We all jumped and

cially -- and robbed or

we're going to use the

aircraft that is available.

 

We have -- we have

yesterday in tarrytown, one

gentleman had his truck

broken into, they stole

items from his truck,

 

 

[10:16:00]

 

 

another family broke into

the house, actually, they

came in through an unlocked

door.

 

Word to the wise, lock your

doors.

 

Really a good key to not

getting victimized.

 

But they took the -- the

person's keys and they used

it to steal the car.

 

A lot of folks don't realize

that the iphones, there's

an application where we

actually use --

 

>> the propositions when you

are suing people, we backed

away, we didn't have an

aircraft available, all that

we got the stolen vehicle

back, we lost a suspect

because we didn't have --

where he went and ran it or

she or had he ran into we

have a lot of -- we have to

make -- we try to minimize

the impact to the community.

 

So when we have closures,

for example -- we want

-- what's happening with

traffic, so we can fluctuate

our traffic management plan

to try to minimize the

impact on -- on

neighborhoods, on

businesses, so it gives us a

lot of flexibility from that

 

 

[10:18:01]

 

 

standpoint.

 

This specific aircraft, what

it's going to do for us is

give us the ability to have

aircraft available.

 

We don't have availability

like we do now.

 

We don't have the necessary

availability that we have.

 

But the most important piece

of this specific aircraft is

the multi-mission capability

that the chief can talk

about now.

 

>> We did -- I don't mean to

interrupt you, but we did

talk about that at the

hearing.

 

>> You have enough on that.

 

>> Tovo: Unless my

colleagues want to hear it,

I understand that it's going

to be -- you know what?

 

It had a lot of -- sounds

like it has a lot of great

features in that regard,

what did you call it?

 

A multi-use.

 

>> Multi-use,

multi-functional,

multi-mission capability and

including fire, and our

current aircraft are a lot

of folks don't realize are

not just police department

using it, the fire

department, it's of course

the fire department on a

regular basis, I've got a

couple of instances in the

last couple of months that

we have actually supported

e.m.s.

 

So although it's a police

asset, it really belongs to

all of us and it is used

across disciplines and

across departments.

 

>> Right.

 

I really appreciate this

information.

 

It's giving me a sense of

the kind of -- the kind of

things that would trigger

helicopter use and they --

they sound like instances

where you would need a

helicopter versus another

kind of -- another kind of

response.

 

Are there -- do you have

guidelines that your

officers follow about when

it should not go out?

 

I mean, is there -- is

everyone clear on where --

 

>> the -- absolutely, the

ones that control the -- the

use of the aircraft is

what's called our watch, our

watch commander is an

officer in the field or a

young officer, it is a

person or a -- or what we

call -- actually a real-time

crime center, which is kind

of an operations center that

we have -- that we have

established in the last

couple of years.

 

That lieutenant is

responsible for ensuring

that the use of the aircraft

is an appropriate use and a

justified use.

 

One of the things that we

really want to focus on, at

least I want to focus on is

when we talk about pursuits,

 

 

[10:20:00]

 

 

is one of the opportunities

that we will have with the

additional capabilities and

the additional coverage is

we're probably going to end

up strengthening and -- our

pursuit policy where --

where -- where we will

automatically call off

the -- the vehicle -- the --

back away the units because

depending on the situation,

you may not -- if you have

bonnie and clyde there, you

don't want to take any

chance on losing these

people.

 

But in a lot of instances,

what we will probably end up

doing is requiring a

justification as to why we

kept the -- kept the units

with the aircraft overhead.

 

So we will be a little bit

more restrictive, we believe

that we will have with the

additional coverage the

ability to do that in a much

more frequent basis.

 

>> Great.

 

So in terms of the

logistics, we had talked

about, you know, waiting in

long for a time time, 18

months -- can are you

reminds me where why -- why

it's coming forward today

for just a partial payment.

 

Not today, but thursday.

 

>> That's okay.

 

So the it is the financing

of it, I believe we are

authorizing, believe

considering authorizing --

[one moment please for

change in captioners]

 

>> when there is ano carrierringconnect 57600

[ technical difficulty ]

 

>> absolutely.

 

I think we can track the hours

and that's something that we

could track in the future.

 

>> Great, because it is a more

costly way.

 

>> It is probably the most

effective way.

 

It is the most effective way to

manage large traffic control

 

 

[10:24:00]

 

 

issues and, fortunately, in our

city, it's fortunate in one area

because it brings in a lot of

people spending a lot of money,

but it is a challenge from a

public safety perspective.

 

When you can look from an

aircraft at what's going on from

the ground, next to satellite,

it's the next best thing.

 

>> I know you attended to kind

of give us a sense of the

round -- I didn't mean to cut

you off earlier, I just wanted

to run through my questions.

 

But a snapshot of capabilities.

 

>> From the fire department's

perspective, the ability to have

that first due aircraft to

deliver water to the scene is

significant.

 

One of the things and what's

most illustrated we spoke of

57600

 

>> I appreciate you being

here and I appreciate the

backup information this

time.

 

>> Sure.

 

>> I just want to say

something real quick here.

 

>> Sorry, mayor.

 

i

think I said it all the last

time that we considered this

but I just want to reiterate

some of it.

 

In my opinion, this is the

fastest most effective thing

we can do to improve

subsafety in austin and

central texas.

 

We all still remember not

only the pinnacle but the

fires last labor day and

even at that time everybody

 

 

[10:26:00]

 

 

was saying we wish we had

more air assets.

 

In a lot of cases that's the

only thing available to

fight the fires,

specifically out at shiner

ranch where the terrain is

difficult.

 

They couldn't get ground

machinery in there because

of the hills and so forth,

to fight that fire.

 

If we had had more air

assets at that time we would

have faired, I think, much

better in combating that

fire.

 

It is the quickest and most

effective thing I think we

can do to improve our public

safety.

 

>> Mayor, if I could just

add to that, I remember

being in our emergency

operations center when we

started calling -- even

though steiner ranch wasn't

our fire, we're partners

and, you know, in public

safety there's no territory

when it comes to saving

lives.

 

We started suggesting we

need to get in line.

 

Chief evans hit it.

 

This region was way down in

hose fesnd it

several days to

actually get assets here so

you're hitting it on the

head.

 

We're going to have it here,

ready to go, in our control,

and one of the things that

scares me coming from

southern california is, you

know, I live were a lot

of -- we're going to have a

hundred year event.

 

It has not happened and i

don't want to be an alarmist

but it's coming, and this is

an shrnses policy.

 

I think council member

martinez referred to it as

an insurance policy that we

are going to draw on for the

fire capability and we will

draw on every day for the

law enforcement capability,

the ems capability

definitely will be drawn on.

 

thank

you.

 

>> Mayor, I hate to butt in

here, but --

didn't

want to leave you out.

 

>> No, I mean, really, we're

talking about fires, we're

talking about property,

we're talking about

protecting all of that but

one of the key roles of ems

is to protect the rescuers

who are fighting those fires

and the officers in those

locations that are hard to

get to and we have

challenges accessing that.

 

So in ems we need to jump in

and being able to be dropped

in with medics and their

gear to make all the

difference in the rescuers

 

 

[10:28:00]

 

 

lives who are working to

resolve those and mitigate

those situations.

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: thanks.

 

I've actually been picked up

by a helicopter in and a

horse collar in a training

exercise.

 

It's interesting.

 

>> You haven't lost an

aircraft yet, mayor?

 

[Laughter]

 

>> mayor leffingwell: no.

 

So I guess now we can go

back to b1?

 

Which is a discussion of

citizen forum.

 

Council member martinez.

 

yeah, this is

the item -- or the citizens

forum is from an item that

council member tovo and i

and I think mayor pro tem

cole co-sponsored and since

staff has identified a date,

and we are still talking

about some of the logistical

issues we might face such as

if they sign up and don't

specify a topic, what kind

of interaction can we have.

 

I just want to manage those

expectations of citizens

that might want to

participate so the greatest

extent possible and let them

know that those are the

rules and that we're

restricted by that under

open meetings act.

 

But I do want us to go ahead

and move forward with the

item and have this forum.

 

Unfortunately, the data

identified by staff is one

in a time period where i

won't be available, so I'm

just respectfully going to

ask that we look for another

date so that I can attend,

but if we can't, i

completely understand and i

will do everything I can to

try to be there on the 22nd,

I believe is the identified

date.

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: mr.

 

St

st

einer, do you have anything

to add?

 

I mean, you're here.

 

I think it's worthwhile to

elaborate a little bit on

what the restrictions might

 

 

[10:30:00]

 

 

be, and if it's anything

like what I understand the

rules are, the rules used

for citizen communication

are that you can talk about

any topic you want to.

 

It's just that unless they

were posted in advance the

council could not engage in

a discussion of that topic.

 

>> Yes, sir, that's correct.

 

If no subject matter is

posted, the council is

limited to responding to an

inquiry with a statement of

spec fact or with a

recitation of existing

policy or a suggestion to

the body that you schedule a

topic for a future meeting.

 

Other than that, if it

were -- if it were entirely

open-ended and no subject

matter was posted to be

limited to that, if you use

a model like citizens

communications where

citizens can identify -- a

citizen who signs up to

speak can identify the topic

the citizen wishes to speak

on, then it depends on what

they write down, and we'd

have to look case by case to

see whether or not that was

sufficient notice under the

open meetings act.

 

And of course that would

have to be posted 72 hours

in advance of the meeting.

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: right.

 

>> Something like city

issues would allow no

discussion.

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: right.

 

>> But --

or

tbd.

 

Say that a lot.

 

>> Right.

 

Something that was quite

specific, you know, animal

control issues and the

bouldin creek neighborhood

would be something that you

could engage on.

 

If you wanted to do

something where you posted

something that citizens

might speak on, then we

would have to consider what

sort of things you would

like to hear about and

consider what sort of

postings would be

appropriate for that.

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: yeah.

 

And that's exactly why when

 

 

[10:32:00]

 

 

people sign up for citizens

communications, we ask them

to list their topic so that

we could, if necessary, have

discussion about that.

 

And the other thing I wanted

to bring up is we kind of

discussed the

possibility -- you know,

it's going to be hard to

find a saturday when

everybody is available,

especially on saturday, but

also the possibility of just

posting a meeting for -- in

case there's a quorum and

just kind of saying, if

you'd like to show up -- to

council members, if you'd

like to show up you can.

 

We wouldn't necessarily have

to have a quorum of council

members to let people come

up and speak.

 

Speak.

 

>> Well, without a quorum

there's no meeting.

 

right,

there wouldn't be a meeting

but you could have --

 

>> I guess it would be a

town hall --

town

hall, yeah.

 

but then we

wouldn't be limited by the

concerns that you just

raised about having

discussions.

 

If there weren't a quorum,

it's not a council meeting.

 

Therefore, it's not having

to comply with open meetings

requirements.

 

that

would be my guess, and

steiner might want to

weigh in on that.

 

>> If only the sponsor

showed --

[laughter]

 

>> well, three of you are

chris and mike and kathie.

 

When you add the mayor all

of a sudden you become the

council.

 

So --

or

even without me, we could

add laura.

 

I don't think

we have to worry about

adding the mayor.

 

[Laughter]

 

>> add any additional one

and then all of a sudden

just those individuals turn

into the governing body of

the city.

 

So if it's not the council,

then it's -- it could be a

town hall meeting.

 

Of course we would have --

 

 

[10:34:02]

 

 

if it were posted as a

council meeting and turned

out not to be a council

meeting, I guess you would

have to at that pointo i

hadn't really anticipated

that question but I guess

you would have to say, well,

the meeting is called off

since we don't have a quorum

and then you'd just be

hanging out with the folks

that showed up.

 

sort

of hanging out.

 

Okay.

 

Kathie?

 

so, yeah, I mean,

we've talked about this a

little bit in previous work

sessions and I've given this

a lot of thought because

we've, you know, kind of

talked through some of the

different options, and none

are ideal.

 

I'll just say none are

ideal, but they are the

restrictions we have to work

within.

 

I would like a situation

where if a citizen comes to

us and is talking at the

podium, we have the ability

to ask clarifying questions.

 

It's my understanding we

won't if we don't have

topics posted.

 

On the other hand, if we

have topics posted, that

limits the citizens in other

kinds of ways.

 

So I'm satisfied with having

this meeting struck turld as

an extended citizens

communication, so I would

ask that if it's possible

that we open up the

computers several days in

advance and allow people to

sign up with a specific

topic if they so desire.

 

Would that be an option in

the same way we do with

citizen communications?

 

Then those items would be

posted 72 hours in advance

and if we had clarifying

questions we could ask

them --

 

>> our speakers signing up

using the kiosk would not

allow them to post topic.

 

When they sign into the

speaker sign-up system they

simply select which item

they're interested in

speaking and indicate

whether they're in favor or

against and whether they

want to speak or they want

to donate.

 

So using that system would

simply allow you to have a

group of speakers that you

know want to speak on

 

 

[10:36:00]

 

 

whatever topics are posted.

 

The way we handle citizen

communication is very

different and goes through

the agenda item.

 

and it's still by

phone, I guess?

 

>> We allow by phone, by

email and in person.

 

>> Tovo: I see.

 

So there's no way to

configure -- there's no way

to configure our kiosk so

they would accept that

information so that a staff

member wouldn't have to be

involved in manually

compiling the list of topics

and citizens?

 

>> Well, and I don't know

that that's really our

concern because when we

start of calculated it out,

if you have three hours and

you're going to give three

minutes apiece, 60 speakers,

we can handle that through

our normal system.

 

The problem is then you have

no time for discussion with

council members if 60 people

showed up and signed up with

topics, so you might want to

limit that to no more than

45 people, you know, to try

to build in some discussion

times if you're going to

stick to that three hours.

 

So it's really those kinds

of limitations.

 

I mean, I think we can

handle, if you want to let

people know that within a

certain time frame they can

start calling in or coming

in and giving us their

topics.

 

I don't think that's the

restriction that's limiting

us but it's rather how many

speakers would you allow to

do that and then would you

allow people who show up

that day and haven't

registered but want to be

heard, would they be allowed

to speak.

 

So those are some of the

issues I think you need to

work through versus whether

our office can handle it or

not.

 

thank you for that

explanation.

 

You know, from my

perspective I think it's

less important that we have

time to talk with one

another because we do that

with some frequency,

especially lately, but I do

think it's important that we

have plenty of time for the

people who come down on a

saturday to speak to us.

 

So yeah, I guess that gives

me pause.

 

We don't want all the time

 

 

[10:38:01]

 

 

slots to be filled up by the

time people get here on

saturday.

 

On the other hand, it might

be useful to have a handful

of them filled so that if

there are clarifying

questions that we need to

ask from the dais to get the

information -- you know, to

really understand the point

somebody is making, then we

have the opportunity to do

that with at least a certain

number of the people who

come down.

 

So I guess that's really a

question for my colleagues,

does it make sense to have

some sign-up opportunities

available for people who

want to clarify -- who want

to specify their topic or

should we have it be just a

free for all on that

saturday.

 

my preference

would be, mayor -- sorry --

my preference would be that

we conduct it like we do

citizens communication and

have a sign-up time period.

 

I mean, I just think we

envisioned this as sitcom on

steroids, kind of, and so

why not stick to that same

process and let citizens

sign up, you know, ten days

in advance, I believe.

 

How many days in advance can

they sign up?

 

Two weeks?

 

>> It's ten days, roughly.

 

so allow them

to sign up, have a closing

period.

 

Then have all of our

speakers -- a list of

whoever they are and their

topics and conduct the

forum.

 

I think -- I don't think

we're going to be inundated

with 45 people wanting to

speak.

 

It's going to be the same

ten people that are mad at

us and want to talk about

the same issues like

fluoride and con trails and

issues like that.

 

that

was sitcom with a c, not an

s, right?

 

>> Tovo: yes.

 

>> Martinez: yes.

 

So I think it's important

that we're having this

discussion.

 

I don't think it's going to

be some logistical

nightmare.

 

I don't think we'll have 100

people come down on a

saturday morning, but it's

important to give them that

opportunity if they want.

 

So having a pre-period

sign-up is not -- to me it

doesn't give me great

heartburn.

 

It just gives us the ability

 

 

[10:40:00]

 

 

to post these items with the

72-hour notice so that we

can engage in a conversation

with them, because I think

the people that are going to

come down on saturday

morning, they're going to

want a little bit more than

just their 3 minutes.

 

They're going to want to

say, what do you think?

 

What can you tell me?

 

And we need to be able to

post that properly so we can

engage in that discussion.

 

>> Morrison: mayor?

 

council

member morrison.

 

I agree with

that last point completely.

 

I think that to be able to

have some conversation and

interaction with the

citizens is important.

 

Otherwise it's going to be

really frustrating.

 

They might as well just

write us an email, it's just

a one-way street, so I'd

like to allow some time for

that.

 

I would -- I would hope that

we might be able to set

aside some time for people

that are just signing up at

the meeting as opposed to

allocating all the time,

because I certainly see the

benefit of being able to

sign up so that people know,

for one thing, what order

they're going to be in.

 

They don't necessarily have

to be there for the full

three hours, but to be able

to engage.

 

On the other hand, I'm

hoping that we might be able

to -- that this might be an

opportunity for people that

aren't usually engaging with

us to be able to have some

face-to-face contact, and

frankly, that was my

understanding and maybe i

just read it into it, to

broaden the engagement base,

if you will, in terms of

doing this in the first

place, and so I would -- i

would foresee some benefit

in allocating, say, an hour

of it or something at the

end, maybe, and we could

even say, you know, that's

going to be at the end so

people know when to come if

they haven't signed up, just

for -- just for people to

show up and sign up.

 

And we can make it really

clear on the agenda that

it's going to be a one-way

street that those topics

are.

 

So those are my thoughts on

those two items.

 

I do want to know, are we

having it here at city hall

or were we having it

somewhere else?

 

 

[10:42:04]

 

 

>> The plan was for city

hall.

 

>> Morrison: okay.

 

Those are my thoughts.

 

I just

want to make clear I thought

I heard something about

action.

 

These are not going --

topics posted for possible

action, just discussion.

 

I didn't mean

to suggest that.

 

council

member tovo?

 

>> I did want to note that

if there was interest in

changing -- not using the

september 22 date, the other

dates that rose to the top

as I looked at your

schedules and f1 and music

festival, they were

september 22, september 29

and october 27.

 

September 22, september 29

and october 27.

 

I want to just in

here and say I like the

suggestion of having a good

block of time reserved for

people who just show up.

 

You know, it is really my

hope and that was part of my

intention in sponsoring this

item, to really broaden

beyond just the people who

come down here every week

and understand how to sign

up for citizens

communications and, you

know, know how that system

works, and can make time to

come over here at noon.

 

The suggestion that came

from our community member

was to have it on a saturday

to accommodate people who

work all day and through the

workweek and don't have jobs

that are flexible enough to

come over here.

 

So I think that is an

important balance that we

have, an opportunity, if the

staff feels it's feasible,

an opportunity for them to

sign up in advance so that

we have some ability to ask

questions but a good block

of time, at least maybe

half, for people who just

come down that day.

 

With regard to the date, i

want to add in there that i

believe -- I believe we

wouldn't have any of the

sponsors present.

 

I think three of us have

 

 

[10:44:01]

 

 

maybe committed to a session

on the date of the 22nd.

 

I think there was an

affordable housing

discussion going on on

september 22 that several of

us have been invited to

attend.

 

So that could pose an issue,

I think.

 

There may be as many as four

of us who aren't able to

attend the people's forum,

the citizens' forum.

 

So I would suggest we do

change the date and think

about another one of the

other options that misthomas

thomas has

presented.

 

And I hope owe, you know, i

don't know once we have

arrived on a date or arrived

on a new date, I don't know

what mechanisms we have here

at the city, but I hope we

can promote this through

channel 6 and through other

means because I think it is

a unique opportunity to be

able to come down to city

hall on a saturday and i

hope members of our public

will take advantage of it

and come tell us what's on

their mind.

 

And I'll just say the 29th

looks good for me, of

september.

 

I would just

add --

council

member martinez.

 

one last

comment and that is that we

do everything we can to have

a quorum.

 

To me it just avoids so many

logistic al issues.

 

If you just have three, then

the question comes up, are

you trying to circumvent the

open meetings acts with just

three.

 

So whatever we can do to

accommodate schedules to

ensure that a quorum would

be there I think is really

important.

 

council

member riley?

 

I'm going to be

out of town on september 29

but I would be here on

october 27, for whatever

that's worth.

 

so i

definitely couldn't make the

29th either.

 

the 27th works

for me.

 

The october 27 works for me.

 

i

don't know about that.

 

I can't commit to that right

now.

 

it looks like

we have four.

 

 

[10:46:00]

 

 

that's good, and i

think it's important -- i

really delighted, i

believe this passed on

consent, and I think that

shows the cooperation of

council so I think we should

have a date we can be here

so we can have a majority of

the council.

 

>> To summarize, so you

don't want any limits on the

number of people who can

sign up in my office and be

posted on the agenda?

 

I would -- my

opinion is that we should

have limits, and I think

council member morrison

suggested maybe about an

hour's worth of free time.

 

I would suggest maybe

half-and-half, so allow for

about an hour and a half

worth of speakers and then

keep about an hour and a

half --

 

>> so that would be 30, the

first 30 who sign up will be

posted on the agenda?

 

that sounds --

 

>> that allows no

interaction.

 

I mean, if they each took

their full three minutes,

council would have no

interaction with them, so do

you want to reduce it down

to 20, the first 20?

 

I'm certainly open

to that.

 

What do you all think?

 

20?

 

First 20?

 

Mike?

 

First 20 sounds good.

 

>> And will this be

televised?

 

yeah, I'd like --

I'd like for it to be

televised.

 

just as an

fyi --

council

member martinez.

 

we had a fiscal

impact node on this item and

one of the things that we

specifically eliminated to

cut cost was staff --

channel 6 staff, department

DIRECTORS, ACMs, BECAUSE

We start running into a huge

cost to the citizens if we

start --

do you

remember how much that was?

 

we whittled it

down to 500 bucks.

 

I think it started at like

15, 20,000 with all the

staff.

 

I can't remember exactly.

 

I'm throwing those numbers

out there, but it was

something very drastic.

 

Once we eliminated all of

the staff needs, it got down

 

 

[10:48:01]

 

 

to really just ac, you know,

running the ac on saturday

mornings.

 

we need a lot

of that.

 

i

couldn't support that

expenditure.

 

would it be --

we can bring

candles.

 

[Laughter]

hopefu

hopefu

lly it will be during the

daytime.

 

Council member morrison?

 

I wonder

whether we could fund the

cost specifically to have it

televised because there's a

huge benefit to the

community to be able to have

it televised or at least

have it recorded.

 

I don't know if it adds

something to have it

televised live as opposed to

just recorded because if

that's the way to break it

down we could record it and

play it later.

 

you're

still going to have the

crews.

 

that's why I'm

wondering is there more of a

crew if it's live versus

just recorded?

 

What money we're talking

about.

 

Because if it's a thousand

dollars, I would support it.

 

If it's 15,000, then it's a

much different question.

 

>> Well, staff just noted

the request so we don't have

it now but before the day is

out we'll have an estimate.

 

>> Thanks.

 

>> I'm just hearing --

excuse me, I'm hearing

october 27.

 

I want to say thank

you.

 

I know you've spent a lot of

time and energy researching

was possible and talking

with our office and

researching dates.

 

So thank you so much for

your work on this.

 

we

haven't had enough meetings

this year.

 

We need to pick up the pace.

 

[Laughter]

if we're done with that, i

don't know if there's any

staff -- I didn't -- i

didn't think to -- okay.

 

I want to do bring up item

3, and just taking a look at

the back -- this is the

building services item to

add 28 new ftes for

 

 

[10:50:02]

 

 

custodial services cost, and

energy, march 1, rca was

submitted to the council

for -- to outsource those

services.

 

And march 22 the council, i

believe, rejected that

contract.

 

It looks to me like from --

could we -- I know you're

not interested in this,

but -- this backup material

says that the costs will be

$682,007 more than the

projected cost for services

provided by an outside

source and through fiscal

1617 additional costs

resulting from the

transition would be

$3.3 million.

 

So can you verify that?

 

I think what we're saying is

by rejecting the contract

item through those three

years we'll be spending

$3.3 million.

 

Is that right?

 

>> [Inaudible] okay.

 

There we go, eric stockton,

building services officer.

 

[Inaudible] packages of

facilities and contract

services considered in march

plus additional facilities

that were not under contract

based on the assumption that

we are to move these

services in house for austin

energy facilities as

contracts or new facilities

come up in the future.

 

So the cost change a little

3 million cost

differential over five years

[inaudible] to based on the

 

 

[10:52:00]

 

 

additional facilities.

 

and

that involves 28 new

full-time employees.

 

>> Yes, sir.

 

would

have to be hired for that.

 

I -- you know, obviously

we're going to consider this

item on thursday, but to me

this puts a whole different

light on it and I think we

ought to take another look

at it.

 

In the big scheme of things,

3 million is not a

huge amount of money, but

that is money that you could

say, does this increase the

cost of austin energy

service to its customers?

 

I think the answer is yes by

some increment.

 

And perhaps I think the

concern at the time was

we're not sure that these

employees of the contractor

are being paid a living

wage, have adequate health

benefits, et cetera.

 

Maybe we could take a

look -- maybe it would be

possible to issue another --

another request for action,

another rca -- or rfp, i

guess it would be, that

would include, at least to

some degree, addressing

those issues, because to me

with this additional cost i

think it merits

reconsideration, and i

don't -- I personally can't

support this item on the

agenda as it stands right

now without at least

exploring it further.

 

>> Morrison: mayor?

 

council

member morrison.

 

thanks for

bringing this up because i

wanted to talk about it

also.

 

Actually I was ill that day

when this -- and I watched

the discussion.

 

I was certainly supportive

of us moving forward to make

these folks in-house.

 

As I recall, the real

difference came down to the

fact that the -- the

contractor didn't have

benefits that were really

accessible in terms of the

costs and all, to the

 

 

[10:54:02]

 

 

contracting employees, so

the really discussion was,

are we willing to contract

our work out so that we can

get a cheaper price because

the folks doing the work

don't have health benefits

and all.

 

And that was a very

important and actually

pretty extended conversation

by the council that didn't

include me and it talked

about the fact that it's not

necessary -- we need to

think a little more broadly

and have having folks in our

community that don't have

benefits is not free to us

because the community comes

around and ends up

supporting those folks, not

to mention that, you know,

when we do an economic

incentives and all, we have

some baselines of wanting to

do business with folks that

do provide health benefits.

 

The big difference here, as

I understand it, is that the

new system control center

wasn't really contemplated

when we looked at the

numbers last time, and so

that we really -- so the

numbers sort of stay the

same for what we had

considered, if I'm correct.

 

It's just that we also have

additional requirements for

services.

 

Is that -- is that correct?

 

Am I looking at it properly?

 

>> That's correct.

 

The service control center

is approximately

200,000-square-foot

facility, and by comparison

if you consider city hall,

for example, we have about

five to six custodial

personnel in the services

office building.

 

The service control center

is about double that in

terms of square footage and

it also has some small

percentage of is a 7 by 24

facility as well.

 

So there's a number of

factors which that building

alone adds a great deal.

 

We also were able to absorb

some of the facilities in

our existing staffing.

 

We kind of reach a tipping

point once we did that where

we had to -- we weren't able

 

 

[10:56:00]

 

 

to absorb any more square

footage with existing

staffing bringing that

on-line.

 

>> When is it coming

on-line?

 

>> My understanding is it's

due to come on-line in

november december of this

calendar year.

 

>> Another question, a

suggestion was asked --

there's a different rfp that

actually had requirements

for the contractor to be

providing benefits.

 

Is there any reason to

believe that they're going

to be able to provide

benefits and come up with a

contract that's less costly

than us having the folks as

employees providing

benefits?

 

Byron, I know, you're

probably going to say you

can't answer that question,

but seems to me that

benefits cost money and

either we pay them to our

employees or we pay somebody

else to --

 

>> there's two parts here,

byron johnson, purchasing

officer.

 

One part karen can handle,

which is the legal aspect of

having benefits in

contracting, and that's

one -- that's the one issue

there that we can't control

because the attorney

general's office has said

that you can't consider

health benefits as part of

the process.

 

So we can't mandate that, to

do that.

 

Your second question was, is

do we think that their costs

would be less?

 

We participated with eric

and other people on the team

that did the evaluation, and

even though they offer

benefits in some cases, some

companies, you will find

that generally they do have

a little bit different cost

factor, and it sometimes is

more costly for the city to

do something versus

contracting it, which is why

we do a lot of the

contracting we do and we

don't have the employees

doing that.

 

So I can't say that, but the

third part to that was, is

could we issue another bid?

 

Most assuredly.

 

We can issue a bid in

anticipation -- if you

 

 

[10:58:00]

 

 

remember, we took two

actions.

 

We took the original

contract for council, and

then when council gave the

direction otherwise, we

brought back another item to

extend the existing contract

for up to 12 months,

anticipating that building

services would need to gear

up, ramp up, bring forward

ed's budget item to be able

to do that one.

 

So we still have that in

play.

 

So it's not such that we

would have to do that.

 

The wildcard is going to be

the ecc.

 

We would need to be able to

go out fairly quickly if we

were going to contract for

the ecc because that wasn't

on the initial contract and

we would need to be able to

contract for that, but we

most assuredly could do

another solicitation.

 

We could go forward.

 

The problem that eric will

say and as ed will say, is

that if council then chooses

to not make an award, there

wouldn't be sufficient time

to bring staff in to do the

same work, so we would have

to do either a temporary

contract or we would have to

do a permanent contract, at

least until they could be

able to get staff in.

 

Did that help?

 

yeah, I think

that's a lot of good

information, and I do want

to comment.

 

My memory is that the

contract that we were -- had

before us that was rejected,

benefits were available to

the contract employees, but

the cost of them was

prohibitive.

 

It would have cost, you

know, a week or two's pay or

something like that.

 

And I could be wrong about

that.

 

So I know that it was --

it's hard to compare.

 

It could be apples and

oranges and all, but I do

want to just briefly mention

that, you know, I think this

is sort of an overall

issue -- overarching issue

that we need to think about

in terms of what kinds of

responsibility we want to

take in our contracts or are

we going to be supporting

employees that we know have

benefits, and interestingly,

the parks department has

done a couple of contracts

that we have approved and

both recently -- this week

50 is one,

and a couple weeks ago there

was another one, and both of

those in the backup staff

have been quite clear in

articulating why they need

to be contractors, because

they are for peak purposes,

you know, serving peak

demands and things like

that.

 

So I really appreciate the

parks department doing that.

 

And then just lastly i

wanted to mention that we

also have item -- we have a

water utility item that is

to do a contract for the

security guards, and i

understand it's a

ratification and they need

to be able to, number one,

provide security for our

water utility assets, and

number two, they're in a

situation right now where

they've exceeded the

contract.

 

But I do think we need to

ask there, you know, some

places we have security

guards, as I understand it,

that are our employees, and

other places we don't, and

it's a question I feel like

we just need always to be

asking.

 

yeah,

a couple of things.

 

Number one, let's not forget

that when we contract out

we're contracting for --

usually with local small

businesses, and so that's

something that doesn't need

to get lost in the

discussion.

 

In addition to that, and

this just occurred to me so

this may not be well thought

out, it is a question, how

is national health care

going to affect this issue

of benefits and over what

time frame?

 

>> May not.

 

in

other words, it may not be

an issue early, in the near

future.

 

>> Mayor?

 

city

manager.

 

>> If I might, and this

really is an overarching

issue and I think one of

policy.

 

I mean, when I just

generally have listened to

the discussion, this almost

feels like I'm taking on

some sort of an employment

policy, if you will, that

the city is doing that, and

when I think about that in

the context of, you know,

the economic decline and

also the challenges and the

things that we had to do

structurally to stabilize

our budget, you'll recall

that we were very much

committed to no layoffs, for

example, and one of the

other things that we did was

we eliminated a number of

vacant positions.

 

And those two things seem to

kind of fly in the face of

an employment policy, if you

will, that talks about

hiring additional people.

 

I'm not certain or convinced

that the economy has

entirely stabilized yet.

 

So let's say that in a

worst-case scenario that we

began to experience problems

again.

 

We could find ourselves in

the position then, having

hired a bunch of people, and

then later on subsequently

having to lay them off and

some of those people end up

in a position worse than

they are today, certainly

being unemployed is a worse

position than working for an

employer out in our

community where you may or

may not be getting benefits.

 

I'm just -- I'm just

concerned about that.

 

And so I ask that we just be

mindful of that as we go

down this path.

 

yeah,

I -- I think as council

member morrison brought out,

there are certainly places

for contracts, where there

are economies of scale,

there may not be a need for

a full-time service but if

you hire your own it has to

be a full-time service.

 

Just as an example, if i

want to -- if I want to hire

somebody to mow my yard, you

know, I can hire somebody to

come by once a week to do

that, but I don't have to

hire a full-time gardner.

 

So it would be more

economical for me to do it

that way, and, you know, i

can envision this being the

case in a lot of services

like this general janitorial

services, a private

contractor might be able to

do two or three different

facilities in a day,

different kinds of

facilities and not

necessarily have to be there

full-time.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Council member tovo?

 

I have a couple

quick questions lest there

be any confusion I am quite

interested in this item.

 

I assume that in your

calculations you considered

the point that the mayor is

making.

 

I mean, you don't want to

bring on full-time staff who

are -- have three hours of

work and then mot enough,

you know, nothing else --

not enough -- nothing else

to do the rest of the day.

 

And so are there -- can you

just confirm for me that

that was part of the

consideration that these

full-time employees would

be, you know,

consistently -- would

consistently have tasks

before them, either in one

facility or would be

shared -- you know, would

have responsibility for

working in several different

facilities?

 

>> Yes, we use a staffing

model based on industry

standards which, you know,

we modify as necessary based

on our needs, and what that

means is, is we hire a

full-time equivalent to

handle a certain amount of

square footage, which means

they work a full -- you

know, full 40 hours a week.

 

Some cases we may have a

part-time position that is

used to cover any sort of

outliers on that and, you

know, if we have a total

square footage and we get

five full-time equivalents

and we still are short,

about half -- 20 hours a

week, then we'll hire a

part-time position to, you

know, complete that coverage

for that square footage.

 

So we -- we don't have,

strictly speaking -- we're

never going to hire someone

full-time to work on in a

part-time capacity.

 

We do have some flexibility

built into the system

because not all tasks are

done every day, but there

are tasks that have to be

done periodically, like

mowing the yard or buffing

the floors and things like

that.

 

So it's -- it's a fairly

delicate balance in terms

of, you know, getting the

staffing just right, and

also being able to cover

vacations and sick leave

and, you know, unexpected

events and training and that

kind of thing.

 

just a few specific

questions about the bid.

 

-- Excuse me, about the

backup information we have

in front of us.

 

I notice in the first chart,

the first table, you talk

about austin energy

facilities, the full-time

equivalents the contract had

proposed 17 and then the

city of austin has proposed

14 1/2, and then there's

some discussion in the

backup information about --

and I think you mentioned it

as well, about the scope

somewhat expanded in terms

of adding some additional

facilities.

 

Is that correct?

 

So what we're talking about

here today is custodial

staffing for an expanded

number of facilities than

were before us last time.

 

Is that right?

 

>> Correct.

 

What you considered last

spring did not include

several facilities, the

largest of which was the

service control center,

which is about a

200,000-square-foot

facility, and that is really

where the bulk of the

costs -- additional costs

that have been added to what

you considered last spring

came from.

 

that would have

been an additional cost in

either configuration, we

would have had --

 

>> correct.

 

we would have had

to spend the money.

 

>> Correct.

 

on additional

staffing for that facility?

 

Okay.

 

Thanks very much for doing

this analysis.

 

>> So while the ag's opinion

may preclude us from issuing

an rfp that contemplates

health care benefits or

other benefits, is there

any -- is there anything

that precludes us from

inserting language that

would say for any respondent

to work with some of the

groups that we currently

work with as a city, like

capital idea or skill point

alliance, something that

meets a policy value of the

city?

 

If we're going to contract

out, would there be a

prohibition on putting

something like that in an

rfp?

 

>> Council member, that's

something I haven't -- i

haven't heard of before.

 

The issue as the city

manager mentioned of

benefits in contracting

versus employees has been

around for a long time.

 

The ag's opinion actually

goes back to 1987.

 

It unfortunately was one of

my bid when I was with the

city of houston, so I'm

quite familiar with it.

 

So there are some innovative

ways we can look at doing

this.

 

As the law department can

say, we can ask them to

identify what benefits they

offer.

 

We can say things like we

encourage.

 

We just can't mandate it and

you can't make that as a

condition.

 

And again, in some cases

when we -- when we have put

some things out there in the

past saying we encourage

this, some of the companies

say their people don't want

the coverage, either they

have coverage from a spouse

or they have coverage maybe,

as eric mentioned, maybe

they work part-time

somewhere else and they

don't want the coverage, and

they don't want to be

burdened with that extra

cost themselves.

 

So again, as a directive, we

can -- we can do out with a

directive that says do this,

and we can go out and see

the best bids that we can

get, and we'll attempt to do

that with the community, and

I think the community has

been really good at

responding, but again,

they're trying to win the

bid and they know that

they've got to put the best

number they can or they're

going to lose it.

 

council member

riley.

 

byron, how much

flexibility do we have in a

situation like that

[inaudible] a respondent

that offers a benefit

package that we have a

preference for?

 

Are we required to take the

low bid or are we allowed to

look at the whole array of

responses and make some

decision, taking into

account the various types of

benefit packages that are

offered?

 

>> In my purchasing

viewpoint, again, I will

gladly take input from law

and karen, but you can't

require benefits, you

can't -- you can't take that

as a consideration in an

award.

 

You could take value.

 

You could look at

experience.

 

You can look at quality.

 

You can look at a number of

those factors, so you don't

have to take the low bid.

 

We can take best val.

 

You just can't say because

there's benefits we're going

to select company b instead

of company a.

 

so we are legally

prohibited from considering

the benefit packages in

making our decision?

 

>> That's correct.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

That's important to know.

 

Thanks.

 

well,

you know, despite the

discussion that you had

about allocating time for

full-time employees versus

part-time employees and

shifting the tasks around,

it still falls back to the

statement that I'm reading,

the cost will be more to do

it in-house, and more by a

lot, more by $682,000 a

year.

 

Joe?

 

I guess that's it.

 

Thank you.

 

>> Mayor?

 

>> Mayor leffingwell: ed?

 

>> If I could just take a

moment to remind council

that there is a council

referral on contract

insourcing and that staff is

in the process of looking at

54 contracts that are set to

expire by the end of the

year, contracts that staff

felt might lend themselves

to insourcing, so, you know,

things that are not seasonal

in nature, things that don't

require some specialized

skill set or knowledge or

certifications.

 

And so we are reviewing

those 54 items.

 

It is a lot of work.

 

You know, you're dealing

with budget staff,

purchasing staff.

 

You have the department who

needs the service, and then

the department, like eric,

who would be providing the

service, and we got to get

all those people around a

table and multiply that by

54, it becomes this

avalanche of work, largely

being done by the same folks

who are trying to get a

budget out and bond

information out.

 

But we are working very

diligently on that and are

hoping to report back to

council by october 1 with a

comprehensive report as

opposed to piecemealing

these things, a

comprehensive report, of

here's 54 contracts set to

expire by the end of the

year and the rationale for

why we may or may not want

to insource those different

contracts and what the costs

may be for insourcing versus

continuing with the

contracts.

 

I want to remind you that

work is under way and we'll

be getting back to the

council here in the next six

weeks or so.

 

this

is a timely discussion to

have, then.

 

Council member morrison?

 

thanks, and

thanks for bringing that up.

 

And I do appreciate the work

you all are doing.

 

We had a great conversation

about that in our earlier

conversation -- in our

earlier conversati I think

you mentioned, in fact, it

probably came back in a memo

to council from staff that

you had win owed down a huge

number of we had from 54

down to -- can you remind me

of those numbers that we're

actually looking at?

 

Because it's --

 

>> I believe, and byron may

know, it's maybe in the

thousands in terms of all

the contracts we have, and

we said, how about if we

narrow to the contracts that

are going to expire by the

end of the year or set for

renewal at the end of the

year, let's cut down the

little ones under city

manager's authority, let's

cut out the ones that are

seasonal and that's how we

ended up with the 54.

 

great, I wanted

to point that out because we

do have a lot of contracts,

and so the ones that you've

picked out are the ones that

are -- we're going to have

to be dealing with one way

or another in the near

future and are nontrivial

and so really that's going

to give us sort of a

framework, perhaps, to have

that policy discussion that

the city manager refused to.

 

>> If I may, mayor, to add

to ed, is we also did look

at the benefits issues, and

some of the contracts that

we pulled out of the list

of -- there was 1800 to

2,000 at any given point, so

we said, here are ones that

we know they offer benefits.

 

So let's take those out of

the mix because that's a

nonissue.

 

So we thought we wouldn't

spend the staff time for

those.

 

That was a direction.

 

Council wanted to look at

those that might not offer

benefits.

 

So when you look at them and

see if it's win owed down,

if it's win owed down to

those that don't offer

benefits or maybe have a

lower employment rate than

some of the other ones.

 

Again, we tried to narrow it

down to the contracts we

have with the 54.

 

>> Morrison: thank you.

 

any

other topics?

 

There are no others listed.

 

Council member morrison?

 

I wanted to

highlight one item on here

and make a comment to my

colleagues, and that is item

no. 52.

 

It's under

telecommunications and

regulatory affairs, and if

you all will recall, a year

and a half ago I guess it

was, or a little less than a

year and a half ago we had

pretty intense discussions

looking at ways that we

could actually help the

school district that was

having some real financial

challenges and all.

 

And one of the things that i

had mentioned at that time

to put on the list was the

fact that we have franchise

fees that come from our

cable providers that go into

a pot of money that the

city -- it's restricted now.

 

It can only be used for

capital investments, but

that was -- that was --

those were funds that i

think our legal staff --

well, clearly our legal

staff determined that those

were funds that could be

shared with aisd because

they are part of our whole

public access system, and so

what this item does is

transfer some of those funds

to aisd for them to use for

equipment.

 

So I appreciate the staff

bringing that forward, and i

just wanted to put that in

the context of it's -- as i

understand it outgrowth

of those discussions that we

had with aisd a while ago.

 

>> That's exactly right.

 

I want to acknowledge ray

laray and his team and ron

della and all those folks

who remain sensitive that

that issue and that's why

it's on the agenda.

 

>> When it was first brought

up there were discussions

about what our budget really

was and what -- the

equipment, what the funds

would be used for and

they've all been accounted

for, but keeping your eyes

open, apparently, ump able

to find ways to open that

up.

 

So I appreciate that.

 

council

member tovo?

 

I have a quick

question actually about that

item.

 

I submitted it through the q

and a but since we're

talking about it, I wonder

if those funds -- well, I'll

just mention it and then

submit it through the q and

a, but I wanted to know

whether or not -- at the

joint subcommittee recently

we asked staff to look at

opportunities for working

with the schooled to expand

internet access for students

in the school district, and

I wonder if the staff could

also be thinking about these

funds and potential

possibilities for using them

to help effect that goal.

 

>> Council member, bert

lumbreras, assistant city

manager.

 

We'll be happy to look into

it but it's my understanding

that these dollars are only

for capital, and I don't

believe that it would

specifically solve that

particular issue, but we'll

vet it out a little bit more

and look into it.

 

>> Tovo: thank you.

 

>> Sure.

 

>> Tovo: thanks very much.

 

And I have a couple quick

questions about some other

items, if we're moving on.

 

So I had questions for some

of the sponsors of 70 and

74.

 

With regard to 70, I wanted

to know whether the austin

fire department is aware of

the technology and whether

there are any efforts under

way on their part to study

the use of it, and then my

second question is, where is

it currently being used?

 

It's called fire watch

america, but the resolution

refers to its use in other

countries.

 

yes, it's --

it's developed by the german

space program.

 

It's only used in germany at

this point.

 

Fire watch america is the

first -- the first company

to enter into a franchise

agreement with them to

market their product.

 

They were able to reduce

forest fires in germany by

90%.

 

It's worked very well.

 

It's not certain whether or

not it is going to work that

well here because in germany

most of the forests are

uninhabited.

 

So when there's smoke, it's

really an anomaly.

 

Here in the western part of

travis county we have huge

population, and so it's not

an anomaly when you see

barbe -- see barbecue pits and

smoke.

 

This resolution allows the

staff designated by the city

manager to meet with them to

see if it is something that

works.

 

They are in town.

 

They've met with county

officials.

 

They've met with the texas

forest service, fire

departments, west lake i

know is one of them, maybe

lake travis, hudson bend

fire department.

 

All I wanted was an enabling

document that wouldn't

preclude our appropriate

staff from entering into

these conversations.

 

Lcra is very interested

because obviously they have

to protect the areas that

their power lines cross.

 

This could be one way to

monitor those areas.

 

But, you know, it could be a

five seven way partnership.

 

You just never know, until

they are able to start these

discussions, and that's all

that this item does.

 

It will obviously have to

come back to council for any

action if we're to move

forward on any type of

interlocal agreement or

funding.

 

We just don't know.

 

They haven't done a study of

the area to determine how

many cameras are needed and

there's obviously going to

be a bunch of questions

about the use of cameras for

monitoring, for potential

fires.

 

Those are the kind of

conversations I believe that

need to begin now so that if

and when we can make a

decision, you know, we'll

have all those questions

answered.

 

But to me it's just one of

those things where we really

need to look at everything

we possibly can to help us

protect from the dangers of

wildfires in and around

austin, and I think this is

one tool that could be of

benefit.

 

I don't know for sure at

this point.

 

but at this point

they haven't met with austin

fire department.

 

They've met with other

surrounding --

I do not know

that for sure.

 

I know that they were

meeting with a bunch of

folks.

 

I don't know if they met

with afd, but I did provide

a contact for them to reach

out to them.

 

I don't know if they did.

 

great, and thanks

for the information about

where it is used.

 

My second question regards

74, and again, it's directed

at the sponsors of this

item.

 

So the resolution talks were

a 2008 event honoring

olympians that was -- or.

 

it was canceled

for hurricane ike.

 

so my question is

will the event being

contemplated also recognize

past olympians or is it

designed to recognize

central texas olympians who

participated in 2012?

 

that's a great

point.

 

I don't think we -- I don't

think we discussed that.

 

We just simply said, you

know, we missed out on '08

because of hurricane ike.

 

Let's not mess out this time

because -- miss out this

time because we have several

central texans that were in

the olympics.

 

You know, I think we could

include past olympians if we

wanted to.

 

I don't see why we wouldn't.

 

We just wanted, you know, to

hold a family friendly

event.

 

The conversations right now

are to start at the capital

with a brief ceremony

introduction, jog with them

to some location, and

there's logistical problems.

 

Auditorium shores is taken

up for an event.

 

Not sure if we can get an

agreement from ut.

 

But try to find a suitable

location where there is a

huge video screen or a

jumbotron where they can

show each one of their

events, and then kind of

have an autograph session

with them and picture

taking.

 

It's just a way to honor

them and, you know,

recognize them for their

efforts and hopefully we can

pull it off.

 

Paul caroza is helping

coordinate all of the

athletes since he seems to

know everybody in this town.

 

So he's helping with ut.

 

So this item again is one of

those enabling items that

says, you know, let's not

miss out on this if the city

can be a partner and help in

any way, let's try to help.

 

>> Tovo: great.

 

Thank you.

 

council

member riley?

 

yeah, I have not

previously notified staff,

but I do have some questions

about a couple

parking-related items on the

agenda.

 

First is item 20, which

is -- relates to the parking

agreement in place up around

the central library, and

this is something we've

talked about for years.

 

Flongs the policy at the --

for a long time the policy

at the library was that we

would tell the employees,

here's your 100 or 125ed for

your parking space --

dollars for your parking

space.

 

You're going to like it.

 

And even if an employee

didn't want to use the

parking space and would

rather have $50 and take the

bus or ride a bike or walk,

we weren't giving them that

option, and there's been a

lot of interest around the

country in recent years in

parking cash-out programs

that do try to promote

alternative travel by --

instead of just providing --

automatically providing a

free parking space, instead

offering some amount, maybe

even a lesser amount, to an

employee if they were

willing to give up their

parking space and take some

other means to work.

 

And so since this is coming

back, seems like a timely

opportunity to check in on

that program, see how it's

working, consider whether we

need to make any possible

adjustments.

 

I think I'll be fine letting

this go on the agenda and

continuing to work on that

afterward based on -- if i

can get some assurance that,

in fact, the number of

spaces that we're renting

can be adjusted.

 

I believe it's the case that

since the backup says the

agreement may be canceled in

whole or in part by either

part at any time within 30

days -- with 30 days advance

written notice.

 

So I think it's the case

that if we're able to make

the program more effective,

reduce the number of spaces

that we need, that we can

cut back on the contract in

that case, and we won't be

incurring that expense.

 

But I'd like to get some

confirmation that that's the

case.

 

>> dina McBee, assistant

director, austin public

library.

 

Either party can cancel on

30 days notice.

 

We only pay per month for

the spaces we use that

month.

 

Some months it may be 100,

some 105.

 

It depends how many

employees take advantage of

the parking.

 

>> Riley: great.

 

I think this is something we

need to keep in mind because

if we can get this policy

right, then it's something

that can be useful in a

number of locations not just

the library.

 

This came up recently in

connection with the jones

building in an area where

the city is using a lot of

office space, there's a

parking shortage there.

 

We would be able to market

those spaces, save money and

encourage alternate travel

so we just need to keep our

efforts on that parking

cash-out program to make

sure we get it right.

 

I'm fine with letting this

go on the agenda but I want

to do make a note of that

and recognize that there are

significant policy issues at

stake with respect to

parking opportunities like

this.

 

The other item that I'm

interested in related to

22, which

relates to a tract on rainey

street, and this came up

yesterday, again, during the

budget discussions and i

wanted to revisit it to make

sure we're all clear exactly

how this is going to work.

 

The -- as I understand the

item on the agenda, this

would authorize negotiation

and execution of the sale

of -- of documents related

to the sale of a parcel of

lane on rainey street, at 64

rainey street, for

$100,000 plus 30 privately

managed controlled access

public parking spaces, and

so I just wanted to get

clarification on -- on a few

items -- a few issues

related to that, such as

where those parking spaces

would be located and what

the actual cost is.

 

But let's first talk about

where the parking would be

located, if we could.

 

>> Council member, the

proposal --

your mic, and you

might want to introduce

yourself.

 

>> Elaine riser, real

estate.

 

Council member, the winning

respondent that we're

recommending to you today is

going to build a structure

parking garage that goes

across that lot and the lots

adjoining this property.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

And so the city would have

access to 30 spaces --

 

>> there would be 30

reserved spaces for the

city.

 

We're still in negotiations

with the property owner to

determine the parking

agreement to decide whether

we're going to have it be a

card or a meter or a person.

 

We haven't determined that

yet.

 

But it will be reserved just

for the city, and it was

determined early on before

we went out for the proposal

that in five years the

programs for the mac and the

boat house required

additional parking, so

that's why on this tract

that's adjacent to the mac

we determined we needed

parking as part of the

compensation.

 

did I hear you say

we haven't decided on the

term?

 

>> The terms of the

management agreement with --

with the respondent, we're

still in negotiations.

 

and what period of

time are we talking about

for access to the parking?

 

>> Forever.

 

and have we looked

at the -- just so we'll know

the cost that we're talking

about, have we gotten an

appraisal on the -- on

the -- to tell us how much

the land would be worth if

we were to just sell it

without reserving any rights

related to parking?

 

>> Yes, council member.

 

We appraised it both ways.

 

We appraised it without any

encumbrances and it came out

to $1.1 million.

 

And then we appraised it

with the city goals being 30

parking spaces that were in

a structured parking

facility, with management.

 

so even though the

only number we see on this

agenda item is $100,000, the

cost we're talking about is

actually $1 million?

 

Because if we were to just

sell it without reserving

parking, then we would be

expecting to receive

1.1 million?

 

>> That is correct.

 

this is a

$1 million item?

 

>> That is correct, sir.

 

and this is a

structured parking garage on

rainey street?

 

>> Yes, sir, it's not just a

structured parking.

 

I have some photographs of

what they're going to build

on the property.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

So just based on what I see

here, it looks like the

parking -- there would be no

parking adjacent to the

street at the ground level.

 

>> That's correct, there

will be the entryway on the

ground level and then it

will be underground.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

And --

 

>> there's not a complete

design yet.

 

This is just a conceptual.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

Have we -- given that there

are long-term plans related

to the mexican-american

cultural center next to

this, to provide structured

parking on the site that's

currently used for their

surface parking lot, have we

considered the possibility

that at whatever time in the

future that that -- that

that gets built out, that

that could provide an

opportunity that would be

even more convenient for

users of the rowing center,

that would actually be

closer?

 

Have we considered the

possibility that parking

might become available

whenever that garage is

built?

 

>> Parks and recreation, and

the answer is yes.

 

This is actually a phase 3

of development for the

mexican-american center

cultural center and part of

that is construction of a

garage that would be on the

property to the west of the

facility.

 

There hasn't been extensive

discussion about who would

use the garage, but the --

there is a phase of building

a garage there for phase 3

that is not funded at this

time.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

But of course there is a

surface parking lot there at

the mac that exists today,

and there has been some

discussion about obtaining

access to some spaces on

that lot.

 

Now, the mac -- i

understand, from the

perspective of the advisory

board for the mac, those

surface parking spaces that

exist today are really

supposed to be for mac

purposes, but they are open

to the idea of making them

available at some cost, and

actually providing a revenue

stream for the mac.

 

So have we done any kind of

a side-by-side comparison to

consider whether instead of

essentially spending a

million dollars on -- to do

structured parking along

rainey street, if -- and

with the million dollars

going to essentially that --

that value is essentially

going to the developer of

the building on rainey

street to do more structured

parking there, an

alternative -- it seems like

one alternative might be to

pay -- to have some fees to

be paid to the mac for the

use of parking spaces on

their surface parking lot,

and if it seems like, if

tho amounted to less

than a million dollars over

some period of time, that

might make more sense and be

more convenient to the users

of the rowing center.

 

>> I guess I'm a little

confused, but I know that --

what I can tell you is that

the board there is very --

is supportive of a mechanism

that would improve parking,

period, and we've looked at,

through our work but also in

partnership with

transportation and

particularly steve

grassfield and rob spiller,

is looking at what's the

answer here.

 

Council member martinez

mentioned about a gate.

 

We're actually looking at a

gate to be put up only to be

put at the ending and

closing of the facility so

that people don't come in

and park overnight and stay

and then we don't have

parking spaces.

 

So there's one answer we're

working on and actually

going to do that work

in-house.

 

The second is we're ready to

go with the meters on the

lot which would open up

those spaces for public

parking.

 

Users of the facility but

also users of the boat

house.

 

But it would be for parking,

and that those who were

coming into the

mexican-american cultural

center would be able to not

have to pay for the parking.

 

We'd have a system in place

that we're going to work

out.

 

So the revenue then of

course would come from that

that would help hopefully

pay through a resolution

that you receive through the

mexican-american cultural

center board.

 

We did look at, when we

looked at this site, I was

heavily involved in working

with lorraine on what's the

best process here with this

site and that is what if the

city looked at -- keeping

the property and developing

a parking garage.

 

The problem is after

visiting with rob spiller

with transportation is that

the cost of building the

garage and operating and

maintaining it may outweigh

and cause them to put money

up front they didn't have,

number one, but number two,

if a developer would do it

and take those expenses,

continue to pay on the tax

roll, which would help the

economic vitality of the

city and carve out 30 spaces

for use by city programs,

boat house and the

cultural center, that we

created sort of a win-win

for everybody until we could

then in the next five years

request bond money for the

development of another

garage, how far size it need

to be -- however size it

need to be based on usage

from the rainey street

study, then again for the

use of the mexican-american

cultural center.

 

And correct me if I'm wrong

but I'm trying to

regurgitate all of our

meetings we had.

 

But that was sort of the

sequence of our discovery.

 

But we went through lengthy

discussions on the site and

the need for parking in

general, and the final piece

to this is this parking

study that has just been --

I've just been given on

rainey street that's very

comprehensive.

 

yes, that's been

completed for some time now.

 

The -- what you're

essentially describing

entails the city essentially

becoming a participant in

the development of a parking

garage on rainey street

which will presumably be

larger as a result than it

would be otherwise.

 

And I can see some value in

terms of additional property

on the tax rolls.

 

You can question whether

having additional parking on

rainey street -- you can

question the value of having

a larger parking garage on

rainey street.

 

What's clear is at the same

time that we are essentially

investing and creating a

larger parking garage on

rainey street, we are

letting the surface parking

lot sit and we are -- and i

have to point out that the

hours of parking demand for

the rowing center are quite

likely very different from

the hours for peak demand of

parking in the rainey street

district, so that if -- if

one goal is to generate

revenue for the mac and

allow them to make the most

efficient use of their

surface parking spaces, it

might actually be in the

mac's interest to make more

use of those surface parking

lots during the day, during

times when you don't see a

great demand from the rainy

street area or events at the

mac and get a revenue stream

through that and provide

more convenient parking to

the users of the town lake

rowing center and then you

would just have the space on

rainey street would be

whatever size that the

market would dictate for

that project on rainey

street.

 

So anyway, I think this

is -- I appreciate what the

staff is trying to achieve

here.

 

We certainly want to make

the use of the rowing center

convenient for everyone, but

it seems like we might -- it

might make sense to give

some more consideration to

the possibility of working

cooperatively with the mac

to see if -- if their

parking -- their existing

surface parking could

provide a better alternative

than essentially investing

in the larger parking garage

on rainey street.

 

With that in mind can I just

ask, to what extent is this

a time-sensitive item?

 

Is this something that has

to be concluded this week or

would it be possible to take

some more time with this?

 

>> We could take some more

time.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

Well, with that in mind,

mayor, I would suggest that

we -- that we pull this item

from this week's agenda and

give this more thought.

 

And also work with the mac

advisory board to see

whether there is some

arrangement with the mac

that might actually make

more sense than what's

proposed here.

 

and

we'll have to withdraw it

thursday.

 

>> Riley: right.

 

council

member toafy?

 

>> Tovo: thanks.

 

I have -- tovo?

 

I have some

questions too.

 

I appreciate your questions,

council member riley, and i

agree with a lot of the

thrust of the discussion.

 

I concur that, you know, it

needs some more thought.

 

Here's some of the questions

I had.

 

I guess I wondered, as i

understand the value of

having a private developer

develop the garage, and i

assume that's, you know, the

$100,000 is not -- is not

such a boon to the coffers

of the city that it would

make sense to sell this.

 

It seems to me, as you

presented it, the value is

getting that parking.

 

But how soon is it going to

be constructed?

 

Are there any requirements

within the contracts you're

negotiating that would

require that parking to be

completed by a certain

amount of time?

 

>> Yes, it's to be completed

within three years.

 

how much total

parking are they

constructing in that

project?

 

>> I don't know that answer

right now.

 

>> Tovo: okay.

 

I can submit these to the q

and a so you've got them.

 

What other kinds of -- i

guess did you consider

the -- and do kind of a

complete cost benefit

analysis of what a different

kind of partnership would

look like?

 

And I guess my general

perspective is that this is

an area that is changing so

rapidly and we have a lot of

exciting things happening

there, right, as you

mentioned, the mac will be

expanding its programming

and will need more parking,

the rowing center will need

more parking.

 

We're a few blocks from palm

park, which I hope will need

lots more parking at some

point when that project

is -- when that park is

revitalized and we've got

lots of families going to

that area who will -- you

know, may drive instead of

taking other forms of

transportation if they've

got young children in the

car.

 

But it's the whole waller

creek project.

 

Seems to me this is a

well-situated piece of

property and I know that

you've given it serious

consideration, but to what

extent did those other

factors play into the

decision of recommending

that we sell the property?

 

>> The main driver to sell

the property was the need

for the parking and the

parks and the macs board not

having the money to build

the structured parking.

 

And so in meeting we tried

to come up with a way that

we could try to meet that

need without having to come

up with any revenue.

 

and what was the

purpose of the -- why was

this tract of land purchased

and I guess when was it

purchased?

 

>> This land was actually

part of a trade with another

piece of property when they

vacated a street.

 

I can't remember the name of

the development, but it was

a development on rainey

street, and it happened

probably 10, 15 years ago.

 

and what was the

initial vision for the

tract?

 

>> There was no vision

originally because it has a

big wastewater line running

through the middle of it,

and so it was just going to

be open space.

 

but was part of the

thought it was nearby the

mac and could supplement the

programming going on there

in some way, either through

parking or through --

 

>> and I will say, you know,

from the beginning we looked

at that site in the

possibility of acquisition.

 

It's owned by actually

public works department i

think is the city owner of

it.

 

But the fact that the

wastewater line ran right

through the middle of it and

we did not victim funds to

develop a -- have the funds

to develop a garage.

 

We would only be able to get

a small amount on surface

area there.

 

This is a more viable option

for us from a financial

standpoint, knowing that we,

as council member riley

pointed out and is very

accurate, is knowing that we

have parking available at

the mexican-american

cultural center, but we need

to be able to try to control

it in some manner.

 

There's different needs and

times.

 

That's why the

recommendation came forward

with the meters and how that

would solve a lot of our

issues and help generate

revenue.

 

So it's something I'm 150%

in support and hope it moves

forward fairly quickly.

 

This was just an option

where we just didn't have

the money to buy it and

develop it, but at least i

could get 30 spaces out that

we desperately needed also

as overflow and also I was

trying to honor the efforts

that we were directed by

council to do in finding

more parking for our friends

at the boat house.

 

>> Tovo: I see.

 

Do you have -- have you

given any thought to how the

value -- what the value of

this property might look

like ten years from now when

we've got more of waller

creek completed and again

perhaps palm park will be

under way or the

revitalization of palm park?

 

>> We did not look at that.

 

Again, there's a big

wastewater line running

through this, and in order

for this recipient to even

use that property for

anything but a surface

parking lot, it is not

allowed by the zoning out

there.

 

You have to relocate the

wastewater line, and that's

a big expense.

 

I think it was about half a

million to $750,000 to move

that line.

 

So that really keeps any

kind of construction from

being built over it.

 

And so if the city did

anything on that lot we

would have to have that

expense to move that line as

well.

 

and I assume to

achieve this, that is what

they're planning to do, to

relocate the wastewater

line?

 

>> Yes.

 

is it any cheaper

for the city to relocate a

wastewater line than it

would be for a private

developer?

 

Is that 500,000 the private

developer's cost or is that

the city's cost?

 

>> Yes, that -- that's the

number that I got from

austin water utility.

 

and so would that

be the city's cost?

 

>> Right.

 

>> That was my

understanding, we would have

to encumber that cost.

 

We would have to make sure

we paid that cost.

 

>> Tovo: I see.

 

Did I understand from the

questions that council

member riley was asking that

the spots that are

designated, the 30 spots

that are designated, are not

on the ground level, they're

higher in the garage?

 

>> We haven't negotiated

where these will be located

yet.

 

In meeting with the

developer, he would be open

to anywhere in the garage

that we would want the

spaces.

 

We just would want them

contiguous.

 

>> Tovo: right.

 

So I see a comment in the

backup that this would not

be -- this was deemed not

appropriate for smart

housing, and I wondered if

you could provide some more

information about that, that

the tract was offered to the

austin housing finance

corporation to see if it was

a viable option, and it was

determined that the parcel

was not a viable option in

ahsc passed on the right of

first acceptance and i

wondered if you had any

information about why that

was the case.

 

[Inaudible] argument that

this is, you know, centrally

located and we might

certainly want to see

housing there and i

understand there's housing

contemplated, at least i

assume that's what --

 

>> yes.

 

levels [inaudible]

residential.

 

>> Yes, and that's over four

lots, side by side.

 

These are small lots and i

think that in talking to

austin housing finance

corporation, that the lot

was too small and the cost

to develop it with moving

the wastewater line really

took the affordability

component out of the

property.

 

okay, so the size

of the lot and the

wastewater line?

 

>> Yes.

 

>> Tovo: okay.

 

Thank you.

 

council

member riley.

 

just a couple more

points.

 

First, I want to be clear, i

fully support the city

selling this property.

 

This property has been a

matter of private sector

interest for years now, and

I wholeheartedly support the

interest in getting this on

the tax rolls.

 

I have one question about

it.

 

Since this is public land

that would be coming to the

tax rolls would it be

subject to the rule that 40%

of the tax value from this

would go in towards the

housing trust fund?

 

I guess I'm seeing people

nodding heads so I assume

that would be the case.

 

The one thing that kind of

confuses the picture in this

case is that it is also

within the -- within the

waller creek pid -- or tif

area.

 

just

for info, we're going to

have to adjourn here in

about two minutes or lose

quorum.

 

>> Riley: okay.

 

We can sort through exactly

how the tif would interact

with the 40% rule, but the

question -- so I fully

support bringing it on to

the market.

 

What I'm questioning is

whether it makes sense for

the city to essentially

forgo $1 million in revenue

in order to invest in

additional parking in this

site as opposed to making

use of surface parking that

already exists on the mac

lot, that the mac actually

wants to market and generate

revenue from.

 

>> Morrison: mayor?

 

Can I make 60 seconds worth

of comments?

 

>> Go ahead.

 

I'll make them

quickly.

 

Number one, I really

appreciate your questions,

chris, and we had -- me and

my staff -- my staff and i

had gone through trying to

figure out a lot of what was

going on and that's sort of

a general comment.

 

It would have been helpful

to have a whole lot more

information about what this

is all about and I don't

know if my questions have

reached you yet, but you can

see I submitted questions

struggling to figure out

what the heck is going on

here, and I think that it

might have saved us some

time.

 

Number two, as you talk

about these things, one

thing that jumped out at me

and that is that if we're

planning to do a phase 3

parking at the mac and we're

looking at forever parking

here, I guess I don't know

why we would need forever

parking at this place

because we're going to be

having parking later and

clearly this is costing a

million dollars for the city

so if we could scale back

what we're asking from them,

if this, in fact, goes

forward, that might save us

some money.

 

And then my last question

for you and you can answer

later, is you mentioned that

they have to provide the

parking within three years

and my question would be,

what happens if they don't?

 

Do we get the land back?

 

And you can just answer that

later.

 

And lastly, a comment, we've

talked a lot about, you

know, trying to get good big

picture visionary real

estate assessments strategy

in place and this seems to

be part of that --

 

>> actually this is.

 

We put together a project

team that focused

specifically on this area.

 

I think -- sara, I think

you're on there.

 

I think sue edwards is the

executive sponsor for it and

I don't know that they are

quite at a point, they may

be now, to come and kind of

lay that out for the council

that would take into account

many of these factors, and

the reason we did that is

because we seem to be

dealing with these issues on

sort of a singular basis and

we wanted a comprehensive

approach.

 

So delaying this gives us

time to check on that and to

come back and try to address

this in a more holistic

context.

 

right, because

as the discussion has shown,

there really are a lot of

issues in this area to work

through.

 

I'll

just throw in the mix there

as the last word, whatever

discussions you have,

whatever recommendations

you're going to make, i

think solving the parking

problem at the mac and the

rowing club in the near term

is a very high priority for

me.

 

Without objection we stand

adjourned.