Mike Kanin http://kut.org en Council Withdraws Mid-Year Evaluation of City Manager http://kut.org/post/council-withdraws-mid-year-evaluation-city-manager <p><em>This story comes to us from our city hall reporting partner, the <a href="http://austinmonitor.com">Austin Monitor</a>.</em></p><p>It seems that some City Council members were planning on giving&nbsp;City Manager Marc Ott&nbsp;– and perhaps others – a piece of their minds in private Thursday, but due to the absence of&nbsp;Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole,&nbsp;Mayor Lee Leffingwell&nbsp;was able to at least postpone that confrontation.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The executive session agenda for Thursday included four unusual items, each to do a mid-year evaluation of one of the Council’s appointees: </span>Ott<span style="line-height: 1.5;">,&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">City Auditor Kenneth Mory, Municipal Court Clerk Rebecca Stark&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;City&nbsp;Clerk&nbsp;Jannette Goodall.</strong></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:27:35 +0000 Mike Kanin & Jo Clifton 10250 at http://kut.org Council Withdraws Mid-Year Evaluation of City Manager City, Firefighters Union Headed for Mediation in Hiring Dispute http://kut.org/post/city-firefighters-union-headed-mediation-hiring-dispute <p><em>This article is written by KUT's City Hall reporting partner, the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/">Austin Monitor</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>The Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) – the union for City of Austin’s firefighters – and city management are headed to federal mediation over lingering accusations of hiring discrimination. Asked how long the mediation process might take AFA head Bob Nicks Tuesday declined to speculate.</p><p>Also, at Tuesday’s work session Council Member Mike Martinez, former head of the firefighters union, announced from the dais that city staff had requested a week’s postponement for council ratification of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.</p><p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:47:02 +0000 Mike Kanin 9851 at http://kut.org City, Firefighters Union Headed for Mediation in Hiring Dispute City’s General Fund Ends Fiscal Year 2013 with $14 Million Surplus http://kut.org/post/city-s-general-fund-ends-fiscal-year-2013-14-million-surplus <p><em>This article is written by KUT's Austin City Hall reporting partner, the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/">Austin Monitor</a>&nbsp;(formerly&nbsp;In Fact Daily).&nbsp;</em></p><p>The <strong>City of Austin’s General Fund</strong> ended fiscal year 2013 with a $14.2 million surplus. That figure amounts to a roughly 1 percent variance from projections made by city staff.</p><p>Despite the positive figure, Austin’s <strong>Chief Financial Officer Elaine Hart</strong> told members of the Council’s <strong>Audit and Finance Committee</strong> Wednesday that management was not planning on coming forward with a mid-year budget adjustment.</p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 14:26:18 +0000 Mike Kanin 9728 at http://kut.org City’s General Fund Ends Fiscal Year 2013 with $14 Million Surplus Strains Show Between Council, City Manager Over Auditors' Office http://kut.org/post/strains-show-between-council-city-manager-over-auditors-office <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">This is an excerpt from an article written by our Austin City Hall reporting partner, the</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/">Austin Monitor</a></em><em style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;(formerly </em><em style="line-height: 1.5;">In Fact Daily</em><em style="line-height: 1.5;">). For more on this topic, see </em><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><em><a href="http://kut.org/post/city-halls-most-powerful-leader-under-austins-change-10-1">our collaborative report with the </a></em></em><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://kut.org/post/city-halls-most-powerful-leader-under-austins-change-10-1">Monitor</a></em><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>.</em></em></p><p>Tensions continued to mount Tuesday between&nbsp;<strong>City Manager Marc Ott</strong>&nbsp;and a number of&nbsp;<strong>Austin City Council&nbsp;</strong>members. At immediate issue is where to relocate the office of&nbsp;<strong>City Auditor Ken Mory</strong>&nbsp;as City Hall is reconfigured to make room for additional Council members under single member districts.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">During Tuesday’s work session, there was a particularly testy exchange between </span>Ott<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Council Member Bill Spelman</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;as </span>Spelman<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> told </span>Ott<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> he should have at least consulted Council members before making a final decision about </span>Mory’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> relocation.</span></p><p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:31:11 +0000 Mike Kanin 9347 at http://kut.org Strains Show Between Council, City Manager Over Auditors' Office Is This City Hall's Most Powerful Leader Under Austin's Change to 10-1? http://kut.org/post/city-halls-most-powerful-leader-under-austins-change-10-1 <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">This article was co-produced with KUT News’ Joy Diaz as part of an ongoing City of Austin reporting partnership between <a href="http://www.infactdaily.com/">In Fact Daily</a> and KUT. Listen to KUT's&nbsp;broadcast story in the audio player below.</em></p><p>Among the changes that will accompany the start of districted representation for <strong>Austin City Council</strong> members, at least one unintended consequence is causing some level of civic heartburn for interests represented by figures ranging from current sitting Council members to the outspoken face of the 10-1 movement: A potential shift in the way things get done at City Hall.</p><p>That change, should it play out, will find the office of <strong>City Manager</strong> – the unelected executive arm of city government&nbsp;–&nbsp;&nbsp;becoming a much more powerful position. “The City Manager, at least temporarily – until people find their footing – is going to have a substantial amount of power,” said longtime Austin political organizer <strong>David Butts</strong>.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/121813382" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:22:10 +0000 Mike Kanin 9259 at http://kut.org Is This City Hall's Most Powerful Leader Under Austin's Change to 10-1?