Stories by Jo Clifton

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 by Jo Clifton

Mayor talks about his trip to Formula 1 grand prix race

Just back from Silverstone, England where he met with officials and viewed preparations for the Formula 1 grand prix race there, Mayor Lee Leffingwell told In Fact Daily, “ I have to say in all seriousness, when you’re starting up…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by Jo Clifton

Rábago leaving Austin Energy to begin consulting practice

As if the stress of shepherding new rates through a sometimes truculent City Council were not enough, Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis must now find a new vice president for Distributed Energy Services. Weis informed employees on Friday that…

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Jo Clifton

Early Voting shows Doggett leading in Travis, Bexar Counties

Based on early returns, longtime Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett has good reason to be optimistic as he seeks to return to Washington as a representative of a new district. Doggett has 93 percent of the votes cast early in Travis…

Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Jo Clifton

Incumbents off to strong start in Early Voting

Mayor Lee Leffingwell and three City Council incumbents each seemed to be winning handily as early votes were counted tonight. Mayoral opponent Brigid Shea garnered 34 percent of the early vote and Leffingwell’s third opponent, Clay Dafoe, got 11 percent.   Leffingwell and…

Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Jo Clifton

All four Council incumbents easily win re-election

Austin voters evidently looked around and decided that life was still pretty good in their city, giving the Mayor and three incumbent Council members solid victories in Saturday’s election.   Mayor Lee Leffingwell, who had the toughest fight against former…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Council voting today on election date question

Citing a looming deadline for ordering voting equipment for a planned May Council election, Council members Laura Morrison and Bill Spelman have posted the item for action on today’s work session agenda. Council voted 4-3 on Sept. 22 to go…

Thursday, September 8, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Martinez joins chorus criticizing fire chief over absence during fires

Council Member Mike Martinez, a former firefighter and union leader, joined the chorus of criticism of Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr Wednesday, saying she should have returned early from her vacation to lead her department during the devastating Labor Day…

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Posting faux pas postpones first meeting of Formula 1 race committee

There was more than enough disorganization to go around for the Local Organizing Committee of the Circuit of the Americas Monday as its first public meeting was cancelled due to lack of public notice.   As attorney David Armbrust explained…

Thursday, June 16, 2011 by Jo Clifton

New voters give Shade a chance to catch up to Tovo

A month ago, it was hard to see how incumbent Council Member Randi Shade could overcome her opponent, Kathie Tovo, in the race to be decided finally this Saturday. Although Shade had money, many political pundits were saying privately—and some…

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Shade stays in the race, files ethics complaint against Tovo

Council Member Randi Shade has filed an ethics complaint against her Place 3 challenger Kathie Tovo, alleging that Tovo violated the city’s Fair Campaign Ordinance. The city’s Ethics Review Commission has called a special meeting for Friday afternoon to consider…

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Mayor to formally endorse single-member Council districts

On Friday, as he gives his State of the City address, Mayor Lee Leffingwell will formally endorse preparations for what he says “could be the most pivotal election in a generation” in November 2012.   If Leffingwell can convince a…

Friday, February 11, 2011 by Jo Clifton

County attorney seeking old Council calendars as well as new ones

City Clerk Shirley Gentry said Thursday the city has 80 boxes of records from the offices of former Mayor Will Wynn and former Council Member Brewster McCracken. Somewhere within those 80 boxes there might be records County Attorney David Escamilla…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Open meetings allegations could cause damage to city governance

Over the course of the 30 years that this writer has been watching Austin city politics, there has been no Council that failed to meet together in groups of two or three at various times to discuss their opinions and…

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 by Jo Clifton

Mayor’s single-member district proposal stirs political groups

As media outlets reported Monday that Mayor Lee Leffingwell plans to submit the question of single-member districts to voters once again, this time in 2012, at least two unaffiliated groups jumped on the bandwagon.   The story, initially reported in…

Friday, December 17, 2010 by Jo Clifton

Council wraps work on use of parkland for Water Treatment Plant 4 project

After hearing from numerous opponents of Water Treatment Plant 4, Council voted 4-3 late Thursday night to allow Austin Water Utility to use part of the Bull Creek Greenbelt for a permanent retrieval shaft, subterranean tunnel and staging area for…

Thursday, May 20, 2010 by Jo Clifton

Smith retires suddenly, a casualty of shooting report controversy

Under pressure from City Manager Marc Ott over legal advice related to the release of a report on the shooting death of Nathaniel Sanders, City Attorney David Smith announced his decision to retire on Wednesday. Smith, who became City Attorney…

Thursday, May 13, 2010 by Jo Clifton

Sewer line vandals may have tried to do more damage; reward offered

The criminals who caused a huge sewage spill over the Edwards Aquifer near Circle C this weekend may have had even bigger plans. In addition to prying off a manhole cover and stuffing enough debris into the 15-inch line to…

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