Stories by Jo Clifton

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Hinojosa tries again for inclusionary zoning

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, is trying once again to repeal the state law that prevents Texas cities from using an affordable housing tool known as inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning programs allow cities to require developers to provide housing for…

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Commission reprimands PAC that opposed Prop A

The city’s Ethics Review Commission voted unanimously last week to send a letter of reprimand to one of the political action committees that opposed Proposition A on the Nov. 3 ballot. Local Democratic consultant Mark Littlefield filed 12 separate complaints…

Friday, November 20, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Split commission rejects complaint against Garza

The ethics complaint against Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza will not move forward to a final hearing after receiving the thumbs-up from just five members of the city’s Ethics Review Commission. A majority of the commission, or six members, was…

Thursday, November 19, 2020 by Jo Clifton

City faces challenge in managing software licenses

The city does not have complete information on what software licenses it has or how much those licenses are costing, according to a report from the city auditor’s office. Auditors reported Wednesday that the city spent $7.4 million in Fiscal…

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Commissioners take next step toward permanent telework

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a scope of services for a consultant to advise them on a plan to have 75 percent of eligible employees to do their jobs by teleworking on a…

Friday, November 13, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Residents may be able to reject herbicide

City Council approved contracts on Thursday with Asplundh Tree Expert, Davey Tree Surgery and Wright Tree Service to manage vegetation around Austin Energy lines after Council Member Ann Kitchen added some direction to staff about a previously unknown aspect of…

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Renteria opposes East Austin location for court

Council Member Pio Renteria expressed dismay at Tuesday’s work session over the Downtown Austin Community Court’s planned relocation to East Austin. Renteria told his colleagues he had just found out about the proposal to lease 30,000 square feet of office space at…

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 by Jo Clifton

After big win, Travillion ready for next four years

Although Travis County Commissioner-elect Jeff Travillion won reelection with nearly 76 percent of the vote, he doesn’t dwell on that, saying simply, “It is gratifying to be invited back.” Then he’s off, talking about his plans for the next four…

Monday, November 9, 2020 by Jo Clifton

County Judge-elect Andy Brown eager to start new job

Travis County Judge-elect Andy Brown is getting ready to start his new job. The most likely date for his first day on the job is Nov. 17, since commissioners will be canvassing the vote this week. Democrat Brown, who will…

Friday, November 6, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Ann Howard getting ready for new job

Ann Howard, Travis County Commissioner-elect for Precinct 3, was getting to work Thursday, learning more about the job she will officially begin in January. Howard said commissioners will canvass the vote from Tuesday’s election in the next week to 10…

Thursday, November 5, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Williams ends Larsen’s tenure at aquifer district

In her first race for office, Christy Williams defeated longtime Board Member Bob Larsen, winning a seat on the board of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Williams, who serves on the city’s Water and Wastewater Commission and is an…

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Fuentes coasts to victory in District 2

Political newcomer Vanessa Fuentes was headed toward a victory in the District 2 race Tuesday night after the early vote was counted, showing her with more than 56 percent of the vote. Her two competitors, David Chincanchan and Casey Ramos,…

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Casar headed toward easy victory

Council Member Greg Casar was headed toward an easy reelection victory Tuesday night after winning two-thirds of the early vote. Casar, who has held the District 4 seat since 2015, faced two opponents who had little money and messages that…

Friday, October 30, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs purchase of Wood Street parkland

After a lengthy discussion about the rules regulating acquisition of city parkland, Council voted 7-2-2 on Thursday to purchase 0.214 acres of downtown property at 702 Wood St. Council members Jimmy Flannigan and Pio Renteria voted no, and Council Member…

Thursday, October 29, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Water-saving code amendments coming

Years after the city’s Water Forward Committee recommended changes to require on-site water reuse systems for commercial development, an item to put the matter into city regulations appears headed for a City Council agenda in December. Austin Water Assistant Director…

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by Jo Clifton

In the home stretch, candidates report on fundraising

With only one week to go until Election Day, candidates for City Council were busy Monday filing their eight-day reports. Some candidates are looking at Nov. 3 as the end of the campaign trail, while others have to consider the possibility…

Monday, October 26, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Utility puts off settling lawsuit amid uproar

After hearing complaints from environmentalists and residents of Hamilton Pool Road at their meeting Thursday, the board of directors of the West Travis County Public Utility Agency decided to postpone a formal settlement of a lawsuit filed against the board…

Thursday, October 22, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Audit and Finance considers Code Department’s present, with an eye toward the future

When City Council members voted to reduce the Austin Police Department budget, they promised to reassign some duties police have previously handled, but it was not clear which departments would take up those burdens. However, at least some Council members were…

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Audit: Austin Code employee abused his position

After receiving an anonymous tip, investigators with the Office of the City Auditor discovered that a hiring manager in Austin Code’s finance division was using his position to try to advance a romantic relationship based on a promise to hire…

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Pier zoning takes one step forward

Joe Liemandt, who is the founder of the software company Trilogy, and his friend, Andy Price, purchased a 4.46-acre property on Lake Austin that previously housed the Pier restaurant at 1703 River Hills Road. The restaurant closed in 2005, but…

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