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TipSheet: Austin City Council and Energy Utility Oversight Committee, 10.15.15

Thursday, October 22, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Austin City Council will hold a brief, specially called meeting Thursday before the regular meeting of its Austin Energy Oversight Committee. In the interest of space and sense, we have combined the two meetings. The Office of the City Clerk has posted an agenda for the City Council meeting here and for the Austin Energy Oversight Committee here.

City Council

1. Approve an exemption under City Code Section 10-6-3(A)(11) to authorize temporary designated smoking areas at Auditorium Shores on November 6-8, 2015 for the Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Monitor’s take: There are only two items on today’s agenda, and this is the first. Frankly, it looks fairly routine, but it is included here to round out the TipSheet and to let our readers know that Fun Fun Fun Fest is looking for permission for a smoking section at Auditorium Shores.

2. Approve appointments and certain related waivers to citizen boards and commissions and other citizen bodies, to Council committees and other intergovernmental bodies and removal and replacement of members.

Monitor’s take: In a post on the City Council Message Board, Mayor Steve Adler let his fellow Council members know that this item was the primary reason for today’s specially called meeting. Adler wrote: “Since we have a gap of three weeks between Council meetings, plus the additional time required for the City Clerk to train and authorize the appointees to begin their term of service, it is critical we direct some focus to completing our appointments. There are still significant gaps on important boards such as the Flood Mitigation Task Force and the Land Development Code Advisory Group, so I encourage us all to take this opportunity to put forward nominations for remaining board and commission vacancies.”

Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee

4. Briefing and discussion regarding implementation and enforcement of the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance.

Monitor’s take: Though the backup is rather thin on this briefing, those hoping to study up on the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance are in luck – Austin Energy has a comprehensive page on its website dedicated to the topic here.

5. Briefing and discussion regarding a proposed electric rate schedule for primary voltage customers with an average load of at least 20 megawatts.

Monitor’s take: This briefing is a continuation of earlier conversations with City Council about tariffs for AE’s largest industrial customers. This time, AE reps will expand on last month’s presentation and provide additional information. A special rate once given to the group has run out, and only two of the rate payers have had their deals extended.

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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.

Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee: The Austin City Council committee on Austin Energy was created in May 2013 to provide oversight of the city's electric utility. It's creation was marked by political maneuvering that ultimately resulted in a committee comprised of every member of the Austin City Council.

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