>> Mayor Leffingwell: Good
morning, I'm austin mayor
lee leffingwell.

We have a kind of lengthy
work session today, so I'll
go ahead and get started.

I know there are several
conflicts.

We'll probably have to -- we
may lose a quorum about
30 so we'll take several
measures to make sure we can
get through this on time.

We have several action
items.

We're meeting in the -- this
is a special called meeting
of the austin city council.

It's a work session.

It's tuesday, august 7th,
2012.

We're meeting in the board
and commission room, austin
city hall, 301 west second
street, austin, texas.

The time is 9:08 a.m.

Our first item will be to go
into a very brief executive
session, discussion,
presentation from bond
counsel.

And then we'll come out and
I would like to take up the
action items before we go to
the bond presentation.

In case we start running
short of time.

There is a time constraint.

It's very important that we
get these charter items
finished before august 16th.

So we can do the final work
on that date.

[09:06:02]

I'm reminded the executive
session may refer to other
issues that have to do with
the charter too.

And last week at our work
session since none of these
items are public hearing, we
agreed to limit public
comment to 15 minutes per
side.

If there's no objection
we'll proceed with that,
with that amended rule.

And all of the action
items -- on all of the
action items.

So just following up on
that, if there are several
people who want to speak,
this gives you the
opportunity to arrange your
speaking times to fit within
that 15-minute constraint.

With that the city council
will go into closed session
to take up one item pursuant
071 of the
government code.

The city council will
consult with legal counsel
regarding the following
items.

A-1 to discuss legal issues
related to the november 12
election.

Is this any objection to
going into executive session
on the item announced?

Hearing none we'll now go
into executive session.

[09:50:46]

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

In executive session we
discussed item a-1.

No decisions were made.

So as we previously
discussed, we'd like to go
ahead and take up now the
charter amendment items and
begin with item b-3, if
there's no objection.

And this is for third
reading of an ordinance
placing an amendment of the
november 2012 ballot to
provide for some members
electd from geographic
single-member districts and
some elected at-large.

Public comment is allowed,
however, we've allowed to
limit public except to 15
minutes.

Public comment to 15
minutes.

So we have folks signed up.

>> Mayor?

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: I believe
staff might have a few
comments about the version
that we're considering now
because there were a few
changes.

And I wondered if it might
make sense to have those
presented first?

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Sure, we can do that.

In the meantime maybe I can
figure out these cards.

[09:52:01]

>> Morrison: Perfect.

>> John steiner, law
department.

You may recall at the last
work session we were working
with some language in the
transition provision to
provide for what might
happen if no other charter
amendment passed except for
the 8-2-1 that would be
left -- the charter would be
left with nothing that
talked about term lengths.

So we put something in there
to try to deal with that
eventuality, which I think
was language that no one was
happy with because it was
incredibly complicated and
very difficult to
understand.

So I have in your backup
provided another version
that I think simplifies that
a language considerably with
respect to the outcome of
term lengths.

However, I'm still
struggling a bit with the
provision on what happens if
terms are shortened for
purposes of the transition.

And at the last work session
it was suggested that we put
the word materially
shortened.

And I think that thats
going to be difficult
because materially --
depending on how this ends
up with respect to when it
goes into effect and how --
what else passes on the
ballot, that could get us
into some dicey interpret
active questions.

So -- interpretive
questions.

So I would suggest if
council would be agreeable
to it, that we might want to

[09:54:03]

say what materially means.

We could say, for example,
more than a year is material
or more than a year and a
half.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Just
speaking for myself, I think
that's a very reasonable
solution, more than a year.

That takes the gray area out
from three days to a
substantial, significant
period of time.

Mayor pro tem?

>> Cole: Thank you, mayor.

I would agree with that.

And john, you might just lay
out briefly the
complications that it would
cause if we don't give you
this direction.

We did some of that in
executive session, but i
would like the public to
understand that we have to
try to give some direction
on this or else we'll come
up with some very
complicated scenarios.

>> Well, for example, if --
because of the way the terms
are shortened, if the
ordinance -- if the charter
amendment is put into effect
for the first time in
november of 2014, there will
be a number of
councilmembers who would be
normally up for election
just six months later.

And so if their terms were
shortened by six months,
then the entire term that
they had served would not
count for term limits.

And really had had been
substantially most of the
term to which they were
elected.

So that seems like it might
not be what was intended by
giving the break on term
limits by people who had a
term that was shortened.

I think the idea was if your
term was shortened by half

[09:56:01]

or something like that, then
that would be material, but
six months is a possibility
under some scenarios.

And then a person whose term
was shortened and if they
drew another short-term to
get the stagger going, they
could have two consecutive
terms, neither of which
counted for purposes of term
limits.

So that's why -- and plus we
wouldn't want the council to
get into a position where
people could say that you
were writing the transition
ordinance in a way to
benefit or attack another
member.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I'm
sure that wouldn't happen.

[Laughter].

>> I think having something
in the charter that kind of
gave us a firm meaning would
be better.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Okay.

Thank you, john.

Do you have something else?

>> Well, I guess if the
council wants to do that,
make that change in the
draft, I'd need to direction
from you to do that.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
think just direction, i
think you have that
direction of more than a
year.

>> Okay.

So in -- where it says if a
councilmember's term is
materially shortened, it
would be changed to if a
councilmember's term is
shortened for more than one
year.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Right.

>> There's a corresponding
provision in the made in
november item that's also
on.

So I could --

>> Cole: John, could you
give us the subtitle
wherever you are?

>> It's on your draft.

It's page three of five at
the bottom beginning on line
31.

If a councilmember's term is
materially shortened for the
purpose of the transition

[09:58:00]

would change to if a
councilmember's term is
short earned by more than
one year for the purpose of
the transition.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

We're looking at a yellow
sheet.

Could you tell us what else
is different from what we
last saw?

>> What you last saw had
f -- what you see now is f
and g, was just f.

>> Morrison: Yuck
talking -- you're talking
about section 2.

>> Yes.

If you would like I can read
what f was and what f are
now, if you would like.

>> Morrison: Okay.

>> What it said before was,
f, if this charter does not
otherwise provide for term
lengths for councilmembers,
this subsection applies.

The regular term of the
mayor and councilmembers is
three years.

Council terms shall be
staggered so that half or as
near to half as is practical
is elected each general
election.

The council shall provide by
ordinance for any
transactions necessitated by
this section regarding the
length of council terms and
the staggering of council
elections.

The council term is
substantially shortened to
create a tagger that term
should not count for a full
item for section of this
chart he.

Notwithstanding, if another
charter amendment that
addresses only the issues of
election -- only the issues
of term lengths and election
dates is determined by
voters.

That was changed to two
paragraphs, which one is f,
the regular term of office
for the mayor and
councilmembers is three
years unless another
provision of this charter
provides for a four-year
term, in which case that
provision supersedes this
subsection as to the length
of the term.

Coupe terms shall be
staggered so that half or as
near to half as is practical
for the council is elected
at each general election.

And g, the council shall
provide by ordinance for any
transitions necessitated by
amendments to this charter
that are adopted by the
voters on november 6, 2012.

The ordinance may provide
for drawing lots for initial
terms or techily lengthening
or shortening individual
members terms to accomplish
the track.

If a councilmember's term
shortened by more than one
year --

>> Morrison: If we do
that.

>> For the purpose of a
transition, that shortened
term does not count as a
term for the purpose of
article 2, section 3 of the
charter, which is the term
limits provision.

>> Morrison: So if it's
shortened by more than one
year.

>> By more than one year.

When this subsection has
served its service it will
be expired and will not
appear in further sections
of the charter.

>> Morrison: So you pulled
what was f in order to deal
with the transition
separately.

>> Yes.

>> For purposes of
calculating that one year, i
think the most common
reading may be that we would
count from the election day
that shortened their term to
the next june 15th.

June 15th is the date that
we by ordinance mark terms.

We mark terms by june 15 of
every three years.

>> Unless we go to november
elections.

>> Yes.

We're talking about 8-2-1
passing all by itself.

And if we do go to november
elections, part of council's
decision will be setting a
new date by ordinance from
which we mark terms.

We would go from june 15 to
something like january 15.

So just to give council how
we would calculate that one
year we would go from the
date of election that
shortened the
councilmember's term to the
date set by ordinance that
marks the book end of a
term.

>> So it's not really, say,
explicitly how long you're
sitting on the dais.

>> Right.

That would be tenure.

We would set it instead to
the length of your
three-year term.

Which depose to show that
there can be some discussion
even about what constitutes
a year.

So I'm just giving an
example of how it could be
done for purposes of
allowing you to give us some
feedback about whether that
is what you're intending.

>> So that's one
alternative.

Are there some other?

Some other ways to define
that year?

>> You could certainly
count -- the difficulty with
counting it from the day
that you would have been
elected had we not shortened
your term as we don't know
what day you would have been
sworn in if we hold an
election early.

But we do know when a term
ends by ordinance and we do
know when you -- when
your -- the election day
that is held early.

So we have to go off of
things we know for purposes
of calculating that one
year.

We can certainly discuss it
further, but it's an example
of how setting even what
seems like a definite
timeline can raise
questions.

We can come back to you with
some scenarios of how that
would play out.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Okay.

In that case we'll go to our
speakers.

I will say a quick word
before we go to the
speakers.

I know there's been some
discussion about a lack of
transparency in the council
trying to hide something by
acting on second and third
readings of this particular
item.

Let me assure you that has
absolutely nothing to do
with it.

First of all, we had a full
public hearing prior to the
first -- it was not actually
a required public hearing,
but a full public comment
period prior to the first
reading.

Normally if it were a public
hearing, that hearing would
have been closed then and we
would have acted without
further comment.

So we're actually allowing
additional public comment,
although it's not a public
hearing for this item.

And it was in each and every
case necessitated by the
time lines that we're facing
to have all this stuff
wrapped up so it can be
finally approved at our
august 16th meeting.

That's the sole reason for
doing it this way.

In addition, we had
tentatively planned for a
special called meeting on
august 9th because that's
this week.

But that was not possible
because of the availability
of a number of
councilmembers.

So with that said I want to
go ahead and take additional
public comment, however,
limited to 15 minutes total.

I believe that's what we
have on this item.

So the first speaker is
julio gonzalez.

And donating time to julio
is ted siff.

You have up to six minutes.

Do we have some kind of
timer on this?

Okay.

>> Thank you for this
opportunity to provide
testimony.

I'm here to speak in support
of a hybrid city council
election system.

The way I want to talk about
it is I want to go over
seven specific issues that
have been raised in this
debate and talk about what
empirical data tells us is
best for austin.

The specifics of the items
are turn on (indiscernible),
the city service, fiscal
servership.

Representation, legality and
viability.

Let's get started as there's
a lot to cover.

The first thing that's
important to note is that
council election designs
empirically do not have an
effect on turnout.

And perhaps the most
extensive research on this
subject conducted looking at
several hundred
municipalities what was
found that certain things
like the timing of election,
november, helped, but things
like council design do not.

In actuality one of the
things that they found is
that single-member district
design reduced turnout over
the overrule adult resident
population and the
statistically significant
level, but they ascribe it
to the fact that s and d's
are prevailing in
communities.

For those of us like myself
that favor neighborhood
representation, it is
important to understand that
when we advocate for
neighborhood districts, it's
not going to be a solution
to turnout, similarly
at-large is not going to be
a detriment.

Those of us that support
neighborhood representation
have to deal with one of the
dark undersides of
single-member districts,
which is that the losers --
the losing coalition in a
drib also needs to be
represented.

Some of the most interesting
work on this topic has been
done by david brookeman and
what he's basically done is
through a series of field
experiments tried to find
out if constituents services
are affected by factors such
as race.

And sadly, interestingly,
but rather depressingly, one
of the things that brookeman
and his team have found is
that legislators certainly
treat who their constituents
are differently.

I want to point you to his
conclusion.

Minority legislators do the
opposite, responding more
frequently to the black
what they did in
their field experiments is
pretend to be individuals of
different ethnicities
requesting a voter
registration services.

In a different experiment
they also found that
individuals, especially
blacks and whites, request
services at a lower rate
from people of a different
ethnicity than themselves.

The point here is that the
district median voter is
often quite different than
the constituents in a losing
coalition.

That's why it's important to
have some in at-large seats
in a district designed
system so that if you're
looking for a person that
matches your ethnicity or
your ideological preferences
you have someone to go to
the city services to.

At-large seats can help with
a strong mayor.

As has been discussed
before, when you raise the
number of seats as well as
when you create a
neighborhood focus you are
going to increase the per
capita expenditure rate.

Because the second largest
expenditure for americans is
taxes, it's very important
to balance out our growth in
seats as well as the
neighborhood focus for those
that want geographic
representation with a
counterbalance in the form
of either a strong mayoral
vote tow on budget matters
or at least some at-large
seats that have an interest
in the citywide fiscal
median.

Council election design does
not have an effect on the
influence of money.

Regardless of how you
measure it, simply put there
has been no evidence that
finds that the marginal
dollar or the likelihood of
small funded candidates to
win is impacted by council
district design.

And remember the districts
that we're discussing under
all of the plans in the
public domain are going to
be for a medium size city.

Perhaps the most contentious
you have to do with self
representation.

The most extensive research
was the 7100 sample essay
written by (indiscernible)
in 2008.

And basically what they
found is that the effects
are very modest once you get
to large cities.

Smd's are helpful
historically to
african-american men in a
small amount, and they hurt
white female councilmembers
in a modest amount.

The reason that lrr
contracts's reduce
polarization and could be
added to the mix is if you
have two choices you
continued to aggregate your
preferences and prioritize
those things that are most
important.

If you have more people that
you can vote for on your
ballot, you can have new
sets of preferences.

So in a place where voting
is not polarized by
ethnicity or other concerns
like that you see the
ability as we have seen in
austin to unbundle your
preferences.

And that is one of the
reasons that it's important.

Smd's hurt women's
representation rates.

We would expect about two to
eight less women over 10
election cycles can 10
seats.

The alternatives offer for
geographically reduced
minorities.

That is particularly
important for two etcetera
in this case groups in the
city who we definitely have
to do a very good job in the
short-term to try and create
districts that allow for
their representation, but if
that is not possible, as the
population evolves, it's
also something that is in
the research found to be
true for the lgbt community.

I want to conclude by
talking a little bit about
the latino population.

And basically in the
short-term because the
austin population, latino
population is about 26% in
terms of the voting
universe, it makes sense --
[ buzzer sounds ]
thank you.

I'll stop with my remarks
there.

Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Next speaker for is james
norly.

Is james norly --
norte.

Excuse me.

You have three minutes.

>> Good morning, mayor,
mayor pro tem,
councilmember.

My name is james norte and
I'm here to urge you to
support the 8-2-1 hybrid
plan.

I'll be very brief and make
three simple points.

8-2-1 Has something for
everyone.

Those who like the status
quo and those who support
some form of at-large
representation can go ahead
and elect three members,
three representatives at
large.

Yet I am personally
sympathetic to those who
live in north austin o far
south austin and do not feel
adequately represented.

I think it's important that
we go ahead and make this
change so that everyone in
our community feels
represented.

Under this mentality then i
think the hybrid plan, the
8-2-1 plan, has the best
chance of passing because we
draw support from those who
want the status quo.

We draw support for those
who want single-member
districts and we draw
support from those who want
some sort of hybrid mix.

Second, the hybrid plan
presents (indiscernible)
against any warsaw politics.

I'm worried if our
representatives are only
accountable to a small group
of either neighbors or
developers, our great city
might suffer from what's
called not in my backyard
mentality and warsaw
politics.

We need at least some
councilmembers to take a
holistic approach to our
city.

Look at the big picture,
solve big problems and look
beyond any one particular
area.

And finally, as an
african-american, I must
address the race element.

I'm sure you all
understand -- I'm sure you
all understand the
importance of a diverse city
council to represent our
diverse city.

Because african-americans
and other et cetera in this
case minorities, members of
the hispanic community,
native americans and
asian-american communities,
are so dispursed among the
city, it is difficult to
elect a minority from any
one single-member district.

It would be far more
feasible to elect them as an
at-large district.

Under 8-2-1 we could include
everyone.

Thank you, mayor.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Now we have several speakers
signed up against beginning beginning
with nelson lender.

Donating time is david
van oss.

>> David left earlier.

>> You have three minutes.

>> Thank you, mayor.

I am nelson lender.

I am to be very clear I'm
here to oppose the 8-2-1
plan, but also talk about
the virtues of the 10-1
plan.

But first I want to give you
a powerpoint about the
actuallized people.

Know that it's coming from
the heart.

I am president of the austin
naacp.

For the past 100 years we've
advocated for equity in this
country when folks like us
couldn't even vote.

In 1965 there was the voting
rights act.

At the time there were 300
black officials in this
country.

By '92 we had increased to
8,000.

So obviously the naacp has a
track record dealing with
actuallizing the city and
this country and empowering
people.

When I went around to
council I was appointed to a
thing called the charter
revision committee last
year.

Right now frankly I don't
understand your point
because if I come up here
and speak today with no
actual history, it was a
waste of my time.

But I want to cite you your
own charter and the first is
going to be resolution
20110526-025.

it
says whereas if the city has
certain responsibilities for
districting under federal
and state law but limiting
constitution and
the voting rights act.

That's important.

Same resolution, it says be
it resolved by the city
council of the city of
austin that the council here
by set the following
that all
proposed plans be submitted
in writing about this
particular conversation.

This is your own charter.

Finally it says number 6,
persons providing comments
or proposing plans must
identify themselves by
providing a home address,
phone number and also make
sure they're listed in the
actual discussions.

For the past year we've
traveled to the city of
austin as appoint willing
people having dialogue in
every community about these
particular issues.

And I find it very ironic,
but one more resolution
first.

This is called 2012026-024.

Whereas a set of established
districting criteria will
serve as a framework to
guide the city and in
consideration of this plan.

Whereas establish the
criteria will provide the
city a means by which to
evaluate and measure a
proposed plans.

We did it the right way.

We had a public discussion,
we had dialogue.

Many of these folks who are
speaking today didn't show
up to any meetings at all.

So I'm wondering if you had
a full discourse in any
community, where were they
then?

Let me tell you why this is
really happening.

I'm going to be very
specific today because i
have to be.

To the council in john and
also some folks specifically
because I need to.

I'm a very staunch advocate
of single-member districts
for a lot of reasons.

If you look at the whole
nation, not just austin,
texas, because this really
ain't that special.

It's a great city, but it
has a lot of problems.

We need to admit that.

Single-member districts in
the country of america have
primarily empowered people
like me --
[ buzzer sounds ]

>> Mayor Leffingwell: You
have another three minutes.

>> Thank you, sir.

I'm almost finished.

My whole problem with this
whole proposal is it didn't
go through the proper
process.

They talk about the 10-1
system not being add kuwait.

You have a document that
will show thaw when it comes
to voting population blacks
are (indiscernible), 20%
anglo.

When it comes to citizen
voting population we're at
30%.

That will show that our plan
is legal and also is done
the right way.

As a final comment to the
folks here that believe in
the at-large system, this is
the african-american quality
of life city scorecard that
documented disparities here
in 2004 that we were a major
part of you have serious
issues here in terms of the
black community and equity.

In 1970 black votes were 70%
of the population in east
austin.

By 198054%.

1990, 41%.

2000, 30%.

2010, Eight percent.

Nobody on this city council
has ever looked out for the
interests of black large on
the at-large system.

Nobody.

We've seen lack of
affordable housing, police
brutality, lack of
employment opportunities
over the past 30 years.

These systems around the
country do not work.

They only empire the folks
who are rich who control the
resource.

This is about resource
distribution.

You are not incesting in the
city -- investing in the
city equally.

A 10 to one plan will pass
the department of justice
plan.

But I'm going to challenge
you again to follow your own
process.

Why waste eight months of my
time having conversations,
reading city charters and
talking to folks who were
serious about change, then
all of a sudden you throw
another hearing and folks
come in the door who have
done none of this stuff at
all.

Our plan is scientific and
also part of american
history.

Read the results and our own
his terrorism and by the
way, remember a fellow named
(indiscernible) and also
nelson lender.

It's not about a plan, it's
really about people.

If you would address the
people of black folks in
this city and brown folks in
an equitable manner, we
wouldn't be having this
conversation.

The present plan is not
going to work.

This is not 8-2-1 versus
10-1, this is really about
10-1 versus the current
system because your plan has
failed five times since '78.

It's guaranteed to fail.

Thank you for your time and
I look forward to seeing new
the future.

>> Cole: Mayor, I have a
quick question for
mr. lender.

lender, I want to know
about the naacp process, the
organization has typically
been in involved in justice
department preclearance
issues throughout the
country.

>> That's correct.

>> Cole: So I want to know
if I'm right in assuming
that no matter what happens,
whether we keep the at large
system, go to 8-2-1 or 10-1,
that the naacp as an
organization would comment
on that.

>> No doubt about it.

Of course, if you vote to
change the system it's going
to require federal
preclearance, absolutely.

>> Cole: But I'm thinking
that even if there is a vote
to not change the system,
it's possible that the naacp
could challenge that.

>> Well, I appreciate your
insight.

Let me share something with
you briefly.

You might know that last
week in farmers branch,
texas there was a lawsuit
because in that city you had
a 45% hispanic population
that had no representation.

They sued the city as they
should have.

They won in federal court
and now they're going to
force them to implement a
single-member district
system.

So absolutely, if you keep
the current system we'll see
you in court happily.

>> Cole: Right.

I guess all that was
important to me because I've
had conversations in the
african-american community
and realized that the
community has some very
different opinions about
what should happen, those
that are familiar with it.

And we've been having this
discussion over a long
period of time.

So I think it's important
that the naacp is involved
in that conversation no
matter what, even if it
fails.

>> Let me address your
point.

Like every community in this
city we have difference of
opinion.

It gets back to credibility.

This was supposed to be a
credible process.

When everybody including
those folks, these come
latelies, they would have
come out to locations and
share it in writing.

According to charter they
didn't do that.

You're creating an unfair
process.

That's why we oppose it.

Ultimately this will make it
a better city and once again
if you treat everybody in
this town right, quit
holding the resources for a
few people, we wouldn't be
having this conversation.

When you talk about the plan
it escapes from you talking
about the people.

Talk about the people and
what they've experienced
over the past 30 years.

>> Cole: Thank you,
mr. lender.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Next speaker is debbie
russell.

And is karen haddon here?

She's here.

So you have up to six
minutes.

>>

>> I thank you.

Debbie russell.

I first want to speak to why
we're doing this today in a
work session, why we're
voting on a major, major,
major structural change
within the confines of a
work session.

Your own rules that you
passed in march 2011 say
that the agenda will include
items from the council
agenda and that actions will
not be taken on those items
posted on the thursday
agenda.

Since then I've looked at
every single one of your
agendas and your minutes and
looked at the agendas from
the thursday council
meetings where there were
one.

Very few votes have taken
place where there was a
thursday council meeting.

And very few votes have
taken place when there was a
council meeting on items
that weren't on the agenda
that were significant.

There was no substantive
votes taken.

They were merely
housekeeping items, such as
voting on your rules for the
work session, voting to
waive rules in one or two
cases for public input, and
voting for public hearings
and canvassing results and
special meeting dates and
things like that.

Things that didn't need
public input.

So we question I think a lot
of us question why you're
doing this here and now to
avoid a true public input.

And the second one is that
how you've conducted these
work sessions, which were of
course implemented to try to
fix open meeting issues that
you had, now we've converted
it to a place where we can
hide major, substantive
votes for things that you
don't want public input on.

The next presentation,
please.

The second thing I wanted to
talk to you about is why
8-2-1 is going to fail in
one way or the other.

8-2-1 -- Keep going, please.

It failed to pass in 2002.

Thank you.

Because -- mainly because
the council ignored the
charter commission then.

The first of which came up
with the citizens
districting 10-1 plan.

I think the people saw
through that when they
maneuvered to have a second
one in place and came up
with 8-2-1.

They knew that this was
again the politician's plan,
not the people's plan.

And now 10 years later we
have 100,000 more people and
it's hardtory have proper
representation with that
many more people with eight
districts.

And we're about at half the
african-american population
that we were there.

More on the department of
justice.

Their primary concern will
be looking at an
african-american opportunity
district.

Their secondary concern very
closely behind would be that
there's adequate hispanic
opportunity districts.

They're not looking
primarily at some of the
other minority populations
because they're not
historically as -- they're
not as historically having
trouble getting their
candidates to the ballot or
getting them voted in.

Eight isn't enough to
satisfy either.

The federal district court,
they have rejected hybrids
in texas when at-large
entities have gone to
districts in the last 30
years to cases listed up
there for you.

In texas for entities that
have been going from
at-large the courts have
ruled that maintaining
at-large seats dilutes the
minority vote and lessens
opportunity for minority
candidates to run.

These two cases were upheld
and
since then any entities that
we've seen especially
looking at central texas
that were moving from
at-large districts haven't
each tried a hybrid system.

They knew this was coming
and it was going to cost
them money.

If 8-2-1 happens to win, the
doj will nix it likely.

If 8-2-1 happens to win the
federal courts will likely
nix 2.

Again, we have entities
promising to bring suit.

You're asking for a very
expensive lawsuit.

And again, then we'll have
nothing.

If both measures are on the
ballot, likely not enough
people will vote for both as
councilmember spelman has
pointed out.

There will be voter
confusion, there will be
divisiveness in the
community so neither might
win and then we'll have
nothing.

We'll be back to square one
and at-large with the
gentlemen's agreement in the
21st century.

Supporting 8-2-1 politically
for you, what does that
mean?

It means supporting the
divided community.

It means supporting
unnecessary lawsuits and
supporting possibly the
failure of geographic
representation for austin
yet again.

Please don't support
failure.

Please trust austin and
support only cd 10-1 on the
ballot.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you.

Those are all the speakers
on the ballot.

I'll entertain a motion.

This will be third reading
of the so-called hybrid
plan.

Councilmember riley.

>> Riley: I move approval.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember riley moves
approval.

Second by councilmember
morrison.

Is there any further
discussion?

Mr. steiner.

>> The direction that you
gave us earlier with respect
to the language.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember riley?

>> Riley: That's right.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Yes,
the revised language that we
previously discussed.

And councilmember morrison
is fine with that.

All in favor say aye?

Opposed say no?

It passes on a vote of five
to one with councilmember
spelman off the dais.

Okay.

So next we'll go to item
b-4.

And we do have people signed
up to speak on b-4.

Again, limited to 15
minutes.

15 Minutes total on this
subject.

And the first speaker is tom
smith.

Donating time is david
power.

Is david here?

David, show yourself,
please.

>> [Inaudible - no mic].

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Okay.

So for now you have three
minutes.

If david shows up you have
six.

>> Okay.

Hopefully I won't need that,
mayor.

I think as many of you know
my name is tom smith or
smitty and I'm director of
public citizens texas
office.

And we're opposed to the
change in government.

And wanted to explain to you
a little bit about why.

We've spent a lot of time
lobbying both here and
san antonio for clean energy
and a number of other
issues.

And have really come to
appreciate the difference
between the two cities.

[One moment, please, for
change in captioners]

>> one of the things that is
really disturbing that that is
sort of encapsulated in the
headline in the san antonio
express that says culture of
secrecy persists at cps energy
and what you discovered was when
they were uncovering the
problems of the nuclear power
plant, they couldn't get the
data.

City council couldn't get the
data.

What was available for the
public about analyzing what went
wrong was redacted and shut down
by cps, not by city council, and
the mayor and his staff were
chastised by cps board members
publically for releasing what a
little bit of information came
out to the public.

Now, the only time really
anybody got a chance to correct
the direction was when there was
a bond rate increase, and there
was only a time when there was a
struggle for adopting the
renewable programs that were
available for now.

We support the city council
continuing to act as a board,
but assuming more of the powers
of a board, to be able to fire
and hire the executive director
and request that you create a
system where you set
independently as a board on
that.

Did support the 1996
recommendations and will learn a
lot since then after having
participated down there.

But if you do go out that way
and create a board, do stronger
open meetings and records,
require updates from council and
clarify appointments and removal
processes and one thing we
discovered in san antonio, the
mayor discovered, he couldn't
fire or remove a board person
from there, and even though he
asked for resignations, the
deputy chair refused to resign
after the scandal about the nuke
plant down there.

Next slide.

In the '96 recommendations there
was a number of specifications
that were recommended by the cuc
and others and this is listed
here -- but others are the '96,
2004 recommendations, staggered
term, term limits, conflict of
interest and disclosure
statements and compensation and
there were a bunch of questions
here -- because because that
need to be resolve -- [buzzer
alarming] that need to be
resolved before you go on this
and I want to say we think you
have done a far better job than
we have seen in san antonio and
continue to see you acting as
this.

Thank you for your time.

I want to
say that all this item does is
allows the council to explore
the option and all of the things
you discussed as recommendations
would come into play at this
point in time and your advice
would welcome it if and when
this happens.

Council member morrison.

>> Morrison: I do want to point
out what this does is throw out
the part in the charter of what
the council decides of what kind
of governance as to whether
explicitly -- the kind of
governance change would be a
ballot.

Can I ask just briefly your
thoughts on that specifics?

>> Certainly.

We -- we think we have got a
fairly good system now and
doesn't need a whole lot of
changing.

It would be my belief that given
that this agenda item or this
initiative would be voted on
immediately after the electric
rate increase hits people's
mailboxes, in october, that it
would pass overwhelmingly.

A number of you have said
explicitly, we favor a
san antonio kind of move tell
and so that's the -- the sort of
dominant model that we think you
might be discussing and there
are other models that are
certainly available but
basically it all boils down to
either the city council acts as
a board or you create another
board.

And once passed, with the
legislature meeting, the
pressure is going to be on you
to modify perhaps in haste or
perhaps as some sort of a
compromise over the rate case.

The governance system, and
that's a hard time to do it, is
when you literally have a
legislative gun to your head
that if you don't change it, we
are going to deregulate you and
I am not sure that is an
appropriate time to be making
these decisions.

>> Morrison: But I am talking
specifically, should the change
be in the hands of the voters or
in the hands of the council?

>> Well, I think that it should
be specifically put in the hands
of the voters, where there is a
descriptor that says.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> This is the model we are
working on.

Thank you.

>> Morrison: All right.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

>> Thank y'all very much for
your time.

karen
when.

Three minutes.

This brings us to 9 minutes.

>> I have 3 minutes donated by
debbie rustle who is here.

>> Debbie --

>> does it show you up for you.

>> Debbie russell is here and
that will bring you to 6 minutes
and total of 12 and so there
will only be time for one
speaker after you.

>> I will try to make it quick.

Good morning and thank you for
addressing this issue.

I -- like tom smithy smith think
this should not be on the
ballot.

You should not open pandora's
box.

I want to tell you for a moment
what happened in san antonio
because this lesson cannot go
unattended.

And thank goodness for all of
you who agreed that we would not
get into -- to nuclear reactors
proposed for south texas
project.

Thank you again.

The mess that was created down
there is beyond belief and it
happened largely because they
had an independent utility board
that was between city council
and the utility.

That gave them additional
isolation.

They could operate independently
and they did so and they -- and
they took the utility down a
very bad path.

Citizens had almost no recourse
and it was a nightmare beyond
belief.

The change that has happened
down here, which you often hear
about the good results, is
because hundreds of people took
to the streets.

Hundreds of people had to go to
meetings, 3 and 4 and five times
a week to testify.

It took incredible amounts of
energy and work, and it didn't
happen just because some people
decided to do the right thing.

It happened because of
incredible citizen pressure.

We went down to san antonio and
had an expert present a study
early on that said the nuclear
reactors would cost
17.5 billion.

It was a credible study and it
threw a major spinner into the
speaks and no one quite knew
what to do about it or how to
address it.

They were worried we might be
right.

At the same time, they kept
saying, oh, the cost of the
9 billion,
later 8 or 9.

Then 11 billion.

And then 13 billion.

At a point where the city was
just days from approving
$400 million in bonds.

That was what the utility was
putting out as the official
number, and, yet, inside they
knew differently.

They knew that this was
4 billion-dollars short,
4 billion-dollars short of the
real cost.

That's huge.

There had been huge outcry over
the reactors to begin with and
about the direction the utility
was taking and so then you top
it with this major secret that
got leaked out through the
mayor's office.

That -- that fortunately came to
light before the election, not
afterwards.

The utility was going to keep it
secret.

It came to light and I cannot
begin to tell you how eruptive
this was.

What happened is that the true
cost has eventually come out to
2 billion, top executives
at cps energy left.

Their reason wasn't officially
fired but you have to kind of
think about it.

And along the way, citizens who
tried to weigh in with the cps
energy board, as opposed to city
council, met a brick wall.

When they asked to speak at
board meetings, they were told
no.

When it came down to a final
vote to approve involvement in
the reactors, they were told no.

And then they said, maybe.

So a whole large number of
citizens came to a cps board
meeting, came early so that they
could get seats and have a
chance to address the board.

They got told they were too
early and they got sent outside
of the building.

They said you have to leave.

You have to go outside.

And they did.

I was with them.

Then, when it was time for the
meeting to start, we all came
back inside, and low and behold,
the whole room was filled up
with cps energy employees and
there were no seats, and we were
not allowed into the room.

For 30 minutes, a large number
of citizens counted on the door,
saying let the public in --
pounded on the door.

This was a rogue utility, and
the structure of an independent
governance board between city
council and the utility allows
that to happen, did allow it.

The night mare was beyond
belief.

It was a bloody mess in the
newspapers.

It was bad publicity.

It was not the way you want to
handle these decisions.

I understand that recently, city
council has had a lot of time
spent on dealing with these
issues.

If there is a need on the front
end to get expert testimony,
perhaps you can do that through
the euc and through possibly the
city's finance commission.

I don't think that you need to
do a separate governance
structure or a change in
governance structure.

I would urge you not to.

I would characterize cps energy
as rogue.

The city council felt that they
only have the ability to weigh
in on the rate hikes.

And let me tell you about that.

That they knocked the rate hike
down from 5% to 3 and a half
percent at one point and they
said don't spend a pun any on
the nuclear reactors.

We tell you not to.

They did say they want
96 million to go for energy
efficiency.

That's what council said.

What happened in the following
year, 93 million of the 96
disappeared.

It was never accounted for.

We were never able to get the
budget.

It disappeared, we can only
assume it went for the nuclear
reactor because they lost
400 million on that.

And meantime, things moved right
forward, and the -- the cps
energy -- [buzzer alarming]

>> just totally ignored council,
so, please, don't put this out
there for this opportunity to
arise.

Thank you.

thank
you.

The fourth and final speaker is
roy wayly.

You can take the total 3 minutes
or we do have one speaker signed
up who doesn't have any time
allotted.

>> Well, could we clarify that,
mr. mayor.

David wasn't here so those 3
minutes didn't go to --
how many
minutes did you give him?

>> [Indiscernible]
he got
his six minutes.

He got his six minutes.

>> Okay.

All right.

>> Mayor leffingwell: go ahead.

>> Let me be brief and I would
love to have paul a chance to
speak.

Sierra club, we want the city
council to continue as the
governing board, and this is --
karen has already talked about
the accountability and the
citizens oversight and it
ensures public input.

We do know that you are
overwhelmed so we hope that you
will stop having this meeting in
the middle of your regular
council meeting and make it a
separate meeting so that you can
truly focus on that issue and
make those regular meetings and
bring better folks to that and
have the flexibility to meet in
case of an emergency.

We also ask that you have the
final say, that, as that
governing board over the
director of austin energy, for
the hiring or the firing.

And when it comes to a public
vote, the public has already
voted.

They voted for you.

They voted for you to make these
decisions.

We don't see a need to have
another vote for all of the
numbers -- for all of the
reasons numerated by smitty, and
if I could, I would like to
dedicate the rest of my time to
paul robins.

how much
time is remaining, john?

1.53.

One minute and 53 seconds.

>> Council, I am not as sanguine
as smitty that this will pass
automatically if you put it on
the ballot.

I think that you are blind
siding the public, that this has
not been scrutinized by the
charter review commission.

This has been on at -- put on at
the proverbial last minute.

The wording is so vague that it
is tantamount to a blank check.

I cannot support and will not
support a blank check.

I will urge everyone I know to
vote against it, given that it
is so poorly considered.

I also want to point out another
deficit of cps, since some
people think that the grass is
greener.

Cps residential customers use
18% more electricity per
customer than austin, even
though cps has lower rates,
because they use more polluting
power, they have higher bills.

And I don't believe that our
30-year energy efficiency
efforts would be where they are
now had we not had a
democratically elected, quote,
board of governors.

Thank you.

thank
you.

So we have one speaker in favor.

Jeff boyt.

Welcome.

You have got 3 minutes.

>> Thank you, mayor and council.

As an austin resident and rate
payer, I do thank you for
considering this.

I think it is important that we
look at this governance
structure in light of what has
come out in the rate case.

It is important.

I think a benefit to both the
ratepayers that live outside the
city limits and as a way to
address concerns coming from the
legislature and the puc on this
matter.

I also think that there is a
real benefit in the
governance -- in the austin
energy would benefit from a
more -- from the extra attention
and the focus of an independent
board.

I think that smitty and the
others have identified real
concerns with the san antonio
model, but you know, mayor, you
were looking to address as part
of our structure and through the
full deliberative process will
go through the actual approval
and adoption of a new process, i
think we would benefit from
that, but, also, I would
encourage you to lay out for the
voters in advance of november,
an idea and schedule as to what
the process would be for
reaching a final decision on
this matter.

Thank you for your attention.

thank
you.

As you know, by previous
resolutions, the city manager
has been directed to analyze
other similar situations and
other board-type governance
systems and I think council
member cole just brought in her
big book.

Do you want to hold up your
book?

I didn't have time to get
through it last night.

But obviously, there is a lot of
material there that there is to
study.

This is only -- would only, if
it did pass, be the beginning of
a process and I thoroughly
understand, sympathize with many
of the concerns that have been
raised by our speakers,
including smitty, very valid
points and I would point out
that there is a middle ground
here.

Cps, for example, I am not
totally familiar with their
governance system.

I know they are well thought of
by other government bodies as to
how they conduct their business,
but even cps, they have a
separate board and the council
still maintains the authority to
set rates and to issue debt, and
there certainly has got to be a
lot of other restrictions, but
the situation we are faced with
now, with the petition having
been filed for the -- the
grievance by austin energy
customers that live outside of
the city, this is obviously
going to be one of their
concerns, and it will, I think,
be reflected in other bodies,
too.

I think we have to face up to
these concerns and find a way to
deal with them, in a way that
protects the ultimate authority
of the voters through their
elected council members to make
major decisions.

I would support this effort.

I understand that it comes as
sort of a last-minute deal, as
several things have come,
because it is time sensitive and
it's urgent, but I would very
much support and even insist
upon a very thorough and
transparent process, if this
were to be on the ballot and if
we are able to go through that
process of establishing an
independent board, certainly
that is -- that is going to be a
lengthy process, if that
happens.

..

Mayor pro tem.

>> Cole: Mayor, I want to say
clearly and on the record for
the first time that I do not
believe that the city council
should continue to serve as the
sole governing board of austin
energy and do believe that the
outside ratepayers should have a
voice in that process, and
that's simply because we serve
them.

I am, however, very, very
concerned that we have went
through the initial steps, to
exercise due diligence in
finding out our options, which,
one is cps, and there are
others.

And we see the size of this bond
that we got yesterday.

It's really, I see it in more of
a comprehensive way.

We have on our ballots the
change in structure of our
government, which we heard even
more testimony about that today,
which is literally almost taking
all the bandwidth out of our
community just to absorb
anything else.

We also have extensive
considerations of revisions to
campaign finance, civil service.

We just talked about the sale of
our utility assets, not to
mention our major bond campaign.

So I don't think that we need to
be in the business of putting
stuff on the ballot that we
can't stand behind as being
ready for voter consideration,
because we are going to get
calls to say what does this
mean, why are we doing this, why
are we doing it now.

And I know one of the reasons
for considering to do that now
is that we are concerned that we
do something to let the
legislature know that we
understand the concerns of the
outside ratepayers, about
governance.

And I think that we can express
our concern about that without
moving so far as to adopt a
charter amendment.

So one of two things can happen.

It can pass and still the
legislature has the ability to
do what it wants, and we can go
with the legislature and say,
now council has the authority to
do that, but I don't think the
legislature is necessarily going
to do what council wants us to
do.

And they have the full
prerogative to -- to do that,
and then that responsibility of
what we have to do lies with us
only without us having had any
voter support of what the
legislature tells us to do.

Second, if if it fails again,
more than likely, that says that
our citizens don't have the
confidence in us, and so then
the legislature can also go and
do what they want to do.

So to me, it doesn't solve a
problem, it just muddies an
issue that I think needs clarity
and the clarity can only come
through the community process of
educating the community and
getting feedback from the
community and, also, as we can
tell the legislature what our
evidents are during that -- what
our efforts are during that
process.

So I will not be supporting that
motion.

there is
no motion on the table at this
time, so.

>> Cole: I mean I will not be
supporting it.

is there
a motion?

Council member martinez.

>> Martinez: Thanks.

I will move approval of the item
and not without noting the
concerns that have been raised.

I appreciate all of the concerns
but it doesn't enact anything.

It gives us the ability to enact
something, and with the totality
of what we know, going into the
legislative session, as i
supported this previously, i
would rather have this as an
option and not need to use it as
opposed to not having it as an
option and needing to use it.

So if it's supported by the
body, you know, then we will put
it on the ballot, but I think we
should have that option
available to us, because of the
level of uncertainty that we
face.

motion by
council member martinez.

Is there a second?

I will second the motion.

Further discussion?

>> Tovo: Mayor.

council
member tovo.

>> Tovo: Mayor, I just want to
agree with mayor pro tem cole
and I think you've expressed
well a lot of concerns I have
and I have struggled a bit with
this one because I understand,
as my colleague said, it doesn't
enact anything.

It just gives us the opportunity
to enact something after ward
but I really think we have a
tremendous amount of work to do
as a council to sort through
some of the options, looking at
that binder I think is evidence
enough that we have got a lot of
work ahead of us.

I feel the electric utilities
commission discuss on this was
very brief.

It also doesn't include a full
body.

It was something that happened
rather quickly.

I think as a community we have a
lot of work to do and I think
though we would not be enacting
anything if the vote passes --
if the voters passed it this
november, I really do believe we
need to provide them with some
clear stance as to what the
change in governance would look
like before we ask them to weigh
in on it and I fear we would
hear concerns along the lines of
robins raised which is
in essence the voters are
providing -- are giving us a
blank check.

I think that would not be an
isolated opinion out there in
the community, if we put this on
the ballot.

So I look forward to that
conversation as a council.

I know it sounds like we are all
committed to having a thorough
discussion about the
alternatives and until we arrive
at some -- some potential, some
potential alternatives and can
really, with clarity, go to the
voters and say if we get to the
point where we can go to the
voters and say we need to see a
change in terms of utility
governance, then I -- I don't
think we should move forward.

I believe
the electric utility commission
did recommend this item.

Is that correct?

Somebody from staff?

>> Tovo: It did.

Yeah.

>> Mayor leffingwell: yeah.

And I would -- I -- I agree with
all of the comments that have
been made.

There needs to be a lengthy
process.

I think the imperative here is
that if we don't at least give
us the option to do it this
november, then we won't have the
option again for two and a half
years, unless somebody else does
it for us.

>> Mayor --
which
is -- council member riley first
and then council member
martinez.

>> Riley: Well, like you, mayor,
I am sensitive to all of the
concerns that have been raised
by everybody today and I am
familiar with some of the issues
they have experienced in
san antonio.

I am not sure we have the right
answer at this moment as to
exactly what form of governance
would be optimal, but I have
been listening to the electric
utility commission, which has,
for years, recommended some
change in the governance
structure of our utility and i
think we need to be able to
participate in an ongoing
conversation about what form the
governance should take,
especially as we head into the
legislative session, and so to
me, this is largely -- this is
in part a matter of ensuring
that we maintain local control
over our utility and -- and we
are not in a position where the
legislature is dictating the
form of governance during a time
when the council has no
authority to -- to make changes
to that -- to that structure
itself, and so I just -- from
the standpoint of providing an
opportunity for the council to
continue this conversation about
the -- how -- about the best way
to maintain the governance of
the utility, I will support
including this item on the
ballot.

council
member martinez.

>> Martinez: Yes.

I want to ask a question of city
legal for a point of
clarification.

It appears that we potentially
have a split council, and we
have one council member not
present, so if we dispose of
this item today and it fails
because it's an even vote o
3-3 --

>> mayor leffingwell: it fails.

>> Martinez: But can it be
brought back as a point of
clarification -- can it be
brought back when the full
council -- if we've already
disposed of it?

>> Council member, yes, you
could bring it back if you
decided you wanted to at a later
date.

>> Martinez: I just -- I believe
it's --
it would
be a new item.

>> Martinez: Well, it is
critically important and we have
a council member missing and we
are probably going to end up
vote 3:00-3.

I -- voting 3-3.

I am going out on a limb, laura.

[Laughter]
going out
on a limb, esp or something.

>> Martinez: To me that's a very
important point.

the
responsibility you could -- if
you wish, there could be a
substitute motion, not by you,
but there could be a substitute
motion to postpone, but I don't
know when we would be able to
take it up.

Probably involve a special call
meeting.

Probably involve three special
call meetings.

>> Martinez: On tuesday morning.

>> Mayor leffingwell: yes.

So that's the situation.

So anything else?

>> Yes, mayor, if I could do
away with is suspense everyone
is in.

[Laughter]
what did
you say?

>> Morrison: If I could do away
with the suspense.

>> Mayor leffingwell: suspense.

>> Morrison: I do want to start,
though, by saying that I think
that even having this
conversation about whether we
would change our governance
structure, even having that
conversation is controversial,
but I am open to having that
conversation.

I look forward to -- to the due
diligence and the robust
conversation in the community as
well as on the council about
that.

But with regard to, you know,
focusing on whether or not we
put this item on the ballot,
it's my feeling that the
ownership and the control of
austin energy is such a
fundamental piece of the city
government and the voters and
the residents of the city of
austin that even though I know
that we can -- and I know every
one of us would commit to a fair
process so that the -- the
authority for governance
decisions could be put in the
hands of the council, I think
that it's only fair and our -- i
feel like my responsibility is
to maintain that in the -- in
the hands of the voters, so --
so with that, yes, I won't be
able to support that, but if
there were a motion to postpone,
I could probably --

>> Martinez: I will withdraw my
motion, mayor.

council
member martinez withdraws a
motion.

And a second, I will concur with
that.

>> Martinez: Move to postpone.

and
council member martinez moves to
postpone until when?

Can we postpone it indefinitely
on this?

Mr. attorneys?

>> If you postpone indefinitely,
then we have --

>> Martinez: We can postpone if
and when we have a full council.

Move to postpone indefinitely.

and i
will second that motion.

"

aye.

"

that passes on a vote of 6-0,
with council member spelman off
the dyas.

The next two items should be
very, very quick, and we will
5,
romero, do you
have a quick presentation?

These are word smithing things,
I think.

>> I recommended to council that
we make the same change in this
draft that we made in the -- in
the draft on 8-2-1.

This is back before the council
because it was pointed out that
there was nothing in the
transition provision to provide
for what happened if a term was
shortened by the transition so
it had the exact same sentence
as the other one did so I would
recommend to the council, if
it -- if it's your will to make
the same change, which would be
that since it says the ordinance
may provide -- I am sorry, it
says if a council member's term
is materially shortened for
purpose of the transition, that
shortened term does not count as
a term for purposes of article
2, section 3 of this charter,
would change to if a council
member's term is shortened by
more than a year, for purpose of
the transition, et cetera.

council,
entertain a motion to approve
this amendment on all three
readings.

Council member riley so moves.

Second by mayor pro tem.

Discussion.

"

aye.

"

passes on a vote of 5-1, with
council member tovo voting no,
and council member spelman off
the dyas.

And we will go to b .6.

6
addresses the fact that last
thursday we called the november
election, and the ordinance
calling the election includes a
list of all of the council
actions that will be on the
ballot.

Council has taken additional
action today to put additional
items on the ballot, and so what
this ordinance does is it amends
the call of the election to
accurately reflect the
ordinances that have been passed
so far by council.

And you will note that the
cleanup item that we just passed
repeals its predecessor to make
sure that the cleaned up version
is the only one on the record.

So the ordinance that is item b
.6 today, part 1 of this
ordinance will read part 5 of
ordinance 2012, 080213 is
amended to include ordinances
20120807b003 and 20120807b005,
and remove ordinance
20120628091, period.

So in short, that simply updates
our call of the election to
reflect actions taken by
council.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

We may have a chance to update
it again before we are done.

>> Cole: Move approval.

mayor pro
tem moves approval.

Second by morris.

"

"

that passes on a vote of 6-0
with council member spelman off
the dyas.

Now we will go to presentation
and discussion of the proposed
november 2012 bond election and
potential direction to staff.

>> Mayor.

>> Mayor leffingwell go ahead.

>> Item b2 is a brief
presentation by the city clerk
involving november 2012 election
matters.

we will
take up item b2 first with that.

>> At your suggestion, we got
ahold of the county -- of the
county clerk and met with her on
fray and we have a sample ballot
in front of you and I want to
"

in that the presidential
election, for example, is
roughly 8 pages long so she
didn't, you know, try to give
you all of that kind of
information, but we wanted you
to see that because of the way
you do charter amendments and
bond amendments with very brief
statements, that it's possible
to put a number of them on any
ballot -- on any screen in the
voting device that you see fit.

So you would ask for some
samples and that's what she's
tried to provide for you, if
that helps you in grouping
things or deciding the order on
the ballot.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Any comments?

Going to make sure they use big
print.

Don't bunch too many of them on
the same page.

Council member tovo.

>> Tovo: I just wanted to say
gentry, I think
this is helpful to see and if
you would pass on our
appreciation total tax our
county clerk.

I think it's very useful to see
how the ballot may get laid out
to get a sense of how voters --
how we might communicate that to
voters.

>> I will be glad to do that.

I think
everybody is happy.

Thank you, shirley.

And we will go to item b1, but
first on item b7 is withdrawn?

>> Tovo: Yes, mayor, thanks.

council
member tovo has withdrawn that
item so we go to b1.

Okay.

We will hear the presentation
from staff.

It looks like we are adequately
represented here.

[Laughter]

>> good morning, mayor, mayor
pro tem, council members.

Mike trimble with the capital
planning office and what we
would like to do is have a brief
presentation but cover a couple
of different items.

First, I will quickly just react
collimate based on our
conversation with you at your
june 26 work session and then
also want to talk about the
draft propositions that
are proposed by staff based on
discussions with our law
department and bond council and
then have a discussion with you
about the bond program and
really how these propositions
are going to be formulated and
then talk about next steps and
that.

So just real quickly, this is
what you received in your -- in
your binder.

You received your binders on
june 26.

There was a lot of information
in there.

We included recommendations from
the task force, city manager
recommendations and also
additional description of the
projects and programs that were
included in the recommendations
that you received and so
hopefully you have had a chance
to look at some of that
information and for your note,
too, we did make all of this
information online at our bond
development website and so the
public was able to access all of
the information materials that
you had in your binders as well.

Again, to acclimate.

This is on the task force, the
575 and 400 million and the
staff recommended 400 million
and the city manager's
recommended bond package of
385 billion and we recommended
300 bond package as we move
forward.

That's where we left off on the
26.

And now we wanted to switch the
conversation a little bit from
going from there, what do we go
with the propositions and how do
we get those formulated.

So what I would like to start is
talk about the draft
propositions and what has been
proposed.

There has been 7 propositions
that have been proposed for your
consideration, again, based on
us looking at what has been
included in the bond package
recommendations and then also
discussions with our -- our
legal team and bond council and
those propositions relate to
transportation mobility, open
space and watershed protection,
parks and recreation, housing,
public safety, health and human
services, and then library,
museum and cultural arts
facilities.

Just wanted to give you some
example and the public some
example of the language that you
would actually see on the
ballot.

You will be receiving in
preparation for your discussion
on the 14th, when you further
consider what goes on the
ballot, you will be receiving
some backup of what the -- of
the draft ordinance and the
draft ordinance will have sample
language like this where it
talks about what would actually
go on the ballot with respect to
these different propositions and
you can see this is the short
form of what will actually be on
the ballot.

There will also be expanded
language in that draft ordinance
and I believe you have received
some copies to look at but this
expands the description of the
uses and purpose for that
particular proposition and so
that will be part two of the
ordinance that you will see in
your backup materials in
preparation for the 14th.

So given the draft proposition,
7 propositions and given ha we
have talked about thusfar, i
thought we would talk about just
a crosswalk.

So we have been talking about
four categories and really five
categories including
community-based proposeds of
funding and I want to talk about
how that relates to the 7
propositions that you see before
you.

So, most of them are pretty
intuitive, affordable housing,
category, transitions over into
the housing draft -- housing
proposition, and that includes
all of the things that have been
discussed under -- of the
housing category.

Parks and open space, those
break out into two propositions,
all of those parks items go into
the parks and recreation
proposition.

The one exception in that
category is water quality open
space which would go in the open
space and watershed protection
proposition.

Transportation mobility, again,
all of those projects translate.

Over into the transportation and
mobility bond.

Another project that does
translate over to that is the
harold core facility so the
public works facility that
supports streets and bridges
will transfer over to that, for
use and mobility.

What gets complicated is city
facilities and so that's where
you see the other propositions
you have before you.

As you know for the city
facilities category we had a
host of different facilities
identified for different
departments and so based on our
discussion with the bond
council, those broke out into
several different propositions.

One is public safety, and so the
public safety proposition would
have your police, ems fire type
of improvements.

Library museum and cultural arts
would include some improvements
and also under the
community-based projects that
you have been discussing, health
and human services would relate
to the health and human services
department facility improvements
that have been discussed, that
would go under that proposition.

Parks and recreation, there are
some maintenance facilities that
were included under city
facilities and those would go
under the parks and recreation
proposition and then for
transportation and mobility, i
mentioned the public works
facility that would translate
over there.

As I talked about a little bit,
the community-based projects, we
looked at the -- the four
projects that were contemplated
in the task force
recommendations and went ahead
and went through the exercise of
allocating those and so for the
film studios and for mexicarte,
those are projects that would
fall under the library, museum
and cultural arts, where the
51st street and violet trail
project would be projects
contemplated under the
transportation and mobility
proposition.

And so, with that, what I would
like to ask my folks to do ask
hand out a spreadsheet and
this -- this spreadsheet is
really just -- it's very similar
to the summary worksheet that
you saw in the binder, and all
we did is we basically put this
crosswalk down for each of the
projects and programs.

So what you have in your
spreadsheet is at the top you
will have a summary of what you
have already seen, which are the
breakdown by category.

The second part of that is
where we basically have gone
through allocating those to the
7 propositions and so now we go
from the four categories down to
the discussion of the draft 7
proposition.

One of the things -- a couple of
things I do want to note, is you
will notice at -- and we will
talk about the
400 million-dollar --
385 million-dollar
recommendations, you will notice
those numbers are not quite 400
and not quite 385.

At the top, they are 398, for
400 and 383 for the 385 bond
package, that reason, because it
is the recommendation to
withdraw the urban rail project
that was proposed, the reason
being is that sufficient funds
have been identified with grant
funding, local matches and other
funding and so we feel like just
efficient funding to move that
project forward in the next
phases of work and because we
know there are several needs
being contemplated right now, we
felt it best to go ahead and
withdraw that, so in a sense you
can say there is $2 million of
found money already for the
city.

I thought you would find that
good news.

[Laughter]
for this discussion.

>> I want to know who lost it.

[Laughter]

>> so, again, with the
spreadsheet, that is the summary
sheet.

You see how things recapture
down by category.

-- You will see how things
breakdown by category.

We went through the exercise of
applying -- the scenario of
applying 385 billion-dollar city
manager recommended bond package
to the proposition so we have on
the screen is walking through
the exercise and you also have
in your spreadsheet as well in
the second chart of 385 and so
under the scenario and based on
projects and programs -- types
of projects and programs we
talked about that would go under
propositions you are talking
about transportation mobility
bond of 153, open space
watershed, 30, and parks and
2, housing, 45,
4,
and library, museum and cultural
facilities is at 8 million and
that's, again, using what we
have been talking about under
the 385 bond package scenario.

So behind that you have the
listing of each of the
individual projects and
programs, and, again, that
should look pretty similar to
what you saw in that summary
worksheet in your binder.

The same listing.

We have it actually broken down
by those four big categories but
we have added a column at the
front where it says draft
proposition to give you an
indication of where we are
contemplating these propositions
would fall under, which
propositions they would work
with.

So now that you have that
information, we have talked a
little bit about the
propositions and you have seen
the information on the projects
and programs, what we would like
to do today is to talk with you
about the total funding amounts
for each of the propositions and
what we would like to get is get
a good, a feel for where we are
at as far as the propositions
amounts so that we can go ahead
and finish out the draft of
proposition language to bring
that back to you for discussion
on the 14th.

And so where we would like to
start that conversation is with,
again, if we have gone through
the scenario and because there
has been a lot of discussion
about the 385 package, we
thought it would be prudent to
discuss that but the first
question really is, is that the
total funding amount that
council is looking at, as far as
bond package.

Is there another amount, because
we can also work with that as
well but we wanted to get some
feel, some guidance on that and
then we can talk about, you
know, actually what goes into
those funding amounts.

>> Cole: Well, I think
colleagues, myself, I would say
that I do not want -- or would
not support going above the
maximum amount to not raise
taxes, so the question comes
back to staff, I guess even
before you look for our input,
have we received the final
appraisal roles?

Is there any extra funding based
on that or any unspent dollar
funds?

I know some questions have been
submitted about that.

Can we get any synopsis on --

>> is elaine in the room?

>> Cole: Elaine.

>> Mayor pro tem, council
members, we do have is final tax
roll in and the assess
evaluations and that is --
excuse me, we did that get in
time this year to include it in
the proposed budget, so there is
no extra that you can count on.

We are still at the
385 million-dollar level.

With no tax increase.

And a one penny increase would
get you about an additional
100 million in additional debt
to issue so you can use the
penny to an additional
100 million as a rough -- a
rough gauge.

Not exact, but it's a small
part.

>> Cole: So staff is looking for
direction about -- I understand,
elaine, and we don't have to go
up a penny.

We could say a half of a penny
or quarter of a penny, or any
amount.

Is that proportional if we say
that?

So a quarter would get us
..

>> A third of a penny would get
you up to 400 million.

A half penny would get you up to
426 million based on the
current.

>> Cole: I meant point, though.

>> Yes, half a penny.

>> Cole: Half a penny would get
us approximately 50 million?

Ask.

[Multiple voices]

>> she was saying 385, that's
why she was saying 400 million.

>> Cole: I got you.

So council members, any comments
about the tax rate or going
above it?

Council member morrison.

>> Morrison: I do have some more
questions about that.

You say a third of a penny would
get us to 400 million, but
wouldn't it be really a 15th of
a penny?

>> It's not exact.

>> Morrison: Okay.

>> A lot of it depends on how we
structure the debt in the -- in
the --

>> Morrison: Because we are
talking about 15 -- there is a
difference of 15 between 400 and
385, so I would think that it
would at least be somewhat
proportional, but it will be
twice as much.

A third of a penny would be
twice as much as needed.

>> It's not a science.

It's an art and part of it
depends on how you structure the
debt for the existing bonds that
you already have planned plus
how you layer these in so it's
not an exact number, but, you
know, it's within that range.

>> Morrison: Okay.

So if we are talking 15 million,
we are down in the -- somewhere
in a much smaller number than a
penny.

>> Right.

>> Morrison: And the point that
mayor pro tem brought up about
unspent bond funds, that was a
question -- one of the bond
questions, number 14, and i
had -- and it basically says
that -- let me see if I can find
it.

It basically, the answer is,
most of it is spent, or
allocated.

We know how we are going to
spend it, but there was one
paragraph at the end that I was
a little unclear about.

It mentioned that we think that
ems station number 33 is going
to come in under budget, which
was funded by the previous bonds
and it also mentioned something
about the joint public safety
training facility, which
suggested to me that maybe that
wasn't going to take as many
funds, so I wonder if -- if we
have the information or maybe
you need to get -- to do some
sort of follow-on or
clarification of the last
paragraph, because if we do have
some unspent bonds funds in city
facilities, that would allow us
to maybe cover some of -- some
of the projects that we are
looking at to consider here to
the previous package.

>> Right.

Our assumptions are, over time,
that all of the 206 and 2010
bonds will be issued and so if
there are some significant
savings, they could -- could
impact this.

However, as long as they are
outstanding, they could
certainly be used for the
original stated purpose.

>> Morrison: So what I am saying
is there is a paragraph at the
end of that question that
suggests that the original
stated purpose might be coming
in.

>> Under.

>> Morrison: Under, which would,
in fact, open up some similar
funding, and so I wonder if we
could maybe just as a follow-on
get clarification.

>> We can.

That would give us some
flexibility, as long as we
didn't want to issue the
remaining authorized bonds for
those purposes.

>> Morrison: Right.

And then I also want to note
that I believe it's -- that --
we also do bonding into our
capacity with certificates of
obligation, and those are
nonvoter approved bonds and i
noted -- I think our agenda on
the 13th actually has us
approving, issuing 25 million --
bonds for 25 million and cos
where we have already approved
the specific expenditures for
that and so my question is, in
looking at our capacity and
whether or not it's going to
create a tax increase, it
seems -- what kind of
assumptions do you have in there
about over the coming five
years, how many co projects is
the council going to be
approving?

>> We have got the 25 million
that we plan to sell on the
23rd.

We have got 25 million in '13,
15 million in '14 and '15 and
10 million in the remainder, so
we have layered in an estimate
for cos to be issued that would
be tax supported.

>> Morrison: Can you -- I am
sorry, can you read those
numbers off again, 25 and 13.

>> 25 Million in '12, 25 million
in '13, 15 million in '14-'15
and 10 million thereafter.

>> Okay.

So the reason I am asking these
questions, I am sort of getting
down to the nitty-gritty of the
385 versus 400 for my colleagues
thought and discussion, is that
I am very interested in, as a
starting point -- and I know
this is jumping a little bit
ahead of the discussion about
the value.

I am interested in using as a
starting point of our
discussions, the task force
recommendation of the
and
there is obviously a ton of
overlap between the task force
400 million and the staff
385 million, but I would like to
start with the task force
because it -- it is a mechanism
that we leave in the work of the
citizens.

For example one of the
difference is the staff
recommendation includes zero
funding for any of the community
projects, while the task force
found a way to include those and
so my feeling is, even if we
have to reduce it, which I hope
we don't, the 400 -- I am much
more comfortable starting with
the work that integrated the
staff and the community input.

So that's my thought and I know
we are not taking any action
here today, but I can tell you
that I went through and did sort
of a -- just a quick difference
and there is some half millions
here and there in terms of the
project but the big numbers that
I saw different between the
400 million task force and the
385 staff were, number one,
there are -- the community
projects and the task force, and
zero in the staff.

There is a 10 million-dollar
difference in affordable
housing, 10 million more, i
think it is at 76, versus 65,
10 million more in the task
force and then another big
number that jumped out was that
the staff had $5 million more,
16, versus 11, for the public
works harold court facility, and
I guess I certainly want to talk
about that in the
discussion, if we start with
the -- with the 400 million, but
that's -- that's my thought.

>> Okay.

just to
get crystal clear because I have
asked this question several
times.

The staff's statement as to the
maximum amount of the bond --
entire bond package that we can
issue in november of 2012
without a tax increase is
$385 million, without regard
to -- I mean it's just a flat
out statement?

We asked you that question.

Your statement is 385 and it's
my understanding that it is a
little bit stretching to get
even to that.

>> It is stretching, but that
is -- that's where we stand.

that's a
number that you can stretch to?

>> Yes.

anything
above that, you cannot stretch
to.

Is that correct?

>> That's correct.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

I wanted to clear that item up,
that anything over 385, we will
have to say cause us a tax
increase.

>> Mayor.

>> There is one caveat, if there
are projects that we now know
are coming in under budget that
we didn't know when we made that
calculation --
but we
aren't going to know that.

>> That will give you room.

we don't
know that now.

When we go to the voters this
november and if we go in for --
if we have a cumulative total of
over $385 million on there, we
are going to have to say, this
causes a tax increase of x right
now.

That might change down the road,
I understand that.

>> Mayor.

the city
manager has a quick comment.

>> I just want to react, with
respect to capital projects
coming in over and under, i
would suspect before november in
some instances, you are going to
know the answer to those
questions, so that's -- that's
an important note to make.

>> Morrison: Mayor.

but the
only thing we can say right now,
when we get to the point of
approving a bond proposal to put
on the ballot is anything over
385 million will cause a tax
increase.

>> That's correct.

that's
the same we are operating on.

Council member morrison.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

To follow up on that.

Our assumptions about the tax
increase include the same of a
certain amount of issuance of
certificates of obligation over
the coming years.

So, in fact, if we change those
assumptions, it could change the
numbers -- the 385 number, i
presume?

>> That -- there are a lot of
assumptions that we build into
this, so as those parts --
moving parts move, yes, and they
could be competing against each
other, but if the co to be
issued in the future expected to
be less and projects under
budget, that could be a possible
variance where you could make
room for more projects, yes.

>> Morrison: But these cos, i
think it is important to
understand that we have complete
control over what we bond with
cos or not.

The items have to be approved by
council and I think that they
are -- we have a policy about
when they need to be approved.

They need to be urgent or a
long-term cap am thing but just
to -- a long-term capital thing
but just to say, I don't know
the past spending over the past
years has been.

I do know as you said 25 million
this year.

But if we were to knockdown the
assumptions and commit to living
within the assumptions, we could
change that number.

so given
that statement, are you going to
come back and say, now our bond
capacity is 400, 415 million?

At some point we have to take a
snapshot and say this is our
bond capacity and that's what i
want to know from you, what is
our bond capacity right now for
0 tax increase?

>> Right now, it's 385.

With the assumptions that we
have built into that model,
which includes issuing cos at a
certain level in the future.

are you
going to change your
assumptions?

>> Not at this point.

They are based on our historical
performance.

However, between now and
november, as the manager said,
if situations change --
let me
just say it gets awfully hard to
plan a bond package like this
when we can't get a straight and
unequivocal answer from the
staff.

>> Let me respond by saying no,
you heard the qualifier in terms
of capital projects that are
outstanding than whether or not
they come in over or under.

I think our cfo referred to this
as -- at the outset as let's say
science and more than an art and
I think that was intended to
recognize that making this
estimate does entail making a
substantial assumptions.

We don't intend to change them,
unless we receive that kind of
direction from council.

You can -- you can call upon us
to make some different
assumptions for whatever
purposes you deem appropriate.

We will give you our reaction to
that but at the end of the day,
you can certainly direct us in
that regard.

We are locked on 385 million
today.

That's a snapshot, for purposes
of making a decision.

>> Tovo: Mayor.

so given
that, I would like to say I will
not support anything above
385,000 cumulative total and the
only recommendation that we have
for that -- subject to
modification, is a staff
recommendation for 385, but I do
have in front of me several
suggestions for change that i
would like to throw on the table
to that staff recommendation.

Just to put them up for
discussion now.

We need direction today.

We need to talk about what these
possibilities are.

>> Tovo: Mayor, I have some
additional questions for
ms. hart.

council
member tovo, go ahead.

>> Tovo: Thanks.

I heard your response but i
just -- I just want to be really
clear.

You had mentioned that there is
some creative ways of
structuring debt and I wanted to
ask the question, are there any
creative ways of structuring
debt that would get us to 400
without raising taxes?

>> Well, we operate within a lot
of assumptions, and in
structuring the debt, we try to
keep the level at debt service
even with the new layered in --
excuse me, even with the new
layered in debt for the new
projects, and sometimes you have
to shift the debt from one year
to the next.

So the only way to say it is it
is an art, and, yes, we can
shift things, and sometimes you
will not end up with exactly
level debt service.

So you may have a spike in one
year, but we try to avoid that.

and we
have some other metrics like net
debt to av that we look at or we
try and stay below 2%, so we are
trying to take all of that into
account when we -- when we
structure these.

But, yes, we do have some
flexibility in structuring when
the principal payments are made
and that will affect how the
principal and interest is paid
out over the 20 years.

>> Tovo: So I guess I am not
really clear on whether that's a
yes but it's not advisable or
it's a no --

>> the recommendation in front
of you is, as I understand it,
is our financial staff best
determination, taking all
factors anĂș making what their
professional judgment tells them
are on the most feasible
assumptions to make in regard to
determination as to debt
capacity, for purposes of this
bond program.

It is true, as the conversation
has been going on here, that,
again, that it's -- and there
are a variety of different
assumptions that can be made.

They made them based on all of
the things they would consider
and the determination has been
that our capacity is at 385.

>> Tovo: Maybe we can visit more
outside of this meeting about
that one issue.

The other thing I just want to
be sure I understand, in the
memo dated july 18th, looking at
the spending plan versus --
well, the range of information
you've provided, if we look at
the amount of unspent to date
and look at the total fiscal
year '12 to '16 spending plan,
in several of those categories
there will be what I believe
might be an excess, but I want
trimble whether i
am reading this properly, so if
we go down -- let me give you a
few examples.

Item -- in the 1998 bond parks,
we have an amount unspent to
5 million and it looks
like the spending plan gets us
to 4.2 million.

And then, you know, there is
some more significant ones down
the road and you have addressed
a couple of the big ones in your
memo, but if you go down the
line, there is some other --
there is, you know, a lot of
these, it looks to me like the
spending plans are coming in
under the amount unspent to
date, which would maybe give us
a little bit of -- of room
there, the other big one was
1
unspent and then the spending
plan only gets us to 3.4.

>> So what happened with that
is, comparing it to the amount
unspent, if we went back and
looked at the information that's
been loaded up into the system
with respect to spending plans,
and we did have some discussions
with departments, project
managers about some of the
differences, and so I don't
think it's fair to say that that
money is not programmed to be
spent, if it's not in the
spending plan.

I think it's more of the process
of updating the spending plan
and that's where we saw a lot of
the difference in those amounts,
and so that's probably something
we should have caveated in our
description as well, that we are
in the process and we are in the
process of updating the spending
plans to make sure they are
accurately reflecting what our
plan is over the next five years
out.

>> Tovo: Okay.

Well, that's disappointing
because it looked like we would
have real savings in these
categories.

Do you have any sense of -- how
those columns add up?

>> For example, there is -- i
think one of the watershed line
items for open space, more
watershed drainage in '06, you
see the amount to be spent is
actually more than the amount to
be spent.

>> Tovo: I see that.

Just a couple, though.

>> And that's mother of the
cleanup we will have to do as
part of the spending plan data.

>> Tovo: Do you feel like your
memo is accurate in identifying
unanticipated cost savings or
actually unspent funds -- actual
unspent funds?

>> I think based on the -- based
on the questions that were
posed, I think this reflects the
best information to provide to
you in response to those
questions.

I don't think we specifically
responded to, you know, cost
savings and what dollars, but i
think with regards to, you know,
the spending plan information,
you know, with the caveats that
I just mentioned, with respect
to some of the projects that
are, you know, contemplated them
to be completed in their phase
and not completed in their
phase, all of that information
is up to date and accurate that
we can provide up to this point.

>> If I can add something, too,
assistant city manager.

We are showing projects where we
can be underbudget.

We have projects that are going
to be overbudget.

That's the way it is.

So to only look at one side and
say, we have got some projects
that are projected to be
underbudget, let's take that
money and do something else,
conservatively, we would try to
hold it for that bond program
that's already been voted on, to
complete the projects that were
approved by the voters at that
time and once that's done, if
there is money leftover, we
would say, we have got some
funds to allocate somewhere
else.

So I think we are a little bit
uncomfortable prematurely before
the bond program all projects
are done to say we found money
to spend on other projects
because we haven't completed all
of the projects yet.

There are going to some come
under, some come over and we
recommend we save those funds
for that program until it is
complete and then we will be
able to tell you with all
confidence, we have got money
leftover and then we can shift
it around.

>> Tovo: Okay.

Thanks for that.

I just want to say I have
some -- some real specific
questions about why some of
these funds haven't been
expended in certain of these
categories and, you know, in
looking through some of the
specific information, you have
noted, that for me raised a lot
of questions about why we
haven't progressed on in phase
two for some and other items
here but this is might be not
the right venue to address
those.

The main question is, are there
dollars in this chart that we
can allocate to some of what may
not be funded in this time's
bond program.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

I am going to go back to the
specific recommendations I want
to make just because I want to
get them on the table and the
decision will be made at some
other time.

But starting with the staff
recommendation of 385 million, i
am going to propose that we add
5 million to the austin studios
renovation of the national guard
armory.

That's less than what they have
requested.

They will have to fund raise an
additional 2 and a half to 4 and
a half million to make their
project actually work, but i
think this is a project that we
have -- we -- we supported them
a lot in the past and these
kinds of investments have
resulted in a positive return on
investment for the city of
austin because they -- they --
they have economic impact, the
work that they do and we are
trying very much in a difficult
environment to build our film
industry here, competing with
cities right outside the state
of texas who have a lot of
support from the state
government, which we don't have,
so 5 million for the austin
studios renovation.

I am going to suggest that we
add 2 million for the violet
crown trail.

This is a long-term hill country
conservancy project which has
been stalled out far longer than
it should have in my opinion and
recognizing also this may not be
enough but hill country
conservancy has a demonstrated
track record to go out and raise
money to finally get this
project completed.

It's a 30-mile or so trail, from
the barton creek wilderness area
on down into hays county.

The next item is to add 3 and a
half million dollars for the
community supported plan to
improve east 51st street.

That is a project that is
leveraged with private money and
specifically with catella's and
it has the support of every
contiguous neighborhood
association, and next is to add
$2 million for the proposed
amendments to the barton springs
bathhouse.

As you know, we went through
this process a few years ago,
and some of us have our names on
a plaque outside that bathhouse
right now, because of city
council's participation in that
renovation.

With the requirement that they
do it basically the same way
that the deep eddie renovation
took place, that the
conditional -- that it be
conditional on the friends of
barton springs as the friends of
deep eddie did, to raise
250,000-dollars from the private
funds as a match, that's --
that's, I think, a plan that we
followed on several projects,
besides deep eddie.

Eddie.

The trail foundation has down
projects like that, too, so that
adds up to 12 and a half million
dollars.

And I propose that we offset
that, and I think hopefully
setting a precedent that every
time we talk about adds, we also
talk about where it's coming
from, from this point on.

I would suggest that the 12 and
a half million in offsets be
accounted for as follows:
Affordable housing reduced by 8
and -- 8 and a half million
dollars reduced by.

And the justification is if city
has secured at least $10 million
more in affordable housing funds
that will flow to the city
during the next six years, the
time for this bond package and
that is through the master
development agreement on if
green water treatment plant and
other similar agreements where
you have a long-standing policy
that when city land is sold to
private interests that the tif,
or increase in appraised value,
the tax is paid on that, 40% of
that would go to the affordable
housing trust fund.

So we will get more than that
800 -- and a half million
dollars during the term of this
bond offset by that source.

And I would also suggest -- none
of these are easy to come by and
there is a lot more that we
would all like to have in there.

They are all very difficult
choices, and I support all of
these things, even those that i
am suggesting that some cuts
come from.

The last one is the park request
for park land acquisition be
reduced by $4 million which
basically zeros it out but i
would point out that there is
$8 million left from the 2006
bond election to take care of
that for park land acquisition.

So those are -- those are my
suggestions to put on the table
for further discussion.

>> Mayor.

council
member martinez.

>> Martinez: I appreciate you
making suggestions.

I also appreciate council member
morrison teeing up the
400 million-dollar conversation.

In spending just a little bit of
time going through the -- in
comparing the proposeds and
contemplating 400 million, if we
take the lesser of the two
recommendations that won't
impede a project, and certain
importants, like i-35
improvements.

It just has a certain amount.

It is not tied to a project.

So if we take the lesser than
the two and adopt a
400 million-dollar package,
3 million available
that would fund everything that
so
I am not going to make specific
proposals today, but there is a
pathway to achieve, I think, a
compromise in getting some of
these requests met, but it
does -- it would require you not
being able to make your
statement, that there wouldn't
be a tax increase, but it would
be a third of a penny to achieve
that.

Based on what ms. hart told us.

would
require you to do what, excuse
me.

>> Martinez: If you were fop
supportive of it, it would no
not allow you to continue your
message of not raising taxes,
which is what you said you won't
support.

I stand
by my statement that I will not
support anything that will
require a tax increase.

>> Martinez: I understand why.

>> Cole: I have a question of
council member morrison.

well, he
has -- if he yields -- mayor pro
tem.

>> Cole: I want to understand
during the process, you are
talking about the ih-35 corridor
and you said that those -- can
you just -- I just need to
understand how you are
contemplating where the money
would come from and if --

>> Martinez: By taking the
lesser of the two -- so when i
when I compare the 400 to 385
and I will go to specifically
i-35 since you brought that up.

On the lesser of the two, you
3 million on the i-35
improvements because it's -- i
mean, we could spend
$100 million improving i-35 or
we can spend 10 million.

It doesn't matter.

It needs improvements to
infinity.

But if we took the lesser of the
two, in that case, that would be
3 million unallocated bond
funds available for something
else.

And so I have done that through
several of the recommendations,
one -- the first one being the
affordable housing
recommendation, if we stick to
the 385 recommendation of
65 million, that's $11 million,
to be allocated.

If we -- in one of the parks
proposals, there is a
1 million-dollar savings, if you
take the lesser of the two, and
3, so it is
$15.3 million.

If we were to go to 400 million
total package.

And so that's what I want to
talk about, whether or not there
is the fortitude to have this
conversation and possibly --

>> Cole: But your solution of
etch taking the lesser of the
two would result in us going
above the 385 to 400 with the --
with a tax increase?

>> Martinez: Correct.

It would be a third of a penny.

>> Cole: A third.

Okay.

council
member morrison.

>> Morrison: I wonder if my
colleagues would mind, I know
there is another idea that was
thrown out there and I wondered
if we could hear from the chair
of the task force, frank
fernandez, to talk about that,
because I think we are all
trying to be creative and look
at ways to --
sure, if
you have a question for him, he
is here.

>> Morrison: Yes, I do.

Hey, frank, thanks for coming
and for your and all of the task
force's work.

I know it was sort of grueling.

But there are so many demands
on -- and so many needs, no
matter how you look at it.

What I understood was there was
some contemplation of throwing
out a different idea, of
thinking more broadly over a
longer range of what are we
doing just this year that would
move some funding around.

Could you speak to that, please?

>> One of the things that we
grappled with was the urban rail
process was on a parallel
process and obviously it was a
big number and not knowing what
was going to happen with that.

Now that you all have a little
more clarity and towards the end
of our process, that became
clear in terms that it was going
to get delayed was thinking
about, you know, if the reality
is that you all are going to
consider doing a transportation
election, with urban rail and
other things, most likely in a
year or two, does it make sense
to potentially move some of the
transportation stuff, because
it's going to -- you guys a
going to do an election in a
year or two to then because the
political reality is that urban
rail needs other transportation
to have that broader support and
then that would free up some
funds now because there is a
precedent for transportation for
the election in 2010 and there
will be another one in 2012 and
then 2014, whenever you decide
to do that.

So if you look at the projects,
and and I know as was alluded to
by mike, i-35, there is a number
there -- it is over a billion
dollars, but you are just trying
to make progress on it so there
is other projects within
transportation where you have a
program and instead of being --
most of the stuff here is
contemplated to be a 4-5 year
program, the transportation
stuff or at least portions of it
would be a two-year program
because you will refund it
anyways in a year or two so it
would be something to think
about.

We obviously didn't get into
much depth in at in the task
force because we came in at tail
end and I think there is
something -- I don't know if
anybody else is here from the
task force, I think there was
support -- jeff is here from the
farce and the task force would
support that because the reality
is, this I can tell you all of
the task force members felt
there wasn't enough funds given
all the needs that were
identified and if there is a way
to, given that transportation is
going to come up again in a much
shorter time frame than, say t
other areas, to try to try to
prioritize, given that you won't
have anything for housing, for
parks and for the city
facilities for another four,
five, six years.

>> Morrison: I guess -- and so
your -- another one of the big
ticket items in the
transportation, in terms of
thinking about meeting it out in
two or three year program as
opposed to five or six year
program, it might sit under it,
I am asking, is street
reconstruction?

I know there was across the
board $40 million support for
that and I know we have, you
know, a strong program.

And, in fact, I think in our budget
workshop recently, I believe
lasarus or maybe it was you,
city manager, who said we were
ahead of pharmaceutical on that
program and so in your scenario,
you think that might be -- as
opposed to 40, you might do 20,
25 or something like that and
then plan on doing it again two
years from now.

>> Yes, there were a couple like
that on new construction and
mike can speak to that but
contemplation is a lot of those
programs instead of discrete
projects were on a 4 to five
year cycle so if you were to do,
again, say, in two years, you
could shorten the years of it,
it is a two-year program and
recognize that and it would have
to be refunded whenever the next
transportation bond election
would occur.

Is that fair, mike?

>> I think the conversation we
had with the task force is based
on the funding amounts
contemplated in the packages
that were being discussed for
the street reconstruction,
sidewalks, you are probably
looking at, you know, funding
for more round -- three-year
range but given the fact we have
existing dollars to spend out in
these programs and that's some
of the spending plan information
that you received is, again, we
mentioned in the memo we are
anticipating spending out well
over 70% and the majority of
these the next two years but
given the funding, that is more
a five or four year program
together.

>> I guess one question I have
for you, frank, one question we
need to think about, if we think
about our bonding we go to the
voters for as a multi-year and
think about the fact that we did
90 million in transportation
bonds, I know you were looking
at balancing and, you know, what
percent is going to
transportation, what percent is
going to housing and parks and
open space.

Was there -- and I know
transportation is just
expensive.

Roads are expensive.

Rail is expensive.

Did you all have any
conversation about thinking of,
like this package of either 385,
400, whatever it's going to be,
combined with 90 -- 90 million
from 2010 and how that actually
shifts the percentage, because
as it is right now, I think that
transportation percent is about
37 -- I might be wrong, but if
you actually -- if you actually
look at -- if you think of the
90 million plus this together it
shifts it up to like 48%, 47%.

Did you all have any -- what
starts to trouble me, frankly --

>> we had conversations about
it.

We didn't come to any consensus
as to what is the appropriate
level in cumulatively, in terms
of x number of years but i
definitely think that's a
consideration that was thrown
out during the discussions, i
know for myself, the point you
raised is something I took into
account in terms of how much
should we allocate to different
areas.

Transportation did a bond
election and even though we
weren't considering, to me it is
more part of transportation, so
if they had gone forward, a huge
chunk of it would be to that and
say it is not the appropriate
level, but I do think from my
perspective, it is appropriate
to think comprehensively like
that in terms of what -- what
makes sense to prioritize each
of these issue areas.

>> Morrison: Okay.

And then one other question, the
mayor just mentioned that we
are -- we do have an expectation
of getting funding for housing
from our tifs, our downtown
tifs.

Was that part of the
conversation, when you were
making your recommendation for
the amount of affordable housing
funds?

Did you look in terms of all the
other funding that we expect to
see come in?

>> There were discussions around
that for housing as well as some
of the others.

I think some of the challenge is
that there is something -- it is
kind of alluded to the
conversation about what is the
right 385 in terms of the tax
increase or not, as there is
some things that can help but
other things that can hurt.

For example, within -- someone
who does housing, I can tell you
there is a lot of concern that
federal money is decreasing
substantially so it is something
that can be taken away and
figuring out the right balance
and I am sure for parks and
others, there is similar
calculations that go on.

>> Morrison: And just one last
comment to you, it is my
understanding from the testimony
that we have that the
110 million-dollar figure that
came out of recommendation in
the very beginning was based
on -- and this is very
interesting to me, a lot of work
done by folks on what capacity
do we have in this community for
building and developing
affordable housing, and, you
know, because they could have --
the recommendation could have
been 200 million, but I think
the bottom line was the picture
of all of the funding that we
can expect, that that's what we
could actually get on the
ground.

Is that correct?

>> Yes, on the housing more
intelligently, yes, I think in
terms of that intersection of
need and capacity and also the
need is more significant in
terms of the capacity.

The capacity to do that is
there, but, again, you know, the
task force, you know -- the task
force as opposed to housing
advocate, we were in violent
agreement, in terms of consensus
where we were at but obviously
individual members supported
some areas more than others, to
be fair to that process.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> Cole: Mayor.

mayor pro
tem.

>> Cole: I have a quick question
I would like you
to briefly talk about the types
and range of income of housing
that you discussed.

>> In terms of the process, i
think the -- the range was the
full range in terms of the --
the basic areas that folks
considered, one was permanent
supportive housing and obviously
focused on folks who struggled
on homelessness, some was low
income, rental housing and folks
who make $25,000 or less and
then on the homeownership side,
thinking about how do we
currently assist folks who are
first time home buyers as well
as basically the works that done
with home repair which you may
or may not be familiar with but
there are groups who work
primarily with low income
seniors and keep in their homes
because they may own their home
and they have maintenance and if
forced to move they move to
assistive living facilities or
nursing homes which are more
expensive so those were the
profiles of folks discussed.

>> And so because you dealt with
the very low income, including
senior citizens and permanent
supportive housing you
contemplated housing first with
the chronically homeless
population?

>> Yes, that would be within
psh, that is a big part of that.

>> Cole: Okay.

Thank you.

council
member riley.

>> Riley: First, mayor, I want
to indicate my -- share your
general concern about making --
being able to assure the voters
we are not necessitating a tax
increase, and so my inclination
is to -- is to strive to stick
to the 385 number.

I do -- there are obviously a
lot of very important needs that
we are not going to be able to
meet so it's a struggle to see
what we can pack into that --
that 385 number, and in that
regard, I wanted to ask about
the -- well, just let me say by
way of example, that we heard
support for an item involving
the people's community clinic.

They identified the fact that we
really don't have any -- we have
a real shortage of health care
facilities in the whole
northeast quadrant and that
there is space available in the
miller development, where
people's community clinic can
work with other partners to
establish a facility and I even
heard from members from the bond
task force that have said that
they wouldn't be supportive of
that if it hadn't been raised
during the regular process.

It is not because they only get
their federal designation in
june, I believe.

So in looking around for ways to
find funding for that and
potentially other items, I am
looking at items that are
already within that -- that
package, and I wanted to ask
about -- about
particular.

It's a park side for the
montopolis neighborhood park and
community building.

The original capital needs
assessment for that was
$9 million.

All of the various packages,
except for the staff
200 million-dollar package
include that item in the amount
5 million, so it went up
significantly from the original
capital needs assessment cost
estimate.

And I just wanted to ask about
that and why it -- why that
number went up from -- from
5 and all the
different packages and what
would happen if we were to
reduce that amount, by, say,
$2 million in order to fund
something like the clinic
project in miller?

>> We had this conversation,
too, with the task force and we
actually provided this proposal
to them.

We had discussions between the
health and human services and
our parks department and health
and human services was looking
at some improvements and so --
parks was as well and what they
did was got together and
discussed having this kind of
joint use facility so it would
be recreational facility but
also there would be space for
health and human services
programming, as well.

So it's really kind of a joint
use facility at this point,
given health and human services
and what they were looking at
doing and then parks, so we
probably have some folks who can
speak more specifically to those
services and programs
contemplated but that was the
general.

>> Riley: Is there any issue --
given breakdown of items on the
ballot and the need to have
distinct items for -- for parks
and for, for instance, health
and human services?

Is there an issue of combining
these two items, the one project
of providing funding for what is
essentially a health and human
services project within the
parks department?

>> We reviewed all of the
projects and programs with bond
council.

We didn't -- we didn't cross any
concerns at that point but we
can go back and double check on
that.

That did come into play for one
of our projects, rutherford
lane, you will notice there is
several different city
operations out there so we had
to look at how to allocate
public safety versus health and
human services for that one, so
we have had those conversations
about how to best allocate
dollars.

>> Riley: So we can go back and
look at the project to make slur
it is appropriately categorized
as purely a parks project?

>> Yes.

>> Riley: And then the follow-up
question would be, what would
happen if that project were
5 to, say,
13.5?

Would we still be able to
provide a building that could
accommodate some health services
functions?

>> I am actually going to defer
to maybe sarah or kim to talk
about that.

>> Sarah hensley, director of
parks and recommendation.

The idea is to combine the
facilities and to have the parks
and recreation montopolis center
and a center that would serve
health and human services needs.

If we cut back by 2 million, you
will basically get more of parks
and recreation facility less
than human services facility.

You may get a couple of items in
there from health and human
services' perspective but it
wouldn't be the one top shop we
were trying to create and the
moore -- the more effective use
of dollars by combining the two
facilities.

Our current montopolis center,
you can't repair it anymore.

We have got to rebuild it.

But if you notice where they are
located, they are so close
together, we thought combining,
there will be efficiencies in
the general fund, not
necessarily savings from
15 million-dollar development
but not only having one
department answering the phones
and you don't have the general
staffing there as you would in
the other facilities so it comes
more from general funds
perspective but capital but if
we cut 2 million, it will cut on
the parks and recreation side, i
don't want to take it out from
hhs, either but a smaller part
from parks or from health and
human services.

>> Riley: Can I ask the health
and human services staff, given
the needs that we have heard
about the additional medical
facilities in the northeast
quadrant, how could we
compare -- in terms -- speaking
in terms of the needs for health
and human services, how could we
compare if -- the function that
this facility would play in
montopolis compared with the
need for a clinic in the
northeast quadrant?

>> The health and human services
does not provide direct primary
care so there are two totally
different discussions.

The combined park facility is
basically a neighborhood center
services that would
be provided there, immunization
services.

The peoples community clinic is
a primary care facility, which
gives much like you go to your
primary care doctor.

We are talking about two very
different functions.

>> Riley: Right.

And -- and that health and human
services is agnostic as to how
to evaluate the -- the need for
one versus the need for the
other?

>> I think there is sufficient
need for both.

I think we all agree there is
probably more need out there
than we have the ability to meet
at aen time.

It is hard to compare them
because they are going after two
very different functions but are
they both needed?

Yes.

>> Riley: Is it your sense if we
were to scale back the
montopolis project by
$2 million, we would not be able
to -- to provide the need in
health and human services
function at that center?

>> It would significantly -- as
sarah said, it would
significantly scale back what we
need to do out of that center.

Currently -- the current
montopolis neighborhood center
is not necessarily a full
service center.

It only has certain services,
certain days a week.

The combined center would allow
us to provide a variety of
services in that one location,
so it would scale back our
ability to do that.

>> Okay.

Thanks.

>> Mayor.

council
member martinez.

>> Martinez: I have a similar
question and I support council
member riley, your efforts in
trying to find funding for
people's community clinic.

This relates to a different
project, though.

The northwest police substation
came in under the needs
assessment at 15.7 million.

Is city manager's recommendation
was for 15.7.

The task force recommendation
7, which, if we
shifted to that number, that
would create $3 million.

What does that do to the
project, though, by taking the
task force recommendation?

And what did they take into
account in making
recommendation?

7 is the actual cost
estimate we have from the
project as communicated by the
task force from staff.

7, it was just discussed
and I can't really say it was
based on anything in particular.

We would consider it arbitrary
cut, determined to take
$3 million from the project and
reallocate to something else and
that's why you see in the staff
400 and the city manager 385,
that number was restored to the
15.7 for that.

>> Martinez: So what did the
needs assessment stipulate in
order to come up with this
15 million-dollar price tag?

So are you -- in the task force
recommendation, are they simply
saying we are going to reduce
the size of this project to save
$3 million and come in at a
12 million-dollar budget.

>> That's basically the
discussion, just to reduce it,
but not to reduce it on any
logical funding of the project,
and there was no information
provided on specifically what we
would do for that 12 million,
because, again, we went back and
looked and said for us to do
this project, considering the
land acquisition, all of the
planning design work and the
construction, you know, our best
estimate right now is 15.7.

>> I can add to that, if that's
okay to you.

This issue is one we talked
about staff wise with the outset
based on experience with the
2006 bond program and of course
you all know in trying to carry
out those projects, the animal
services center, the library, et
cetera, in the course of
developing that bond program,
there were likewise kinds of
cuts made.

Will characterize them as fairly
arbitrarily but what it meant
ultimately was it could not meet
the expectations associated with
the scope.

The scope did not change, rather
those projects and subsequently,
as you know, we had -- we had to
find remedies in order to
continue to carry out the
program for those projects that
I am citing by way of example.

This is directly on point here.

This bond program, we are really
focused on not repeating that,
and really recognizing that
there is a certain science
associated with projects and
estimating the project cost, so
when -- when there is -- when
there is a reduction, and,
again, I am using the word
arbitrary, it really, I think,
compromises the integrity of the
estimate and the scope
associated with it, so we want
to avoid that.

>> Martinez: Completely
understand.

In fact, I have been the most
vocal about that, leading into
this, that I didn't want to see
us do that, so in my mind, if i
am going to contemplate cutting
3 million, I am going to go
further and contemplate
eliminating the project, to
manage those expectations,
because we didn't -- we have
not, in this proposal corrected
what you just talked about in
.

We have got a northeast
substation promised and planned,
along with the municipal court
that is sending there moth
balled and there is nothing in
this proposal that gets us to
completion of that project.

To me, th high priority
in northeast austin than a brand
new substation, which I don't
doubt is not needed.

>> I think you are right from
that perspective, because from
my perspective, there isn't
adequate funding to meet the
original expectation.

>> Martinez: Sure.

I totally agree.

I just want to go back to where
that community was prompted
something in 2006.

They voted for it.

We voted for it.

It is 2012.

We still don't have a northeast
substation.

We still don't have the
municipal court moved there and
yet we are contemplating another
bond measure and not fixing the
problem.

So I am going to work to
potentially eliminate this and
apply it to other promises we
have already made that we
haven't fulfilled.

council
member tovo.

>> Tovo: I have a few questions
for staff but before I move on
to that, I want to point out
that I appreciate the work that
the group did and, also, their
requests of staff to look at
geographic dispersal of past
bond funds and that's useful and
the chart in the back we have, i
think, is a valuable piece of
information, given what my
colleague just said, and that is
looking at our 2010 bond
projects, the northeast had 3%,
it was woefully under the other
areas of the city, so I do
think -- I do think we need to
prioritize, making slur that
previous commitments are -- in
making sure previous commitments
are met and we are very
equitable in going forward and
the advisory committee has done
a very good job as they make
recommendations.

I am very concerned about the
allocation we have in our
current proposal for affordable
I would not support
reductions in that category.

In fact, I would -- I am going
to look for ways to increase
that.

I think we have critical needs
in this community.

Our needs far exceed what would
be contemplated in the proposal
before us, and I think we have
heard some new ones -- not new
ones but heard a renewed
emphasis on needs like better
care for women and children who
are homeless and so I would -- i
would like to see us find money
within the facilities budget to
increase funding for the
women -- the women and
children's shelter, to provide
for an expansion, if that's
something that makes sense at
that facility.

I also support the people's
clinic, the additional money for
the people's clinic and I have a
few specific questions for
staff.

The one project that I know very
little about is harold's court.

I wondered if one of our staff
members could address -- address
that.

I.

>> Howard, publics work
director, harold court is one of
the few things we have to
maintain and preserve the
remaining infrastructure.

It is home to the transportation
department, markings crew as
well as public works, one of our
shield crews and overly crew and
the facilities and structures
crew.

The facility consists of a
couple of different buildings.

The best of the buildings is a
building that is probably 30
years old.

The roof leaks, window leaks and
there are no locker room
facilities in the building, no
draining facilities in the
building and we share that
building with the watershed and
it's probably past economic
lifespan.

The other facilities, both
markings crew from
transportation or overlay crew
exist in essentially plywood
enclosures that they self-fill
several years ago with either
earth or asphalt floors in them.

Again, there are no locked
facilities, no computer access
and no training facilities
there.

In fact, the electrical wiring
and plumbing in those buildings
is substandard.

Our utilities crew operates
under a couple of, I guess,
salvaged trailers that they have
made do but there is improper
areas for storage of materials
as well as any sort of staff
amenity, so the facilities are
in pretty poor condition.

We also don't have adequate room
to lay out the materials.

One of the goals is to recycle
the materials we use, to take a
greener, more sustainable
approach to the system of our
infrastructure.

We don't have room to do that
because there is not enough
space.

So the facility there is one
that needs to be replaced either
on site or another location and
I think further degradation of
that will endanger many of the
gains we made the last several
years in improving the quality
of our pavements and safety of
our roadways through markings
and intersections improvements
as well and puts our staff at a
disadvantage because they can't
access information that is
available to other city staff
because they don't have the
computer access out there, nor
are we able to train our staff
up to standards they are able to
perform the maintenance staff
that is required of them.

Having said that, they do a
remarkable job, given the
facilities they work out of and
it is surprise how well their
morale is and how well they are
motivated, but at this point i
think the facilities are beyond
any repair.

The next couple of years we will
do environmental restoration in
that area because there were
some areas where there were fill
activities that occurred for a
long period of time that need to
be remediated so we will lose
better part of 2-acres off the
usable area any way to that
remediation process.

So failure to address the
problems in the harold court
facility are going to ultimately
result in degradation of our
ability to maintain our roadways
and provide safe highways and
biways, if you will, for people
to get in and around austin.

>> Tovo: And the reason for that
last statement is because the
materials aren't being stored in
facilities that are adequate.

Is that is plan?

>> We don't have proper storage
for -- for reclaimed materials
that we want to use.

We don't have proper storage for
pouring cement and concrete
materials that we use.

>> Tovo: Sorry.

>> Portland cement and gravel
and the other things that go
into mixing concrete and so as
the facilities continue to
deteriorate, we will have to
find other places to put staff
and equipment and those don't
exist anywhere.

>> Tovo: Okay.

Well, you certainly -- i
certainly understand better what
you are saying about -- about
the facilities and how that
would impact staff morale, you
know, it does sound like very
hardworking conditions for the
staff.

But in terms of safety of our
roads, it sounds like -- I want
to assure the public that the
materials that go into our roads
aren't being stored improperly
out there, nor would they, as
you just pointed out, you would
find other places to put them.

I mean, our --

>> the problem, really, when you
deal with portland cement, you
don't want it to get wet.

You have to find a place to put
it.

If you don't have adequate
storage you will lose part of
it, due to waste without proper
storage for it.

In terms of safety of the
roadways, director spiller would
like to add in the future
additional markings crew and do
maintenance marking and not just
marking new pavement.

There is no place to put that
new crew right now because there
is no facilities available and
when you drive around at night
in incollimate weather, it is
hard to find the markings on the
roadway so we need to address
that.

Our ability to respond to
potholes and do maintenance
overlays and shell coding of our
streets depends on the crew to
be able to do that work.

As the network continues to
expand through new construction
and annexation, we have to have
a place to put those resources.

>> Tovo: Okay.

I see the capital needs
assessment returned figure of
16 million, the task force has
recommended 11 million.

What could you achieve for
11 million?

Or are we going to be in the
same situation that's already
been raised, where you have some
funds but not adequate funds so
nothing happens within the
recent -- not the recent -- the
immediate future.

>> We are a going to have to
do -- we can do a couple of
things.

One we can build probably on
some sort of module basis, where
you accommodate some needs but
not all.

The other we can find additional
or alternate source of funding.

One of those alternates is to
fund it over a long term for a
portion and take that money out
of the transportation fund and
basically pay it back over time.

That does have an impact because
it will take money out of
potential use for delivery of
direct service on mountaining
the -- on maintaining the
roadways but the fund does have
the capacity to absorb a small
amount of the total cost but not
all of it.

Obviously we would prefer to
keep these dollars directed
towards delivery of service and
take care of the logistical
needs for the staff and for the
crews through the capital
program, which is, I think, a
more appropriate use of the
dollars.

>> Tovo: But you do have the --
thank you for that additional
piece of information.

You do have the ability, then,
it sounds like, of working with
a lower dollar figure because
the additional moneys for
completing that facility could
be taken out of transportation
fund.

I see the city manager.

>> Mayor leffingwell let me
interrupt you, for a second.

Please respect the people behind
you and make sure there is
nobody behind you when you are
standing up and holding your
signs.

>> During the discussion with
the bond election advisory task
force, part of the conversation
again was how much could you
lose from this before it becomes
an infeasible project.

And we did a square foot
estimate based upon the program
we need and came up with hard
cost and soft cost to about the
$16 million that was included,
over the face of losing the
entire amount, we kind of went
back and tried to figure out
where we could cobble together
the rest of the funding.

It's not a desired outcome.

>> Tovo: Sure, sure.

>> But it a essomething faced
with losing the entire amount of
funding to take care of the
needs of the staff members when
they are out working when it is
110 degrees outside, it is the
only option left to us at that
time.

In order to build the facility
we programmed out, the need is
for the $15.8 million.

>> Tovo: Sorry, 15.8 or 16.1?

>> Well, 16.1.

>> Tovo: Thank you.

I appreciate that discussion.

I have a similar question for
director hensley please.

>> Council member, before we do
that, I -- the people's
community clinic has been
brought up a couple of times and
I think we have information from
bond council on that so i
thought that would be good for
you to hear that information
real briefly.

>> Tovo: Yes.

Sure.

>> Good afternoon, jerry kyles
with the interest group, bond
council.

On the people's community
clinic, we had some
conversations about the I feint
to which that -- that purpose
might put the city in a position
where it's providing health care
in a manner that the central
health district currently
provides health care and there
would be some -- some legal
issues with that.

There is kind of a -- kind of a
restriction against the city
expanding resources for primary
health care that is already
provided by the health district.

>> Tovo: Oh, okay.

Thank you.

Do other people have questions
for him before I turn back to
director hensley?

I will
check on that.

Does anybody else have
questions?

Council member morrison.

>> Morrison: I guess I -- i
don't know if this has to be in
executive session or not, but
does that mean that staff advice
is that we -- we may not put --
we are not allowed to put the
people's community clinic,
consider it as part of what we
would want to cover with our
bond package?

>> I think at this point it's a
question.

I think we need to get more
information about the services
people's community clinic would
be providing and make a
determination based on that.

>> I think the main thing we
wanted to communicate is there
is, based on bond council's
review of it and the project
that there is a potential legal
risk in actually expending those
bond dollars for that project.

So we want to make sure you have
that information as you are
talking about this going
forward, that there is this
question out there, we would get
additional review if this moved
further in the process but
that's kind of where it's at
right now.

>> Morrison: Is there a plan to
get the additional review?

Because I am interested -- I am
very supportive of being able to
support -- put that -- include
that in our contemplation, so i
guess we need -- any other --
any final determination.

>> Jerry, I don't know if there
is additional review you can do
at the ag's office but at this
point, the opinion, so I am
clear is at -- you would
probably advisor we would advise
from staff not to include it
because there is a substantial
question on whether we could
actually expend those bond
dollars for this purpose, given
the concern you have raised.

Is that an accurate statement to
make?

>> Yes, I agree to that.

>> Tovo: I heard additional
determination but it is not
worth the effort at this point.

>> I mean if this did go forward
and let's say, for example,
council wanted to go down this
road, what we would do is take
that specific question and go
get an opinion on it.

I mean, that's -- that would be
the next step.

I think there is next steps in
the legal process to actually --
but for right now, I think
that's been our response, based
on the review.

Is that correct?

>> I agree with that.

There is enough of a concern
that it certainly is an open
point in my mind, and I would
say we definitely need to do
some more analysis but from what
I understand of the services
that would be provided, at a
minimum, it's uncertain.

>> Morrison: Well, I guess i
don't know what kind of
direction you all need to
actually pursue that, but for
me, it would be very helpful to
actually get a final -- to take
the next step, to get additional
clarification.

>> I think we can hear from the
city attorney on that.

>> Council member morrison, we
will definitely get you the
additional information and a
definite answer on that matter.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> And have it ready.

We can either submit it as a
memo or submit it at your next
meeting, which ever happens
earliest.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

I would
say earliest is best.

[Laughter]

>> sure.

>> Cole: Are you done?

Mayor.

mayor pro
tem, did you have a --

>> Cole: Yes.

I have a --
I will be
leaving leer in about two
minute -- I will be leaving here
in two minutes.

>> Cole: Okay.

Let me say first off i
definitely support your
recommendation that wed a
funding for austin studios, we
have a very low amount for our
arts, cultural, library museums
program and this organization
has shown that it has a
tremendous amount of public
support and I would suggest
there is a fire station driveway
replacement and a driveway
replacement at montopolis.

The driveway replacement is
approximately $3 million, just
so staff knows, that the project
02 and that would result
581 reduction, and there
is also a parking lot expansion
and I am hoping that combining
those two facilities together
for parks and health and human
services, if we are not able to
use those funds for people's
community clinic, will result in
us being able to have some
savings there and if not, when i
think about driveways and
parking lot expansions, those
should be items that are
included in our regular budget
process and that would result in
about $906,000, and then I also
support having some limited
funds taken from street
reconstruction obviously
$2 million to support your
5 million-dollar request, and,
mayor, I also support your
desire to have funding for
violet crown trail, but i
actually would not take that
funding from anyplace other than
the general open space that has
not been allocated to -- and
reduce that from and
specifically assign it because
it is totally within the city
limits and it ties into zilker
park and it goes far out south
in which some areas that are
underserved.

Finally, I would recommend the
urban rail savings of 2 million
actually be used for dohrty arts
center.

As you know, the needs
assessment for that is huge and
it is a huge issue for us with
rodents and basically our
families and children,
especially our children not
being safe in that facility, and
I do support the people's
community clinic and would also
like to get an answer to that
question because I think that it
is important in northeast austin
to have a primary care facility.

I believe that's it, mayor.

You can go.

nice to
have your partial support,
anyway.

I appreciate that.

Council member morrison, I have
to unfortunately leave.

>> Morrison: I guess, do we have
a few more minutes or are we
going to -- that would be -- i
appreciate that because I wanted
to do an overview.

[One moment, please, for change
in captioners]

>> Morrison: The first one
is the pard south district
maintenance facility.

I think that got zeroed out.

And I know there are some
concerns about some bottom
line, we need to be able to
protect our investments.

And I wonder if you could
speak to that.

>> Sarah hensley, director
of parks and recreation.

This is a facility that is
currently a house, a
non-accessible house where
we're using it for an office
area.

All the equipment and
supplies and vehicles are
out in the elements in a
fenced area and not in an
area where they're secured.

We have a couple of portable
barnes, temporary barn type
facilities that you can buy
at a local hardware store,
which is what we've
purchased, but primarily the
equipment and the vehicles
are out in the elements for
the period of time.

And the bigger issue too is
of course accessibility.

If the area is a home.

It's repicked up and it is
not an a.d.a. compliant.

So that's the situation
we're in.

I think we asked for
25 million to try to
rebuilt that and to make it
more accessible and also put
the equipment and supplies
in some type of enclosure so
that we could save on our
investment of our capital
items.

That's basically our
vehicles, our mowers,
belowers, we'd eaters and
things.

>> So they're out in the
elements right now.

>> The vehicles and mowers
are out in the elements
right now and the blowers
and weed eaters that are
smaller are in portable
storage.

>> Morrison: Are there
alternatives that would be
effective that could be less
than the original?

>> Yes.

I think there's always other
alternatives.

One is leaving the existing
house up for a period of
time and looking at a morton
structure that would be used
only for storage of
equipment and supplies.

That will be much less cost.

Not air conditioned, not
heated.

Basically to pull it in and
leave it in there.

It could probably do
something like that for
about a million dollars.

You have to pour the
concrete slab and you can
bring in the buildings f
they're portable they can be
moved.

They can also be added on at
different times.

So there's an option there.

>> Morrison: I guess the
reason that caught my
attention is because this is
kind of the situation where
we have to -- if we don't
invest some funds, then
we're going to shorten the
life of our equipment, which
means it will then cost us
more in the long run.

So I think that it would be
important to pay attention
to that.

I'm also concerned about the
parkland acquisition
funding.

It was put in at seven
million.

It got cut down to four.

I think I heard from the
mayor potentially cutting it
more.

And we have a goal of
getting parks within a
quarter mile or half mile of
everybody.

What effect do you think
this cut is going to have?

>> Well, it will be somewhat
substantial.

I think the problem here is
everyone sees the money that
was sitting there from the
2006 bond, but the problem
is we've worked very hard
with the subcommittee for
the parks and recreation
board along with
councilmembers here and
identifying the issues
related to urban parks.

And what we've found is each
by working with the school
district, even by working
with public -- the other
public entities, libraries,
fire stations and others, we
have identified lots of
areas that are underserve
when had it comes to parks
and being within a quarter
mile of walking distance for
our families and young
people.

When that happens, we don't
have -- we have to have some
money to be able to buy
land.

What we're finding through
looking at costs of land is
just with four million alone
that could be one piece of
land.

If you remember recently we
purchased the parker lane
property.

That was a little over a
million dollars for that
small postage stamp.

Most important, of course,
but that's what we're
looking at.

And when we look at these
areas, eight million
dollars, nine million
dollars is really not going
to be a lot of money.

So four million yes, we'll
be able to use that and buy
a piece of two.

It depends, but without any
we wouldn't be able to buy
any.

And with the nine million
that we'll carry over, we
have hopefully plans to be
able to buy them as the
sites become shabble and as
we work through our real
estate department to get the
appraisals.

But again, it limits us.

It does limit us.

And we look at every
possible way to leverage our
funds with grants, with
partnerships and other
efforts.

And we're certainly looking
at doing that with the
school district and looking
at ways of using city
property.

But at the end of the day
we're going to have to buy
land.

And the trend nationally for
parks and recreation has now
gone back to purchasing the
land because of the
opportunities that
development has occurred.

We have to start looking out
further like in austin to
buy land now so that we
don't end up with areas that
have no parks at all.

>> Morrison: Thank you,
sarah.

There's two other not parks
things, two other items that
I'm interested in learning
about because I feel like we
need to figure out if we
really need them in the list
or not.

And one is the facility for
our parks patrol.

And I don't know if we have
someone here that can talk a
little bit about that.

and it's
7 million for design and
construction.

And I just wonder what kind
of alternatives has been
discussed on that.

And I know staff is looking
parks
patrol.

And I'll tell you the other
one that I'm interested in
talking about, and that is
five million dollars that's
in here for a redesign of
the bridge -- the shelton
bridge at red bud trail.

so i
assume it's in need of
redoing.

My question is the bridge,
it appears to me, is really
probably much more heavily
used by non-austin taxpayers
than by austin taxpayers
because probably people come
across it to come into
austin in the morning and
for the most part then leave
at night.

So I wondered if there were
any alternatives that had
been considered for the
funding for the work on that
to be -- to come from
another source instead of
just the austin taxpayers
who are not the major users
of it.

And you can tell me if that
assumption is wrong.

>> My experience is based on
a single data point that i
use that bridge occasionally
to go home and I'm an austin
taxpayer, for what that's
worth.

>> Morrison: So my point
is true.

>> The bridge is within the
city limits.

The bridge is also the
primary mechanism that we
have to service the
treatment plant over there
as well.

The bridge was built in the
there was some
work done on it in the late
'80's, early '90's to extend
its life.

427 Rated bridges in the
city, that's the only one
that's not rated as good or
better.

If we don't start the work
now to replace that span, at
some point we may have to
conian action
and shut it down.

It does not only service
austin taxpayers, but
services the austin water
utility.

I understand there are
agreements with the town of
I guess westlake hills as to
restrictions on using other
roadways.

Replacement bridge will also
open up I think more
beneficial use of red bud
island for austin taxpayers.

We need to get started on
the replacement of that
structure because my staff
told me sometimes failures
of the structures can be
sudden and catastrophic.

I'll we're not there yet we
need to get started.

>> Morrison: I'm not sure
I heard an answer.

The question is have we
explored alternatives for
funding?

This is just five million
for design only.

>> We need to get the
project started.

We need to look at
alternatives and feasibility
analysis with the intent of
producing a design that
replaces the structure.

So this is what we need to
get started on that process.

I'm not sure at this point
of what the ultimate cost is
going to be to replace it.

And rather than tie up funds
for a long period of time on
a guess, I guess it's a more
prudent course of action now
to go down the path of
starting a design and the
alternatives that we can
fund an ultimate replacement
of the project.

To do that we'll have to
have a design done.

>> Morrison: So we haven't
talked to anybody partnering
with us in the design.

>> No.

>> Morrison: And is
this -- this five million
dollars, is it something
that we're real sure that it
costs five million to do
this design?

Where did we get five versus
three and things like that?

>> The preliminary cost
estimate we had for
replacement was in the
15-million-dollar range.

So we took about a third of
the cost to put in for the
design effort.

It's an estimate.

It's not an exact number.

>> Morrison: Okay.

And have you heard -- i
think there was some
discussion during the
taskforce about maybe
opposition to rebuilding
this.

Can you talk about that?

>> I would imagine that
there will be.

Part of the process that
we're going to have -- that
we will go through and go
through gladly is to engage
stakeholders that are
involved because there are
some environmental impacts
as well as replacing that
bridge.

And there probably are going
to be some people who have
legitimate reasons why they
may want to look at
different alternatives.

So again, like any injury
any, it starts with a single
step and we knee to start
this because we do have an
asset that is going to need
to be replaced.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

And then the question -- i
see kate maddox here.

I wonder if you could talk a
little bit.

7 million
for a parks patrol facility.

Can you talk about what that
funding is for and where is
it going to be house and
things like that?

>> Yes, councilmember.

Shaun maddox, assistant
chief of austin a.p.d.

The parks facility is
actually envisioned to be a
joint use facility between
and the park rangers
program.

Where it would be located is
somewhere in the central
city park area hike and bike
trail area.

Some of the things that
would come with that project
are the ability for the park
officers to deploy out of
that station with -- on
bicycles, atv's and walking
patrols, those kinds of
things, as well as the
ability to launch our marine
unit, the boats, from that
location, because right now
there is no boat on lady
bird lake.

Our boat facilities are over
at lake austin.

Yeah, lake austin.

>> Morrison: There at one
time -- I know there were a
couple of developments that
were going to be donating
or
,
substations or mini
storefronts and things like
that.

One was over at graco and
one I guess up here at the
green?

>> I know of one of those.

The information that people
have been providing, it was
a little bit misleading
because when somebody talks
about a substation, we're
talking about where you can
deploy several officers, a
shift of officers out of and
have storage facilities for
the atv's and the bicycles
and the vehicle and those
kinds of things.

What they were talking about
is having some office space
for officers to operate out
of is my understanding.

So it's a big difference
between some place where an
officer can go to write a
report or use the restroom
versus actually being able
to deploy out of.

>> Cole: Councilmember
tovo, and I want to say you
had expressed an item for
the women and children's
shelter and I also want to
support that and say that i
would like to see the
funding for that actually
come from some of the
housing dollars that we
ultimately allocate and we
can just make it clear in
our direction in our
brochures that we intend to
use some of that funding for
that.

Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: Thanks.

I think given the fact that
the housing budget has been
pa red and parred down, i
think we can give more money
to that component of the
bond proposal if we are
/add/( ed)aing in a new
project because I think
we're really at a
challenging number there,
but we can continue to have
that dialogue.

I have a few specific
questions.

Maybe one for the chief.

And that is with regard to
the northwest substation
that was discussed earlier,
so there is not sufficient
funding to get that built,
given the needs assessment
number.

Have you looked at other
options for leasing space
and calculated out what that
might cost?

>> For a substation?

>> Tovo: Yeah.

What's the plan b?

If this item disappears from
the list of bond proposals,
what is your -- do you have
another strategy for
northwest substation?

>> We will continue to be a
growing department with the
facilities that we have.

Right now our officers are
kind of compacted into the
different substations that
we do have.

They're generally designed
for one area command.

The current northwest
substation has two area
commands in it.

As the city grows, as our
footprint grows, two things
will happen.

One, those substations will
continue to have more
officers assigned to them
and continue to be outgrown.

And the second piece of it
is the deployment piece
during peak hours and during
high traffic traffic time
there will be more of a time
gap getting officers from
that substation out to the
further areas of the city.

>> Cole: Okay.

I need to go and so do other
councilmembers need to go.

Seventh street we need we
need towrope up and so does
staff.

So without further adieu i
will adjourn this meeting of
the austin city council.