o I'm
going to call to order this
special meeting of the
austin city council on
august 30, 2012, 10:04 a.m.

301 West second street,
austin, texas.

Council will now take up
item 1 to conduct public
hearing and receive public
comment on the city of
proposed budget.

Council also held a hearing
on the proposed budget on
august 23, 2012.

Council will close the
public comment on the
proposed budget at the end
of this meeting.

We're scheduled to adopt the
budget on september 10,

If council does not adopt
the budget on september 10,
we will continue on
september 11 and
september 12 if necessary.

So now first we'll go to our

This public hearing, is
first speaker is tricia

Tricia castillo.


Either, closest one.

And you have three minutes.

>> My name is tricia
castillo and I'm
representing dove springs, a
community of about 50,000
people along with a major
route to the airport.

78744 Has outstripped austin
in crime and the population

Crime has surged 61% from
2001 to 2011 and the
population has jumped.

We're asking for help in
improving the safety and


health of our area.

Go into the safety issue,
we're asking the police
department to budget a
sufficient staff for a
visible presence in 78744.

Around the clock.

For also prompt support for
our growing neighborhood
watch effort.

We're asking also for a
storefront 787 -- in 78744
to be present.

I guess we're asking for
also to have bike patrol
officers and vehicle patrol

So as a deterrent for the
crime in the 78744 region.

One-third of our population
is 18 and under so the dove
springs recreation center is
a key part of engaging youth
in constructive activities
to reduce crime and improve

78744 Has the highest
juvenile obesity rate in
austin and we're asking that
the parks department, parks
and recreation department
budget be sufficient to fund
the dove springs recreation
center with adequate staff
to supervise safe, organized
activities, providing
toddler-parent activities,
to provide broader weekend
hours of operation and to
prevent sufficient --
significantly reduce
participation fees for
organized activities.

Currently some fees run $120
per child for six-week
activities and the former
fee -- and formerly karate
is charging $20 a person per
month and families with
multiple children are unable
to afford this.

Our proposed -- the proposed
bond package includes about
5 million for the 78744



Thank you for including us
in the bond package.

The original list of items
for 78744 total $30 million
out of the initial
800 million in possible

We have received its
proportionate share, 78744
would have over $15 million
in improvements in the final
bond package.

We ask that you increase
operating budget funding for
police and recreation in our

[Buzzer sounding]
thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Next speaker is michelle

And while you are coming up,
I should mention that
councilmembers martinez and
spelman will be out today.

Don't expect them to be

Councilmember martinez is
out on paternal leave and
councimember spelman is out
on medical leave.

You have three minutes.

>> My name is michelle
silvera and I'm a resident
of dove springs community.

I'm also a single working
mother of three young
children and also licensed
community health worker in
the dove springs community.

I've come today to ask you
to help improve the safety
of my community.

I utilize the recreation
center a great deal.

My family spends three to
four nights a week there and
my children participate in a
wide variety of sports
there, basketball, football,
dancing, karate.

I cannot afford to put my
children in these sports

Aisd rates on outrageous and
simply cannot afford it
without the recreation

I have noticed an increase
in fees as well.

When my children are at
practice, safety is a huge
concern for me so I stay
there and I watch them.

Me and my son, we run the

There's smoking and drinking
the area, we have to remove
beer bottles daily.

I've never seen police
patrol the area.

I've seen them called when
there is an incident.

I feel our police department
needs funding.

They need to be more
proactive and not reactive


in our area.

The hours of the recreation
center is also concern for

The current hours are monday
00 to

School does not release
until 2:45.

On friday their areas a
10:00 a.m. to 6:00.

School does not release
until 2:45.

High school doesn't get out
00 and junior high
until 3:30.

That will give them about an
hour of recreation center
time on fridays.

00 to
00 and they are closed all
day on sunday.

These hours do not fit our
community's needs.

They fit the employees
needs, but not our

With our community being a
third of the population
under 18, I feel there's a
need for a positive, safe
environment for them to
spend their evenings at
especially on friday and
saturday night.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Councilmember tovo has a
question for you.

>> Tovo: That's okay.

I just really wanted to
thank you for being here and
your neighbor and to let you
know we've heard from some
our other neighbors about
these issues and you've
raised very good points.

One of the questions, I'll
give staff a heads up,
whether adjusting -- at a
minimum whether we can
adjust some of the hours or
whether the parks department
could adjust some of the
hours at the rec center to
get more coverage on the
weekends and you may know
this already, but I know
that one of the neighbors
from dove springs yesterday
informed us that chief
acevedo is planning to come
down to the next
neighborhood planning team
meeting to hear of your
concerns and brainstorm
about public safety in that

So thanks so much for
raising these really
critical concerns and for
being involved in your

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Julio gonzalez.


and members of council.

Today I'm speaking to you as
a member of open austin
which is austin's leading
organization for the
promotion of open data, open
government and civic
innovations through civic

I'm coming to address a
request we have provided to
you for $320,000 towards the
creation of office of civic

This office of civic
innovation is part of
continuing the leadership
that you have already shown
through efforts of this past
december's resolution of
open government passing from
your body as well as by
efforts from city staff and
the austin community to use
things such as the city of
austin data portal.

There are three specific
reasons why we think this is
a good idea.

The first reason has to do
with the activity that the
office would unleash through
both civic software
applications such as eclipse
fixed, new applications as
well reducing costs.

Many of the requests that
you have to deal with are
for things of public
information as well as
taking up of staff time and
potentially be a better
addressed to software.

And third and perhaps most
importantly happy residents
and voters who will feel
engaged by the tools that
can be unleashed by provide

Why do we need to do this

We have already spent a good
year, year and a half trying
to figure out if there is an
energized community for open
data, open government and
software development in

There is.

We've spent that time trying
to figure out if there's
interest within the city

There is.

But now we need the
resources to invest.

The proposal in front of you
is a modest allocation of
resources based on proven
models in austin and san
francisco and I hope you
will give it your full

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.


>> Thank you for coming down
and we had good discussion
about this yesterday when we
were talking about the
online campaign finance

I've had conversations with
the city manager and perhaps
others have about this very
issue and so I guess what i
would like to see is if we
can arrange a meeting in the
next couple of days to speak
with staff and yourself to
see if there's some way to
at least get a start in
moving down this path.

>> I think that's very

>> Mayor Leffingwell: City

>> Councilmember, I think
that doug matthews on our
staff has already been
engaged with julio and
others on this matter.

Sent you a memo regarding
efforts we've had underway
for I think over a year in
this regard.

I think that what julio is
talking about further
expands the scope of where
our conversation originally
began and in fact we've
changed our vernacular from
sort of a public sector r
and d function to
innovations office and so
we've done quite a bit of
work along those lines.

I'd like to ask ray, who is
behind julio, to come forth
quickly and talk about those
efforts, but we would very
much like to continue our
engagement with them.

>> Mayor and council, ray
berea, city manager's

We've been engaged in
discussion well over a year
and city manager challenged
city staff to begin thinking
about creation of a research
and development fund that
would provide micro grants
to city departments for
ideas that would improve
service delivery to austin

That began the discussion
again, that began a little
over a year ago.

And the staff started
researching the idea looking
at what other cities were
doing, we were finding they
were sort of surrounding
themselves around an
innovation office concept
and that's what we were
starting to look at as well.


So back in 2011, as you
know, we were working with
code for america and during
the code for america summit
we had an opportunity to
visit with some of their
innovation leaders in
boston, san francisco,
chicago and new york.

And have been discussing
with them about how to
implement, first it was a
research and development
program, but then realizing
everyone was looking at an
innovation office.

And so the city manager's
office expressed that
interest in that kind of a
program and so even earlier
this year we were working
with doug matthews and
robert good in trying to
create that concept.

We're hoping as we look at
best practices around other
cities as to how we can
bring that and implement
that here at city of austin.

>> [Inaudible] associates
will enhance our efforts and
we look forward to
continuing the dialogue and
the work.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
just a quick question.

Is it your intent to
implement this innovation
program within the framework
of the existing proposed

>> Well, you know, we hadn't
gotten far enough along
to -- to really focus on the
cost side of it, how much it
would cost and that's why we
didn't incorporate anything
into our proposed budget for

So as we refine our
efforts -- and again, in
conjunction with julio and
others, we will likely come
back to council with a
recommendation on funding
and how we would like to go

>> Mayor Leffingwell: But
you are not anticipating any
effect on the current
proposed budget that we're
getting ready to consider on
september 10.

>> No, not at this time.

Our recommendation is what
it is at the present time.

But in the course of 13 we
may come back and talk to
you about it more.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Jeff rosenthal.


>> Thank you, mayor,

I am chip rosenthal, vice
chair of the technology and
communication commission and
I would like to speak
briefly on two points that
have come before the

One is a recommendation that
funding for the austin free
net contract be increased by

These funds would allow free
net to maintain operations
of 60 community technology
centers that they've been
able to set up under their
detah grant and we would
like to see these continue.

You will be hearing from
juanita bud in a minute who
will talk more about that.

I would also like to address
the innovation office
proposal and I will try not
to be redundant with julio's

I think it's important he
hit not only the innovation
aspect but also the cost
savings that cities might
see such that this work
would pay for itself.

What I would like to -- oh,
also I want to recognize
city manager's point that in
discussion with ray berea,
doug matthews that I think
that a lot of our concerns
have impact the process and
we're starting to see that
reflected this the thinking.

But I would like to give
some urgency to the notion
of bringing in someone to
act as an innovation offer.

The plan.

The best practice of every
suful innovation effort
does have a strong leader in
place and I think it's the
sort of thing we could bring
this person in to boot strap
the process and create a
successful innovation

When the commission spoke


with the boston new urban
mechanics office, one of the
interesting things they've
told is they've never had an
announcement that we've got
a innovation office.

They did not do what's
called a big bang effort.

They had people in the city
on staff working the
relationships, doing the
outreach to other city
employees and more
importantly the outreach to
the community to help with
the support and development
of these innovation apps.

I think the success in
innovation effort depends on
getting this key person in
to get that outreach going.

This person could a agile
development form develop the

Finally to add another log
on your fire, we have a
fellowship with code for
america that's coming to an
end in december, and I think
it's very important that the
city have a plan to
transition, to pick up all
the good work that they've

Not just the code and app
but the information they
have gathered.

I see this as something
chief innovation officer
could do.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Juanita bud.

Mayor pro tem cole.

>> Cole: Let me ask a

Thank you for your service
and all the work you've done
to bring this forward.

Help me understand what the
six free technical centers.

Where are they located?

 bud is the executive
director of austin free net
and I would like to defer to
her if that would be okay.

>> Cole: Yes.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: You
have three minutes.

>> Good morning.

Thank you for your time and

My name is juanita bud,
executive director for
austin free net and austin
free net provides internet


access and technology and
currently we have 21 site
we're providing services

The six sites I'm asking
additional extended funding
are the arch center,
trinity, the dewitty center
which provides mainly job --
job support for the

We know that our nation is a
global entity needing
computer access and
training, and according to
the research, 80% of fortune
500 companies now require
employees to apply online.

Even our city of austin
require employees to apply

And if people don't have
access or understand how to
do that, then we create a
huge economic gap.

Austin free net serves
roughly 10,000 people a
month in training them on
internet access and job

And if we look at that and
expand it over a 10-month
period, we could have a
$36 million impact right
here in the community.

So this -- this project is
essential to the success and
mobilization of our economic

I want to specifically -- we
are also trying to expand
into other areas.

We currently are serving the
east austin area, the six
sites are the arts center,
casa mar I want nela, a esl
class and job service
community at the witt
center, spring terrace and

We want to expand to dove
springs and would beer
villain montopolis.

To ensure the viability of
their communities as well.


>> Cole: I'm sorry, i
didn't catch your last name.

>> Budd, b-u-d-d.

>> Cole: You said there
were six additional centers
but I was unclear whether
that included --

>> the six center we want to
expand to the other three

>> Cole: Okay.

And the estimated cost of
your doing that is how much
is this.

>> We have a resolution from
the -- the terra commission
for 36,000 -- $36,330, which
is gap, it's a gap coverage
from us for july through
september at the end of the
fiscal year, and there is
also a second resolution
that -- that is 100 and --
161,000 that is for the
expansion of the additional

>> Cole: Okay.

Can you give us a profile of
your typical client?

I know you just said you
serve 10,000 people.

>> Yes, I can.

Predominantly low-income,
less than $15,000 annual
income a month.

Some of these are
underemployed or unemployed

Some of them are displaced
middle managers who are
displaced out of their
middle manager jobs.

They don't have the computer

They are used to having
administrative assistants
and they need to use a
computer, they also use our

>> Cole: What type of
training do you provide
besides internet?

>> Online applications,
particularly the city of
austin job applications.

We teach people how to
search for information for
essential service programs.

I'm going to be a part of
your texas benefit with the


health and human services
agencies to provide another
venue and access for people
in the community to have
those services provided.

>> Cole: Thank you,
ms. budd.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
April rose.

>> Thank you.

>> Good morning, mayor and

My name is april rose and
I'm the executive director
of tree folk.

I also live in austin and
feel very blessed to own a
home on a tree lined street.

The trees that are on my
street and in my
neighborhood park are a very
big part of why we live in
78757 and we know our
neighbors and why we walk on
a tree lined street to
brentwood park.

Neighborhood was developed,
there were no trees.

It was a cotton farm.

Thank goodness for the
foresight of people who
planted trees that we enjoy

Today I would like to ask
for fund for the forestry

Trees are green
infrastructure and like
streets waterlines, sewer
lines and sidewalks they
need to be proactively

Currently our public trees
are a once every 90 year
inspection cycle.

Is that really good enough?

I they we could do a little
bit better.

The drought and heat of last
year killed 10% of our tree

We need to replant those
trees, remove the hazardous
dead and dying tries and
take better care of existing
trees so we can realize the
green city that we would
like to be.

Thank you for your

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

tom McDill.


>> Good morning, mayor and
members of the council.

MY NAME IS tom McDill, I'm
a consulting engineer here
in austin and I came down to
talk in citizens
communication about
something else.

I thought I don't even know
how to take my name off the
list so I would like to say,
number one, I'm strongly in
favor of the trees in austin
and I would hope that in
their game plan that they do
have a forest fire

Another thing that I would
like to at least bring up is
how impressed I am with the
economic and redevelopment
office that's operating here
in austin and the show that
they put on the last couple
of days about the f1

Everybody who walked away
from that was amazed what
was going on and how the
city produced what they did.

The information was

That's all I have.

Thank you very much.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Bob

Bob nix and several people
donating time.

Greg pope.

Is greg here?

How about fremal amean?

Paula buff.

Greg pope.

So you have 12 minutes.

12 Minutes.

Paul signed up twice but you
really can't do that.

>> You can't get like a
minute for that?

Good try.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: You
get a gold star for that.

>> Okay.

, Mayor, mayor pro tem,


council, thanks for hearing
me today.

I'm trying to figure out a
new and exciting way to talk
to you about wild land fire

I've been visiting with you
and testifying.

Could you play the first
video, please?

This first video, we'll play
about two minutes of it, is
a video from the fires in
colorado this year.

When I look at this video,
the first time I saw it i
manualed myself in central
austin looking west
manualing what it would look
like west of austin when we
have a big one, which will

It will be cued up here in
just a second.

This -- as you look at this
video, we'll play about two
minutes of this.

They are going to pan out.

It's quite a bit bigger than

Occasionally you will see a
black cloud of smoke and
that's another house going

Look at the topography and
look at the fuels and think
about how that compares to
west austin.

The topography is fairly
similar, maybe a little more
rolling than the hills in
this video, but the fuels
are more sparse and not as

This was a 1800-acre fire
that happened close to an
urban area.

Colorado springs.

And destroyed 350 homes.

This is actually small in

It could have been a lot

So anyway, you can see the
smoke, you can see how it's
progressing, and like I said
look at the smoke and see
how it's being driven by the

It's not even that hard of a
wind that particular day and
they've had immense

You can imagine the economic
and social impact if this
was to happen in west

There is no reason to think
you couldn't translate this
same scenario into austin.

If the video worked, it
would be a lot more
compelling, but, you know.


But since it's not, I'm
going to go ahead and move

I'll send a link to you all
later on.

If we could go back to the
power point, please.

Which should be up soon.

I want to talk in the power
point is history where we've
been the last year.

Go ahead to the next slide,

Since pinnacle fire at oak
hill, we burned over
100 acres, that's what we
used to think the big one

In one of my first press
statements I said this is
not the big one.

This is 100-acre fire.

They get a lot bigger and we
have the potential for
something much greater.

By october of 2011, later
that year, over 600
wildfires raged across the
state of texas and scorched
nearly 40,000 acres.

We've heard of many steiner
ranch and others, bastrop,
which is the largest loss of
homes of any fire in history
in the united states, but
what we didn't hear is the
50, 60, 100 smaller fires
that happened put out by
responding austin
firefighters well equipped
and able to get there soon
which is really important.

I visit with a group of
citizens in the oak hill
area that had one of those
smaller fires and we had a
coffee and invited the
firefighters, they were
amazed at the response.

Most of the wildfires happen
within two miles of a

When we think of wild lands
we think of this remote

That's not what's happening
nationally or texas and we
know about the fires in and
around austin.

Next slide, please.

Nearly 15 months ago, really
as soon as the pinnacle fire
ended, the public safety
commission should be highly
commended much they went to
work, rolled up their
sleeves, started bringing
inexperts and it was too early
in that budget year to make
recommendation, but over
that 15-month period they


talked about wild land need,
investments need to be made
particularly in the area of
fuel mitigation.

Next slide, please.

The date -- next slide.

The date zero, zero of these
investments are in the
current budget.

Now, one thing I do want to
say that I'm very thankful
council having the wisdom to
do is the safer grant.

When I was president-elect i
came to council and said
this is something we should
apply for.

We looked at the
qualifications and you guys
approved that and we're
very, very thankful for

That investment has been
made this current year.

Not with current year's
money because it's a grant
but it has been made this
current year.

What I'm talking about is
360 fire station or the wild
land division.

There's not investments in

Next slide, please.

The wild land division is --
let's see if we can play
video 7.

If we can't, I'll just speak
to it.

What the wild land vision
advocates for is a holistic
fuel mitigation program.

There's only two ways to
affect risk in wild lands.

One is initial attack and in
most areas of the city,
especially the safer grant,
I feel we're well suited up
for that.

The other is fuel

This isn't a debatable item
and every expert will say
the same thing.

Currently we do not have a
fuel mitigation program in

A lot of cities are behind
the curve on that, but
nothing what we can do and
what we can do to reduce the
risk it's imperative we put
a fully functional fuel
mitigation program in place.

Full year funding of
$2 million.

After your funding of a

I realize that's a lot of
money and it's baffling
we're at this part of the
budget process and it's not
funded, but it very


important we find the
funding for this.

Can you play the video?

Stop it for a second.

This is the may 7th
meeting right before the
recommendations came up from
public safety commission
meeting of council where
we're talking -- we have a
panel of experts you can see

I'm up there to make some
comments which I'm going the
play because nothing more
compelling than watching me
on video.

What I want to say is in may
we really were talking about
this stuff.

You hear me talk about fuel
mitigation division, why
it's important and why
sustainability in the
program is so important.

Go ahead, please.

>> Talk about a couple

When we first started
talking about wild lands,
one of the recurring themes
let's make sure this isn't
just something we have
interest in and dies and
goes away.

I talked about it several
times over my career.

I've seen wild land efforts
flourish and become really
big and then fade.

I've seen that go up and
down throughout the years.

130, 190 Class and it was a
40-hour class and everybody
was excited and we knew it
was -- and it waned.

Some of the efforts around

There was continuum of

There were lots of times it
weighed and flowed up and
down and I think
sustainability is a theme i
want to talk about now and
make sure we keep these good
efforts going.

We have a lot of attention
on the subject.

It obvious there's a lot of
energy in this room working
towards it.

And we have to figure out a
way and we have to figure
out a way, I guess I'm
thinking more strategically,
to make sure these efforts
are sustained.

One thing I didn't see
[inaudible] towards it and
we have to figure out a way,
to make sure these efforts
are sustained.

One thing I didn't see in
this emergency service
[inaudible] and I'm sure you
guys have considered it, I'm
sure you don't have


everything on this list,
it's not inclusive, but we
need a wild land division
with and consolidate
some of the expertise within
the division.

We learned now what water
and wastewater utility does,
and we need that expertise
consolidated within an
agency responding to the

I think that will help
sustain it.

That's kind of way we've
done it with afd.


 division to
some extent.

The new discipline.

We had a haz-mat division.

Special operations same

Special operations division.

Weapons of mass destruction.

Now, if we want to sustain
this and make sure if we're
looking at this last chart,
if we start seeing years
where it doesn't add up like
in 2011, the interest starts
waning again, chief evans
and chief kirk have done a
great job of keeping these
programs going and starting
new programs last year, but
they can't do that the next
five or six years.

There needs to be a division
that continues on this great
work and makes sure it keeps
going because it's that

So I really believe we need
to have a wild land
division, we need to start
working towards that while
the interest is still great,
while we have all these
experts in the room and
start consolidating not just
our resources but the city
resources to make sure we go
forward and continue that

Another thing I think is has
been touched on by many
expert and almost seems
redundant, but we need a
holistic fuel mitigation

When you see all these red
dots, you don't see
jurisdictional lines.

Other sites we can do it
correctly, others we can't.

That has to be solved.

I think a few months ago
when water and waste was
given a presentation on the
mitigation efforts, it was 5
or 10% of the risk area.


That's not good enough.

And I realize it's very
complex, but we have to put
our efforts into codes or
legislative actions or
whatever it takes so we can
go across those boundary
lines and mitigate fuels at
that level.

Otherwise we're looking at
desolate land with no trees
in the northwest some day.

You talk about you lived
under a fire bomb, I don't
think anybody said it as
well, that's what it is.

If we can't get serious
about it now and deal with
that we'll all be scratching
our heads why we don't do it
later on.

That's probably the hardest
long-term problem.


>> You can stop the video.

The wild land division
program that was built out
handles all levels of what
we talked about in that

It has a million dollars
dedicated a year to future fuel

The number came out of my

But a million dollars, the
more you invest in fuel
mitigation, it's like buying

When you buy another ounce
of gold, you've got that
much more.

When you put a million
dollars into mitigation you
get a million dollars of
measurable progress.

It doesn't have to be that
number but it need to be
sizable enough over 5 or 10
years recollect measurably
reduce the risk in a
meaningful way.

The staffing includes an
ecologist, a burn boss so we
can get prescribed persons.

Regional issues, legislative
issues and all the
complexities of working with
all the stakeholders to make
sure it's done right.

I think some people picture
we're going to go in and
slash down trees.

That's not what a fuel
mitigation program is about.

It's about getting the
stakeholders and reducing
the risk in a responsible
and meaningful fashion.

There's ways you can satisfy
all the stakeholders in that

[Buzzer sounding]


but it has to be some --
does that mean I'm done on

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Yes,

>> I am done on time.

I will go to the end.

I'm baffled it's not in yet.

I've been asked how we find
the money and I don't know.

If you guys have some
assignments, I would be
happy to do it, but it's so
important it need to be

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: All

Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: I have a few
questions for you.

You have presented some of
our offices with a proposal
and I wonder if you could
just outline some of those
differences between your
proposal and what is
currently this the budget i
know you've highlighted a
key line and that's the fuel
mitigation budget.

>> Could I put up the slide
of the spread sheet?

Last wednesday at the
budget -- thank you for the

Last wednesday at the budget
workshop there was a
proposal -- it will be next
slide, I think.


You see phase 1, $350
funding for phase 1.

That the chief proposed and
the phase 2 brings it up to
the same level as the
proposal that I talked to
you all about.

Phase 1, although it gets us
in the door in planning,
which is certainly better
than nothing, does -- as you
can see in the fuel
mitigation line item, it
really does very little to
nothing to actually mitigate
a stick of fuel.

And so although the planning
is important and it needs to
be done, we have identified
areas now that we can start
working on.

And so we need to -- I would
like to see us start that as
soon as possible.

So if you go over to the
half year funding at the end
of the column, it shows
basically the same personnel
in phase 1, plus the uniform
personnel, plus a half year
funding to actually start
working toward doing some
meaningful fuel mitigation.

The two plans are congruent.


It just the chief's plan
breaks out a planning phase
and is a little cheaperment
I'm saying let's go ahead
and get it fully staffed and
put some money there so we
can start working there.

>> Tovo: And the half year
funding is sort of the plan

If the -- if your proposal
couldn't be accomplished,
then a half year funding
would --

>> I think the half year
funding is really all I'm
asking for at this point
because I think by the time
you do some gearing up it
will be about half year.

I think that's reasonable
and if we could find that
level of funding, I think we
could stand shoulder to
shoulder and say we have
done something about this,
we do have a premier program
started and we will see
measurable results over

>> Tovo: Thanks for
explaining that.

In essence what you have
done is proposed front
loading, shifting from phase
2, some of the items from
phase 2 to phase 1 with the
understanding the planning
would take some time and
there would be about half a
year to get involved in some
of that fuel mitigation.

>> That's correct.

It's interesting because the
phase 1, phase 2 program was
the tire chiefs and when we
laid them side by side and
with a small amount of
manipulation they were

And the reason is they would
make sense to anybody trying
to reduce risk at that level
that you are going to build
a lot of programs similar to

One thing I forgot to

>> Mayor Leffingwell: You
have a late donor of another
three minutes and you've
already used 30 seconds.

You got two minutes and 30
seconds more if you would

>> Okay.

Any other questions to
extend my time?

I'm just kidding.

What I want to use my time
to talk about one thing is
how much the fire department
has done.

I had a slide that was so
long and list that you
couldn't read the font it
was so long.

The fire department and
council, you've done a
tremendous amount, I'm not
trying to imply nothing has
been done.


With current resources and
with current funding within
the fire department, there's
been 4,000 door hangers put
out, over 100 community
meetings made and reached
out to the public.

Mayor, you've last two
years, you've hosted the
symposium on wild land fires
where you brought in
stakeholders and some of
these from around the state

I was at the last one.

You started the ready, set
go program.

I don't want to imply
nothing has been done, but i
want to be very clear there
has been no substantive
investment this career in
probably the most important
area which is fuel

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Yeah, and I would just like
to add I totally agree with

I think that is a primary
issue is fuel mitigation.

But when I think about that,
it's not just finding the
money to do it.

You know, hiring the people,
getting the equipment
together and doing it.

It's also a huge political
issue involving overlapping
jurisdictions, the city, the
county, other cities
within -- other small
incorporate cities, even the
federal government when you
start talking about our
preserve land.

This is something we need to
start right away, if nothing
else how to solve the
political problems to go
forward with fuel

That I think is the key to
making anything work.

You can put 5,000 pieces of
equipment, 5,000 firemen out
there, if you've got the
open space, the wild lands
like we have now, you are
not going to make much

Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: I wanted to
build on what you said and
that in terms of getting the
fuel mitigation process
going, and one thing that we
talked about, bob, we
have -- I think you talked
about stakeholders.

We have internal
stakeholders and other
departments that are
interested in trees and i
think that being able to
leverage anchored nature and cord that it


that could be helpful to
other departments and we
need to understand funding
we put into fuel mitigation
is going to address some
other issues and making sure
that the water utility and
the parks department are at
the table.

>> I agree.

I think a level of
coordination would make the
effort a lot better and
right now there's a little
bit of disjointedness.

A speaker earlier who spoke
about touching trees and we
spoke about how we could use
some of the funds for that

I think there's a lot of
gains we could make, but it
is going to take money.

And we're really good at
talking, but at this point
it's going to take a little
money to get it going.

>> Morrison: And I think
your point is we need
nontrivial amount of money
to get it going and for the
half year putting some chunk
of m opposed to the
$5,000 that's in the phase 1
proposal, I think your point
is that's really important.

>> We discussed that also.

We moved the $500,000 down
to $250,000.

It's still a substantive

We're still gearing up so
that might be enough the
first year and we're fully
going on second year so
there's no delay or lag

I would agree.

>> Morrison: And I would
be remiss if I didn't
include and make sure we
mention in the stakeholders
there's a the look of people
in this town that know a lot
about trees and care about
trees and speak out about

We would want them at the
table too.

>> Absolutely.

This isn't about taking away
people's sense of community
and the loveliness of the

It's about making sure they
stay where they are.

And there need to be common
sense measures done to
ensure that.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Just
one parting comment.

As you and I have scud, if
this is done right, this
fuel mitigation thing is
done right, it will be a
benefit to the good trees.

It will be a benefit, not a


total liability.

That's going to require
working with a the look of
expertise as councilmember
morrison said.

>> Absolutely.

Thank you for your time.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Jim,
are you ready?

Got your donors here.

Sara holland.

Sara hoover.

Lorita mersatoonie.

Jim, you have up to 15

>> I hope I don't use all 15
minutes, but I had a lot of
people who were interested
in the topic and in fact
[inaudible] earlier signed
up but they had to leave so
we had to bring in some
other folks.

We've got everybody here

I am the head of the
environmental defense fund
texas office and also the
president -- I mean the vice
president for energy for the
national organization.

But I'm here today on behalf
of the clean air force whose
board I sit.

I guess I've talked with
every councilmember about
that in the last several

But there was some new
things have happened I think
I need to bring to your
attention and our board was
very concerned and I was the
one selected to come see you

We have a broad range of
folks on the board is a key
aspect of the clean air

Koch brothers and edf are
not on many things together
but one they think we agree
on is clean air is vital for
this community.

Last week san antonio passed
the threshold in their air

They are now in violation of
federal standards and will
be designated nonattainment
under the existing standard.

And there are lots of
reasons why, but san antonio
has not done the things that
austin has done, the austin


region has done.

They have a regional effort,
voluntary action early to
avoid some of the emissions
that we have done in our

What san antonio now has to
face is restrictions on its
transportation planning, new
industry will have to do
some off set, and they will
be required to do a plan to
be approved by the federal

Austin still has time to
avoid that process -- that

Frankly, we've got to have a
little luck with earth with.

There's pollution coming in
from outside the region we
can't control, but we can
control things in these five
counties that are covered in
our smsa and are part of the
clean air force's area.

The clean air force is a
unique regional entity.

It has board representation
from public and private

It has representation from
all five communities.

It has businesses and
nonprofits on there and we
are doing some unique

We go back to 1993 when
basically the city started
this regional effort.

That's when bear watson was
in office.

Brought together folks to
try to bring nonattainment
and we've been successful.

We have done some special
things here.

We have a regional planning

We see our ideas, we have a
technical advisory group.

We've undertaken clean and
voluntary action such as the
clean pair partners where 59
businesses are not legally
bound but voluntarily
reducing their emissions

That's making a big
difference here.

We've also done a number of
other voluntary efforts like
reducing emission from


school buses and reducing
idling in the reason.

I could go on but I don't
want to take all o your

The city has been given
$90,000 since 1993.

Never been asked for more.

That is a fairly large
amount of money she but it's
a good buy for the city.

That $90,000 leverages money
from the other governments
in the region and that's the
government money leverages
private money.

In essence, what you get for
your $90,000 is a $360,000
operation focused on
regional air pollution with
hundred of hours of
volunteers and leveraging
action by private businesses
and governments across the

I talked with staff again
this morning to make sure i
knew exactly where things

The answer not clear.

There's several different
proposals, but the leading
proposal right now that come
to staff to you would be to
cut the budget, cut the
$90,000 down to $10,000.

And then to use that money
for something else.

Not quite clear what that
would be.

It might be put into an
 that we could bid

I think we would probably
win except the problem is if
every government did
Be chaos for a regional

The idea we would have to do
a bid for caldwell county
and bastrop county and
travis county and the city
of round rock would be very
hard to do and you can't
count on whether you would
win every one of those

The other thing, of course,
is other proposals to put
the money into efforts for
the city to do.

There is a resolution that
the city had about other
things it could do for air

I don't want to disparage


any of these ideas, but let
me say at a time when
san antonio has already gone
into nonattainment, the
austin area is one part per
billion from crossing over,
we need action.

The city of austin cannot
solve the problem alone.

A lot of pollution comes in
from caldwell county, oil
and gas operations, cars
driven in from hays and
williamson county and we
need everybody working

Your money leverages those
governments and those
businesses working.

So what I ask you to do, and
again, I don't know exactly
what the proposal is, but
please consider fully
funding the organization.

Frankly, if we were to lose
$80,000, we would have to
lay off at least some staff.

We might even have to close
our doors, but it's a very
bad timing to cut a regional
air pollution organization
at a time when we have
little room to spare.

I'll be happy to take your

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: I guess I'm
not quite clear where we
are, what is in the proposed
budget that's in front of us
right now?

45 i
was having yet another

Staff has not yet decided
what they are going to come
to you with, but the -- the
leading proposal is to have
a $10,000 membership to the
clean air force.

The other 80,000 would be
put someplace else.

It might be put into a
contract to be bid over the
next many months.

>> Morrison: Right, but
let me stop you there
because my real question is
we have a budget that is in
front of us as the proposed

Do you know what is in there
for the clean air force?

>> I think there's $90,000
for clean air and it's not


specified how they divide it

To be determined in the
next -- between now and the
10th with more

>> Morrison: Okay.

>> That's what I understand.

Could I suggest the budget
officer is right behind you.

>> I would love to know the
answer to that.

>> Morrison: Thank you,

I'm just trying to -- maybe
you don't know off the top
of your head.

If you could get back to us
and let us know where we

>> I can tell you off the
top of my head I'm not aware
of any cuts to this program,
but it may be it's not
designated [inaudible] there
may be an r.f.p. process.

We will certainly respond to
the budget question on the

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> I'm sorry I don't know

I literally asked the
sustainability officer this
morning and she said they
were still working on it.

>> Morrison: Okay.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Paul

Donating time is julio

Paul, you have six minutes.

>> Good morning, mayor and

Thanks for the opportunity.

I wanted to say
congratulations to
councilmember martinez on
the birth of diego.

I'm hear speaking on the
minority trade association
and shirley has a handout
for you.

The first four pages are
basically statistical
information on how texas and
central texas in particular
has continued to benefit
from the amount of
construction that we've had
in the area.

Nationally the u.s.

Construction industry
provides an annual revenue
7 trillion and the
number of construction
about 730,000.

The additional two or three
pages talks specifically


about how construction
industry has had a
particular impact in austin,
particularly in the
percentage of growth rate.

Austin continues to be
ranked in the top 10.

I think right now for the
last month data we are
ranked number 8 as relates
to employment growth rate,
and a lot of that is
contributed to the amount of
construction in the

If I could get you to go to
the last three pages, one of
the things I also want to
say is that the construction
industry is the second most
dangerous industry to coal

In fact, every day in
construction three people
die and two of those three
people who die in
construction are hispanic

The very people that we

So I'm hear to speak on
behalf of our minority trade

I know some of you have seen
a lot of this information
over the last six months,
but we are respectfully
requesting a budget

The total number, the budget
increase for all of the
minority trade associations
is increase of $388,000

I believe what's in your
budget, what's in the city
manager proposal is increase
current funding from $45,000
to 50 -- excuse me, to

And from what I understand,
there was another contract
with the community
mentorship protest underage
which is no longer in
existence, that contract was

So the city manager's
recommendation is increase
each of the minority trade
association budget by

We understand it a tough

Clearly there's a lot of
need to serve our community,
but our point is that -- in
last six months in
particular, we pointed out
there's been a disparity in
the funding.

There's also disparity as
relates to where each of the
service providers receive



Some of us have received
through community
development block brandt,
others from austin energy.

I think you heard austin
energy funds 90% of egrso.

Most providers receive
austin from austin energy.

Our trade associations do

We are currently under the
budget under smbr.

The last page of the packet
that you have is basically a
resolution that the
committee pass back on
APRIL 19th.

And I'd like to officially
read that into the record.

Their specific
recommendation was an
acknowledgement there is a
disparity in funding among
the service providers and
that there should be
increase in funding for the
minority trade association
contractors paid on a
graduated scale of yearly
increases throughout the
life of the service
agreement with the
agreements having a minimum
term of three years with
one-year option.

Those basically, that
structure mirrors the
structure of the minority
trade associations and other
service providers.

We are not asking for
special treatment.

We have been working through
this process for the last
six months.

As I mentioned, this
resolution was adopted by
committee six months ago yet
hasn't madeity way to full

For the last two weeks, the
advisory committee's meeting
has been canceled because we
have not been able to meet

Based on your budget
adoption schedule -- we're
scheduled to meeting the
second day of your second
reading and you may be done
with budget by then.

That's why we're here today
to appeal directly to you.

I think we're open to
finding a happy medium
somewhere, but I think based
on the services that we
provide and the opportunity
to ensure that our members
are benefiting from all the
economic development
opportunities here is
something that's very
important to us.

One specific example that i
want to point out, i
mentioned that the
construction industry is the
second most dangerous
industry to mining and,
again, three deaths occur
every day and two of those
are hispanic contractors.

We used to provide osha
safety training every
quarter, but the need and
demand has increased we
provide it every month and
provide it in english and

That's one example of where
we feel that we can partner
with the city to ensure that
as the increase in the
construction boom continues
in austin, that the workers
who are going to work every
day have that safety
training available to them.

So I appreciate your

We'll be happy to answer any

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Aletta banks.

After that carol hadnot.

>> Mayor, councilmembers,
aletta banks with the
alliance of minority trade
association representing the
asian, black and hispanic

And I spoke last week about
the budget issue and i
wanted to -- I wanted to
point out that our contract
currently under the city,
the program that we're
running is really outdated.

It's 10 years old.

And it focuses on the
certification outreach.

And then the [inaudible].

If you compare the programs
like teaching someone from a
to z what we have is a and z
and there's something in
between that's missing.

In 2010 we did a survey and
I shared this with city
staff and advisory boards
and subcommittee with the
minority or the
 programs that
a survey found a the look of
them felt they were left

They got certified and then
they didn't know what to do

And so there is definitely a
need to help them through
the whole process.

We know that's not an easy
process to bid the
government's projects.

There are a the look of
technical issues,
regulations they need to
understand and then

We're -- we're here to help
them through the project,
through the process.

And I feel like the city has
a very wonderfully written
ordinance, the m.b.e./w.b.e.

Program is such a beautiful
ordinance, but if we're
going to show everyone we're
serious about this ordinance
and invite minority
contractors to participate
we need to show them by
action and not just say
here's ordinance, here's the
program and go figure it out

They need to know that,
okay, we are serious about
their participation.

I know minority groups are a
small group of people.

It's not 100,000 people in
the city.

But we want to show the city
and the citizens that we
care about these people.

We want to help them.

We want to participate.

And by funding -- by
continuously underfunding
our organizations and, you
know, what does it tell

It just like we want you to
know that, you know, we --
you know, we've some money
to help you know to get

But the rest we can't really
help you and that's not
really [inaudible]

That's what we're asking you
to maybe have a stand to
show the minority groups
that we're serious about the

Thank you very much for

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Mayor pro tem.

>> Cole: I'm looking at
the side by side comparison
of the minority chambers and
I see the hispanic
organization and your
organization, the asian
contractors association, all
receive $45,000 each.

And I thought I hea
 saldano gave a number of

I'm trying to figure out if
that is an increase to the
overall totals of 45,000
each or how is that request
supposed to be allocated?

>> It's in addition to the
current funding.

Like our organization is
asking for the equivalent of
your funding the asian
chamber of commerce.

The black contractors the
same and the hispanics.

That's how we came up with
the amount because we were
always being underfunded
compared to other

They were continuously
getting funding every year
in a substantial amount,
where we were left behind
singularly and I don't know
why, but --

>> Cole: That's the 10
years old part.

>> Yeah, 10 years we've
never gotten any increase.

But a you will the chambers
of commerce got, you know,
that much amount.

>> Cole: Okay.

Thank you.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Carol hadnot.

>> Good morning, mayor and

My name is carol hadnot.

I represent the austin area
black contractors
association on the minority
trade association alliance.

Paul and aletta have pretty
much covered what we are
requesting, but what I would
like to share with you is
the things that we do.

We have developed still sets
for these contractors to do

This is a very competitive

And it's changed.

It used based on
brawn, muscle.

Now it's based on brain.

So you have to have the
skill sets like computer
skill sets because you just
get a set of plans and

Now you take your ipod and
you can go out in the field
and use that toed your cost
estimates or do your change
orders for respond to
addendums to the contract.

So many of the things that
we've done we are able to
get volunteers to help us.

The city now to do business
in the instruction industry,
you must have osha training.

We did not have the funds
nor did our contractors to
provide that training.

So two of the major
contractors, prime
contractors in the city
provide that training.

But that's just on a
volunteer basis where we got
the 10-hour training and the
30-hour training.

Then the city came up with
the new emission regulation.

And so public works came
out, and so many of our
firms had to do retrofit in
order the participate.

Especially the ones in
trucking, landscaping and
some of our site people.

The other thing how to read
and interpret construction

We're thought shade tree
lawyers so we can't provide
that information.

We need lawyers who have
expertise in business and
contract law.

To help us not to go into a
court, but to help them
understand the terms and
conditions of their
contracts so that we don't
always have to be in a
mediation process about
payment, quality of work and
all the other different
things that you have to do
under those contracts.

The other thing is we have a
lot of pavement issues and
this will help us to
understand about the sbpay
reporting and about how to
manage our contract payments
and collections.

And in the past we have done
many of these things because
we've had the funding but
now it's on a hit and miss
basis and we can't operate
in this competitive
marketplace in those types
of conditions.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Mayor pro tem.

>> Cole: I'm looking at
the resolution from the
 committee, and
I notice that the language
recommends an increase in
funding for the minority
trade contractors
associations based on a
graduated scale of yearly

>> Well, what we requested,
I know the asian contractors
association requested

We requested 180,000 and the
hispanic contractors
association requested

So that's what we were

>> Cole: So when it talks
about graduated scale, you
are really in comparison to
each other, not so much
different from --

>> right, we're not on the
same level in terms of the
service that we provide.

We provide different

Some are similar, but many
respects are not.

Like the hispanic
contractors do a lot of leed
training and osha training.

We don't do that.

You know, we do company
profile resumes.

You know, we have to do
things within the context of
our budget.

And you know, we have a
website that we produce a
weekly bid brief, and we
have from 1400 to 2400 hits
a week on that website,
people trying to find out,
you know, bid opportunities,
who is a potential prime
bidders and all the other
kinds of information like
what are the bid results so
they can check and see if
they were on that contract.

So there are different
things that we provide.

>> Cole: One of the things
I've noticed when you have
come before the advisory
committee or before
 or at
councilmembers that all the
contractor associations come

And I have just noticed that
and been very impressed
would that so it made me
think there was a lot of

>> It is.

It is a lot of

It better to be as one than
to be as three.

And we have learned that
over time that we have to
work together and so that's
what we're striving to do.

>> Cole: Thank you.

[One moment, please, for
change in captioners],,

>> only a small percentage
actually goes forward with
getting certified.

The remainder look at the
specs and plans that are
related to projects, city
projects, and it's very
intimidating to look and
open a book for the first
ti a spec book, and try
to figure out how to bid,
where to go, what the city
procedures are, and so part
of the monies that we're
interested in getting for
our association, for all of
our associations is to help
our contractors navigate all
the documentation that goes
with city proje and so
the money will be well-spent
because this is probably the
most intimidating thing that
many qualified contractors
can actually access, and if
they can't access those,
then they're not really
participating in the city as
citizens, tax-paying

There are other areas that
we can use the monies for,
for plan reading.

We launched a pilot program
last year for leed training,
and many of our contractors
know what green building is
generally about, but when it
gets down to the specifics,
the documentation, all the
knowledge that they have to
have, they don't know what
an nsds is, these are all
aspects about being a
contractor in today's city
and today's construction
environment that they can't
really access unless they
have a little bit of

And many of our city
projects, in fact, all of
them -- many of them are
leed qualified, and so i
have never heard of another
organization anywhere, no
other service provider in
the city of austin that
provides any kind of leed
training for subcontractors
so that they understand how
to work with general
contractors, they understand
what is involved in the leed

So this money will be
well-spent and we really
appreciation your
consideration on this item.


I don't understand what an
msds is either, so --
john davis?

>> Good morning.

Thank you for your time.

I would just like to say
regarding this proposed
budget there will be no
increases in the city energy

Looking at the comprehensive
annual financial report for
last year, there was
$300 million for austin
energy, $266 million of net
cash provided by operating

That's minus the cost to
suppliers and employees.

Based on this year's city
auditor report showing that
austin energy intends to
raise rates to increase the
amount of money in reserve
funds totaling
$400 million is inexcusable.

Dear mayor, council members
and citizens, over the last
six months I have reviewed
the comprehensive annual
financial report, several
auditor reports and many
articles regarding the
financial situation in our

I have concluded that there
is corruption involved with
the proposed tax rate and
fee rate increases.

The city has over
$500 million of reserve cash
off the budget that it does
not want the normal citizens
to know about.

I am here to let them know.

It is incomprehensible that
you would dare even think to
charge to climb mount
bonnell or have citizens go
to zilkerer park and pay for

I know for a fact that the
city is bloated with
inefficient and waste.

Before you force the average
hardworking citizen to pay
more, why don't you use

We can no longer tolerate
this kind of abusive power.

You know for a fact it is to
increase this reserve.

There is over $80 million in
the rate stabilization fund
for austin energy customers
yet you will not use it.

Instead you want to raise
rates to add more money to a
reserve fund intended to
avoid rate increases.

Ludicrous, criminal,

Many of you public servants
are overpaid and out of
touch with the struggling
families in this city and
cities across this nation.

Wake up and do what is right
or else expect to lose the
next elections.

How much cash does the city
have in reserve?

700 Million?

A billion?

Why do you need more?

It was just announced this
morning, we have
$6 million more from sales
tax revenue than expected,
yet you want more.

Give money to the fire
department, save us from
burning down when we have
the next wildfire.

Give money to the poor
communities that are
underappreciated and abused.

Use money the right way.

Thank you.

>> Next speaker is cyrus

Following cyrus reed is
richard craig.

>> Thank you, mayor, council

I want to talk about two

One is I wanted to reiterate
something that jim moriston
brought up this morning,
which is how important that
clean air force is for
central texas, and just to
point out, that's an
organization that's funded
both by private -- austin
city money but also money
from the other

So it's a good use of our
money to make sure we
maintain at least $90,000 to
help support that and
hopefully you can get the

I want to speak briefly
about the austin energy
budget and specifically
about the money -- amount of
money that's being earmarked
for the conservation
incentives, the incentive
for energy efficiency and

The proposed budget has
about $16 million in it for
incentives for energy
efficiency and solar.

That's roughly the same
amount that was in the
budget last I didn't

I'm here to tell you that i
think you should put some
more money into that fund.

And the two programs where i
think we need to increase
the money by a little is in
the solar rebate and
incentive portion of it as
well as the low-income

I was on the generation task

One of our recommendations
was that we continue to fund
low income weatherization at
the same amounts that were
being funded through the
stimulus package.

This is going to help a lot
of those residents as we
increase -- or as we've
agreed to increase our rates
on austin energy customers,
putting a little bit more
money into energy efficiency
and particularly low income
weatherization will be

We're suggesting about
2 million more in that line

And then also increasing the
amount of money in the solar

There is an ongoing solar
committee that's looking at
that, and they've come up
with a recommendation for
2013 of a tot allotment of
funding for solar of
10 million.

That's not actually spent in

Some of it is through
long-term incentives, so the
actual amount needed in 2013
is probably less than
10 million.

I'm not sure the exact
amount that's needed, but
some increase we believe is
needed to set us on course
for both the efficiency
goals and the solar goals
that you all have adopted.

So I would just ask for your

I know austin energy's
position is they're able to
adjust their budgets and
then pay for it in future

I still think it's a good
idea to actually put in the
budget what you intend to
spend for that year rather
than hoping that we'll be
able to, you know, adjust it
later in the year.

So I would call for more
funding, particularly for
those two programs, and i
appreciate it.

Thank you.

>> Richard craig.

Following richard is dan van

>> Good morning mayor,

I'm richard craig with the
peas park conservancy.

It's by been my privilege to
work with the parks
department and forestry
department on the
restoration of peas park.

We've planted over 500 trees

These folks are wonderful
public servants.

They're dedicated, they love
our parks, and they really
are hard workers, but
there's only one problem.

There are not enough of

And I think I've seen
firsthand what the lack of
resources have done to our
parks and our urban forest.

1998 The parks department
had 233 maintenance workers.

They were responsible for, i
think, roughly 14,000 acres.

Today it's 210.

I think in the current
proposed budget they call
for four more maintenance
workers, which is a good
start, but at the 210 level
I think each worker is
responsible for roughly
90 acres of parkland.

The situation is even worse
in the forestry department.

In 1992 they had 28
employees who were
responsible for 6,000 acres,

Today they have 24
foresters, and they're
responsible for 19,500.

This means that each
forester in theory is
responsible for 12,500
trees, and, you know, that's
not going to get to it.

I think april rhodes
referred earlier that
they're on a 99 year
schedule to see every tree
in austin and give it care.

We've already lost about 10%
of our trees in the current

We don't want to wait until
we've lost 30% of our trees
or more until we hire an
additional forester.

We need -- we need their

We don't want to wait until
someone is injured because
they have a backlog of over
4,000 work orders that they
can't get to.

I think everybody remembers
the incident at barton
springs a few years ago when
a tree branch fell on
somebody and was badly

Hiring additional foresters
now is in a way almost like
an insurance policy against
some future lawsuit.

And there was discussion
earlier about the wildfire
danger in austin/travis

Additional foresters would
contribute to the mitigation
of that problem, if they can
remove the dead fuel that is
waiting in queue to be taken

According to the trust for
public land, that's a think
tank in washington, d.c.

That collects statistics on
parks nationwide, austin is
in the bottom one-third of
all the major cities in the
united states in what we
spend per capita on park
maintenance, and that's not
where we want to be, I know,
that's not where any of us
want to be as a city.

We think of ourselves as an
environmental city, a green

We only spend $43 per capita
according to the study, and
cities like akron, ohio and
corpus christi spend more.

>> Thank you.

Dan van treek.

>> Good morning, my name is
dan van treek.

I appreciate your time here.

I'm today on behalf of
austin parks.

I spend a lot of time in the

I spend a lot of volunteer
time in the parks, and have
noticed that in the past few
years we are starting to
fall behind on our tree
canopy especially.

I agree with ricrd and
what he's saying.

And austin, we're a green
city and we love our trees.

There's no question.

People here are passionate
about their trees.

But it appears to me that
we're quickly slipping in
what we think we are.

Looking at the statistical
information on a national
scale and just walking
around the parks, take a
look at the parks downtown.

For one reason or another
they're closed up, they're

Take a look at garrison park
on the south side, fields
are dying and they're
just -- the trees are being
taken away.

The urban forestry program
is in a complete reaction
mode, and what I am asking
is for you to explore the
possibility of additional
funding for the parks
department and the urban
forestry department so that
we can continue to say that
we're green and we like our

And I could get into the
statistics and I think you
all are probably -- some of
you have seen them, but
that's all I'm asking for
today is to just -- for you
to sit there and look and
say, hey, we need to do

Thank you.

>> Thank you.

Paul robbins.

Following paul robbins is
melvin white.

>> Good morning.

I want to again protest the
high water cost of the
austin water utility.

Given the detailed,
agonizing process the
council went through to vet
the austin energy increase
earlier this year, the water
utility increases have been
relatively unscrutinized.

Look at the comparison.

For austin energy council
set a goal of no more than a
2% increase per year.

For austin water there is a
5% this
year alone.

For austin energy there's
been a 7% rise in rates in
18 years.

For austin water there's
been a 109% rise in 13

For austin energy the policy
is to scrub the budget to
lower or mitigate the next
rate increase, the stated
goal of several council
members was a 5% reduction.

No budget scrub has been
asked of the austin water

For austin energy the stated
policy is to cap the general
fund transfer for an interim

For austin water the
transfer is increased.

For austin water the goal is
to set rates no higher than
50% of the utilities in

For austin water we have the
highest cost of the top ten
texas cities.

For austin energy, it's
pretty much spent its
conservation budget this

For austin water utility it
has woefully underspent its
allocated budget by about

For austin energy council
held somewhere between 12
and 15 work sessions on ways
to understand and lower
electric rates.

For austin water no work
sessions have been held on
ways to lower costs.

The austin water utility has
a budget of about half a
billion a year.

I would like council to
develop a five-year goal to
lower water utility costs
and improve services by a
stated percentage.

Austin has the highest
combined water/wastewater
cost of the top ten texas

This utility can no longer
fly under the radar and get
routine annual rate

Thank you.

>> Thank you, mr. robbins.

Next we have melvin white.

 white, you have three

>> Thank you.

Good morning, mayor --
mayor's absence and council.

My name is melvin white.

I serve on the community
technology and
committee, and I serve at
the pleasure of mayor pro
tem cole.

I'm here in support of two
resolutions that were
submitted by our commission.

The first was the open

I think that it's a great
opportunity to create
transparency in our
government, and I think it
really creates dialogue
between the public sector as
well as government.

Secondly, I wanted to talk
about the austin free-net.

The $31,000 in the
resolution was primarily for
gap funding.

Austin free-net supported a
broadband technology
opportunities program for
the last three years of
consortium and they've gone
from doing 48 hours of
training to right at about
1800 hours of training per

And the way I believe this
grant operates is they
actually get computers that
they're able to disburse
throughout the city in
strategic areas, and I think
that that's a great way to
leverage resources as it
relates to the hardware.

So the relationship we
suggested and challenge
them, and I think they
talked about, to see how
they expand technology into
churches and into locations
where there is not
technology, to where they
could provide the actual

They also provide a-plus
net-plus server training as
well, and I would hope that
the city, from a commission
standpoint, would see how
they're able to leverage
this infrastructure, whether
it be the -- I heard the --
the minority contractor mbe

If they're able to provide
training for those
organizations as well as
other community-based
organizations that does not
I think it creates a great
platform, and I think austin austin
free-net has been a long
time relationship with the
city and the small counters,
but they've taken a step to
the next level and their
contract is running out in

So the 31,000 was for gap
funding for september -- i
believe september and
october, but I think next
year we hope to come back
with a different resolution
to support austin free ned
expanded into the -- free
net into the dove springs
and elsewhere.

The 31,000 to my
understanding is not for the
dove springs and the other
areas, only to create a gap
funding for a two-month
window, but hopefully that
they're able to expand into
other communities via
churches and other
organizations, because i
think that it's a great
opportunity to leverage the
infrastructure and the
assets that they've been
able to provide.

I want to thank you for the
opportunity, but definitely
in support of both of those
two resolutions that you

>> Cole: thank you.


Council member morrison.

 I want to thank
you for coming down and i
want to highlight one thing
 bud, I think her
name is, the executive
director, mentioned, that
slipped by quickly and that
is that austin -- they're
partnering with the benefits
bank of texas which will
allow more folks leverage
the benefits that they're
eligible for, like snap and

So that's -- I think that's
important to keep in mind,
that free net is going to be
a real important partner in
that regard too.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Go ahead.

>> Good morning, mayor and

I'm karen hadden.

I'm the director of the
sustainable energy and
economic development or seed
coalition ann I'm a board
director of solar austin and
I'm speaking in that
capacity too.

Solar austin is a group of
people working together,
includes solar installers
and solar energy advocates,
and when the austin energy
rates were being debated,
this group came forward and
said, you know, we're really
looking for some budget
increases so we can do what
needs to be done for the
city of austin and provide
jobs and put solar on
rooftops and make our
energy -- or our air cleaner
all at the same time.

The group was asked to wait
and to raise this issue
during the budget process,
and so it is appropriate to
do so now.

The current budget proposal
is roughly $4 million, but
by the end of this fiscal
year there will have been
6 million spent, so the
programs are not only fully
subscribed, they're actually

There is a great deal of
demand for the solar

They're very successful and
very popular.

The solar industry is
growing and has grown over
the years with now some 600
local jobs, and they can
still continue to grow,
especially if we put the
programs in place that will
allow that to happen.

Solar austin supports the
budget recommendation that
was made by the local solar
advisory committee working
together with austin energy.

That recommendation was for
$10 million for local
residential and commercial
solar projects, and it's
expected that that will
result in the generation of
about 10 megawatts of
locally distributed energy
generation, will help meet
peak energy demand needs and
again reduce air pollution.

So it's a wise investment.

With the rebate amounts
falling, likely to fall as
the cost of solar panels
fall, this money is going to
go even further, which is
another reason why it's a
wise investment, and also
with the production tax
credit, probably going to
expire in 2016, now is the
time for especially some of
the commercial projects to
get put in place, the larger

Let's do that.

Let's move forward and we're
going to have affordable
energy for a long time.

I'd also like to concur --
so again, I'd like to urge
you to support a
$10 million budget
allocation as per
recommendations of the local
solar advisory committee,
and also would like to
concur with cyrus reed.

Earlier you spoke about the
need to also increase
efficiency, funding.

It's the most affordable way
that we can meet our energy
needs, especially as peak
demand becomes an issue, and
I'd also like to say that
we -- for seed coalition
that we support the clean
air task forth budget as

Thank you.


Those are all the speakers
that I have signed up that
would like to speak in this
public hearing.

Is there anyone who has
signed up to speak and i
haven't called your name?

In that case I'll entertain
a motion to close the public
comment part of the budget
hearing and schedule
adoption of the budget for
september 10 to be continued
on september 11 and 12, if

>> Cole: so moved.

pro tem so moves.

Second by council member

Further discussion?

All in favor say aye.

>> Aye.

>> Mayor leffingwell: aye.

Opposed say no.

Passes on a vote of 5-0 with
council member martinez and
spelman off the dais.

We have one more item

I understand there's a
desire -- there's certainly
a desire on my part to go
into executive session
before we take this item up.

>> [Inaudible]
I'm jumping ahead of myself
a little bit here.

Disregard that.

We'll now take up agenda
item 2 to conduct the second
and last of two public
hearings and receive
comments on the proposed
maximum property tax rate of
5 cents per
$100 valuation for

That would require a roll

It will adopted here in
council chambers on
00 after
the council adopts the
 earlier we didn't
have any speakers on this

Let me double-check here.

We now have one speaker
signed up, jack kurflin.

Not wishing to speak.


In that case is there a
motion to close this second
and final public hearing on
the city's proposed maximum
property tax rate?

So moved by council member
morrison, second by council
member riley.

All in favor say aye.

>> Aye.

>> Mayor leffingwell: aye.

Opposed say no.

Passes on a vote of 5-0 with
council member martinez and
spelman off the dais in this
final hearing on the
proposed maximum tax rate is

Council will vote to adopt
the actual property tax rate
for next fiscal year on
monday, september 10 in the
council chambers, 301 west
2nd street after council
adopts the budget.

So now without objection the
council will go into closed
session to take up one item
pursuant to section 551 #
.071 of the government code.

The council will consult
with legal counsel regarding
the following item, item 3,
discuss legal issues related
to rio de vida municipal
utility d,,

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
We're out of closed session.

We took up and discussed
legal issues related to item
number 3 and we'll now take
up item number 3.

Postponed from the last

And there are no speakers
signed up.

So I'll entertain a motion.

Or discussion.

Mayor pro tem.

>> Cole: Yes, I'd like to
ask one of the lawyers to
come up briefly to discuss
just a couple of items.


>> sharon smith with the law

>> Cole: Thank you,
 smith, I'm glad you are

Can you briefly lay out what
the extension that's on our
agenda with respect to the
m.u.d. agreement does?

>> It allows the -- it
provides the city's consent
to the district through
SEPTEMBER 1st, 2013.

With the possibility of
extending that to
SEPTEMBER 1st, 2014.

>> Cole: Okay.

Does it in any way impact
the council's ability to
make an adjustment to the
agreement at that subsequent

>> If you are speaking about
the permanent consent
agreement, what the
ordinance envisions is that
the city manager and staff
would negotiate a permanent
consent agreement much like
you all had for pilot knob
and southeast travis county
 and that would come
before council for
consideration and at that
time you could propose
whatever amendments that you

But that's what would be the
ultimate document that would
be governing an ongoing

>> Cole: Okay, help me
understand because the item
before us is the interim
consent agreement.

What relationship did that
have to the permanent
consent agreement?

>> The interim consent
agreement -- you actually
could provide for a 2013
date just by adopting an
ordinance instead of an
interim consent agreement,
but the interim consent
agreement continues
additional protections that
would be cumbersome to
include in an ordinance and
number 2 we wanted it in a
consent agreement so it
would be signed by a

And so the consent agreement
provides for numerous
opportunities to terminate
and so those kinds of
protective provisions are in
the interim consent

When the -- and if that is
approved and staff goes
ahead and negotiates a
permanent consent agreement,
that would look like the
traditional consent
agreement that you are used
to looking at and that would
supersede the interim
consent agreement.

>> Cole: What I'm trying
to ensure there are no final
actions being taken today
with respect to the I guess
meat and potatoes, for
better word, of the
agreement suc the
composition of the m.u.d.

Board, the debt issuance,
the superiority requirements
we would normry require in a

>> None of those are covered
by agreement and they
wouldn't be addressed until
negotiations and there would
be board and commission
review and then council

>> Cole: So this would go
through the same process of
boards and commissions
review and come back to

This is only asking for an
extension of time.

>> Yes, it's consenting to
the district for a year.

>> Cole: Okay.

Now, help us understand why
we would -- you are
recommending this in terms
of what may potentially
happen with tceq.

>> If the council does not
approve a consent to this
2012, Then this legislation
will be void.

And at that time two
options, one is that the
legislation, similar
legislation could be
reintroduced either if that
didn't happen or the
legislation weren't passed,
the other thing that could
happen would be that the
property owner could go to
tceq for a tceq created

If tceq approved that kind
 and y'all's
policy, the city's m.u.d.

Policy provides that you all
would protest such an
action, but if tceq
ultimately created the
, then that would just
 and it
wouldn't contain the kind of
provisions that you all have
wanted to include in your
consent agreements related
to the requirements in your
m.u.d. policy.

Affordable housing, parks,
all sorts of attributes to
your development that you
, city
service for water and
wastewater and so on.

So none of those things
would the city have
leveraged to have included
 that was
approved by tceq.

>> Cole: So confirm with
me that by executing this
consent agreement today we
avoid the pitfalls that
could happen at both the
legislature and tceq in
terms of stripping our
authority for the things we
like to have like affordable
housing, parks, governance
issues, et cetera.

>> Right.

This would perpetuate that
authority that we have under
the legislation that gives
us the ability to put
conditions on our consent
like those that you

>> Cole: Okay.

Can you lay -- can you
explain a little bit about
the water issues in
connection with this

>> The property owned by txi
is partly in the certificate
active indicated southwest
water company and partly not
and it's within the city
service area on the western
side of 130.

And so one of your m.u.d.

Policy, your requirements is
that the property be
entirely served by the city
of austin.

And southwest water
company's perspective is
that even if the property
owner were able to get the
proper released from
southwest water company,
ccn, that due to an old
settlement agreement that we
entered into with southwest
water company around getting
our ccm in the early
Is that settlement agreement
and language in there
prevents the city of austin
from ever serving this
property, even if the
property owners are released
from southwest water

And so we are currently in
litigation seeking to have
that question resolved.

>> Cole: So we have a
policy where we want to
provide water to the entire
service area.

And I'm assuming that's
because of potential
financial implications and

>> That's correct.

>> Cole: And if we do not
consent to this agreement we
have certainly not put
ourselves in any better
position with our lawsuit
and may have weakened that

>> I would say that would be

You might want to speak to
[inaudible] about it a
little more, our litigator,
but that would be my take.

>> Cole: Demetrie, can you
answer that question real

>> The question was -- I'm

Could you repeat that?

>> Cole: Why are we in
litigation about the water

>> Exactly what sharon smith
told you, it's about the
settlement agreement and we
have a different opinion
what that means in southwest
water corporation so we're
trying to have that resolved
to determine if we can
provide service to the
entire area even if and when
txi is released from
southwest water service

>> Cole: So continuing
with the consent agreement
could help us in our
argument in the existing
lawsuit --

>> mayor pro tem, I think i
may be getting a little bit
uncomfortable with the line
of conversation with maybe
our strategy for the

We're happy to go back into
executive session, maybe go
back over that at bit more.

>> Cole: Okay.

I understand.

Thank you for working so
hard on the lawsuit and i
certainly do not want to
give away our strategy in
the lawsuit so let me follow
up with sharon on one last
question about the consent

So our primary interest in
potentially approving this
consent agreement is to
maintain our authority over
the property and our
superiority interest.

>> Correct.

>> Cole: Okay.

Mayor, I move approval.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Mayor pro tem cole moves to
close the public hearing and
approve on all three
readings, seconded by
councilmember rile
councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: The agreement we
have before us in no way
grants approval to a
 in this

>> It grants approval for
one year.

>> Tovo: But they cannot
proceed in terms of
developing the property
without proceeding on to do
a permanent consent

>> That is correct.

The district is not the
property owner in any case,
the district's functions are
to finance infrastructure
and services.

The developer or the
property owner, txi, would
be the -- would be applying
for any development and our
agreement, what the city's
typical processes are, if a
delopment application is
filed and then we annex.

As far as the district is
concerned, no.

>> Tovo: So there's a
requirement that the
district continue on, get
the permanent consent
agreement in place before --
and as I think we discussed
in the executive session it
would take a proactive
action by the council to do

>> To come back again and
approve a consent agreement,
that's right.

>> Tovo: Once it's gone
through the boards and
commissions process.

I know we had several
representatives earlier from

I wonder if any of them
might want to just confirm
for the council that that is
their expectation as well.

>> On behalf of txi, that is
our expectation.

It's our expectation that we
will have to come back
before all of the boards and
all of the applicable boards
and commission and to
council to reach an
agreement on a permanent
consent agreement and to be
able to go forward with the
development as proposed.

>> Tovo: And that
permanent consent agreement
would include -- would be
along the lines of what we
saw from pilot knob and the
, they would be
extensive descriptions of
the superiority of the
development and various
provisions with regard to
open space and affordable
housing and other potential
elements and inclusions.

>> Yes, that's correct.

We will have to present at
the board and commissions
and ultimately at council
all of the various
superiority elements and the
tier 2 elements of the
 that we are proposing
to meet and it will contain
all of those elements for
your review and for council
to determine whether they

>> Tovo: Thank you.

Miss smith, one additional

I think you may have
mentioned this in your
comments with mayor pro tem,
but if we -- if the city of
austin cannot serve this
municipal utility district,
can serve all of it with
water service, we will
not -- according to council
policy, this would not
become -- the city would not
enter into permanent consent
agreement; is that correct?

>> That's what your policy
says, that's correct.

That would follow through to
your consideration of
permanent consent agreement.

>> Tovo: And the interim
consent agreement before us
includes the ability for --
for the city to terminate --
to terminate this interim
consent agreement without

>> That's correct,
unilaterally with 30 days

>> Tovo: Why is that 30
days notice in there is

>> Pause because the other
party needs to have an
opportunity to know what we
do and if they did the same
would have to tell us so if
there were some sort of
miscommunication that it
occurred or some our
misunderstanding that we
would have an opportunity to
talk about that before we
had taken an irrevocable

>> Tovo: All right.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Tovo: May I ask one

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Go

>> Tovo: You talked about
the ability to extend one
more time next year.

>> Yes.

>> Tovo: Who will make
that decision?

Will that also come
before --

>> yes.

>> Tovo: It would come
before council, it wouldn't
be an administrative

>> No.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: Thank you,

I wonder -- we've talked
some about the benefit to
the city of having this kind
 as opposed to a
regular tceq m.u.d.

Could you talk a little bit
also about the benefits to
the developer of -- that
would go to the developer
under this kind of

>> Yes.

There are a number of
benefits to a developer
 and the
one that I have mentioned
several times are the
opportunity to have grading
and topographical
improvements being paid for
because it's not a typical
piece of property out there
because a large part of it
is a quarry.

So that's an unusual kind of
provision to be included in
a special district for them
to use financing for that.

In addition to that, the
district also would have the
authority to finance road

It contains a provision for
higher percentage of park
reimbursements than is
the standard water code
provisions for their

It allows for an economic
development activities that
are -- we call 380

And further on in the
district bill, a couple more
about I think hotel-motel
tax -- hotel occupancy tax,
excuse me, is in there and
those are the primary ones
that come to mind off the
top of my head.

>> Morrison: Okay.

Thank you.

So there are -- so it's not
just the city pushing --
that would push this that it
would have been going hand
in and originally the city
and developer to support
this legislation.

>> Yes.

>> Morrison: And then also
in the agreement could you
also address there's one
section that had been
highlighted, section 4.09.


Where it states the city
agrees to cooperate with the
developer in connection with
any waivers or approval, the
developer may desire from
travis county in order to
avoid the duplication of
processes or services in
connection with development
of the land.

Could you talk about where
that came from and how
necessary that is?

>> Yes.

This is sort of a place
holder if there's any
activity that needed to
occur that would not be in
violation of the consent
agreement that would sort of
cover a generally boiler
plate kind of provision so
if there were some
unforeseen circumstance that
we would not obstruct that
and neither would the

It's not necessary to the

I am fairly certain the
developer would be willing
to give it up and from the
city's perspective it's not
necessary to stay in there.

So if you all want to move
the remove that, it wouldn't
present an impediment for
the city.

>> Morrison: I appreciate
that because it's very open
ended and obviously there's
such a plethora of issues
that get raised for folks
when it comes to issues that
go on with permits with the

Thank you, miss smith.

That's all.

I did want to make some
comments about this motion
and my position on the

We did have the
opportunity -- I did have
the opportunity to get some
information, initial
information about what was
proposed, what was going to
be proposed in this m.u.d.

In terms of the development
and that it, you know, looks
like a lot of really
terrific things in terms of
open space and things that
were being planned.

I do think that unfortunate
timing that we're at very
last minute, that we didn't
get to think through this
several months ago.

I think that we could have
and I think that we could
have, but we are here having
to make this decision.

I did want to highlight that
having a legislative m.u.d.

Benefits both the city and
the developer.

And so what I've been really
focusing on and haven't been
able to shake is because
this is a different kind of
 that we don't have
that much experience with,
but definitely we've never
had any experience with nor
has there been a situation
where we've done -- where
there has been something
like an interim consent
agreement, my main focus and
interest and the reason I've
been asking questions and
trying to play through this
has been to look at the risk
of the city losing any of
its leverage in terms of
being able to promote
through a permanent consent
agreement a really superior

And wve certainly -- i
know that folks come to
us -- that folks come to the
table with all intentions --
with all good intentions,
but there are so many -- i
am still uncomfortable that
there are potential
challenges that could
eventually through who knows
what scenarios weaken the
protections that we have and
the interest that we have at
this point.

I do think obviously that
needs to be weighed off with
the scenario of this not
passing today.

And let me just say I am
really sorry that we don't
have seven people on the
dais right now because it
makes it for a very unusual

And I do think that, you
know, if this does not pass,
this scenario -- if there
continues to be a common
interest between the city
and the developer to support
additional legislation
that's similar to what's in
there now if this actually

I think there clearly would
be common interest,
potential for common
interest and that that could
go forward.

So I weigh that off against
my concerns about the loss
of protections.

And as I said, I really wish
there were seven people on
the dais.

And I have given this a lot
of thought, asked a lot of
questions aen really just
tried to sit back and figure
out what I really think is
the in the best interest of
the city in this very
difficult decision.

And where I come down is
that I just cannot support
this motion at this time.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Any
further discussion?

All in favor of the motion
say aye.

Opposed say no.

Motion passes on first
reading only a vote of 4-1
with councilmember morrison
voting no and councilmember
martinez and spelman off the

It is unlikely that we will
address this item again
seeing that the expiration
date for this authority
expires the day after
tomorrow so I would assume
that the initiative is
effectively dead as of this

Those are all the items on
the agenda.

Without objection we're
,,,,,,,,,,,, ,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,, ,,,,
Announcer: What if a disaster strikes without

What if life as you know it
has completely turned on its head?

What if everything familiar becomes anything

Before a disaster turns your family's world
upside down,
it's up to you to be ready.

Get a kit. make a plan. be informed today.