Stories by Jo Clifton

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…

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Campaign contribution limits going up

While candidates for state and federal offices have been gearing up to run in the March 2020 primary, likely City Council candidates have also been considering whether to run in next November’s election. In fact, candidates for Council have been…

Friday, November 8, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Fighting zebra mussels to be costly

Zebra mussels, the tiny mollusks that have infested lakes from the Great Lakes to Lake Travis, have now proliferated in Lake Austin. “They’re on the docks and on the piers in the millions, maybe the billions,” according to Greg Meszaros,…

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Voters overwhelmingly reject Proposition A

Updated: 10:21 p.m: Austin voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected city Proposition A. With the final tally complete, more than 64 percent of those voting cast ballots against the proposition, which began as a reaction to the city’s decision to lease…

Monday, November 4, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs tax credits for affordable housing

Council gave its blessing Thursday to an application for low-income housing tax credits issued through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, for the redevelopment of a 62-unit affordable housing project to be known as the Oaks on North…

Friday, November 1, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Audit: City water employees misused positions

Two employees of Austin Water misused their positions to generate business for a plumbing business owned by one of the employees, according to an investigative report issued Thursday by the Office of the City Auditor.That business owner/city employee, Rodney King…

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Two political action committees fight city Prop A

While any enthusiasm there might have been for the city ballot measure known as Proposition A has apparently dwindled, Anthony Precourt and his company are taking no chances. Austin TeamCo LLC, owner of Austin FC, gave the Austin United Political…

Thursday, October 31, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Austin Energy seeks change in rebate approvals

City Council authorized Austin Energy to pay $4.45 million for multifamily and commercial customer rebates during the current fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.But the utility may not be able to provide all the rebates authorized because some property owners…

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