The city attorney’s office has offered two alternative approaches – one of which could have a radical impact on…

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Some say city’s home rehab loans hurt them

Three Austinites have told the Austin Monitor their homes have suffered serious damage at the hands of a specific contractor hired by the city to improve their homes through the Home Rehabilitation Loan Program. And a fourth homeowner has expressed…

Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Who’s minding the store? Alter

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…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Task force: Bond decisions up to Council

The city’s 2018 Bond Election Advisory Task Force sent a recommendation to City Council for a November bond ballot of $851 million – more than $200 million above the amount recommended by city staff, and one that is estimated to…

Thursday, April 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Lack of fire station pushes some insurance rates up

Some Southeast Austin homeowners have been receiving bad news from their insurance companies – the rates on their homeowners insurance are projected to rise as much as $1,000 this year.District 2 Council Member Delia Garza told her colleagues at Wednesday’s…

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by Jo Clifton

DePalma announces run for District 8

Rich DePalma, a consultant who has worked on numerous environmental efforts, officially threw his hat in the ring Tuesday to represent Austinites who live in District 8. Council Member Ellen Troxclair currently holds the seat and has said she is…

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Jo Clifton

‘Snoopy PUD’ wins first-round approval

Council approved a complicated set of Planned Unit Development regulations at their March 22 meeting for the piece of property at Riverside Drive and South First Street currently occupied by a Hooters and a surface parking lot.As Planning and Zoning…

Thursday, March 29, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Neighbors support one Champion rezoning

City Council approved a zoning change for a second Champion tract last week, but this time the developer had support from several neighborhoods that opposed the zoning change on the other one.With Council Member Alison Alter dissenting, Council approved the…

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Judge considers dismissing police union suit

Attorneys for the city sparred with attorneys for the Austin Police Association, its president Ken Casaday and police Sgt. Robert Miljenovich during a court hearing Monday over whether the police union’s suit against various city officials should be dismissed without…

Friday, March 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs short-term EMS contract

City Council approved without comment a six-month contract with the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Employee Association on Thursday that essentially duplicates their previous contract. Members of the union approved the contract in voting that ended Wednesday night.Between now and…

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Adding more cops part of APD planning

The Austin Police Department currently has 69 vacancies, Assistant Chief Troy Gay told City Council Tuesday, but with so many officers retiring each month it is nearly impossible to catch up.In addition, the Matrix Consulting Group recommended in 2016 that…

Friday, March 16, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Travis Duncan, new candidate for mayor

There’s a new face in the race for Austin mayor. Travis Duncan, 28, joins Mayor Steve Adler and former Council Member Laura Morrison in a quest to lead the city. Morrison plans to make a formal announcement on March 26.Duncan…

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Audit raises questions about on-call pay

Although Austin has a citywide procedure governing on-call and call-back pay, the Office of the City Auditor has found that the procedure is not consistently applied, and the city’s Human Resources Department has apparently not evaluated call-back pay since 2012.…

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council torn on height of east side project

Even though they expressed a wide variety of opinions on the East Fourth Street zoning case, City Council members voted unanimously on first reading Thursday to grant a 60-foot height on the proposed office building and sent the developer off…

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Party boat owner wins injunction against city

Watertight Endeavors Inc., the owner of three party boats used for weddings, family reunions, high school graduations and similar occasions, has won its first court battle against the city to keep using the Walsh Landing public dock for loading and…

Thursday, March 8, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Legal memo says CodeNEXT petition flawed

Texas courts have ruled that “zoning is a subject that is outside the scope of the initiative and referendum process.” Therefore, the city is neither required nor authorized to call an election on the petition currently being circulated by opponents…

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Updated: Dist. 21 offers surprises for both R’s and D’s

By midevening on election night, some longtime observers were laughing and scratching their heads over the surprise results that seemed to be developing in Texas’ 21st Congressional District, the seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio.On the…

Monday, March 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Third ambulance service gets OK from Council

Two ambulance companies that currently have franchises to provide nonemergency transfer services within the city of Austin told City Council Thursday that it would be a mistake to grant a franchise to a third company, but failed in their effort.Council…

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Police sue city over police monitor access

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, representing Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, sued the city of Austin on Tuesday, seeking to stop the police monitor from looking at internal affairs records or attending interviews relating to…

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