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TipSheet: This week’s Council committees

Monday, February 22, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

As the Austin Monitor does weekly, we invite you to join our ongoing effort to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, by reading our tip sheet for Austin City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of meetings, with links to entire agendas.

Audit and Finance Committee

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m.

5. Consider and develop recommendations on a resolution directing the City Manager to review the City’s non-discrimination employment policies and practices, to make recommendations to the Council by May 1, 2016, for ways to strengthen employee protections in these policies and practices, and to request that the Director of Human Resources initiate amendments to the Municipal Civil Service rules to strengthen employee protections against discrimination in the workplace (Committee).

Monitor’s take: Although most of the Audit and Finance meeting will be taken up with matters related to the Municipal Civil Service Commission, this is what we are really keeping our eye on. This resolution comes out of the Human Rights Commission recommendations on how to address the disparate treatment of women at the city. For background, we covered that earlier conversation here.

Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.

3. Briefing and possible action on what other cities have done to implement neighborhood food-bank co-ops and mobile farmers markets and recommendations on what the City of Austin can do moving forward to be able to incorporate them.

Monitor’s take: Looks like this is going to be a discussion about new ways to tackle Austin’s food deserts. This fiscal year sees new funding for healthy food retail, community and school-based farmers markets and mobile farmers market programs, which are expected to get off the ground in earnest this spring.

4. Briefing and possible action on the status, scope of work, and deliverables of the Parkland Events Task Force.

Monitor’s take: This could be interesting! The Parkland Events Task Force has been working away at its charge for a few months now, and this item might give good insight into where things currently stand.

6. Briefing and possible action on Parks and Recreation Department’s revised proposal for expenditure of FY16 block grant funding, and funding options for park improvement projects.

Monitor’s take: This is one of those things that might sound boring on the surface but probably isn’t. The last time this funding came before Council, it sparked a fight among districts about where money should be allocated, with Council Member Don Zimmerman saying the money should be split evenly among districts.

7. Discussion and possible action regarding a resolution directing the City Manager to convene stakeholders to develop a conceptual plan that identifies a vision for the streets, parks and plazas around the MetroRail Downtown Station.

Monitor’s take: Looks like the city is getting in on plans for the fancy-schmancy MetroRail station.

Mobility Transformation Advisory Council (MTAC)

Friday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m.

Monitor’s take:
Oh, look, another committee! Just kidding, it’s an interlocal council that will meet quarterly to discuss the Rocky Mountain Institute thing. According to the city website, the types of projects they will be discussing include things like mobility-oriented development, fleet electrification and autonomous vehicles.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council Audit and Finance Committee: A sub-group of the Austin City Council whose members are charged with oversight of city fiscal operations and anything that falls under the purview of the Office of the City Auditor. Reports and documents for the committee can be found here.

Austin City Council Open Space Environment and Sustainability Committee: A City Council committee that reviews environmental matters, including climate change and protection, water, trees, and parks.

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