Stories by Jo Clifton

Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Your minute is up, new recall group says

A new political action committee is aimed at recalling Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Pio Renteria, Ann Kitchen and Paige Ellis. Anyone who has participated in or watched City Council meetings will recognize the group’s name: Your Minute Is…

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Negotiations in the works on convention center expansion

Although the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to have serious economic impacts on the Austin Convention Center for several years, people will still want to gather for face-to-face meetings, according to an expert hired to advise City Council on the planned…

Friday, September 11, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Aquifer conservation district: Larsen ‘still not finished,’ Williams ready to start

“After 18 years I’m still not finished,” proclaims Robert (Bob) Larsen, who is running for reelection to the board of directors of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District in November. Challenging Larsen for the Precinct 4 seat is Christy Williams,…

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Jo Clifton

One agency lowers city’s bond rating

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded city of Austin bonds from Aaa to Aa1 just before the city gets ready to sell $271 million in general obligation bonds. The agency cited Austin’s “high leverage and fixed costs attributable to the city’s…

Friday, September 4, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council approves funding for isolation hotel

After a brief discussion about the need to continue the search for temporary and permanent housing for Austinites experiencing homelessness, City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the owner of the La Quinta Inn at 5812 N. Interstate 35 Thursday.…

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council won’t vote on Walter E. Long Park plan now

Despite the fact that the vision plan for the nearly 3,700-acre Walter E. Long Park has been in the works for years and has won approval from both the Parks and Recreation Board and the Environmental Commission, a majority of…

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Warehouse zoning hits snag at Council

What seemed like a simple zoning case, with neighbors supporting the proposed zoning change, was embroiled in a philosophical and legal discussion at last week’s City Council meeting. Council voted unanimously to postpone the case after Council Member Jimmy Flannigan…

Monday, August 31, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Kemp Street rezoning wins first reading OK

City Council voted 7-2 Thursday, with two members abstaining, to approve a zoning change that will allow for development of some market-rate and some affordable condominium housing at 508 Kemp St. in the Montopolis neighborhood. Council members Alison Alter and…

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Audit outlines challenges for Millennium Youth Complex

The Office of the City Auditor has found numerous problems at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin, starting with the city’s failure to effectively manage and monitor its agreements with the Austin Rosewood Community Development Corporation. The duties…

Friday, August 21, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Tesla urged to use water-saving measures

As Tesla speeds ahead with converting an old sand and gravel mining site in eastern Travis County into a manufacturing facility for its Cybertruck and Model Y SUV, City Council members have begun asking questions about how much water the…

Thursday, August 20, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Audit highlights inefficiencies at cultural centers

Inefficient operations and a lack of strategic direction have threatened the city’s ability to provide for an increase in cultural opportunities for city residents, according to an extensive audit unveiled by the Office of the City Auditor during the City…

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Lovins ready for uphill fight in county judge race

Although he did not make a decision to run for Travis County Judge until Sunday, the day before the filing deadline, Republican candidate Michael Lovins says he is ready to fight. Lovins acknowledges that he will have an uphill battle…

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Twenty candidates set to run for Council

While most Austinites were focused on Covid-19, whether or not to send their children to school and how to pay the rent, a surprising number of people – 20 to be exact – signed up to have their names on…

Monday, August 17, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Neighbors of Bright Leaf worry about fire risk

After a City Council vote on July 29 allowing the city to take over management of Bright Leaf Preserve from the Austin Community Foundation, some residents worried about what that might mean for their Northwest Austin neighborhoods, especially in terms of…

Thursday, August 13, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Precinct chairs ready to elect new county judge

With former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt taking her seat in the Texas Senate, and no name on the November ballot for Travis County judge, the duty of selecting that nominee falls on the 136 Democratic precinct chairs who normally…

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Neighbors, developer reach deal on apartments

Neighbors living close to 10801 Wayne Riddell Loop, which is slated for a 750-unit apartment complex, were dismayed to learn of the developer’s original plans. They worried that the complex would bring an untenable number of cars into the area…

Thursday, August 6, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Mayor touts justice agenda, Project Connect in State of the City speech

Although “the current state of our city is anxious, troubled and hurting,” Mayor Steve Adler said during Wednesday’s State of the City address, the city has “a once-in-a-century opportunity to no longer be bound by who we were a year…

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Audit accuses parks department leaders of waste

The Office of the City Auditor released a report Tuesday accusing Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeeley and Assistant Director Liana Kallivoka of giving another employee a “special privilege,” improperly using more than $22,000 worth of sick leave and wasting $39,000 of…

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Subdivision change initiated to help homeowner

Council Member Kathie Tovo and her staff have been trying for more than a year to help two constituents in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood solve a complicated subdivision problem that prevents them from building an addition to their 486-square-foot home.…

Friday, July 31, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs short contract to clean up homeless camps

Ten people signed up to tell Council on Wednesday they were opposed to awarding a three-year contract to Relief Enterprise of Texas Inc. for “removal of debris and cleanup services under bridge overpasses, under bridges, and in the transportation right…

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