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TipSheet: City Council, 10.6.16

Thursday, October 6, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday. Below is a list of items we’re watching. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

2. Authorize negotiation and execution of a one-year interlocal agreement with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Services – Wildlife Services to provide assistance and response for coyotes within the City of Austin in accordance with the City of Austin’s coyote management policy.

Monitor’s take: Unlike the last time Council was considering coyote stuff, this item doesn’t mark a change (or potential change) in coyote management policy. That most likely means that this won’t be a Big Deal, but the rest of the agenda is sparse, so we kinda hope it is an excuse for a fight. (Is that wrong?)

12. Authorize execution of cultural arts services contracts for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 in an amount not to exceed $1,598,200.

Monitor’s take: This is the kind of thing we might just skip over, were it not for this post on the City Council Message Board. After reading that, it looks like this could actually spark a discussion about collective bargaining? Fun.

24. Approve second and third reading of an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 960613-J and authorizing execution of the first amendment to a settlement agreement relating to the development of property located at 6409 City Park Road (Champion Tract).

Monitor’s take: This case has been kicking around the agenda for a while now, but it is technically ready for second and third readings today. For history fun, here is a piece from our In Fact Daily days that might speak to why it’s no real surprise that this one has taken a while.

30. Authorize negotiation and execution of an 84-month contract with TEXAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, to provide electric meters for Austin Energy’s residential meter replacement project, in an amount not to exceed $29,100,000.

Monitor’s take: Smart meters! Fixin’ to get smarter, for real! Again, probably no real chance for drama, but it’s possible that this purchase could draw out the more conspiracy-minded folks who frequent City Hall.

48. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to research the feasibility of a Request for Proposals process, or best solicitation method, to find candidates to revitalize a portion of park property which was decomissioned from the Holly Power Plant, in accordance with applicable master plans.

Monitor’s take: This seems like a nice idea, right? However, the Monitor is curious about how discussion about this revitalization will go, given the fact that World War III almost broke out over the prospect of a public food forest not too far away about two years ago. The real question is: How much has the neighborhood changed in the past two years?

50. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to create a housing lending advisory group to develop recommendations for programs to provide new lending tools for current and new homeowners and report back to Council.

Monitor’s take: Well, this is kind of interesting. This resolution would put together a temporary group comprising various housing experts to look into new lending tools to encourage home ownership for those who may need a little help getting started on the home-buying process.

52. Approve the City Auditor’s Fiscal Year 2017 Audit Plan.

Monitor’s take: Each year, City Council approves a list of audits proposed for the upcoming year. (For professional snoops, it’s all very exciting.) This year, the two highest priority audits will focus on affordability – and what’s driving it away for residents – and a look at the city’s human resources process, which will be an external review. Next year may also have dives into how the parks department handles cash, how historic properties are designated and how the city’s flood buyout program will be managed. Stoked!

55.Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending Title 25 of the City Code to change regulations related to Subchapter F gross floor area exemptions for garages and carports.

Monitor’s take: This is another item that’s been kicking around the Council agenda for a while now. So, it remains unclear whether it will be taken up today, but here’s a refresher just in case.

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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 2012, 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 now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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