Stories by Jo Clifton

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Taxpayers sue over lack of appraisal hearings

One hundred and thirty-eight Travis County property owners have sued the Travis Appraisal Review Board and the Travis Central Appraisal District for failing to provide timely hearings on the property owners’ protests of their 2019 appraisals.The two agencies are responsible…

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Former city employee misused computer, email

Last January, members of the city auditor’s investigative team received an allegation that Richard Anderson, a division manager in the Development Services Department, was using his city computer to help him with his other job as an instructor for what…

Monday, January 6, 2020 by Jo Clifton

After years of service, Slusher retires from city

After nine years on City Council, about 18 months at Austin Energy and more than 12 years as Austin Water’s assistant director for environmental affairs and conservation, Daryl Slusher hung up his city spurs last week, retiring on Dec. 31.…

Thursday, December 26, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Leslie Pool remembers high, low points of 2019

District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool is proud of the contributions she and her colleagues made toward helping the homeless in 2019, calling it “a pretty amazing year.” Still, she thinks some things could have been done better. For example,…

Thursday, December 26, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Tovo reflects on a year of challenge and success

As she looks back on 2019, Council Member Kathie Tovo can count some major victories, including passage of her expansive resolution directing enhancements to a lengthy stretch of downtown parkland leading up to Palm School, direction to begin creation of…

Friday, December 20, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Delia Garza recalls 2019 as a good year

The year 2019 has been a good year for Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza. The former firefighter pushed hard for new fire stations for her District 2 constituents, and she got a great birthday present on June 5 when the…

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Friends remember Walter Timberlake

Friends and family shared reminiscences of longtime labor leader and dedicated Democrat Walter Timberlake Monday. Timberlake, 89, passed away Sunday after a long struggle with various health problems, including diabetes.Timberlake was a major force in the Texas Democratic party for…

Friday, December 13, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Activists sue city over zoning code rewrite

Nineteen local property owners filed suit against the city of Austin Thursday, alleging that the city has deprived them of their right to protest under state law as the city adopts changes to zoning classifications throughout the city.City Council voted…

Thursday, December 12, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Audit: Social services contract rules need update

The city auditor’s team studying the city’s social services contracting process found that even though Austin spends millions of dollars on social services contracts, the city “does not have an explicit definition of ‘social services’ and lacks a formal social…

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Industrial lot wins mixed-use zoning on second reading

Although Council Member Pio Renteria pushed for more affordable housing on a Southeast Austin site that is currently industrial, he made the motion to approve the compromise offered by attorney David Hartman at last week’s Council meeting.Before the vote, Jerry…

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Lawyer says Garza should follow city finance rules

Within hours of signing up to run in the March Democratic primary for Travis County Attorney, Delia Garza had an opponent whose name will not be appearing on the 2020 ballot. Bill Aleshire, who retired from his job as county…

Friday, December 6, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs amended emergency mutual aid pact

Council gave final approval Thursday to a mutual automatic aid agreement designed to ensure that 19 fire and rescue departments throughout Travis and Williamson counties will assist each other in far-flung parts of Austin and the included counties.The city has…

Thursday, December 5, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Trying to get apartment, employee committed fraud

An Austin Public Health employee misused her city computer, fax machines and the department’s patient records in an attempt to rent an apartment, according to an investigative report from the Office of the City Auditor.The report states that Johnetta Lindsay,…

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 by Jo Clifton

AFD, union still at odds over interlocal agreement

Bob Nicks, president of the Austin Firefighters Association, and Austin Fire Chief Joel Baker are locked in a battle over whether the city should sign on to a new mutual aid agreement with emergency services districts in both Travis and…

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 by Jo Clifton

South Austin zoning could be a game-changer

“This is going to be a game-changer for South Austin,” Council Member Pio Renteria told his colleagues, as they voted to allow a developer to turn an industrial site near the intersection of Interstate 35 and Ben White Boulevard into…

Monday, December 2, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Neighbors win Open Meetings suit again

Once again, the city of Austin finds itself on the losing end of a legal battle over public information. Last week, the 14th Court of Appeals sided with the Lake Austin Collective, which sued the city for failing to give…

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Texas Gas Service proposes billing changes

Texas Gas Service, which serves 260,000 customers in Central Texas, including 220,000 within Austin’s city limits, is proposing a new rate design that will give customers new options for how their bills will be calculated.Larry Graham, manager of community relations,…

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council argues over adopting zoning map

City Council still has at least two more work sessions and a public hearing in which to understand and hash out differences of opinion about the new Land Development Code before Dec. 9, the first of three readings to adopt…

Friday, November 15, 2019 by Jo Clifton

New worries arise over tax increment financing

Council members approved a resolution Thursday directing the city manager to bring them a plan for financing two Capital Metro Red Line rail stations in north Austin, one at McKalla Place and one at the new Broadmoor development. However, several…

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Garza not running for reelection, others eye seat

Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, who represents District 2 on City Council, announced Tuesday that she would not be seeking reelection in 2020. The announcement is Garza’s next step in her likely run for Travis County Attorney.As the deadline for…

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