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TipSheet: City Council, 10.5.17

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting again today, and here are the things we have our eye on. As a programming note, this week Council will hear Citizens Communication at 11:30 a.m., instead of noon. 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. (Hey! The new agenda system is up and running!)

Item 8: Authorize the negotiation and execution of an amendment to the interlocal agreement with Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center D/B/A Integral Care (IC) for the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), to connect homeless individuals and families with services necessary to begin their process of stability and recovery, by adding four 12-month renewal options, in the amount of $242,354 per renewal option, beginning October 1, 2017, for a total increase in an amount not to exceed $969,416, and a total contract amount not to exceed $1,211,770.

Monitor’s Take: Here’s another piece in the city’s commitment to serving Austin’s homeless population. It’s a renewal of the existing programs, and we were interested in the stats in the backup that show how effective HOST was during its first year of operation.

Item 27: Approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 13 (Transportation Services) relating to chauffeur’s permits and creating a Conditional Chauffeur Permit.

Monitor’s Take: This change would allow people with out-of-state licenses to drive taxis. Students could do so indefinitely, but there is also a provision for newcomers, who would be able to use their alien certification for three months. We’re curious to see how this goes over, because we’ve heard not everyone is into the idea.

Item 29: Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 2-2 relating to campaign finance and election fundraising time periods; and creating an offense.

Monitor’s Take: As the result of a lawsuit against the city by former Council Member Don Zimmerman, there haven’t been time limits on City Council candidate fundraising for a while. The days of around-the-clock fundraising may soon come to an end, though. This ordinance would limit fundraising to one year prior to the election.

Item 30: Approve a resolution relating to residential leases, guarantors, and tenants’ rights.

Monitor’s Take: As far as we can tell, this resolution is designed to ensure that students are not discriminated against when they are trying to find housing.

Item 31: Approve a resolution condemning the display of monuments and memorials of the Confederacy; and directing the City Manager to submit a report to Council identifying City-owned monuments and memorials of the Confederacy located on City-owned property and discussing options to address them.

Monitor’s Take: Slowly, slowly, Austin continues to move forward on eradicating the Honored Confederate Presence in our city. We are looking forward to seeing if all of the Council members vote in favor of a resolution that “strongly condemns” the memorials, as well as seeing the list of memorials and street names – in part out of a genuine curiosity about how many there are.

Item 32: Approve a resolution declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Austin.

Monitor’s Take: Again, Austin continues to inch forward with this vote on an alternative to Columbus Day first observed in Berkeley, California, about 25 years ago.

Item 34: Approve a resolution amending the City’s federal legislative program and agenda to address immigration and border policy issues.

Monitor’s Take: If approved, this resolution will make its way to the White House via the Texas delegation of the U.S. Congress. What does it say? Well, that Austin does not want the border wall and that we support comprehensive immigration reform, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Item 40: C14-2016-0134 – Pioneer at Walnut Creek – District 1 – Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by zoning property locally known as 11126 Sprinkle Cutoff Road (Walnut Creek Watershed). Applicant’s Request: To zone from interim-rural residence (I-RR) district zoning to multifamily residence-low density (MF-2) district zoning.

Item 42: C14-2017-0042 – 12602 Blackfoot Trail – District 6 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 6610 McNeil Drive/12602 Blackfoot Trail (Rattan Creek Watershed) from neighborhood commercial-conditional overlay (LR-CO) combining district zoning and single family residence-standard lot (SF-2) district zoning to general commercial-mixed use (CS-MU) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: This is a weird case, but we don’t expect you to remember it. Luckily, we have archives to help out. Here you go!

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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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