BG Note | News - What We're Reading (October 19, 2017)
Austin’s bid is officially in for Amazon’s giant HQ2 project (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
For the past month, hundreds of cities have scrambled to prepare proposals to win Amazon’s second company headquarters after the online retailer announced plans for the $5 billion project. Austin, considered a contender by industry analysts, has been among those preparing bids.
Now, Austin enters the waiting period. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce formally submitted the city’s proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 project on Wednesday, one day ahead of Amazon’s deadline, chamber spokesman Mike Berman confirmed to the American-Statesman.
City commission recommends Austin use every tool in the toolbox to attract Amazon’s HQ2 (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY
Council to take up street impact fees today (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
In an effort to help fund public infrastructure made necessary by new development, the Austin Transportation Department is proposing new street impact fees throughout the city. These one-time fees for developers constructing new sites are intended to help pay for road improvements to assist in mitigating traffic in the expanding city of Austin.
On Oct. 10, Liane Miller, the department’s project coordinator, and Jeff Whitacre of Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. presented phase one of the street impact fees project to the Urban Transportation Commission for a recommendation.
City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposal today.
‘This is the hammer’: Residents bring lawsuit in fight against Central Health (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
On Tuesday afternoon, after Fred Lewis declared new financial rules imposed on Central Health were inadequate, the Austin Monitor asked the attorney, activist and reliable thorn in the hospital district’s side if he had a lawsuit in the works.
His response: “Stay tuned.”
Less than 24 hours later, Lewis stood before a gaggle of press in downtown Austin to formally announce his support of three plaintiffs who are suing Central Health and its president, Mike Geeslin, over the district’s annual $35 million transfer to the University of Texas’ Dell Medical School. That transfer is part of the affiliation agreement that created the partnership between the district, the medical school and Seton Healthcare Family known as the Community Care Collaborative.
Citing health problems, Adler’s senior policy adviser steps down (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
Frank Rodriguez, who has served for the past two and a half years as Mayor Steve Adler’s budget guru, health policy expert, Latino community liaison and wearer of a half-dozen other hats, has stepped down from his City Hall post, citing health concerns.
“It is of great regret that I must leave to take care of my particular health needs,” Rodriguez wrote in an email Tuesday to friends and well-wishers, “but I will continue to be engaged in the community and hopefully make further contributions.”
Nafta Deadlock Dashes Hopes for a Quick Deal (Bloomberm) LINK TO STORY
Nafta talks are switching gears and slowing down as key obstacles emerge, with Canada and Mexico rejecting what they see as hard-line U.S. proposals and negotiators exchanging their strongest public barbs yet.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland wrapped up the fourth round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks in Washington on Tuesday and said negotiations will run through the end of March 2018, abandoning a December target. They also extended the time between negotiating rounds, giving themselves more space to consider proposals.