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TipSheet: This week’s Council Committees

Monday, May 18, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

As part of our ongoing attempt to keep our 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.

Audit and Finance Committee

Monday, May 18. Agenda here.

1. Discussion and possible action on a recommendation for the appointment of a city auditor.

2. Interview a candidate for appointment to the position of city auditor (personnel exception – Government Code §551.074).

Monitor’s take: This week’s meeting is dedicated solely to the topic of hiring a new City Auditor. Since Ken Mory’s departure, Acting City Auditor Corrie Stokes has had the position. The transition took place very close to the City Council switch, and we wrote about the ensuing complications here. As most of the meeting will take place in executive session, it probably won’t be very entertaining, but we will let you know if any decisions are made.

Regional Affordability Committee

Monday, May 18. Agenda here.

4. Presentation on the property appraisal process and status of residential and commercial protests.

Monitor’s take: Commercial appraisals (and the undervaluing of commercial property in the city) has gotten a lot of attention lately — particularly in regard to how it impacts the residential tax burden in the city. Should be an interesting discussion. We have previously covered this topic at the city, as well as at the county level.

City Council — Budget Work Session

Wednesday, May 20. Agenda here.

Monitor’s take: City Council will continue their intro to the city budget process, as they have the past two weeks. They will also continue to weigh the costs and benefits of implementing a Homestead Exemption.

Public Utilities Committee

Wednesday, May 20. Agenda here.

5. Briefing and possible recommendation on an ordinance regarding Atmos Energy Corporation-MidTex Division’s proposal to increase customer gas rates.

Monitor’s take: So far, this Council has spent a lot of time talking about ways to increase affordability in the city. Therefore, we predict any proposal to raise city fees will surely provoke interesting discussion.

6. Briefing on the 2014 Austin Water Resource Planning Task Force, including reports and recommendations.

Monitor’s take: Though a popular topic on the campaign trail, the city’s water – and water utility – have yet to be dealt with at any length by City Council. This item should get them up to speed with the extensive work done by the task force last year.

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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 Regional Affordability Committee: A committee composed of City Council Members, Travis County Commissioners, CapMetro, the Central Board of Health and regional school districts to assess the Austin area’s affordability.

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

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