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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Zimmerman takes on Zucker Report
Thursday, March 5, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano
As reported by the Austin American-Statesman and at our own discussion series, “Beer, Brains and Betterment,” the city continues to refuse release of a draft report that recommends improvements to the Planning and Development Review Department. Neighborhood activists and media alike have been able to get only copies of the Zucker Report that have been extremely redacted, and the city has responded by seeking a ruling from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about its right to withhold information. In the meantime, City Council Member Don Zimmerman has come forward with a plan of his own. On Wednesday, Zimmerman forwarded the following resolution on the Council message board, looking for co-sponsors:
“WHEREAS, the Planning and Development Review Department is a major component of the City of Austin; and,
WHEREAS, in 2014 the City of Austin hired Paul Zucker’s consulting firm Zucker Systems for $250,000 to recommend improvements to the Department and its processes; and,
WHEREAS, the first drafts of the report were turned into the City of Austin in December 2014; and,
WHEREAS, at the February 23, 2015 ‘Policy Deep Dive session’ on CodeNEXT, multiple questions regarding the Zucker Report were brought up, city staff indicated that the report could be released in four weeks to the City Council and to the public;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:
The City Council directs the City Manager to release by March 31, 2015 all of the Zucker Report in non-redacted form, regardless of whether it is complete, or in draft, and the associated audit working papers.”
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