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Stories by Jo Clifton

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Tovo easily wins third term

Kathie Tovo will serve her third term on the Austin City Council after winning a relatively easy victory over three opponents on Tuesday, finishing with almost 53 percent of the vote. Her closest challenger, Danielle Skidmore, garnered less than 32…

Friday, November 2, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Despite road plans, Council OKs zoning

Council rejected recommendations of the city’s zoning and transportation staff and the Zoning and Platting Commission at Thursday’s meeting, granting on first reading a request for commercial and mixed-use zoning on a northeast Austin property at 9100 Brown Lane. The…

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council seems ready to OK biosolids contract

The latest chapter in the city’s quest to sign a new contract for handling biosolids at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant appears to be nearing its end after two and half years of struggle. With Council Member Alison Alter…

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 by Jo Clifton

City ethics rule may be unconstitutional

Mayor Steve Adler’s campaign manager filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against Megaphone GPAC, a general purpose political action committee opposing the mayor’s re-election. But it seems likely that the complaint will be dismissed, according to attorneys familiar with election law.Adler’s…

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Complaints filed against District 1 candidates

Complaints filed with the Texas Ethics Commission charge City Council District 1 candidates Natasha Harper-Madison and Vincent Harding with filing erroneous campaign finance reports in violation of the Texas Election Code.Both campaigns denied any violations when contacted Monday, but the…

Friday, October 26, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Boil water order may be lifted Sunday

Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said Thursday he expects a boil water notice for water utility customers to remain in effect until Sunday evening. In the meantime, the utility is working to satisfy all of its internal requirements as well…

Thursday, October 25, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Report highlights flaws in city contracting

City auditors found major flaws in how the city manages its contracts, with many of those weaknesses persisting citywide for several years, according to a special report issued this week.Audit Manager Katie Houston told the City Council Audit and Finance…

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Boil water rule could end this weekend

Although a Travis County emergency management official told commissioners Tuesday morning that the current boil water advisory for Austin Water customers could continue for 10 to 14 days, city officials said Tuesday afternoon that such a scenario was unlikely.Mayor Steve…

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

What does early voting’s first day mean?

Election officials across Texas reported record turnouts for a nonpresidential election on Monday, and the first day of early voting for the midterm elections in Travis County was no exception.In Travis County, 6 percent of registered voters cast ballots –…

Friday, October 19, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Casaday scolds Council over lack of contract

The president of the Austin Police Association lashed out at City Council during Thursday’s meeting over the city’s failure to reach an agreement with the union over police officers’ pay and benefits.“I want everybody on the Council to know that…

Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Jo Clifton

AE seeks code change to support fast car charging

Austin Energy estimates that there were 5,873 electric plug-in vehicles in its service territory as of Sept. 30. Karl Popham, AE’s manager for electric vehicles and emerging technologies, told City Council during Tuesday’s work session that about 85 percent of…

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Property taxes, Austin Energy top city’s worry list

Once again, the city of Austin, along with other large Texas cities, will face a grueling task as the 2019 legislative session begins in January.Intergovernmental Relations Officer Brie Franco told City Council during Tuesday’s work session that she and the…

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Jo Clifton

IndyAustin raises funds to fight Precourt, Adler

IndyAustin’s specific-purpose political action committee reported raising nearly $30,000 in their campaign finance report filed on Tuesday.IndyAustin recently started gathering signatures for a petition to trigger an election on the city’s deal with Precourt Sports Ventures, which plans to bring…

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Council denies West Austin historic zoning

A divided City Council declined last week to zone a West Austin house as historic, but the owners have agreed to renovate the house in Italian Renaissance Revival style, so that it satisfies them as well as the neighborhood and…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Taxpayers sue appraisal district, chief appraiser

Two companies who employ appraisers to represent residential and commercial property owners to challenge appraisals before the Travis County Appraisal Review Board and 159 of their clients have sued the review board and Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler in her official…

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Downtown restroom contract OK’d

On Thursday City Council directed staff to execute a contract with Blue Chem Inc. for waste removal services at a city-owned portable toilet downtown. The initial two-year contract is for $330,000, but if the contract is extended to five years…

Thursday, October 4, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Veterans center ‘needs assessment’ coming

In response to a resolution from the city’s Commission on Veterans Affairs and City Council, the Human Resources Department is moving forward with an assessment of how to proceed with setting up a Veterans Resource Center.HR has already allocated 4,800…

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Candidates in Districts 1 and 8 working hard

In City Council District 8 and District 1, incumbents Ellen Troxclair and Ora Houston are retiring. In each case, the current council member has announced her endorsement of a candidate to take her seat in January. However, that has not…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Adler, Tovo top list of endorsed candidates

Since the race began, it has looked like Mayor Steve Adler would have an easier path to victory than his major opponent, former Council Member Laura Morrison. His incumbency and better name ID are factors, and another is his personal…

Monday, October 1, 2018 by Jo Clifton

ANC releases Council scorecard

Last week, the Austin Neighborhoods Council voted to endorse the group’s former president, Laura Morrison, for mayor. They also endorsed another former ANC activist, Kathie Tovo, the incumbent in District 9 who serves as mayor pro tem.In addition, ANC endorsed…

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