Stories by Jo Clifton

Friday, November 8, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Fighting zebra mussels to be costly

Zebra mussels, the tiny mollusks that have infested lakes from the Great Lakes to Lake Travis, have now proliferated in Lake Austin. “They’re on the docks and on the piers in the millions, maybe the billions,” according to Greg Meszaros,…

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Voters overwhelmingly reject Proposition A

Updated: 10:21 p.m: Austin voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected city Proposition A. With the final tally complete, more than 64 percent of those voting cast ballots against the proposition, which began as a reaction to the city’s decision to lease…

Monday, November 4, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs tax credits for affordable housing

Council gave its blessing Thursday to an application for low-income housing tax credits issued through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, for the redevelopment of a 62-unit affordable housing project to be known as the Oaks on North…

Friday, November 1, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Audit: City water employees misused positions

Two employees of Austin Water misused their positions to generate business for a plumbing business owned by one of the employees, according to an investigative report issued Thursday by the Office of the City Auditor.That business owner/city employee, Rodney King…

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Two political action committees fight city Prop A

While any enthusiasm there might have been for the city ballot measure known as Proposition A has apparently dwindled, Anthony Precourt and his company are taking no chances. Austin TeamCo LLC, owner of Austin FC, gave the Austin United Political…

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Austin Energy seeks change in rebate approvals

City Council authorized Austin Energy to pay $4.45 million for multifamily and commercial customer rebates during the current fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.But the utility may not be able to provide all the rebates authorized because some property owners…

Thursday, October 24, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Wildfire audit update shows more work ahead

After hearing a new report from the Office of the City Auditor on Austin’s wildfire response efforts, Council Member Alison Alter said while the report lays out appropriate next steps for the city to take, those steps are probably not…

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Cooper Lane condo zoning wins initial approval

After a long and contentious day dealing with questions of where the homeless may sit or lie down, and following the final vote on an equally contentious rezoning of property on East Riverside Dr., last Thursday CouncilĀ  gave first round…

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Blythe starts PAC to unseat City Council

Sharon Blythe, best known around City Hall for her activism related to cemeteries, is hoping to unseat every member of City Council not currently slated to be on the ballot in November 2020.Blythe filed a document appointing herself treasurer of…

Friday, October 18, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Pool asks whether city should sell Hilton property

More than 30 members of UNITE HERE Local #23 came to the Council meeting Thursday to show their support for an item on the agenda asking the board of Austin Convention Enterprises to rewrite its agreement with management of the…

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Flannigan attacks, Tovo responds

On Tuesday, in the midst of a lengthy Council work session about how to construct a revised ordinance to prevent homeless people from camping on sidewalks and rights of way, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan launched into an anecdote about how…

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Save Historic Muny District has a board of directors

The Save Historic Muny District, which represents those who wish to preserve the first integrated golf course in the South, now has a board of directors. The board includes Mary Arnold and Ken Tiemann, both longtime advocates for the Lions…

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Affordable housing takes a few steps forward

Housing prices continue to climb in Austin as more people move to the music and tech mecca of Texas. According to Zillow, the median home value in Austin is $372,200, while the median list price is $399,000.In adopting its Strategic…

Friday, October 4, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council nixes appeal, asks staff to work with restaurant

On Thursday City Council rejected an appeal from Casa de Luz, a vegan restaurant on Toomey Road that has had multiple disputes with building officials, the latest one specifically about compliance with requirements of the city fire code. The appeal…

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Casa de Luz continues fight with city

Casa de Luz, a vegan restaurant on Toomey Road, has been involved in an ongoing dispute with city building officials over its compliance with requirements of the Fire Code for the past eight years. City Council will be asked to…

Friday, September 27, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Report faults APD’s handling of information

The Austin Police Department has failed to comply with the federal policy relating to access to criminal justice information maintained by the FBI, according to a special report from the Office of the City Auditor.Assistant City Auditor Andrew Keegan briefly…

Thursday, September 26, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council moves forward with zoning under ‘Byzantine’ Land Development Code

The new owners of a former drive-thru bank at 1900 W. William Cannon Drive were able to get part of what they were seeking on first reading of their zoning case before Council last week. After much conversation, Council voted…

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Taco PUD site marches on, again

Council unanimously gave first-reading approval last week to new planned unit development zoning for the small property known as the Taco PUD just across the street from Lady Bird Lake at Riverside Drive. Although the Taco Cabana has not operated…

Friday, September 20, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Urban Renewal Board extended for just nine months

City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison expressed serious reservations about the need to continue Austin’s Urban Renewal Agency and its board during Wednesday’s Council work session and again at Thursday’s Council meeting.In the end, she convinced her colleagues to extend the…

Thursday, September 19, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Asian American center plan could include Rutherford Lane campus

At today’s meeting, City Council will likely direct City Manager Spencer Cronk and his staff to come up with a proposal to incorporate the expansion of the Asian American Resource Center into a master plan for the center as well…

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