AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council will meet Thursday with roughly 40 items on their agenda. Here’s some of what we’re watching.
Petition requirements: Approved as amended
Austin City Council asked the city manager to create a charter review commission. It’s goal would be to look at City Charter and recommend changes, including possible changes to petition requirements.
The resolution comes shortly after council voted to put two opposing petitions — both of which address police oversight — with the same name on the May ballot. In accordance with the law, when a determined number of signatures is reached, and then verified by the City Clerk, council’s only options are to adopt the petition outright or to send it to voters.
In Austin, the magic number is 20,000 signatures, or 5% of voters, whichever is less. It’s been that way in Austin’s charter since 2012, according to council documents.
“A piece of what we’re asking them to look at are our citizen initiated items and figuring out where the threshold is appropriate and representative of the community,” Council Member Ryan Alter, who brought the resolution forward, said. “They are going to take a look at that issue and decide ‘is 20,000 people an appropriate number? Should it be a percentage of the population?’”
Read more in KXAN’s report on the topic last week.
South Congress parking changes: Approved on Consent
Council will approved a measure that will make at least 100 parking spaces on and near South Congress paid spots. Parking along the busy street for tourism is currently free.
Agenda documents say the move is to help with traffic congestion and that the money raised by the paid spots will go towards “proposed improvement projects.”
“If approved, this ordinance would create a Parking and Transportation Management District (PTMD) in the S Congress area. This would establish paid on and off-street public parking within the area to help with traffic flow,” Council Member Vanessa Fuentes said on Twitter.
Council members are also expected to go into executive session to discuss next steps in their search for a permanent city manager.
The first part of the meeting will “discuss the employment, duties, and evaluation of the Interim City Manager,” and the second part will “discuss personnel and legal issues related to the search for and appointment of a new city manager.”
KXAN spoke to council members about the interim city manager and what they’re looking for in a permanent hire earlier this week.
- Reinstating the Austin Police Department’s citizen police academy: Approved as amended
- Resolution accepting the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Policy Plan: Approved
- Declaring the Trail of Lights as a city co-sponsored event starting this year: Approved on Consent