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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Name change unlikely for airport advisers
Friday, January 22, 2021 by Jo Clifton
The City Council Audit and Finance Committee decided at Wednesday’s meeting not to recommend a name change for the city’s Airport Advisory Commission on the recommendation of city staffers. The commission had asked to change the group’s name to Austin Airport Advisory Board, but City Clerk Jannette Goodall told committee members that changing the name in a multitude of city documents would be a considerable amount of work and she could not recommend it. She did, however, recommend some other changes to the ordinance governing the commission’s duties. Commission Chair Eugene Sepulveda appeared before the committee at its virtual meeting to explain the request. He said when commissioners attend national meetings of airport advisory boards, people who serve in that capacity from other cities question whether Austin’s airport commissioners are actually peers. Council Member Kathie Tovo said she didn’t know commissioners were attending such meetings and listed a number of other cities that have airport advisory commissions, including San Francisco. Sepulveda later told the Austin Monitor that the important part of the commission’s request was for changes in the bylaws because the group is operating on outdated language. “What we most wanted to do was update and have Council consensus about what we see as our jobs,” he said. Council Member Alison Alter, who chairs the committee, said Austin uses the word “board” to describe sovereign bodies, such as the Board of Adjustment, and said she would oppose changing the name. The committee voted unanimously to send the requests to the full Council without a recommendation.