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Stories by Jo Clifton

Thursday, June 21, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Tovo seeks to keep rowing club at boathouse

Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo wants to help the nonprofit Austin Rowing Club continue operating the city-owned Waller Creek Boathouse on Lady Bird Lake by instructing staff to extend the club’s contract rather than offer the boathouse for competitive bidding.Tovo…

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council gives final OK to 4 East project

Utilizing both the density bonus program within the Plaza Saltillo Transit-Oriented Development and the CURE density bonus program, developer Tocayo Investments GP LLC and CC Third and Comal LP won the right to develop six properties on East Fourth Street…

Monday, June 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Divided Council rejects more pay for police

With only five members voting in favor of the motion, City Council rejected reinstatement of extra pay for certain police officers Thursday night, dashing the hopes of officers who work night shifts, for example. Passage of any ordinance requires six…

Friday, June 15, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council raises homestead exemption to 10%

On a vote of 7-4, Council on Thursday approved raising the homestead exemption from the current rate of 8 percent to 10 percent for the coming year.The resolution’s sponsors included Council members Ellen Troxclair, Leslie Pool, Ann Kitchen and Ora…

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council plays with ideas for soccer stadium

District 7 City Council Member Leslie Pool on Tuesday continued to try to convince her colleagues that they should not play ball with Precourt Sports Ventures, the folks who want to bring a Major League Soccer stadium to Austin.But most…

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council seeks more historic preservation funds

Several City Council members agree with their colleague Leslie Pool, who says the city’s Historic Preservation Office is “desperately understaffed” and badly in need of more funding in order to make sure that Austin can keep many of its historic…

Thursday, June 7, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Questions arise over CodeNEXT votes

Attorney Bill Aleshire has alerted Mayor Steve Adler that a constituent saw a problem with the new method of counting City Council votes at Tuesday’s work session on CodeNEXT.That method required members to signal their support for an idea by…

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Adopting code a significant challenge

Mayor Steve Adler continued his quest to gain consensus on CodeNEXT Tuesday as City Council began to deliberate adoption of the new Land Development Code. In pursuit of that end, Adler gave each person on the dais – including City…

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Homestead exemption talk on the agenda

District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair is once again working to increase the general homestead exemption for property owners. She has worked on this issue since she was elected in 2014.Although City Council voted for a 6 percent exemption in…

Monday, June 4, 2018 by Jo Clifton

City sued over CodeNEXT sign information

Billboard company owner Billy Reagan, who helped fund the petition drive to put the new Land Development Code on the November ballot, has sued the city. His suit is not to be confused with the lawsuit filed last week to…

Friday, June 1, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Health department faulted in foundation audit

Members of the city auditor’s staff have found that Austin Public Health’s monitoring process for contracts with the African-American Youth Harvest Foundation has been ineffective and that the department cannot verify that the foundation has fulfilled the intended purpose of…

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Employees coming, going at City Hall

The city of Austin has lost two well-known employees in the last few days, including Mark Dreyfus, Austin Energy’s vice president of regulatory affairs and corporate communications.According to a memo from Jeff Vice, AE director of local government relations, Dreyfus…

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by Jo Clifton

County residents learn zoning lesson

Some Travis County homeowners have learned zoning regulations the hard way as they oppose rezoning of property across the street from their homes.Last week, City Council voted 9-1 on first reading to approve mostly warehouse zoning, with some multifamily, on…

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Updated: Sheryl Cole wins House District 46 runoff

UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. In the race to represent House District 46 at the Texas Legislature, former Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole emerged as winner – but with a very thin margin – over José “Chito” Vela. Unofficial results showed…

Friday, May 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Austin sings the cemetery fund blues

The Parks and Recreation Department, which is in charge of operations and management of the city’s five historic cemeteries, has suspended collection of money for the cemeteries’ perpetual care fund until the department can resolve some of the issues related…

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Jo Clifton

‘Snoopy PUD’ a model for future development

After many months of work, hearings, arguments and tweaks to its design, the “Snoopy PUD,” also known as the 425 W. Riverside Drive Planned Unit Development, and also known as the “Hooters PUD,” has finally made it through the City…

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Jo Clifton

City still looking for Municipal Court building funds

Last week, during discussion of whether City Council should approve a 10-year lease for Austin’s Municipal Court at the Met Center in Southeast Austin, Council Member Ora Houston opposed the $31 million contract with Zydeco Development. Her reasoning was partially…

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council adopts new rules for subpoenas

On Thursday, City Council adopted regulations that make it clear that the Ethics Review Commission may not seek information identifying whistleblowers or other witnesses in complaints about city officials or employees. In addition, Council designated the Council Audit and Finance…

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Municipal Court move to Met Center OK’d

Although Council Member Ora Houston made numerous arguments against a 120-month lease for Austin’s Municipal Court at the Met Center in Southeast Austin, only Council Member Pio Renteria joined her during Thursday’s Council meeting in voting against authorizing city staff…

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Met Center apology insufficient for Houston

Council Member Ora Houston raised objections during Tuesday’s work session to an item on Thursday’s Council agenda authorizing staff to enter into a 120-month lease agreement for 96,000 square feet of office space at the Met Center on Montopolis Drive…

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