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Stories by Jo Clifton

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Jo Clifton

‘Snoopy PUD’ wins first-round approval

Council approved a complicated set of Planned Unit Development regulations at their March 22 meeting for the piece of property at Riverside Drive and South First Street currently occupied by a Hooters and a surface parking lot.As Planning and Zoning…

Thursday, March 29, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Neighbors support one Champion rezoning

City Council approved a zoning change for a second Champion tract last week, but this time the developer had support from several neighborhoods that opposed the zoning change on the other one.With Council Member Alison Alter dissenting, Council approved the…

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Judge considers dismissing police union suit

Attorneys for the city sparred with attorneys for the Austin Police Association, its president Ken Casaday and police Sgt. Robert Miljenovich during a court hearing Monday over whether the police union’s suit against various city officials should be dismissed without…

Friday, March 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs short-term EMS contract

City Council approved without comment a six-month contract with the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Employee Association on Thursday that essentially duplicates their previous contract. Members of the union approved the contract in voting that ended Wednesday night.Between now and…

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Adding more cops part of APD planning

The Austin Police Department currently has 69 vacancies, Assistant Chief Troy Gay told City Council Tuesday, but with so many officers retiring each month it is nearly impossible to catch up.In addition, the Matrix Consulting Group recommended in 2016 that…

Friday, March 16, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Travis Duncan, new candidate for mayor

There’s a new face in the race for Austin mayor. Travis Duncan, 28, joins Mayor Steve Adler and former Council Member Laura Morrison in a quest to lead the city. Morrison plans to make a formal announcement on March 26.Duncan…

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Audit raises questions about on-call pay

Although Austin has a citywide procedure governing on-call and call-back pay, the Office of the City Auditor has found that the procedure is not consistently applied, and the city’s Human Resources Department has apparently not evaluated call-back pay since 2012.…

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council torn on height of east side project

Even though they expressed a wide variety of opinions on the East Fourth Street zoning case, City Council members voted unanimously on first reading Thursday to grant a 60-foot height on the proposed office building and sent the developer off…

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Party boat owner wins injunction against city

Watertight Endeavors Inc., the owner of three party boats used for weddings, family reunions, high school graduations and similar occasions, has won its first court battle against the city to keep using the Walsh Landing public dock for loading and…

Thursday, March 8, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Legal memo says CodeNEXT petition flawed

Texas courts have ruled that “zoning is a subject that is outside the scope of the initiative and referendum process.” Therefore, the city is neither required nor authorized to call an election on the petition currently being circulated by opponents…

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Updated: Dist. 21 offers surprises for both R’s and D’s

By midevening on election night, some longtime observers were laughing and scratching their heads over the surprise results that seemed to be developing in Texas’ 21st Congressional District, the seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio.On the…

Monday, March 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Third ambulance service gets OK from Council

Two ambulance companies that currently have franchises to provide nonemergency transfer services within the city of Austin told City Council Thursday that it would be a mistake to grant a franchise to a third company, but failed in their effort.Council…

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Police sue city over police monitor access

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, representing Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, sued the city of Austin on Tuesday, seeking to stop the police monitor from looking at internal affairs records or attending interviews relating to…

Friday, February 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Catellus on shortlist to develop Colony Park

The city has taken a big step toward selecting Catellus Development Corp. as the master developer for the Colony Park development in East Austin.Catellus, the company chosen in late 2004 to be the master developer for the Mueller community, is…

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council puts off decision on digital contract

Faced with the question of whether to approve a digital education contract for an out-of-town bidder chosen by city staff or extend the contract of a tried-and-true local company, Austin Free-Net, City Council decided last week to postpone the decision.Council…

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Cronk says he just wants to get to know us

In a brief meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Austin’s new city manager, Spencer Cronk, showed himself to be affable and articulate, but he resisted all efforts to pin him down on questions about several topics, including the contract with the…

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Entrepreneur has a new plan for Champion tract

Lake Austin Collective, the neighborhood group that has fought, threatened and sued over the fate of the Champion tract on RM 2222, may have finally found a hero in entrepreneur Jonathan Coon, the founder of 1-800 Contacts.Coon has taken an…

Friday, February 16, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council reinstates some extra police pay

With only City Council Member Greg Casar dissenting, Council voted Thursday to reinstate some incentive pay for Austin police officers to the level that they received under their old contract. That contract expired at the end of December, after Council…

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Sick leave arguments heat up

An ordinance that would force all private Austin businesses to provide paid sick leave for their employees may prove to be the most divisive issue to come before Council since 2015 when the Council district system started.Sponsored by Mayor Pro…

Friday, February 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

East side developer just needs a driveway

Developer John Klitz isn’t asking for much from his zoning case. As attorney Jeff Howard told City Council last week, Klitz and his company, SL Shady Lane, are only seeking to remove a conditional overlay on his property at 1105…

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