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TipSheet: Austin City Council 6.4.15

Thursday, June 4, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Austin City Council will meet in its regular meeting Thursday. Below is a list of items we’re watching for the upcoming week. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The City Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its website, here.

10. Approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20141120-014 increasing the percentage-based ad valorem (property) tax exemption on the assessed value of residence homesteads.

Monitor‘s take: This is the big issue Council will tackle today. Although it must make a decision on whether to proceed with a homestead exemption by the end of the month, the city’s budget office has made it clear that it needs a definitive answer today. As we have reported, Council will now be considering whether to implement a 20 percent, six percent or five percent exemption – or none at all.

15. Approve a resolution ratifying the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Austin Fire Association relating to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment for Austin firefighters.

Monitor‘s take: After years of fighting, Council is now ready to consider a collective bargaining agreement struck after they voted to restart negotiations in February. We’ve covered this plenty in the past, but for a quick primer on the history, check out our explainer.

20. Authorize negotiation and execution of an encroachment agreement with the BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM for the encroachment of street right-of-way by a pedestrian bridge at the 300 block of West Dean Keeton Street, located approximately one block east of Guadalupe Street. (District 9).

Monitor‘s take: Skybridge!

21. Approve an ordinance authorizing the negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to purchase in fee simple approximately 63 properties at high risk of flooding in the 25-year floodplain located within the Williamson Creek Watershed, in an amount not to exceed $17,986,000, establishing acquisition and relocation guidelines, and waiving the requirements of City Code Chapter 14-3 (District 2 and District 3).

Monitor‘s take: We wrote about this particular buyout today after an extensive discussion during City Council’s work session on Tuesday. But, obviously, floods have been in the news a lot recently. Earlier this year, Council was hesitant to move forward with buyouts and asked for more information on city buyout policy in general. It will be interesting to see how they proceed today in light of that added information and recent events.

45. Approve a resolution relating to the Land Development Code Advisory Group.

Monitor‘s take: Finishing up the business of last week, this resolution extends the life of the CodeNEXT Advisory Group until September 2017 or upon adoption of a new Land Development Code, whichever is earlier. Any guesses on which will be earlier?

48. Approve a resolution related to the 2015 Austin Community Climate Plan, directing the City Manager to create the Joint Sustainability Committee, and establishing duties of the Committee.

Monitor‘s take: Though it didn’t get a vote in committee, due to a lack of quorum, this item skips to the full Council as an item from Council instead. As it will most likely be approved, that is the most interesting part to us.

52. Approve an ordinance on third reading relating to the Austin Cab I, Incorporated d.b.a. Austin Cab taxicab franchise.

53. Approve an ordinance on third reading relating to the Greater Austin Transportation Company, d.b.a. Yellow Cab Company taxicab franchise.

54. Approve an ordinance on third reading relating to the Lone Star Cab Company taxicab franchise.

Monitor‘s Take: Taxis are back. At this point, we are most interested in whether that means parking will be full in the garage, but for reference, we’ve covered this fairly steadily for the past couple of months, and it returns after yet another lengthy discussion in the Mobility Committee on Tuesday.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2015, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and as of 2015, 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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