Audrey McGlinchy

City Hall Reporter

Audrey McGlinchy is the City Hall reporter at KUT, covering the Austin City Council and the policies they discuss. She comes to Texas from Brooklyn, where she tried her hand at publishing, public relations and nannying. Audrey holds English and journalism degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York. She got her start in journalism as an intern at KUT Radio during a summer break from graduate school. While completing her master's degree in New York City, she interned at the New York Times Magazine and Guernica Magazine.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

According to the City of Austin’s latest annual performance review released June 22, the time it takes Austin police officers to respond to high-priority calls has been steadily increasing over the past five years.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

In a vote that pit representatives of the city’s lowest-income districts against their colleagues, Austin City Council members narrowly approved an 8 percent homestead exemption on Wednesday – an increase of 2 percent over last year’s exemption. To a resident with a home worth $250,000, that equates to a nearly $23 in annual savings on their property taxes.


Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Sharmar Mohamed Hassan doesn’t know the words in English to describe his bicycle. So he uses his native language, Somali, to tell me it’s a green road bike. And it’s his primary form of transportation in Austin — which, at times, can be a little touch-and-go.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Cars, buses and trucks idle at the four-way intersection at Guadalupe Street and West Dean Keeton Street. A horde of prospective students takes to the crosswalk, the timer counting down. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

April Marshall stood among the remains of her mother’s home last month in southeast Travis County, pointing out the new, donated couch still wrapped plastic. The family was still in the process of furnishing their home wrecked by flooding in October, when roughly three feet of floodwaters rushed their home again in May.


Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

It looks like either way you slice it, there will be a mobility bond up for a public vote in November. The real question is, what will Austin voters be deciding on? 

Mayor Steve Adler has drafted one proposal, while Council Members Greg Casar and Leslie Pool have written another. And then there's Council member Ann Kitchen's proposal.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

He’s cleared out one joint six times in just the past few months. In one video captured by a homeowner, he wore gloves. And he often doesn’t bother to close doors behind him. 

According to at least four Austin residents, one man has not been playing by the rules of neighborhood Little Free Libraries. The man is said to have been emptying the book trade depositories throughout the city. The libraries, which often look like roomy birdhouses, are posted like mailboxes on front lawns. The idea is to encourage book sharing among neighbors. Passersby are encouraged to “take a book, return a book.”

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In a dark room usually reserved for musical performances in South Austin’s Strange Brew coffee shop, four Austin residents met on Monday to talk about the process of citizen petitions — the most recent of which resulted in Proposition 1 — and the debate over local regulations for ride-hailing companies.


Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

At Black Star Co-op in North Austin, workers take food and drink orders, doling out burgers and beers on a recent weekday. Ask who owns the place, and the response might confound you: the members, or a select number of customers.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

After delaying a vote for several meetings, Public Safety Commissioners Monday supported a resolution asking for more racial profiling data from the Austin Police Department and a more rigorous analysis of it by the Office of the Police Monitor.

Commissioner Mike Levy took a minute to congratulate fellow commissioners after a unanimous vote.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

At a city-run job fair back in March, 15-year-old Jake Santema awaited an interview with city staff as part of the process to become a summer lifeguard signed up to be a lifeguard.

“I’m a little nervous of the feeling of having someone’s life on my hands,” said Santema. “It sounds nerve-wracking a little bit.”


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Residents in southeast Travis County are cleaning up homes destroyed in last week’s flooding.

Monday, in what would have been Andy Creed’s living room, volunteers were sweeping, unscrewing and pulling out the walls and insulation of his girlfriend’s mother’s house. Creed said that at around 10 p.m. Thursday, during heavy rains, the water started rising. 


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

With the promise of rain, Upper Onion Creek resident Ken Jacob says neighbors of his can be found with their eyes to the creek and the internet – where rain gauge levels are updated. So it’s essential to someone like Jacob, who serves on the city’s Flood Mitigation Task Force, that the city continue to discuss flood mitigation.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Standing atop the same stage where men and women perform bawdy pranks as part of adult entertainment-themed Bingo every Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse’s Highball, local tech leader Joe Liemandt added another ride-hailing company to the list of those scrambling to fill the roads in the absence of Uber and Lyft.

This one is called RideAustin, and it’s a bit different than the others.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Former full-time Uber and Lyft driver Kurt Wagenman showed up to Austin’s first transportation network company (TNC) driver fair on Tuesday with a misleading email in his inbox.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

UPDATE: After our story was originally published, we heard from several members of Flood Mitigation Task Force, who disputed the assertions made by some task force members, including the group’s chairman, who said the final report lacked prioritization.

An executive summary of the report, not available at Monday’s meeting of the Council's Public Utilities committee, whittles down the nearly 200 recommendations into 19 high priority ones. Topping that list is the creation of a city-wide policy that prioritizes life, safety and property when it comes to flooding. The task force recommends that the city then consider this when making upcoming budget decisions.

In conversations with other members of the task force, some took issue with chairman Matt Reinstra’s presentation of the report to the Public Utilities Committee. At that time, he did not present the executive summary to council members because it had not yet been finalized by the task force.

“Many of the things he mentioned as recommendations were very minor things that were in there,” said task force member Ken Jacob. “We’re trying to come forward and say this is important. This is something you, the council, needs to pay attention to and the city needs to pay attention to because it’s a big issue.”

Jacob also cautioned against considering too heavily the report’s note that, at the city’s current rate of improvements, it would cost $2 to $4 billion to address local flooding issues.

“The numbers are just estimates [staff] were able to pull out there,” said Jacob. “And they’re going to have to do more work on that to finalize it.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Nearly a year after floodwaters wrecked businesses and homes in Austin over Memorial Day, members of the city’s Public Utilities Committee heard a rundown of a report from the city’s Flood Mitigation Task Force.

It’s a 89-page document bursting with nearly 200 recommendations for city staff – among them, suggestions to replace aging storm drainage systems and enhancing public outreach by the city’s Watershed Protection Department. According to the report, the total cost of these recommendations ranges from $2 billion to $4 billion.


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

Last year, 102 people died on Austin’s roads. All this week, we’ve been looking at the plan in our series – the Road to Zero.

While we’ve heard the stories of victims and loved ones, we haven’t heard from those who respond to these deaths – in the minutes and days after. KUT’s Audrey McGlinchy spoke with three members of the Austin Police Department about their work and the toll it takes.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Andrew Nierengarten used to make most of his income driving for Uber and Lyft. But since the two companies exited Austin Monday, he’s been working for another ride-hailing app: Get Me. And he says since the failure of Proposition 1, passengers assume he has been fingerprinted.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

This story is part of our series, The Road to Zerowhich explores traffic deaths and injuries in Austin and the city's plan to prevent them.

She had already started cooking the eggs and bacon.

Deborah Tatum, 49, was reaching for a can of biscuits when she learned her son was dead. Her daughter rushed into the kitchen, telling her a police officer was on the phone.


KUT News

The Austin Transportation Department will consider untangling the city’s franchise model of taxi companies in an attempt to “address equity” between for-hire drivers in the city. The news comes after the failure of Proposition 1 on Saturday and the exit of ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft two days later.

The proposed changes would usher in an open market system for cabs, bringing them more in line with the way ride-hailing companies operate in the city. Historically the city has capped the number of cabs in the city – keeping that number of operating vehicles at just over 900.

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