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Stories by Jo Clifton

Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

AE seeks code change to support fast car charging

Austin Energy estimates that there were 5,873 electric plug-in vehicles in its service territory as of Sept. 30. Karl Popham, AE’s manager for electric vehicles and emerging technologies, told City Council during Tuesday’s work session that about 85 percent of…

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Property taxes, Austin Energy top city’s worry list

Once again, the city of Austin, along with other large Texas cities, will face a grueling task as the 2019 legislative session begins in January.Intergovernmental Relations Officer Brie Franco told City Council during Tuesday’s work session that she and the…

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Jo Clifton

IndyAustin raises funds to fight Precourt, Adler

IndyAustin’s specific-purpose political action committee reported raising nearly $30,000 in their campaign finance report filed on Tuesday.IndyAustin recently started gathering signatures for a petition to trigger an election on the city’s deal with Precourt Sports Ventures, which plans to bring…

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council denies West Austin historic zoning

A divided City Council declined last week to zone a West Austin house as historic, but the owners have agreed to renovate the house in Italian Renaissance Revival style, so that it satisfies them as well as the neighborhood and…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Taxpayers sue appraisal district, chief appraiser

Two companies who employ appraisers to represent residential and commercial property owners to challenge appraisals before the Travis County Appraisal Review Board and 159 of their clients have sued the review board and Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler in her official…

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Downtown restroom contract OK’d

On Thursday City Council directed staff to execute a contract with Blue Chem Inc. for waste removal services at a city-owned portable toilet downtown. The initial two-year contract is for $330,000, but if the contract is extended to five years…

Thursday, October 4, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Veterans center ‘needs assessment’ coming

In response to a resolution from the city’s Commission on Veterans Affairs and City Council, the Human Resources Department is moving forward with an assessment of how to proceed with setting up a Veterans Resource Center.HR has already allocated 4,800…

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Candidates in Districts 1 and 8 working hard

In City Council District 8 and District 1, incumbents Ellen Troxclair and Ora Houston are retiring. In each case, the current council member has announced her endorsement of a candidate to take her seat in January. However, that has not…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Adler, Tovo top list of endorsed candidates

Since the race began, it has looked like Mayor Steve Adler would have an easier path to victory than his major opponent, former Council Member Laura Morrison. His incumbency and better name ID are factors, and another is his personal…

Monday, October 1, 2018 by Jo Clifton

ANC releases Council scorecard

Last week, the Austin Neighborhoods Council voted to endorse the group’s former president, Laura Morrison, for mayor. They also endorsed another former ANC activist, Kathie Tovo, the incumbent in District 9 who serves as mayor pro tem.In addition, ANC endorsed…

Thursday, September 27, 2018 by Jo Clifton

APD to make changes in mental health cases

As a result of Austin Police Department policies, “people experiencing a mental health crisis in Austin may be at higher risk of having a negative police interaction than people in a city that more closely aligns with best practices,” according…

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Jo Clifton

AG tells Cedar Park no deal on tax exemption

Attorney General Ken Paxton has ruled that the city of Cedar Park is not allowed to set its minimum property tax exemption at $10,000 but must use the $5,000 minimum set by state law.Last spring, the Cedar Park City Council…

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Health department audit shows flaws in system

Austin Public Health’s contracts with the African American Youth Harvest Foundation do not require sufficient documentation to allow the department to adequately monitor the contracts, according to a draft audit report released Monday.In criticizing the health department’s monitoring of the…

Monday, September 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Environmental group opposes propositions J, K

Austin Environmental Democrats on Friday voted to oppose two propositions placed on the November ballot by citizen petitions.Like a number of other groups, the environmentalists voted to oppose Proposition K, which seeks to have a comprehensive audit of all city…

Monday, September 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Zoning OK’d for affordable housing

With the recently released University of Texas gentrification study on their minds, City Council members on Thursday gave final approval for a zoning change that will allow construction of 258 apartments – including a few three-bedroom units – in North…

Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Firefighter wins battle with city

Austin firefighters won their battle to get the city to drop its lawsuit against one of their own, Lt. Carrie Stewart, who filed a claim for workers’ compensation after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2015.After meeting…

Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council to put off hearing on tax credit property

At the request of Council Member Delia Garza, on Thursday City Council will likely postpone a scheduled hearing and consideration of whether to give the city’s blessing to 4 percent affordable housing tax credits to a proposed apartment complex for…

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Many, but not all, development fees to climb

Last year, Rodney Gonzales, director of Austin’s Development Services Department, asked Council to fund an additional 50 employees to increase his department’s efficiency in dealing with a multitude of permits, reviews and inspections. Council killed the plan by postponing it.However,…

Friday, September 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Plenty of PACs for November bond election

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza wants to make sure that when Austin voters go to the polls to vote on the city’s $925 million bond package on Nov. 6, they understand how important it is to support Proposition E,…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Innovators, Austin lifestyle, UT brought Army here

Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, who serves as director of combat systems for Austin’s brand-new Army Futures Command, said Tuesday that Austin was chosen as the site of the first new Army command since 1973 because Austin has the talent, the…

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