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City's HEAL team moves four encampments to bridge shelters

In the wake of the reinstated camping ban this past May, stakes have risen considerably for those at the helm of the effort to rehouse Austin’s homeless population. Nonetheless, Project HEAL – the Homeless Encampment Assistance Link – which City…

Addressing affordability no easy task in Austin

During last week’s speech on the state of the city, Mayor Steve Adler identified issues the city has been grappling with, including defeating Covid and homelessness. He also pointed out the next big issues the city must tackle in order…

Lady Bird Lake

The census in Austin: homelessness, housing and schoolchildren

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the census, especially on a local level. As city demographer Lila Valencia told the Austin Monitor, “The census touches so many aspects of our lives, from our representation at our nation’s capital, to local representation…

Conduct of meetings is going to change – and change again

Just as Austin’s most civically engaged citizens – including some new to the process – have gotten used to phoning in their comments on the City Council agenda, the rules are changing. In addition, Council will be considering new rules…

Mayor Adler praises Austin, warns against misinformation

Mayor Steve Adler told Austinites in his annual State of the City speech Monday that although Austin continues to be “a magical place,” there are those who seek to divide us through falsehoods as the city faces its major challenges:…

Transportation budget includes post-pandemic rebound in parking fees

The Transportation Department’s $152 million budget was made possible in part by a rebound in parking revenue after a steep decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which drastically reduced single-passenger vehicle use for much of 2020. In a presentation to…

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A new Austin Energy rule aims to keep construction workers safe. It could also make homes harder to build.

In response to the death by electrocution of a construction worker and a subsequent lawsuit, Austin Energy has increased the minimum distance between power lines and new buildings, a regulation the utility says will keep workers safer. A jury in…

Council solidifies its vow to include child care in all new city developments

Reaffirming its commitment to including family-friendly features in new city-owned and -sponsored buildings and projects, City Council doubled down with a vote to ensure child care facilities are also included. As part of the resolution brought by Council Member Kathie…

Council questions proposed arts funding change that emphasizes equity

City Council has asked Cultural Arts staff to look at revising or delaying its plan to significantly redistribute its limited pool of contracts toward groups that meet an increased focus on equity. At a Tuesday work session presentation, the proposed…

Council takes hard look at what went wrong during winter storm

After taking in an extremely critical report about the city’s response to Winter Storm Uri, City Council members stressed the need to prepare for the next inevitable disaster.  “There’s nobody here that didn’t fight long and hard and sleeplessly and…

Commissioners ponder putting millions into jail revamp

If the Sheriff’s Office gets its budget request granted, inmates in Travis County correctional facilities may soon be sporting radio-frequency identification wristbands to track their whereabouts within the jail at all times. According to the Sheriff’s Office, it intends to…

Committee accepts critical city hiring audit

Members of the City Council Audit & Finance Committee delved into details of the city recruiting and hiring audit at yesterday’s meeting, questioning both the audit staff and Human Resources Director Joya Hayes. As noted in Wednesday’s Austin Monitor, only…

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