About the Author
Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Panel: Put Events Ordinance ‘on hold’
What was initially proposed in 2012 as a plan to simplify and streamline the process for planning special events has come back to the Austin Music Commission in a form commissioners say they never quite intended. Instead of recommending the Special Events Ordinance, the commission passed a resolution this week asking City Council members to “hit the hold button” and have city staff address several problems brought up by stakeholders before going forward. Bobby Garza with Transmission Events, who is a also former Council aide, told the commission that the original impetus for the ordinance came from members of the music community, who were frustrated with the complexity of the permit process. However, he added that what has come out of the process is not what they had in mind. “The ordinance, as I understand it right now — having read it in several iterations — feels like a lot of bureaucracy and much less consolidation than I think is warranted.” The Music Commission is the 28-page ordinance’s last stop among several boards and commissions before it goes before Council on Oct. 16. Council members approved the ordinance in 2013 on first reading, but agreed that it needed work before second and third reading. With pushback from the Music Commission and several other boards, passage of the ordinance could be delayed again, possibly long enough to be on the agenda of the new Council when it is seated in January.
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