Council flees posted meeting place for interviews (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
City Council continued to try to hide the names of candidates for city manager on Thursday, taking the unusual and possibly illegal step of leaving the location advertised for its executive session with the candidates and meeting in a place forbidden to the general public and the media.
Although the official notice from the meeting indicated that it would be at the Austin Airport Hilton, Council members left that location and boarded buses to go to another location within the airport, according to Austin American-Statesman reporters Elizabeth Findell and Philip Jankowski.
Capital Metro no longer counting on ambitious I-35 bus plan (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
The Texas Department of Transportation’s big new plans for Interstate 35 through Austin may be the end of the road for the local transit agency’s hopes for bus rapid transit on the highway.
“We don’t know for sure at this point, but our working assumption is that, given the new proposed design, there would not be room for inline stations,” Todd Hemingson, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s vice president of strategic planning and development, told the Austin Monitor on Thursday afternoon.
Land use commissions diverge ahead of CodeNEXT third draft (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Differences of opinion between the Planning Commission and Zoning and Platting Commission are becoming more distinct. The Zoning and Platting Commission managed to submit an official recommendation on Monday, whereas the Planning Commission passed a less formal resolution on Wednesday, but both commissions made their positions known to staff this week close to the Oct. 31 deadline for comments on CodeNEXT’s second draft.
The disagreement centers on how commanding a role Imagine Austin should play in the drafting of the new Land Development Code. CodeNEXT was initiated by the city’s comprehensive plan when it was adopted in 2012, but after years of internal deliberation and public debate, the link is not as palpable as it used to be.
Lamar Smith retiring from Congress (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, is retiring from Congress, two sources close to the congressman told The Texas Tribune on Thursday. Smith confirmed the decision in a conference call later in the day.
"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else," he wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune. "... With over a year remaining in my term, there is still much to do. There is legislation to enact, dozens of hearings to hold and hundreds of votes to cast."
Rick Perry ties fossil fuel use to sexual assault prevention (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said Thursday fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault because the “lights are on.”
His comments came during an event hosted by NBC News and Axios in Washington, D.C., where Perry was to lay out the administration's upcoming energy policy priorities.
The former Texas governor brought up sexual assault while describing a recent trip to Africa, where he was told “people are dying” because they lack access to energy, according to a transcription by The Hill newspaper.
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