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Homeless issues dominate work session

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 by Jo Clifton

City Council met in work session Monday and will hold its regular Council meeting on Wednesday instead of Thursday this week. A city spokesperson told the Austin Monitor that Mayor Steve Adler and City Clerk Jannette Goodall had conflicting events on Thursday. Council will meet in a joint session with the Travis County Commissioners Court today at 9 a.m. to hear a briefing on efforts to fight the Covid-19 virus. Then they will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday to talk about numerous items, many of which relate to finding housing for the city’s homeless population or awarding grants and contracts in response to the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. One item on Monday’s agenda that the mayor summarily postponed to Wednesday was electing a new mayor pro tem. Council Member Greg Casar announced his interest first, followed by Council Member Alison Alter and finally Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison. Council Member Paige Ellis argued that a woman should have the job, and Casar said he would support a woman from the Eastern Crescent. The Monitor has heard that Harper-Madison and Alter are working out a resolution so their colleagues will not have to choose between them. On Monday, District 6 Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, like her predecessors in that seat, had a lot of questions about the purchase of a property at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd. that the city intends to use for housing previously homeless people. It seems likely the item will be postponed to the Feb. 4 agenda.

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