BG Note | News - What We're Reading (August 25, 2017)


FORECAST: High winds, rain likely in Austin when Hurricane Harvey lands in Texas late Friday (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Thunderstorms and high winds are possible in Central Texas late Friday as Hurricane Harvey creeps closer to the Texas Gulf Coast, according to the National Weather Service.

After Years Of Delay, City Says Waller Creek Tunnel Is Near Completion (KUT) LINK TO STORY

From the state Capitol to Lady Bird Lake, billions of dollars of private development is riding on the success of the project, as is a massive multimillion dollar redevelopment of Austin’s public spaces. The expected increase in downtown tax revenue is also being eyed hungrily by city officials to answer problems as diverse as homelessness to traffic on I-35.

Adler says he won’t pursue tax swap this year (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Mayor Steve Adler said Thursday that he does not intend to pursue the idea of a tax swap with the Austin Independent School District this year. He also confirmed that he would not be pushing City Council to set the tax rate above the current rollback rate.

Council considers new affordable housing app (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

On Tuesday, representatives from Austin CityUP, a one-year-old consortium of 70 local companies whose stated goal is to “advance Austin through digital technologies, data collection, analytics, and modeling,” told Council members that the organization wants to help the city develop an app that people can use to search for income-restricted units.
“There is no single, comprehensive list of affordable housing in Austin,” said Ron Baker, an IBM engineer and co-chair of Austin CityUP’s housing committee.
The organization is looking to the city to assemble and provide data that it can put in the app, Baker said.

Equity Office asks city to look through a new lens (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

In the fall of 2016, the city of Austin readjusted its rudder and straightened itself on a course toward equity. Ten months ago, Brion Oaks stepped in as the chief equity officer of the newly established Equity Office, which is a dedicated city-funded effort to eradicate disparities in Austin.
The Equity Office stems from City Council’s desire to have somebody embedded in the system who is officially part of the city’s budget and therefore has the ability and the portfolio to have a presence in the city departments.

Central Health discussion once again dominates Commissioners Court meeting (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Central Health’s annual budget presentation to the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday brought with it a fresh round of familiar complaints from activists about the level of transparency displayed by the hospital district.
Freshly installed President and CEO Mike Geeslin kicked off what later became a drawn-out discussion by obliquely acknowledging the critics who claim that Central Health has strayed from its obligation to provide health care for the county’s uninsured.
“This budget is about people,” Geeslin asserted. “And today, you’re going to be presented with a lot of financial numbers, statistics and system measures. But at the end of the day, behind each one of those numbers is a person sitting in a clinic waiting for services or waiting at a bus stop to get to a clinic.”