Austin City Council

From the Austin Monitor : According to a poll conducted for the Austin Monitor , a majority of those polled in City Council Member Don Zimmerman’s district — 52 percent — approve of how Council handled the Uber/Lyft election issue. At the same time, 51 percent said they would vote to re-elect their Council member, who was not mentioned by name in the question.

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.

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.

Graphic by Andrew Weber/KUT

From the Austin Monitor : A poll commissioned by the Austin Monitor with the help of sponsors shows that more people approve of Mayor Steve Adler’s job performance than that of City Council as a whole — with 51 percent of respondents endorsing Adler’s leadership, compared to 40 percent approval for Council.

Council Votes to Permanently Tighten Water Restrictions

May 6, 2016
flickr.com/camknows

Central Texas is drought-free. The Highland Lakes are full and for the first time in years, Austin was on the brink of ending its water use restrictions. But not so fast – yesterday the Austin City Council passed new water conservation guidelines, which include some permanent restrictions. The city won’t be going back to the way things were before.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr. / KUT

At the City of Austin’s budget season opener Wednesday, council members heard again of Austin’s two cities: the city’s widening economic divisions amidst claims that the city is “an economic star.” “This is extraordinary growth,” economic consultant Jon Hockenyos told council members as he pointed out a 4.6 percent increase in jobs last year, plus an anticipated 7 to 8 percent gain in personal income in the coming year. “It is hard to imagine any other community that has consistently grown in the aggregate that the Austin metro area has.”

https://youtu.be/WTg1oqIbRho On Thursday night, KUT and the Austin Monitor hosted a live debate at the North Door on the May 7 ballot question about regulations for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. A "Yes" vote on the measure would repeal the requirements for fingerprint-based background checks for ride-hailing drivers that were passed by the Austin City Council in December, which is not yet being enforced. If it passes, Uber and Lyft would continue to do the name-based background...

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

We've noticed that many readers are checking out this post ahead of the November election. This post deals with the Proposition 1 that was on the ballot in May 2016. If you're looking for information about Proposition 1 on the November 2016 ballot in Austin, which is a transportation bond measure, go here . Austin voters will head to the polls on Saturday, May 7 to vote for or against Proposition 1. How did we get here? In December, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that, over time, requires Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo fingerprint-based background checks, among other things. The companies have said they cannot operate under these mandates.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have spent nearly $2.2 million so far this year to fund a campaign to collect petition signatures to get an initiative on the ballot in Austin and advocate for that measure.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr/KUT

Join KUT and the Austin Monitor on Thursday, April 14 th at 6:30pm at the North Door (502 Brushy St.) for a live debate on the ride-hailing regulations that will be on the ballot in Austin next month. RSVP here . The regulations are being put to a public vote after supporters submitted more than 20,000 petition signatures earlier this year. The panel debating the pros and cons of the proposed regulations , which include repealing mandated fingerprint background checks for drivers, will...

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Austin's ridesharing vote will go ahead as planned, it seems. The Texas Supreme Court denied a request to order a rewrite of ballot language that Austin voters will consider in May regarding regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Austin resident Samantha Phelps filed a writ with the Supreme Court last week, arguing the language approved by the Austin City Council would mislead voters.

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

A petition submitted by a political action committee attempting to recall Austin City Council member Ann Kitchen has been rejected by the City Clerk. The PAC Austin4All failed to notarize any of the petition's 989 pages, which was required to attest to the validity of the statement at the top of each petition: “The reason for [Council member Ann Kitchen's] recall is because she has purposefully hurt businesses that employ citizens of Austin.”

Miguel Guitierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin City Council members will decide Thursday whether to revisit an affordable housing deal approved by vote in December. But just how they might go about reconsidering it is complicated. The deal – called Pilot Knob – would move anywhere from $50 to $80 million dollars normally slotted for Austin Water’s coffers and put it into the city’s affordable housing trust fund. That financial information though, many council members have said, was not available to them at that December vote.

Kathryn Decker from flickr

Sometimes, a potential law goes by two names. But other times, it goes by one – while confusion has bred alternative monikers. For instance, Austin City Council members have spent the past year chewing over hiring requirements for private employers. But recently, Council Member Ellen Troxclair expressed some confusion about what to call this: "ban the box" or a "fair chance hiring" ordinance? Troxclair talked over potential mandates with business owners who shared in her confusion: “They...

Council Adopts New Regulations for Short-Term Rentals

Feb 24, 2016
Eva Ruth Moravec/Austin Monitor

From the Austin Monitor : City Council on Tuesday passed, on a 9-2 vote, new regulations governing short-term rentals that aren’t owner-occupied. Council also adopted plans to phase out all of the so-called STR Type 2 properties in residential zones by 2022.

Mike Blizzard via Twitter

When word first broke that a local political action committee calling itself Austin4All had enough signatures to recall City Council Member Ann Kitchen, most of her colleagues came out in force. Standing outside City Hall on Feb. 1, some council members joked they would be next.

Mike Blizzard via Twitter

From the Austin Monitor : Although local political action committee Austin4All turned in a petition to recall City Council Member Ann Kitchen to the city clerk’s office Friday, petitions to recall Council members are far from common. So it’s fair to say that the rules governing this process are little known. According to a spokesperson for the city, the city clerk has 20 calendar days to certify the signatures. Should roughly 5,000 signatures (10 percent of the number of active voters in Kitchen’s District 5) be deemed valid, the council member has five days to leave her position. But Kitchen has said she will not.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

Everything’s in place for a May 7 vote on rules governing ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. But which set of rules will drivers be living under until then? It gets a little complicated.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

There have been plenty of critics of the work the Austin City Council’s done over the past year. Tuesday night, Austin Mayor Steve Adler delivered his second State of the City Address – offering a defense of their work. The Mayor was cautious in summing up the past year’s achievements.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Given that it’s in a government building, the painting that hangs outside Mayor Steve Adler’s office is a bizarre choice. It’s a portrait of a cat – its head crowned in what looks like a steel headdress, with an ornate keyhole at its center. Behind the cat’s head, canoes full of sushi float atop a body of water. Chopsticks stand in for paddles. If nothing else is clear – and little is – the cat wields enormous power over these pieces of sushi. The canoes carrying them appear to be rowing toward it in an act of obedience.

Pages