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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Jo Clifton

Major development on Regiene Road wins first-round OK

City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve on first reading Major Planned Development zoning for a 16-acre East Austin site previously zoned for industrial uses. The only industrial use allowed on the site at 6501 and 6705 Regiene Road will…

Council questions need for Municipal Court marshal program

During Tuesday’s work session, City Council had numerous questions about a plan to establish a city marshal office as a division of the Austin Municipal Court and seemed ready to postpone taking action on the item on today’s agenda. The…

Old City Hall could host new downtown court

As Deputy Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Olivares explained during Tuesday’s City Council work session, city staffers are recommending relocating the Downtown Austin Community Court to the Municipal Building at 124 W. Eighth St. She explained that staff had considered 22…

Council members pose tough questions about city's storm response

During Wednesday’s City Council Audit & Finance Committee meeting, Chair Alison Alter and fellow committee members Kathie Tovo and Mackenzie Kelly praised city staffers’ heroic efforts as Winter Storm Uri ground the city to a halt in February. But those…

City billboard battle lands at U.S. Supreme Court today

The long fight between Reagan National Advertising and the city of Austin is nearing the final field of battle –  the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers for each side are scheduled to make their arguments this morning over the city’s ban…

Scathing audit finds city unprepared for Winter Storm Uri

Austin city auditors found the city was unprepared to respond to the impacts of Winter Storm Uri because planners failed to adequately consider the risks of a severe winter storm, leading to widespread disaster. That was a major conclusion of…

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Consumer advocate angry about elimination of hearing

Paul Robbins, a longtime advocate for energy conservation and a critic of various utility providers, including Texas Gas Service, had been planning for months to testify before City Council in a Nov. 18 hearing on the company’s conservation program. So…

Voters soundly reject Prop A throughout city

Austin voters resoundingly rejected Proposition A on Tuesday’s ballot, which became clear as soon as Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir released the early vote numbers. With more than 85,000 early votes cast, more than 67 percent of early voters said…

Pflugerville area voters making decisions about EMS service

Travis County commissioners Jeff Travillion and Brigid Shea are urging voters they represent in Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction to vote in favor of two propositions on today’s ballot that would expand the geographic boundaries of Travis County Emergency Services…

Audit finds fault with city's tech purchase system

City procedures for purchasing technology are not coordinated, timely or sufficiently clear and do not ensure that city resources are secure and protected, according to a report from the Office of the City Auditor issued this month. Auditors also said…

Committee reviews homelessness spending report

As previously reported, City Council issued 47 resolutions, ordinances and other directions related to assisting the city’s homeless population between September 2018 and May 2021. The result was a budget of $179 million for homelessness assistance between 2019 and the current…

Audit finds golf chief accepted favors from employee

The superintendent for the Parks and Recreation Department’s golf complex accepted favors from an employee he directly supervises, according to a recently released investigative report from the Office of the City Auditor. After receiving an allegation that Nick Smitham, the…

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