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TipSheet: This week’s Council Committees

Monday, June 1, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

As part of our ongoing attempt to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, we will now be offering weekly tip sheets for City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of the meetings, with links to the entire agenda.

Health and Human Services Council Committee Meeting

Monday, June 1. Agenda here.

4. Consider and develop recommendations regarding the initiation of a code amendment to mitigate the effects of smoke emissions from restaurants and mobile food vendors near residentially zoned areas.

Monitor‘s take: Though the Economic Development Committee voted against supporting the original anti-smoke ordinance, the Health and Human Services Committee continues to study the topic from its perspective. We’ve covered this topic a number of times, and expect it will eventually make its way back to Council in one form or another.

5. Conduct a public hearing and consider and develop recommendations regarding a draft ordinance regulating the use of circus animal control devices and training methods.

Monitor‘s take: A ban on use of painful devices on circus animals has been endorsed by the Animal Commission, and now it’s heading to City Council.

6. Discussion and possible action regarding a presentation from the Sobriety Center Working Group.

Monitor‘s take: This proposal would pair the city and Travis County in creation of a sobriety center. If approved, the center would offer people detained for public intoxication somewhere to go other than jail or emergency rooms. We covered the center when it was at the county last month, and now it is making its way to City Council.

Austin City Council – Budget Work Session

Wednesday, June 3. Agenda here.

Monitor‘s take: Though it’s basically do-or-die time in terms of City Council passing a proposed homestead exemption, it’s not clear whether Council has received that message. Budget staff has made it clear it will need an answer by June 4 in order to move forward with the budget process, but the mayor and Council have indicated they would like a little more flexibility on that timeline. We’ll keep you posted on whether they make a decision (or make anyone’s heads explode). We’ve recently covered the current proposals here and here.

Mobility Council Committee

Wednesday, June 3. Agenda here.

4.Consider and develop recommendations on an ordinance on third reading relating to the Austin Cab I, Incorporated d.b.a. Austin Cab taxicab franchise.

5. Consider and develop recommendations on an ordinance on third reading relating to the Greater Austin Transportation Company, d.b.a. Yellow Cab Company taxicab franchise.

6. Consider and develop recommendations regarding approving an ordinance on third reading relating to the Lone Star Cab Company taxicab franchise.

Monitor’s take: At this point, we have covered taxis and their franchise agreements ad nauseam . Most recently, the issue was back at City Council, where members opted to move forward with tentatively renewing three franchise contracts and agreed to look into creation of a fourth co-op franchise. Now the issue is back in the Mobility Committee for more study.

7. Consider and develop recommendations on an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 13-2 relating to ground transportation passenger service requirements.

8. Staff briefing and discussion on ground transportation providers, including transportation network companies and charter services.

Monitor’s take: These two items will take a look at requirements for ground transportation in the city. (Including horse-drawn carriages!) Considering the recent surge in transportation service companies, and the current interim ordinance in place to regulate them, it could be an interesting discussion.

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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.

Austin City Council Mobility Committee: A City Council committee that reviews matters related to all modes of transportation.

city budget: The city’s plan for expenditures based on income.

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