Austin’s two city manager finalists: Howard Lazarus and Spencer Cronk (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
The seemingly interminable search for Austin’s next city manager has finally been winnowed down to two applicants for the job.
On Thursday, Stephen Newton of consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, which City Council hired to lead the candidate search, recommended that Council choose either Howard Lazarus or Spencer Cronk to be Austin’s top civil servant.
Cronk and Lazarus will each get an hour to present themselves to the public at the Austin Convention Center next Tuesday, between 7 and 9 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and give the city feedback on the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, either via an online survey or paper forms that will be provided at the event...
Winter Weather Causes Cancellations, Delayed Openings For Austin-Area Schools (KUT) LINK TO STORY
Central Texas will wake up Friday to freezing temperatures, some leftover snow and icy roads. The combination led several area school districts to cancel classes Friday or at least delay the start of school until 10 a.m...
How a 91-year-old Supreme Court case from Ohio echoes in Austin’s zoning plan (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Austin Mayor Steve Adler sat in front of nearly 200 people gathered at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in early November. He’d been invited by the Allandale Neighborhood Association in Northwest Austin to answer questions about CodeNEXT, the city’s rewrite of its Land Development Code.
Adler began by hyping the city.
“(Austin) is a, uh, a magical place, I think,” he said. Soon, the booing began.
Adler said one goal of CodeNEXT is to enable more housing types to be built in the city, where most of the housing consists of single-family homes and large apartment buildings.
“No!” audience members yelled. Others said they were worried about increased traffic and the loss of neighborhood aesthetics. One woman shouted that her neighborhood did not want CodeNEXT, so Adler and city leaders should take their proposition elsewhere...
Women's group urges Texas Sens. Miles, Uresti to resign after sexual misconduct reports (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
An influential political group that works to get female Democrats elected in Texas has called on state Sens. Borris Miles of Houston and Carlos Uresti of San Antonio, both Democrats, to resign following reports of sexual misconduct.
Annie's List issued a statement Thursday after The Daily Beast reported multiple allegations of assault and harassment by the two senators.
"As we know all too well, men like Borris Miles and Carlos Uresti have been asserting themselves upon others without their permission for millenniums," said Patsy Woods Martin, executive director of the Austin-based organization. "What is new is that now we’re calling it out, taking these instances out of the shadows of shame and doubt that perpetrators, and their enablers, have foisted upon women."...
Texas water board chairman Bech Bruun resigns ahead of likely challenge to U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
Bech Bruun, chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, resigned Thursday from that position ahead of an anticipated bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi.
“Serving as the Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board has been the privilege of a lifetime,” Bruun wrote in a letter dated Dec. 7 to Gov. Greg Abbott obtained by The Texas Tribune. “Recent events, namely the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, have led my family and me to the belief that the time has come for me to focus my passion for public service closer to home.”...
Congress Passes Bill To Avert Shutdown For 2 Weeks (KUT) LINK TO STORY
Congress has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.
Republicans carried the measure to passage in the House, with a vote of 235-193, with about a dozen Democrats voting in favor as well. The Senate passed the measure, known as a continuing resolution, with an overwhelming vote of 81-14. This pushes the next threat of a shutdown to the Friday before Christmas, setting up a possible showdown over immigration and defense spending as Congress is trying to leave town for the holidays...
Texans Willett and Ho move closer to seat on powerful appeals court (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY
The House Ethics Committee is moving forward with an investigation of Corpus Christi Rep. Blake Farenthold, and a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment has agreed to cooperate, her attorney said Thursday. The woman, Lauren Greene, reportedly received an $84,000 taxpayer funded settlement after suing the Texas Republican in 2014 over allegations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment...
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