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TipSheet: This week’s Council committees

Monday, December 14, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

As part of our ongoing effort to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, we present 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

Monday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m.

4. Animal Services Audit management response.

Monitor’s take: When the Animal Services audit came out this year, it raised a lot of questions. But it was released during a transition in management of the Animal Services Department, so the management response was delayed until now. The audit now has an action plan to address the problems found during the audit, and that the Audit and Finance committee will take a look at that plan.

5. Airport Construction Project Audit, which evaluated the City’s process related to construction projects at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (City Auditor).

Monitor’s take: Though airport construction might not be the most glamorous topic, we do love an audit. A glance at this one seems to reveal some issues with the bidding process on contracts and some issues with the Public Works Department design process.

6. The review process for potential real estate sales of City-owned land.

10. Consider and develop recommendations on an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Operating Budget of Austin Resource Recovery (Ordinance No. 20150908-001) to increase transfers out by $2,792,001 and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Austin Resource Recovery Capital Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-002) to transfer in and appropriate $2,792,001 from the Austin Resource Recovery Operating Budget for facility development and construction. Related to Item #11.

11. Consider and develop recommendations on the negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to sell approximately 9.405 acres of land, located at Lot 1, Block “E”, Missouri-Pacific Industrial Park, Section One, a subdivision in Travis County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof, recorded in Volume 52, Page 21 of the Plat Records of Travis County, Texas, and locally known as 4711 Winnebago Lane, to Jimmy Nassour in the amount of $1,450,001 for the land (District 2). Related to Item #10.

Monitor’s take: The odd process that has surrounded the sale of this land that was once destined to be a city park raised concerns about how the city sells its land. Though the Winnebago Lane sale seems close to resolved, this could be an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Economic Opportunity Committee

Monday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m.

4. Discussion and recommendation related to Resolution 20150618-091 concerning living wage rates for certain contractors and subcontractors.

Monitor’s take: In June, Council passed a resolution that sought policy recommendations about including city contractors and sub-contractors in their living wage policies “if their contracts are competitively solicited by the City and if the employees are working on City property of City vehicles.”

7. Discussion related to the Fiscal Year 2016 Austin Nightlife Initiative.

8. Briefing by Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau on activities as they relate to music.

9. Briefing by the Economic Development Department and discussion related to Building Austin’s Creative Capacity needs assessment study for the creative sector.

10. Briefing by the Economic Development Department and discussion related to a resolution regarding the creation of an entertainment license.

Monitor’s take: This summer, release of the Austin Music Census and Austin Music People’s whitepaper on the State of Austin’s Music Industry provoked a lot of talk about how Austin is fairing as “the Live Music Capitol of the World.” The consensus seemed to be that we could do better, but momentum on how the city could help the industry stalled a bit during the city’s budget talks. These three items tell us that conversation may be starting up again, and we are looking forward to all three of these briefings.

Public Utility Committee

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m.

3. Discussion regarding response and recovery efforts related to the October Onion Creek flooding event, including the current home buyout process and the federal disaster declaration.

Monitor’s take: Just like it says on the tin. It looks like the Public Utility Committee is taking a look at city flood buyout policies, which Council has continued to try to pin down in the midst of a very wet season.

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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 Economic Opportunity Committee: The Economic Opportunity Committee reviews the city’s economic opportunities and matters related to fair wage and business contracting policies.

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