>> Mayor Leffingwell: Good
morning.

I'm mayor leffingwell.

Welcome back, everyone.

It's nice to be back.

So quorum is president, so I'll
call this work session of the
austin city council to order on
tuesday, july 31, 2012.

The time is 9:10 a.m.

We're meeting in the boards and
commissions room, austin city
hall, 301 west 2nd street,
austin, texas.

Our first item is to go into
executive session, but just
before we do, I'd like to say
that on item b2, which we'll
take up after executive session,
this will be a voting item.

It is not a public hearing.

Public comment is allowed, but
if there is no objection from
the council, I'd like to limit
the public comment to 15 minutes
per side, if there is no
objection.

And so, just to give advanced
notice, if there is anyone who
would like to sign up, you can
get your speakers organized for
15 minutes for, 15 minutes
against.

Councilman martinez.

>> Martinez: Thank you, mayor.

On that same item, when we come
back to it, I'm going to ask a
question regarding whether or
not it nullifies what the
council did on the 10-1 item.

My understanding is that it's
drafted in a way that rescinds
that action, which I'm fine
with.

I just couldn't find it in the
backup.

And, so, my staff was told
yesterday that if this item is
adopted the way it's drafted, it

[09:08:00]

rescinds what this council, the
action we took on the 10-1
proposal.

So I just want to confirm that
or --

>> city legal.

Just to quickly address that,
today's vote is on the 821 item.

On thursday, you will see the
ordinance that puts the petition
on the ballot, and that
ordinance does rescind your 10-1
item.

>> So thursday's vote will
rescind the action that was
taken.

>> Yes.

>> Martinez: Thank you so
much.

--

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I'm
glad, because that was news to
me.

But I'm okay with it.

City council will go into closed
session and take up one item
security council will consult
regarding item may 1, legal
issues related to the
november 6, 2012 election.

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

Hearing none, council will now
go into executive session.

[10:32:03]

Test test test test test
test

[10:38:11]

test test test
test test
graeber
test test

[10:42:53]

test test test.

we're
out of closed session, this
closed session we took up
and discussed legal issues
related to item a.1.

That brings us to item b 1,
which is a discussion of
november 2012 election
matters and potential
direction to staff.

Comments.

>> Go ahead.

>> Sabine a romero, city
department.

Staff has a brief
presentation to begin the
discussion of ballot order
with all of you.

We're posted very broad ri
today, discussion of
november 2012 election
matter and potential
direction, so once staff has
completed its presentation,
we turn to you for feedback
and any additional topics
you may want to discuss this

[10:44:03]

morning.

Just to give you an
overview, here is a list of
bullet format what council
has already passed to be on
the ballot in november.

The geographic
representation item 10-1
plan, council appointing the
city attorney, personnel
changes changes, moving the
election from may to
november, also moving the
election from may to
november but specifying
four-year termts and
limiting terms to two yerls.

Changing the initiative
requirements for ordinances,
changing post-election
requirements and the ems
civil service petition.

On thursday's agenda and on
next week's agenda and
today's agenda are
additional readings for the
geographic representation
8-2-1-plan ordinance, the
agr petition, council powers
regarding lease of parkland
and the civil item.

Next week of course is
bonds.

I don't know what I hit, but
now the screen is black.

There we go.

>> [Inaudible]

>> oh, that's it.

With that we welcome
comments from all of you.

You have a handout that is a
list of the ballot language
for those items that you
have already passed.

It's nothing more than the
exact language pulled from
the ordinances.

Again, as I mentioned, this
is the beginning of the
discussion because there are
potentially more items on
the ballot.

If you have some feedback
now for what order you think
you'd like to see those in,
we welcome those comments
and any others you might
have.

well,
let's -- let's talk about
the order first, I guess.

Any comments on that?

Council member morrison.

I've only had a
quick chance to look at
this, but I thought I'd

[10:46:01]

throw out an order, just to
get us talking.

So do you -- what I'd like
to suggest is that -- that
we put the 10-1 item first
because I think there's been
a lot of discussion about
that.

I think it makes sense.

That's what people are going
to know this charter
amendment by, so I think
that makes sense.

If there were an 8-2-1 on
the ballot I would also
suggest we put it following
that.

I think it would make sense
then also to then put the
two items that address may
to november following that.

So I don't know which one
first, but maybe the may to
november with the four-year
staggered terms and then the
one that's simply may to
november.

Then it gets a little more
complicated.

I think next I would put the
emergency medical services
personnel civil service law.

Then I think we could put
the one regarding council
appointees and the one
regarding the city attorney.

And then the last two could
be the one regarding the
number of signatures and
then lastly raising
political funds.

So to me that has a certain
logic to it and I just
wanted to throw that out
there --
what
were the last two?

the last two
were the number of
signatures needed for a
citizen initiated ordinance
or referendum.

That's the second-to-last
and then the last would be

[10:48:00]

the raising of political
funds for 30 days after an
election.

and
then we have potentially two
others, potentially two
others?

as i
mentioned -- are you talking
about 8-2-1?

I would have put that off
after the 10-1.

no,
I'm talking about the ones
that aren't listed here,
civil service and
governance.

right, if we
have a civil service one i
think I would put that right
after the ems civil service,
and governance, I don't
know.

We also have the --
potentially the one that law
has parks and utilities.

So maybe those two could
go -- follow each other
perhaps at the end or i
don't know where they would
be inserted.

i
would like to make the
suggestion that we group all
of the items that have to do
with basically governance,
council governance,
together, and then that
would basically move ems and
potentially the civil
service amendment down here
to be grouped with the
electric utility governance
and parks.

>> Mayor?

council
member martinez.

I would just
politely disagree with the
initial order.

For me what becomes a higher
priority is moving our
elections to november, and
the reason why that becomes
a higher priority is i
believe that the council is
going to put a competing
geographic representation
item on.

, Therefore, weakening the
chances of either passing.

One may pass, but I think it
weakens it.

So for me the focus now
shifts from geographic
representation as the
highest priority to november

[10:50:00]

elections being a higher
priority.

So I would prefer that the
question of moving to
november -- both questions,
be the first two items on
the ballot.

But I have a question, and
the question council member
tovo just asked me that i
don't know the answer to, i
think is an important
how does the
screen appear?

Do all of these provisions
appear on one screen or does
each provision appear on a
screen individually and
separately?

>> Good question.

well,
there are several questions
about -- there's even the
order.

I mean, it's yet to be
determined whether local
issues are going to be first
or last, and I don't know
the severe weather to that
question, but I do know
there's a conference
scheduled.

City clerk?

>> And I don't know that i
can respond to how many
screens it is, but I can
assure you they couldn't get
them all on one screen, and
I seriously doubt, given the
length of this ballot, that
they would individually
appear on a screen.

They do have some character
limitations and I can get
that information for you,
but I think it's somewhere
in between there.

They couldn't possibly get
it all on one, and I think
it would be unrealistic to
expect that there's going to
be individual screens.

And the order the mayor is
talking about is a different
topic, and that is the
commitment that the clerk
made to you last fall was
that she would put local
items first on the ballot,
but the conference on
august 8, she's asking that
is that really what you want
to do?

That would be a substantial
variation from what you've
seen in the past where you
would see the presidential
items first and then on down
the line.

But she wants to honor the
commitment that she told you
if that's what you really
want.

She would do that.

But I think has concerns
about how the voters would
react to that.

[10:52:00]

i
think we'll have more input
on that on a special called
meeting on the 9th.

Let me just say real
quickly, I agree with
council member martinez.

I would like to see the
change from may to
november 1, and I would also
like to see the bare bones,
plain vanilla before we talk
about the more complicated
staggered.

So with that revision it
would be may to november and
then staggered may to
november, and then we could
get into the format 10-2-1,
8-2-1, whichever order, and
then go through the rest of
these governance items and
then go to city governance
items, and then get down to
the electric utility, the
parks and the two -- the
civil service item -- the
two civil service items,
potentially.

That would be my suggestion.

>> Cole: mayor?

mayor
pro tem -- excuse me, you're
next, council member tovo.

I had a quick foul
gentry
about how the item would
appear, and I know there's
no certainty here, but i
think you've given us some
helpful feedback about that.

It sounds like it is pretty
likely that several
propositions, though, could
appear on one screen, so we
could, for example, see on
one screen may to november.

I think the mayor called it
the plain vanilla version,
and may to november, the
more complex version on one
screen.

>> I think again that
depends on what the ballot
language looks like, how
many words and characters
there are.

I know that the county clerk
is really interested in
getting preliminary ballot
language so she can give us
some ideas of layout.

We've told her that that's,
you know, a little difficult
for us right now, but where
possible we've given her
some of the propositions
you've already looked at and

[10:54:00]

what's on your agenda for
your consideration, but have
told her that none of that
is locked in concrete yet.

So could be always subject
to change.

But that's what she's
working on so that she can
on come up with some
examples of what a ballot
would look like for you.

and is there some
back and forth that you have
with her about grouping,
clustering of amendment --
of proposals?

>> No, I mean, that's
strictly your decision as to
what order you want them,
and we can certainly give
her direction as to what you
would like to see, and then
she will have to tell us
whether she has any
restrictions in the system
from honoring that.

i
think we'll have a better
feel for how we can cluster
it after we find out what
her limitations are.

right, it just
seems to me an
interesting -- you know, an
interesting thing to think
about which ones we want, if
we have any kind of -- mine,
I by no means want to
micromanage the ballot, but
if there is an opportunity
for clustering -- clustering
some of these so they appear
together, then people see
what their -- you know, what
the items are coming up.

I mean, I think this is an
issue with surveys and other
things, if you don't know,
you know, what the --
i
agree.

especially with the
one you mentioned, the may
to november, may to november
term limit.

i
think that's good to know.

>> Let me speak to what the
statutes say.

The texas election code has
some fairly detailed
specifications about ballot
order.

The overall structure is
that the relative ballot
order of presidential and
federal elections, state
elections, district
elections, which refers to
things like district
attorney and so on, and
county elections are all
specified in an order,

[10:56:00]

relative to each other and
within each of those
categories, the various
races are ordered.

Local governments are not
part of that list per se.

There are different
provisions in the election
code in that same chapter
that say that the local
government governing body
can specify the order of its
ballot items.

And there's one caveat there
and that is that
propositions have to follow
election races for actual
officer positions, which
doesn't come up here because
we're not talking about
officer -- council elections
in this november general
election.

So you have, under the
statutes, total discretion
to order your proposition
items.

The question that shirley is
raising, at least in part,
if I understand correctly,
is the question of whether
the county clerk has
limitations or wants to
discuss -- wants to hear
from you about the offer
that was discussed back in
the spring about actually
elevating local government
ballot items, whatever they
might be, above the
presidential, federal, state
and county ballot section,
which is a real different
question.

But the question that you
are asking, council member
tovo, what discretion does
the council have to order
the city's ballot items is
clear.

You can do that in any order
that you want.

I wasn't really
talking about ordering.

I was talking about layout,
in essence, screen layout.

>> And one comment to add
there is that hays county
does use a different system
than travis county.

[10:58:02]

how
about williamson?

>> I'm sorry, I meant
williamson, you're right.

In hays county we don't have
voters.

we
don't have any voters in
hays.

We have some land in hays
but no voters.

>> At this time, correct.

Thank you.

mayor
pro tem?

mayor, I just
wanted to agree with you and
council member martinez
said, I do think the natural
order should have the may to
november 1 and the
geographic representation
second, simply because i
anticipate that there will
be voters that want to vote
on both items for those two
propositions and that that
will make that a clearer way
to do that.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

So can we say we have
preliminary direction
subject to change of having
may to november 1.

2 would be staggered
3, 10-1,
5 council
6 city
7 petition
8,
extending the fundraising
time 30 days.

No. 9, ems, civil service.

10, general civil
service.

11, Possibly utility
governance and 12 parks.

>> And utilities.

parks
and utilities, yeah.

>> Would you like to address
the bond items?

I know we don't know them
specifically but --

>> [inaudible]
[laughter]

>> as a cluster, since we're
talking about future items
as well.

since
we did that one so quickly,
go ahead.

>> No -- well, we don't have
individual items but would
you have a preference that
they be the very last ones,
for example?

>> [Inaudible]
first
impression, I think so,
yeah.

>> I have one other thing i
might mention as to the
order that you just
suggested, is that the ems
item is slightly different
from the others -- well, not
slightly, quite a bit
different from the others,
in that the others are all
charter amendments and that
the ems item is not a
charter amendment.

So there is, I guess, no
theoretical reason why you
couldn't mix a non-charter
amendment among the charter
amendments, but you might
want to think about whether
you want to do that --
whether you want to have a
charter than the ems
petition -- then the ems
petition item and then the
bonds as three categories,
or whether you would -- as i
say, I guess not a
theoretical reason why you
couldn't intersperse them,
but it is slightly
conceptually different, the
ems item from the charter
items.

any
objection to that approach?

I think there is a certain
logic, as you say.

mayor, I just have
one comment.

mayor
pro tem.

that I think the
bond election in particular
has some advocacy aspects to
it, and we may want to wait
to get some outside advice
about where it should be
placed on the ballot.

and as
I said, this is preliminary,
tentative, subject to
change.

All right.

>> Morrison: mayor?

council
member morrison.

if I could ask
staff to -- what was just
outlined, if you guys could
put that together and send
it to us so we can take a
look at it as a whole, that
would be helpful.

good
idea.

and i
appreciate the input on all
of that, and it sounds, you
know, good to me.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

I also agree
that the ems provision
should be separated from the
charter amendment.

>> Mayor leffingwell: yep.

That's the way we're headed
right now.

And if you wanted to we
could make it so that the
civil service --

>> we could make it so that
the civil service provision,
if that is put on the
ballot, was last among the
charter so that it was next
to --

>> ems.

>> Ems.

again,
good idea.

We'll make that tentative
change at this point.

>> Can you give it to us in
a puzzle form so we can --
[laughter]
kind
of put little tiles that you
can shift around.

Okay.

Is that sufficient
direction?

I think we can -- all right.

Thank you.

Yeah, I guess we do need
to -- assuming city
attorney, we can talk a
little bit about the utility
governance item to give
direction.

>> Yes, mayor, item b 1
allows you to have a
discussion about
november 2012 election
matters and any potential
direction to staff, so i
think that item can fit
under that particular
posting.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

I would like to propose
steiner
come back to us next week,
potentially for the 7th with
an item that would be broad
and general with regard to
electric utility, governance
basically under the charter
giving the council the
authority to make changes
but not mandating.

>> Martinez: mayor?

council
-- city
manager.

>> Just for clarification,
I'm understanding that you
are by that modifying the
direction that the city
manager was given a while
ago with respect --

>> mayor leffingwell: no.

>> You are not?

I'm
not modifying that because
that process would go
forward.

>> Okay.

because
that's going to be
essential if the council
chooses to exercise the
authority, assuming that
that provision would be
approved by the voters, we
would need that background.

>> So this is additional
direction.

Additi
additi
onal direction.

I appreciate
that point because that is a
very important distinction
in that what the council has
directed the manager and
staff to embark upon could
lead to a potential action
by this council, and that's
what we're asking for in
this direction, I think, is
broad enough language,
enabling language via the
charter so that this council
can adopt an ordinance
changing the governance
structure of the utility,
should we see the benefits
to that later on down the
liep.

and i
just want to mention -- down
the line.

I want
to mention for public
consumption, the reason for
proceeding in this manner is
that i, for one, I'll speak
for myself, I don't think we
have enough time to present
a fully fleshed-out item for
changing the government.

This is something we don't
want to hurry.

It's very complicated.

A lot of moving parts to it,
but at the same time we
would like to be able to
move forward on that issue,
I would like to be able to
move forward on that issue
as soon as we can and not be
forced to wait possibly two
and a half years to make
another charter change.

So we could -- if we have
all of our ducks in a row we
could proceed sooner than
that.

Council member morrison?

as you
mentioned, staff is doing
some work right now looking
into different options and
things like that, and i
wonder if it would be
possible also, just to get
sort of -- I think it would
be helpful to me to get an
understanding of -- as you
mentioned, it's very
complex -- an understanding
of the kinds of things that
need to be addressed in the
change of a governance so
that we can sort of see the
different topics that we
would be allowing council to
change if, in fact, we have
the broad authority to do
that.

So it's sort of just a if it
would be possible to get
sort of in a nutshell what
you've learned already to
help us get a deeper
understanding of what's
involved in a shift in
governance.

i
think that would be very
useful, describing it as a
list of things that would --
examples but not
all-inclusive.

There may be others.

>> Well, certainly we can
share with council what
we've learned so far, but
understanding, as I know you
do, there's just a lot of
work left -- left to be
done.

We're in the early stages of
that, but we're happy to
share what we know already.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Thank you very much.

Is there any -- anything
else we need to -- that is
coming up next.

Next item.

Parks and utilities, the
charter item before we leave
this item, talk about
that -- that's something
that is yet to be developed,
but we can go ahead and talk
about it.

>> Andy with the city law
department.

I'll talk to the utility
sales amendment.

Right now article 2, section
5 of the charter prohibits
the council from selling all
or any substantial part of
any municipal utility,
either electric or water.

The difficulty with this
provision is the word
"

that word is not defined in
the provision, and, in fact,
if you look it up in the
dictionary you can find at
least two somewhat
incompatible ways of
interpreting that word.

If you look at other cities
that have provisions like
this, it's pretty clear that
the intent of their
provisions is to prevent a
divestiture of the utility
itself and not necessarily
prohibit the sale of
individual assets, and as we
move forward in the future
this provision may become
problematic.

When it was adopted,
substantial was probably
easier to define when the
utility was smaller, but now
that the utility has gotten
much larger in size it's a
bit more questionable as to
what is and isn't
substantial.

So what we've brought
forward are five different
scenarios for you to look at
that would help address this
issue.

There's a number of routes
you could go.

The first option that we
presented and probably
the -- from a legal
standpoint the cleanest is
to keep in place the ban on
selling all or any
substantial part of the
utility but allow the
council the authority to
make a case by case
determination regarding
individual assets as to
whether or not that asset is
indeed necessary for the
utility to operate, and you
could do that by a
two-thirds majority vote.

That would allow -- you
know, again it would keep --
it would keep in place the
ban on divesting utility but
it would allow the council
the ability to bring some
certainty as to a particular
transaction.

Option 2 is -- is similar to
option 1.

The council would make the
finding that the asset is
not necessary for utility
operations but then if there
were still questions about
whether the item were
substantial, it would allow
for the election to be held
for the voters to authorize
the sale.

Option 3 is a combination of
one or two.

Either council could make
the determination or the
issue could go to the
voters.

The fourth option is a
default to what's currently
the state law, which is that
you cannot sell a utility
without a vote.

So this -- option 4 would
essentially be writing that
law into the charter.

It would also allow the city
to follow any subsequent
state laws that were adopted
to allow -- that affected
utility asset sales.

And then finally the fifth
option is simply changing
out the word "substantial"

for a standard that is
necessary to the city's
ability to continue
providing effective utility
service.

It still leaves room for
interpretation as to what is
and isn't necessary, but
that word is a lot easier to
define and defend than the
word "substantial" is.

So that's what we've brought
forward for your
consideration today.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Let me just say I believe
the staff recommendation is
for option 1.

>> Correct.

and i
certainly favor option 1 for
several reasons.

We live in a world today
where the electric utility
business is changing
rapidly.

Prices are fluctuating on
different ways to -- the
prices of natural gas, the
price of solar hopefully is
coming down.

Wind, we've seen change in
the last year, dramatic
changes in that, and I think
the utility, even though
we're not officially in a
competitive posture, we've
always acted -- we've always
conducted business as if we
were, and we do have a
mandate approved by council
now to remain in the bottom
50% of the utility structure
going forward.

So I think it's very
important that we have the
flexibility for the council
to make these changes
promptly, as needed, instead
of having to wait for an
election.

I think it's essential,
frankly, for the survival of
the utility to be able to
have this flexibility.

At the same time, we also
have the requirement in here
for a super-majority of
council to make these
changes.

The is kind of that
safeguard in there.

So I think option 1 is my
preference for the way we
ought to go on this one.

>> Morrison: mayor?

council
member morrison.

I wanted to
comment.

I certainly get the issue of
needing flexibility that --
well, that's desirable.

The concern I have is that i
think that determining
whether or not something is
a substantial part of the
utility may well be dictated
by what your vision for the
future of the utility is,
and that can be not
necessarily a simple cut and
-- dried answer.

And that's why it may -- and
I think we've had some
examples over the past few
years where we've had a very
divided community on some of
the issues that are related
to the -- which -- I'm
interesting in hearing more
public input on the issue,
but right now I am more
inclined to go with the
option that sends something
like this to the voters.

So I'll be interested in
hearing discussion over the
next few days.

i
would just respond that i
agree with you about the
definition of the word
"substantial," but I think
it's kind of clarified a
little bit in the last part
where it uses the word
"necessary" to the city's
ability to provide
continuing effective utility
service.

I think that provides a
little bit of context to it.

So I'm not very concerned
about any ambiguity in the
"

well, if i
could just respond to your
response, I agree that that
does help to clarify it.

On the other hand, the
examples that I'm thinking
about, I think that an
effective utility service,
again, comes down to what
your vision for the future
of the utility might be and
what your vision for the
future of the community.

So while it's a step in the
right direction, it's not
clear to me that it's
adequate.

council
member spelman.

a question for
council member morrison.

We've got an option -- one
of the options available
would give us an opportunity
to put something before the
voters but not a requirement
to put something before the
voters who have wanted to
divest of that asset.

Are you talking about the
option which would require a
public election or would
allow a public election?

>> Morrison: would require.

>> Spelman: okay.

we can
have that discussion, but if
you have sufficient
direction now, we can put
something on the table.

Of course it's not -- not
set in stone.

It can always be changed.

>> Mayor, I think the
council is going to have to
decide on thursday which of
the five options, if you
want to move forward.

So that's when you're
scheduled to take action on
the items, thursday.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

>> So all of the options are
in backup, and whatever the
motion is, it will
incorporate one of the
options that are listed
there, so --

>> mayor leffingwell: okay.

I think that's clear.

>> Judd leaves, city law
department.

Speaking about the partially
related issue, it's a
companion issue to the
utility issue that andy was
speaking about, article 2,
section 5 of the charter
provides that the city
council can't sell, convey,
lease, mortgage or otherwise
alienate parkland without an
election.

And of course that's limited
to us over the years to
entering into license
agreements, interlocal
agreements.

What staff has proposed is
to provide kind of a middle
ground to allow leases to
other governmental entities
as long as the lease is for
a purpose consistent with
park purposes.

So occasionally I think a
lease is a little more
familiar instrument and it
would provide a little more
flexibility for council
while at the same time
limiting the use to park
purposes.

So it would make it easier
in some cases to partner
with some of our
governmental partners for
joint projects, and that's
what staff has proposed.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Any discussion on that?

All right.

I think we're done, done
with this, and we can go on
to item b 2, which is
potentially an action item.

To approve the second and
third reading of an
ordinance placing a charter
amendment on the 2012 ballot
for the so-called 8-2-1
proposition.

Do we have anyone signed up
to speak on this?

No one signed up to speak.

Any comments from staff
before --

>> yes, sir.

You may be aware that i
discussed with you after
first reading of this that
there had been a previous
version of this that had
provided for term lengths
and some other issues that
were taken out of it to make
it just about geographic
representation.

But as a result of that, in
the unlikely, perhaps, event
that no other
election-related provision
that was on the ballot
passed and only this
provision passed, it
would -- because of the way
the charter is set up, it
would have left us with no
place in the charter that
said how long council terms
are.

And so just as a fall-back
provision I suggested that
we needed something in this
amendment that would have
provided -- that would
provide for that
eventuality, that nothing
else passed and only this
passed and we needed
something in the charter to
tell us what the term
lengths were.

So what I did was I drafted
a provision that's in this
backup that defaults,
essentially, back to the
current three-year term, if
nothing else passes, that
addresses the issue of
council term lengths.

What it says is, if this
charter does not otherwise
provide for term lengths for
council members, this
subsection applies.

The regular term of the
mayor and council members is
three years.

Council terms shall be
staggered solve half
[inaudible] as near as
practical, the council is
elected to each general
election.

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

Notwithstanding subsection a
of this section, if another
charter amendment that
addresses only the issue of
term lengths for council
members or that addresses
only the term
lengths passes -- is
approved by the voters
should be in there, is
approved by the voters, the
other amendment supersedes
this amendment on that issue
regardless of the number of
votes received by each
amendment.

So that if one of the may to
november or amendments
passes, those would have
effect.

And based on a few other
conversations that we had, i
think that we should
probably also add something
into this that provides that
if in staggering the terms
someone's term is -- someone
who was elected to a term
gets a short-term, that that
term shouldn't be counted
against them for purposes of
term limits going forward.

So I'd suggest adding a
sentence before the last
sentence of what I just
read, that said, if a
council term is shortened to
create a stagger, that term
shall not count as a term
for purposes of article 2,
section 3 of the charter.

that
would be prior to the last
sentence, which begins
"notwithstanding subsection
a"?

>> Yes, sir.

would you read the
language again?

>> If a council term is
shortened to create a
stagger, that term shall not
count as a term for purposes
of article 2, section 3 of
this charter.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Council member riley?

a question about
that.

Sometimes when you're
setting dates for elections,
you can -- when you talk
about years you can be off
by just a matter of days,
and if we -- if in figuring
out the stagger we --
someone's term were
shortened by just a matter
of days just because of the
way the calendar fell, then
under the wording that you
provided, that wouldn't
count as a term even if it
were essentially a
full-term, minus just a few
days.

Is that a risk, that you
could have a -- you could
conceivably have a dmin must
shortening of a term, which
must be treated as a more
substantial shortening of a
term.

>> I'm trying to think if
that situation would
actually happen.

john that we need
to get that straightened out
right now but if you could
on e.

>> If that turns out to be
an issu --
if you could look
at that more carefully
before we make a final
decision on that.

well,
potentially we could be
making a final decision in
just a moment.

>> We have until the 16th to
amend anything you pass,
so --
that's
right.

Good point.

>> So we can always amend
things that have been
adopted.

always
bring it.

>> Can always bring it back
for a minor tweak on that
point.

council
member morrison?

steiner,
maybe I've just become
overwhelmed by all the
things that are going on,
but in the sentence -- in
the sentence you read that
you've added here where it
says notwithstanding section
a of this subsection, if
another charter amendment
addresses only the issue of
term lengths or that
addresses term lengths and
election dates, do we have
something on the agenda that
only addresses term lengths?

We have term lengths and
election dates and we have
election dates only, but not
term lengths only, i
thought.

>> Yes, it should be only
the issue of election dates.

Good catch.

>> [Inaudible]

>> okay.

Let's try again.

And I think -- sid just
suggested that I could add
the word "materially" before
shortened and that would
take care of the couple of
days issues.

So if this charter does not
otherwise provide for term
lengths for council members
this subsection applies.

The regular term of the
mayor and council members is
three years.

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

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

If a council term is
materially shortened to
create a stagger, that term
shall not count as a term
for purposes of article 2,
section 3 of this charter.

Notwithstanding subsection a
of this section, if another
charter amendment that
addresses only the issue of
election date or that
addresses only the issues of
term lengths and election
date, the other amendment
supersedes this amendment on
that issue regardless of the
number of votes received by
each amendment.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Anything further, council
member tovo?

may I ask you to
read the sentence again with
notwithstanding subsection a
of this section.

>> If another charter
amendment that addresses
only the issue of election
dates or that addresses only
the issue of term lengths
and election dates is --
let's see -- is approved by
the voters, the other
amendment supersedes this
amendment on that issue
regardless of the number of
votes received by each
amendment.

>> Tovo: thank you.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

That's clear as mud at this
point.

No, just kidding.

Perfectly clear.

So further discussion or a
motion on this item?

council
member riley?

I'll move
approval.

moves
approval.

Is there a second?

Mayor pro tem seconds.

Discussion?

Council member martinez.

just want to
briefly state that I'll
obviously still be voting no
on this item.

I think continuing to honor
the work of the petition
gatherers is what is still
paramount for me in my
decision.

I'm not against a hybrid
system per se, but the
citizens' initiative, in my
mind, prevails council's
desires in this case, and i
will respectfully just
continue to vote no and hope
that we don't put a
competing item on the
ballot, because I think it
will cause both of them to
fail.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Council member spelman?

I agree
completely with council
member martinez.

If we put two single-member
district proposals on the
ballot, I think it extremely
likely that both of them
will fail, particularly
given that we've had six
chances to put single-member
districts on the ballot and
it's gone down six times in
a row.

I think our best chance of
getting single-member
districts is to allow the
citizens initiative to go
forward and have that be the
only one on the ballot.

mayor
pro tem.

mayor, I am
seconding this motion
largely for three reasons.

Number one, the naacp has
endorsed the agr plan, and i
fully respect that, and
there will be significant
discussions about the
african-american
representation with the 10-1
plan and also with the 8-2-1
plan.

There is a section of the
african-american community
who supports wholeheartedly
the 10-1 plan because it's
slightly, by approximately
4%, gives african-americans
a potential district that
could be elected.

At the same time, under the
8-2-1 system, having two
hybrids also impacts the
african-american community
in that it is much like the
asian american community in
that the population is
declining and significantly
declining in austin, and
that to elect an
african-american in the
hybrid seats is almost the
direct pt of what happens --
opposite of what happens in
the 10-1 session.

I think this is a discussion
that needs to be had by the
entire community and I want
to be part of that and we
need to give voters that
choice.

And I think that the naacp
will be involved in it
regardless of the outcome.

, But I fully appreciate
what the citizens have done
and I think that it was
important for council to
take action on that citizens
initiative, which is why i
supported that also.

Thank you, mayor.

and
I'm going to support the
motion too.

With regard -- I certainly
respect the citizens
petition.

They have a right to
petition and put an item on
the ballot, and that's going
to happen, but I do have to
note that the idea of the
hybrid system was put out in
the public, publicly
proposed as something that
we wanted to give citizens
the ability to vote on this
november way before that
one.

So at this point I think
obviously there's a division
in the community or the
exact format, and I think
giving the voters a choice
is very appropriate.

Council member martinez?

I just want to
ask a procedural question as
to why we're taking action
on this item today.

Why was it posted today?

I believe I know why but i
think some folks are very
concerned that we're taking
action today, potentially on
third reading, is what it
sounds like at this point,
if five votes are cast in
favor, it would pass on
third reading today.

So can -- can you or the
other sponsor explain --
the
reason is because we -- we
could not -- if it only
passed on first reading this
week, that would only
basically give us one other
opportunity, and that would
be the last opportunity on
the 16th.

it's already
passed on first reading,
hasn't it?

but
if -- to pass on more than
one reading requires five
votes.

It did not get five votes on
the first reading.

and so it was
posted today because if it
only gets four votes again
today --
it
will have to come back at a
later date, yes.

what is the
plan for that date if it
only gets four votes today?

Origin
origin
ally the thought was on the
16th.

We did -- do not have the
potential to bring it back
for third reading on either
the 7th or the 9th, we have
that potential, but that
gives us very little margin
of error.

and so with
that being said, I'm going
to respectfully and
passionately ask the mayor
pro tem to maintain your
position as you had on first
reading, because I think
there's a lot of folks that
still want to give input on
this, and if we pass it on
third reading today they're
not going to be able to.

>> From a procedural
perspective the council can
always say, no matter how
many votes you have, that
it's only on second reading,
so the council has that
latitude as well, to say 7-0
but we're only passing it on
first reading or we're only
passing it on second
reading.

So you do have that
flexibility as well.

But it just depends on what
the motion is.

mayor
pro tem.

in interest of
council member martinez's
statement, and I have just
been flooded with calls,
especially in the
african-american community
on both sides of this issue,
especially as the only
african-american
representative, that I'm
going to stick with my
motion -- my vote, but I do
ask tha only be on
second reading.

is
that accepted?

>> Martinez: that is, sure.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

So the motion is now for
second reading only, no
matter how many votes it
gets, that's the motion.

Let me say obviously I'm
still going to support the
motion.

I respect council member
martin and pro tem cole's
perspective, but we've had a
lot of discussion on this.

So I look forward to any new
information that may be
brought forward on third
reading.

Council member tovo?

I'd like to ask for
a clarification for our
public of when that third
reading might take place so
that people can come provide
input if they desire.

i
would anticipate it would
take place on august 7 at
the work session.

>> Tovo: good.

So hopefully we can get that
word out in the community.

and
also anticipate that as we
discussed prior to bringing
this item up earlier today,
that this is not a public
hearing item.

It is an item that does
allow public comment on each
and every reading, and i
would propose that we limit
debate to 15 minutes per
side, as we agreed to
earlier today, basically
because we've had so much
prior discussion, and if a
lot of new information comes
forward we can address that
issue at the time.

>> Mayor?

council
member morrison.

just quickly to
follow up on council member
martinez's question, I guess
I'm still a little confused.

Could you help me understand
why this is on for action
today as opposed to, say,
thursday at our regular
meeting?

Is there any particular
reason one way or another?

I assumed this was put on --
i
thought I explained that,
apparently pretty
ineffectively.

It was in anticipation that
it would require more than
one reading.

but our --
origin
origin
ally we had talked about
voting today and then
thursday and then realizing
that the rules would
prohibit that we would have
to have another meeting to
vote on this.

so we could
have had it on thursday and
not today or today and not
thursday, and it just sort
of turned out that we left
it on today?

this
has been very much a work in
progress with all the
special meetings and the
decision was made sometime
ago to go ahead and post it
for today, and there has
been adequate and legal
notice for that.

>> Morrison: sure.

I appreciate that.

I want to echo some of the
comments that were made.

I think for me an important
choice that we're giving the
voters is really -- it boils
down really to the at-large
seats, being able to
represent interests that --
that are not necessarily
geographically-based.

Not all of our interests in
this city are geographically
based so I think
fundamentally that is a
critical piece of why i
think this has to be a
choice for the voters.

>> Mayor leffingwell: yeah.

We could get all into that,
and I agree with that
perspective.

This has been discussed
many, many times, the
various pros and cons of the
two different systems, and i
will just say the reason i
support the hybrid system is
because I believe in a not
complete way but in an
effective way it addresses
the pros and cons of both
systems.

With that, all in favor say
aye.

>> Aye.

opposed
say no.

>> No.

passes
on a vote of 5-2, with
council member martinez and
spelman voting no.

All right.

Now, I believe that council
member tovo has pulled
several items, and I don't
have the list of them here,
but --
I pulled a few but
in the interest of time i
think we better get to 122,
which is the short-term
rental discussion.

Do we have staff present to
talk about this, staff from
neighborhood planning and
zoning?

They're on their way.

Okay.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yeah, thanks.

Council member riley pointed
out that I had added an item
to the work session agenda,
which is b 3, and maybe we
could just spend three
minutes talking about this,
and this is to discuss
appointments to the capcog
criminal justice advisory
committee.

So the city has an
appointment on this
committee.

The position is vacant.

I am new on capcog and I'm
not certain how these
appointments typically have
happened in the past, but i
guess I would request your
input on how we should
procedurally move forward in
agreeing on that
appointment, and if you have
specific recommendations,
that would be very helpful
too.

And it sounds like we may
not -- I don't think we've
got the capacity to talk
about this today, but maybe
we could pick it up again at
one of our meetings next
week, and over the course of
the week everyone can be
thinking about who might be
a good appointment on that
criminal justice advisory
committee.

>> Mayor pro tem?

I'm sorry, council
member spelman council
member tovo, what does the
person on the advisory
committee do?

unfortunately, i
forgot to bring down the
description.

I'll ask the staff to make
that available to all of us
so that we can have it in
our head as we think through
qualified candidates.

that would be a
good idea, thanks.

is there any other
particular input other than
that that you're looking
from us?

Toaf one of my colleagues
who served on this has a
sense how has arrived at
these appointments in the
past, that would be helpful
to know what the procedure
typically is.

Is it the council appointee
who serves who makes those
recommendations?

Is it the council as a
whole?

council member
morrison.

I'm trying to
remember, because I think we
did -- I did have occasion
to be on capcog when there
was an appointment, and i
believe that -- formally, i
believe, don't tie me to
this -- formally it was done
through our appointments.

And it was a learning
experience for me because i
wasn't really familiar at
that point, of course, with
what the advisory committee
did, so I know that my
office did a lot of reaching
out to people that had been
involved to get some good
suggestions.

So I think that some work on
that would be helpful.

could you
clarify through the
appointment system?

Who actually made the
appointment?

Was it the council as a
whole or a capcog
representative or what?

I think it was
the council as a whole.

Now, I'm getting a look from
council member riley --
yeah, maybe -- if
it's possible maybe post it
for action at one of our
multiple meetings next week
and in the meantime I'll
make sure that we get that
information out the.

And mimi office reached out
to possible candidates.

We haven't had success with
the people we talked to so i
would welcome your input on
that issue.

just to
clarify, when I said through
the appointments, I mean our
items from council where
every week we have the
appointment so it didn't
require a special item to be
posted.

>> Tovo: right.

It only would next week if
we want to get it sorted out
next week because we don't
have a regular city council
meeting.

you will plan to do
that at the work session?

if everyone is in
agreement I would like to
get this resolved by next
week.

council member
tovo, are you ready?

yeah, I'm ready and
looks like we have staff
here.

I also would like to
distribute to my colleagues
an item, a screen shot of
the statesman last week.

I have some specific
questions for staff, but i
would also like to
strenuously argue that given
the confusion of last friday
and the question of whether
or not this item could
proceed on thursday or
whether it needed to be
rescheduled to august 23,
that we really have an
obligation to the public and
to the many stakeholders who
have been involved over the
last two years to postpone
this item until the 23rd.

This, as you see in the
screen shot that I just
distributed, in the on-line
piece where council member
morrison and I had an op-ed
as well as council member
riley, there is an image to
the left that indicates the
city council is scheduled to
consider an ordinance
regarding the governance --
on the 23rd.

I have the print version
with me.

Basically it has the same
caption with the exception
of council [inaudible].

So I do think we've got
considerable confusion out
there in the community.

With that, I do have a few
questions for staff.

rusthoven, let me make
my way to this document.

You were quoted in a blog
article that ran in
yesterday's statesman, or
maybe today's, the excerpt
of it appeared in the print
version.

The blog edition had a
little bit of an extended
one in which you are quoted
saying, I lost the newspaper
notice for a couple hours on
friday afternoon and that's
not a reason to not do the
vote on thursday.

Said jerry rusthoven, the
city's manager of current
planning, someone, in
parentheses from a city
council's office, who is
opposed to the ordinance who
was looking for a mistake to
be made was looking for the
newspaper notice.

So I guess -- I believe it
was one of my staff members,
and so that's particularly
why I'm concerned about
this.

As you may know, we've had
considerable public feedback
about this issue, and some
of the questions that I've
heard from the community
have been ones about notice.

Typically when we have a
zoning change or something
that is going to expand the
uses within a category, we
do have notifications that
go out to particular
homeowners, and they receive
it in their mailbox and they
have an opportunity to
respond.

So at various points in this
process we've been asked how
has this been noticed to the
community?

And we've gotten back
information about the
specific community
members -- community groups
who have been noticed and
various other things.

And i, as a public official,
but really all of us here
are accountable to the
public to answer questions
about notifications.

So I guess I will just say
that I take objection to
your characterization that
it was someone who was
opposed, looking for a
mistake.

We're accountable to the
public, all of us here, and
so when they have questions
about notification, we have
an obligation to bring them
to you.

So given that, I believe
that question was actually
made -- was actually raised
earlier during the week on
wednesday, not friday.

So I wonder if you could
talk us through the
chronology of how this
discussion evolved over the
week.

>> Sure.

Jerry rusthoven, planning
and development review.

On -- the chronology is late
in the day on wednesday,
30-ish, if I recall
correctly, I received a call
from chad shaw, from the law
department, who notified me
that he received a call from
bobby levinski and joi
harden, that they were both
on the phone at the same
time, asking him what would
happen if the newspaper
notification had not been
completed for short-term
rentals.

As you know, we're required
by state law and city law to
place an ad in the
classified section of the
newspaper for a code
amendment.

This turned out to have been
done back in early may when
the item was originally
posted for a public hearing,
I believe then later in may.

shaw called
me, told bobby and -- from
council member morrison's
office and your aid that he
would get back to them, and
he called me and said, do
you know why they're asking
this question?

And I said, well, let me
find out.

And they said that chad told
me that you mentioned that
they had spoken with almira,
who works in the
notification section of our
department.

So I went downstairs and i
asked almira, if she had
been asked this question and
she said, yes, she was asked
hardin
but she was confused as to
what the question was,
because she said, do you
have a notice for short-term
rentals?

And she didn't under that
she meant the code
amendment-related short-term
rentals.

So I told almira, that was
fine, if you have more
questions direct them to me
and I'll get them answered.

I went up the street to
robert heil, who is an
employee processing this
amendment.

Robert until recently has
been in charge of code
amendments, and I asked him
to see a copy of the notice.

So he first produced a copy
of the mail notice, the one
that goes out to all the
registered neighborhood
associations, and I said no,
I need a copy of the
newspaper notice and he
could not produce it.

Okay?

And he told me that he
didn't recall requesting it
and he doesn't -- didn't
think that I did.

And so obviously, you know,
I realize that we had a
problem.

I notified my boss
guernsey and we
discussed it wednesday
evening.

We, you know, discussed some
internal issues related to
that, some personal issues
related to that and also
discussed what it means to
not have the newspaper
notice done, namely that we
would have to start over,
redo first reading and redo
the public notice.

We prepared a -- an item, a
memo for mayor and council
that was sent over to city
hall that had to go through
a review of different
offices over here before you
all received it.

We made some personnel
decisions back at the office
that resulted in some people
being reassigned as a result
of this confusion.

So you guys received that
item -- that memo -- that
memo unfortunately didn't
reach you all's office until
friday morning by the time
it was reviewed by all the
people here at city hall.

On friday morning we decided
to look into the other
ordinance amendments that
are also on your agenda for
this thursday, although
several of them we already
had previously decided to
postpone but we decided to
look into them to see if
they had the newspaper
notification done as well,
thinking that maybe possibly
the same mistake had been
made, you know, twice by the
same person.

We then went and -- we
discovered that the filing
system was not the best,
which is what [inaudible] in
the first place, and so we
went and looked in the
invoices of the person who
handles accounts payable at
our office.

The statesman bills us for
every one of these notifies
and it's their job to make
sure it gets paid.

They send an affidavit of
publication with each one of
them so she's kept them for
the past six years.

So we started going through
that file, the file of
basically bills from the
statesman, and when the
statesman sends us us the
bill they cut out the
notice, staple it to the
form and mail it to us.

Through that file we
actually found the notice
for the short-term rentals.

So the person who told us
that -- who worked for me
who said that they did not
do it actually did do it and
did not recall, but he did
do it.

My apologies, I know that
this is embarrassing, quite
frankly, to me, but, you
know, I'm sorry, someone
could not recall one of the
many things that we do every
single day.

It's a two inch by two inch
piece of paper.

I have it right here.

Our office has a lot of
paper.

It's easy to misplace
something.

That being said this person
should have been more
organized and had a better
recollection of what he, in
fact, turned out to have
done.

When we did find it the
second time, we obviously
wrote a new memo several
hours after you all received
the first one, that said,
our bad, I guess.

We were mistaken in our
earlier memo that said we
made a mistake.

Turned out we did not make a
mistake.

And so I believe you all
received the first memo at
00 on friday and
you received the second memo
I think somewhere between
5:00 and 6:00.

So that is my recollection
of the events.

I appreciate you
talking them through.

I'll just say for the record
the other issue I take
objection to in terms of the
comments is that the way the
issue was framed in this
blog post makes it sound as
if the problem is really
that the question was
raised, not the fact that
there were, as you've just
described, really
significant procedural
issues related to this case.

>> I totally understand what
you're saying.

filing of the
notification and --

>> yeah, well what I was
being asked specifically by
that person from the
statesman was I guess a line
in the first memo that says,
it has been brought to our
attention a mistake was
made.

So what we were being asked
specifically was how was
this brought to your
attention.

And I guess, you know, i
told them -- I told them
that, you know, someone from
over here called over there
looking for it.

But independent --
again, that's part
of what I feel -- you know,
we were all elected to do
was to be accountable to the
public, when they have
questions we ask them, and
follow through until we have
answers to them.

Thank you for talking us
through the chronology.

I see we're very close to
00 and I know my
colleagues probably have
questions and I think that
our community of people who
are interested in this issue
really need guidance about
whether or not this is going
forward on thursday or will
be postponed, as I believe
is appropriate, to
august 23.

And I'll just explain, in
case people aren't aware of
it, between the time that
that memo was released in
the morning on friday, a
group of people sent out a
press release, they notified
maybe ten media outlets.

There was at least one
interview, I'm told, on klbj
about the delay.

I know in talking with
reporters that day about
other issues, they all asked
when is short-term rentals
coming up?

I let them know there had
been a memo released, and as
we see in the copy i
distributed and in the print
00 memo --
00 memo information did
not make its way through
some of the same media
outlets.

We had weekend publications
that were repeating the 23rd
date.

So I think it's incumbent
upon us as -- if we want to
have transparent discussion
on this issue, to postpone
it till august 23, and i
hope I can get a consensus
on that so that we can let
people know what's going on
on thursday.

well,
we can't do the postponement
today.

no, I understand
that, but we can certainly
have a discussion that will
offer community members
guidance as to which
direction we plan to go in
on thursday.

And I have a slew of
questions about short-term
rentals, including those i
submitted back in june, so i
hope we can get to answering
some of those, but this i
think is the most pressing
issue before us today.

i
think about the most we can
do is put out the word that
there will be a request for
postponement on this item on
thursday.

>> Mayor?

council
member morrison?

I hope that we
can hear other -- I hope
other council members may be
inclined to let people know
what they think they might
be voting based on a request
on thursday, because this
has just been a mess.

It's been very inconvenient,
and I guess, you know, this
is obviously a very
controversial item, and i
think in -- in fairness to
making sure we have a
clean -- a clean debate
about it, I would like to
suggest that it really makes
a lot of sense to postpone
it to the 23rd.

I don't know that there's
anything pressing to push us
to do it on the 2nd right
now.

I'd also like to bring up
the idea of -- that's been
suggested by a lot of folks,
and that is reopening the
public hearing, the point
being that there's been no
public hearing on the
proposal that was passed on
first reading.

And I want to bring up one
other issue before I close
up, and that is, from my
point of view another reason
to push it to beyond the 2nd
is I am still waiting for
what I think is going to be
a very important piece of
information to be part of
this discussion, and that's
the educational impact
statement, and that
statement back on the 26th,
we got a -- I think it was
the 26th of june, staff
said, yes, they will have --
they'll have that on the
28th.

My staff has asked for it
three times, at least, since
then.

It was last promised on
the -- I guess it was
promised to be made
available on the 19th of
july, still asking for it.

And frankly, once we get --
I have had some
conversations with some
trustees of aisd that are
very, very interested in
this topic and are looking
forward to seeing the eis.

I promised to pass it on to
specifically one that I had
an extended conversation
with.

And so I think that it's
going to be important to
talk about the eis, to be
able to think about it, to
have the public see t I'm
interested in talking to
the -- see it.

I'm interested in talking to
the trustees about it, i
don't have it yet, and
frankly I have a whole lot
to do between now and
thursday morning, including
a meeting tomorrow morning
and getting ready for
thursday.

So I think it would be very
difficult to be able to
treat that with the
seriousness that I think it
needs to be treated with and
be ready to really have that
be part of our conversation
on thursday.

So I -- I fully intend to
support moving it to the
23rd.

council
member spelman?

>> Spelman: go ahead.

mayor
pro tem cole coal I have
questions, both council
member tovo and council
member morrison spoke about
extending the hearing to the
23rd, and I don't know if
you just mean postponing and
you're not certain about a
future date or if you're
committed to the 23rd
because of the some of the
events that happened or
you --
I would be
personally committed to the
23rd.

I think that having a known
date is very important for
everybody that wants to be
part of the discussion.

but your known date
is the 23rd?

uh-huh, since
that's what was printed.

And I know -- the other
thing I wanted to mention is
that obviously we had a long
public hearing about it
before, and we don't
really -- you know, my
thought is if we were to
reopen the public hearing,
it's not like we need to
hear all those arguments
again, but to have some time
for each side to comment on
the proposal that's actually
passed on first reading,
would be my suggestion.

so
could I ask the city
attorney, is there a
provision for -- to reopen
the public hearing on a
limited basis for a certain
amount of time?

>> For a limited basis?

Chad?

>> I was just going to
mention that the requirement
for public hearing has been
satisfied at this point.

So if the council wished to
hear public comment under
different rules, so to
speak, just as you mentioned
I think on an earlier item,
you could shorten times, you
could give a limited time
for each side, because
you've already satisfied the
statutory requirements.

It's up to you how you
proceed, if you want to have
public comment.

so
that is an option that could
be considered and hopefully
given favorable
consideration?

[Laughter]
council member spelman?

thank you,
mayor.

Council member morrison, do
you have a suspicion as to
how much time each side is
likely to need in order to
give the revised version of
the ordinance sufficient
attention?

>> Morrison: not really.

I mean --
[laughter]
I would venture to say less
than half an hour would be
my guess.

>> Less than half an hour
sounds like a lovely idea.

how
much less?

[Laughter]
29 minutes --
I was
going to say, if the council
were to agree to a half hour
limitation, if something
comes up there's always a
provision for the council to
ask speakers questions and
so forth, to the extent
necessary.

>> Spelman: okay.

Mayor, I also have a
question of city staff.

rusthoven, what's
involved in the educational
impact statement that
council member morrison was
referring to?

>> I have had discussions
with the austin independent
school district planning
department staff, and i
explained to them what we
were going through, they had
seen it on tv.

I've heard about it from
[inaudible] as well.

they feel your
pain, I'm sure.

>> And so this person sent
me some information, some
data, some math that she had
calculated, specifically
looking at the 78704 zip
code.

She chose to -- she
understood mostly this zip
code is talked about more
than others so she decided
to look at it and sent me
over some information.

I double-checked her math
and actually came up with
more refined data from our
demographer as opposed to
census data she was using,
so I asked her can we use
this for the number of
households or census data?

And she said that was fine.

So I put together something
that was cleaner than an
email.

I figured you wanted
something nicer than that.

So I put together something
and sent it back to her, and
quite frankly I am waiting
for her okay to give this to
you all as something jointly
from us and them.

I can tell you right now if
you'd like what it says.

I have it in front of me.

It's all ready to go.

I just don't feel without
their okay, I don't feel
100% comfortable putting it
out on joint stationery, if
you will.

>> You can consider it
unofficial.

>> Okay.

I'll tell you what it says.

It says we looked at the
78704 zip code.

census
data there's about 7200
homes in that zip code, 7200
single-family homes, i
believe the exact number is
7254.

Using the 3% cap we
determined that there is the
possibility for 216 vacation
rentals in the 78704 zip
code.

Using a district-wide
average, and this is not
specific to the zip code, i
think there's a good
possibility it's even lower
than in this particular zip
code -- but using the
4
children per single-family,
it nets us a total of 86
students.

I was informed by this
4
ratio of that, typically
half our primary school
students and half secondary,
primary being k through 5
and secondary is 6 through
12.

If we're discussing is
mostly the impact on
elementary schools because i
would think we're talking
about, you know, zilker and
barton hills elementary at
the time, the net effect
assuming half of the 86
students would be primary
students would be a net
effect of 43 students within
that zip code affecting the
elementary schools that are
within that zip code, those
specifically being barton
hills, zilker, becker,
dawson, travis heights and
galindo.

So in her opinion that
number of students had a
negligible impact spread out
across several different
elementary schools, it would
be 43 students spread out
among those schools in that
zip code.

So --

>> about six students per
school, roughly?

>> Right.

If they were evenly
distributed, yes.

is that six
elementary schools?

>> Yes, it was one, two,
three, four -- yes, six six
elementary schools, so
almost exactly 7.

>> Yeah.

and there are
how many secondary schools
in the 04 zip code?

>> We didn't get into that.

We focused on elementary,
but I can certainly get that
information for thursday.

we got over a
thousand people in high
school, so it will probably
be equally negligible.

>> Her understanding was
this had to do with the
proposal august last year to
possibly close some of the
elementary schools so we
were focusing on that side
of the issue.

so we're talking
about seven students out of
becker, maximum and that
won't have a material effect
on whether becker stays open
or not.

>> In her opinion that's
correct.

I'm waiting to get
confirmation on that.

>> Spelman: last question.

Is this the way we usually
come up with educational
impact statements.

>> The way we usually do,
until it was recently
pointed out we need to do
them as code amendments as
well on this particular ish
issue is we do them with
site plans and subdivisions
over a certain threshold.

So we do a similar type
analysis where we say, okay,
this -- you know, apartment
complex is going to have,
you know, 400 units and it's
going to be 301 bedrooms and
102 bedrooms and a two
bedroom generates this
number of kids.

So it's a very similar
thing.

We multiply the number of
units times the number of
estimated students per unit,
and then we come up with --
then we compare that to the
amount of kids in the school
to say whether the school is
above or below capacity and
this project will add this
many kids to the school who
who conducts the
analysis?

>> It's the school district.

We give the school district
the raw data.

We get from the applicant
how many units they're going
to have and what types of
units.

We send that to them.

They plug in their simple
math and fill out the form
and send it back.

Moth of the work is usually
done by them.

In this case I didn't have
a -- you know -- a preset of
information to send over to
them because we hadn't done
one for code amendment until
now.

>> Spelman: right.

And so the way the
educational impact statement
was done in this case even
though it's informal, it
hasn't been completed yet,
but informally the process
has been the same as it is
for the educational impact
statement associated with
the site plan, for example?

>> I would say it's similar
in the determination it
trying to figure out what
number of children, you
know -- in this case this
amendment would impact or
generate or not generate in
this case.

and again, 04
was chosen because it's a
worst-case scenario.

In other zip codes the
effect would be worse than
this.

>> 04 Was chosen because the
reporters determined they
had the highest
concentration of short-term
rental and also that was the
location of the elementary
schools where the closure
issue has been raised.

>> Spelman: right.

Thank you.

could
I ask you, the 216 number,
is that the number that
would be affected by the
ordinance that passed on
first reading or does that
INCLUDE HOMESTEAD STRs
Also?

>> That would be if --
presuming that a maximum of
3% of the number of
single-family households in
the zip code became type 2
short-term rentals.

so
this is all type 2, the
216 --

>> 3% cap would only apply
to the type 2 rentals.

and
216 is the estimated number?

>> That's 3% of 7200, yes.

council
member tovo?

I have a follow-up
question about what you just
said.

So the estimations talk
about 43 students, and you
said the conversation you
had with the district talked
about, you know, spread over
those six schools, it
wouldn't have -- in the
conclusion you reached -- or
the collusion aisd reached,
a measurable impact on any
one of those schools, but
there's no certainty --
there were no provisions
within the ordinance we're
contemplating that would
require those to be spread
out.

That's the whole -- you
know, in my estimation, part
of the discussion we've had
is about clustering.

If 43 students -- if those
short-term rentals cluster
in one or two of those
attendance zones, it could
have a very measurable
impact on any one of those
schools.

And so I think, you know,
that just -- I really do
believe that we need that
educational impact
statement.

I hope the board has an
opportunity to review it,
and I agree that it would be
very valuable if we had that
information and the board --
the aisd trustees had an
opportunity to reinstrument
as well -- review it as well
because it has serious
implications I believe for
some of our schools.

And while we have -- while
we're talking about 78704,
because that's where the
highest number of short-term
rentals are as per the
auditor's report, there are
some other neighborhoods in
east austin and other areas
that have also had
enrollment challenges and
their also I think in close
proximity to the downtown
where they might become very
popular for short-term
rentals where this could be
an issue that impacts their
enrollment as well.

And so that was one of the
questions that I had in my
six -- the questions i
submitted back in june about
the eis.

There were some others,
total housing stock by zip
code, the number that would
be permitted if the 3% limit
enacted, but also I would
like, if it's possible to
have some comparison with
the thousand foot limit that
the planning commission
recommended, how that might
compare.

>> Sure, what I have for you
today and I can hand out to
you all, I have the total
housing stock by zip code.

I have the 3% number
calculated out of that total
number.

I have the same information
for the census tracts,
because I read the newspaper
[inaudible] that possibility
as well.

submitted that this
week so [inaudible] this oh
you're answering this week's
question.

>> I have that information
for you all.

However, I'd like to put a
caveat on that.

When I handed out to you all
that we have not yet had a
chance to refine this data
to reflect solely the city
of austin, so the zip codes,
you know, straddle the city
limit line, as to some of
the census tracts.

The census tracts being
smaller than the zip codes,
I think it will be easier to
extract city information
because we have more
discrete areas.

These numbers are high
because they include outside
the city limits but just
trying to get the
information to you quickly,
so I have census data and
zip code data.

I'm unable to calculate the
number of -- permitted under
the planning commission's
thousand foot limit because
quite frankly I do not know
where the short-term rental
would be to establish a
thousand-foot area around it
of where they could not be.

So not having that
information I don't know how
it's possible to calculate,
you know, where the
short-term rentals would be,
where the thousand foot
circles would be and how
many would fit within the
city limits of austin.

So I think that that
information I simply
cannot -- cannot calculate.

With regard to the other
questions, if it's okay with
you if I go through them
real quick?

I guess it's really
up -- I don't have a sense
of how long we're going to
be here today and how many
more issues we have.

I'm happy to talk about
them.

I guess my interest is in
getting answers back in some
fashion, so if it's better
to do it outside the meeting
that's fine.

We'll certainly have a lot
of opportunity to talk about
it on --
let me
mention one thing before you
we go on.

It will be quick and it's a
follow-up to your question.

Seven students per school is
an average, it could be more
than that, could be less
than that.

I guess the important number
to help in making that
judgment would be from the
school board, how many --
how many would it take?

Would it take 15 to make a
difference?

Would it take 20?

That would just be
interesting information to
have.

Council member --

>> I had the exact same
thought.

We use the term measurable
impact.

Did somebody ask the school
if all 43 students were at
one school, would that be a
measurable impact?

Did we ask that question?

>> I will ask that question
when I --

>> and also, when you
your numbers for
students, does aisd have a
ratio of students that come
from multifamily housing?

Because I notice this is
simply single-family, and
there's thousands of
multi-family units.

>> They do.

We use a different number.

When they do the calculation
doing aisd for a project as
opposed to a [inaudible]
eamentd.

They use a different number,
a lower number.

It changes depending on the
number of bedrooms in a
multifamily unit.

However, here, for the
purpose of the short-term
rental ordinance the only
thing that we're addressing
is single-family houses, so
we only used that point --
it's a lower number for
multifamily, .4.

can you give us
some data on how many
students in that same zip
code might come from
multi-family housing as
well?

>> I'll ask the district for
that information.

>> Mayor?

council
member morrison.

still on the
topic of the eis and the
multi-family, which I think
is very important, am i
correct that what's on the
table now -- with what's on
the table now it would be
allowed in multi-family
without regulation?

>> Yes.

, so I think
with regard to the eis,
obviously with no cap it
would be difficult to guess
how many of the multi-family
units would become permanent
short-term rentals.

So it might make sense to
get some calculations on
impacts to the school
population in different
ranges of how many
multi-family move toward
short-term rental.

>> Okay.

that's an
impact too, and we don't
know what number to use.

You might use, you know, 2,
5, 10 and 20.

I don't know, you pick some
numbers that might be a
range to give us different
idea.

>> I do know what the
multi-family -- it differs
based on the number of
bedrooms in a multifamily
unit.

They presume fewer children
for a studio or efficiency
than they do in a two
bedroom, that kind of thing.

so it gets a
little complicated but i
think that could well impact
the measure.

And I guess -- I know we had
some information, I thought
I even had some backup
information from one of our
4 was
primary elementary age
4 per
single-family house, but you
said -- your information is
that's total kid, no matter
what age.

So I'll go back and check
that.

>> I'll double-check that as
well with the person ifts i
was talking to her but my
conversation with her she
said it would be half of
that.

They presume half-and-half.

council
member riley?

jerry, we've been
talking about the prospect
of affecting 43 students in
a zip code but at the same
time we've -- there's also
been some discussion about
shifting to a focus based on
census tracts, and so would
it be possible to provide a
similar analysis based on
census tracks, which i
presume would entail looking
at how the -- the schools
relate -- the school
location relates to census
tracks and how many schools
you might have per census
track to identify what the
impact would be on a per
school basis if we shift to
a census track focus?

>> Yes, we can look into
that.

I'll see if the school
district is able to provide
that information for us by
thursday.

I would agree that if you
switched the cap from the
zip code to the census track
you would reduce the
likelihood that the maximum
number of students would be
affecting a single school
because obviously you'd
reach the cap faster within
a census track than you
would --
right, so in ords you'd eliminate
the
possibility of affecting 43
students at one school.

>> Yes.

>> Riley: okay.

council
member tovo.

I guess it would
also be useful to see how
the census tracks compare to
attendance zones and I know
we've got maps of both, so
that would be another
valuable piece of
information.

>> When we're done here, i
have the map and census
tracks for you city-wide.

So I'll produce the
information for you.

I guess -- I know
we're about to conclude
here, probably about to
conclude.

I would just invite my
colleagues, if you have any
initial thoughts to respond
about the question of
postponing to august 23.

I think it would be useful
to get background to that --
back around to that question
again.

Again, to -- I understand
that we can't take the vote
until thursday, but I would
like to provide the
community with some guidance
about whether or not they
should be ready for this
issue to move forward on
thursday or whether we're
going to, you know, agree
that there's been
substantial enough confusion
about the issue that --
i
think everyone understands
your request, co
member.

>> Mayor?

council
member spelman.

from a formal
point of view I understand
the concern about the notice
issues, and although I'm
somewhat concerned that
there was some organization
that held a press conference
immediately upon hearing
that the vote may be
postponed, and announced it
to everybody, I'm also aware
at least of my own
neighborhood list serve,
there has been a lot of
discussion to the extent
that nothing else gets
discussed in the hyde park
with anything other than
short-term rentals, i
suspect the same thing is
true in other neighborhood
lists and there's a whole
lot of other means of
communication available to
people, neighborhood
meetings and over the fence
communication and listening
to us here and looking at
the newspaper, which I hope
eats at least a little bit
of crow for having printed
august 23 somewhat
prematurely.

There's a lot of
opportunities for people to
understand what's going to
happen, and this is, of
course, our original plan,
was to vote on this on
thursday, not on the 23rd.

So I suspect that most
people would expect us to
vote on it thursday and not
on the 23rd.

So it's my strong
preference, unless some
further information becomes
available for us to vote on
this as expected on
thursday.

One last point.

Given that the educational
impact statement is going to
be relatively simple,
although one could
reasonably argue that the
educational impact statement
does not appropriately take
into account the clustering
issue, there's no reason to
expect that it would given
the way the ordinance is
currently written based on
zip code.

We've educational impact
statement based on zip zip
codes.

I think it's a reasonable
expect from the city staff
and the school district
staff to come up with.

If you want to remake it and
assume different levels of
clustering based on whatever
empirical information is
available a I think you're
free to do so and it
wouldn't be too difficult.

And I'd like to hear what
you come up with.

But I think we can all do
that on our own and I don't
think there's any reason to
postpone action beyond
thursday.

Although that said, I think
that since we are now
considering a substantively
different ordinance, dan was
before the council -- than
was before the council a few
weeks ago, it only makes
sense to open a public
discussion at least for some
short-term, and I'm very
appreciative of council
member morrison's suggestion
that less than a half hour,
29 minutes at the maximum,
would be sufficient for us
to cover the most important
issues given how much
discussion this has been so
far.

>> Cole: mayor?

and i
would note that in defense
of the paper, they published
on page b 2 this morning,
the revised -- revised
revised date.

Okay.

Mayor pro tem?

I'm very
sympathetic to council
member tovo and morrison's
concern that there's
confusion about when we
would have this, but i
received a notice in my --
at my home in my door on
friday evening from one side
of this issue, and i
received a mailer saturday
morning, and so I'm not as
concerned that the
particular stakeholders are
confused about whether we
are going to have this
discussion on tuesday.

It only comes up in the
context of other people who
might be mildly interested
in the matter, and I think
that with the correction in
the newspaper, coupled with
our discussion today and the
proper posting being done,
that we are okay for
tuesday.

-- Thursday.

>> Mayor?

council
member martinez.

yeah, using the
logic in a previous adopted
item this morning, there's
been plenty of discussion,
and I doubt there's
confusion.

The people that care about
this issue know exactly
what's gone on.

They're upset and/or
embarrassed.

They know that this is
coming this thursday, and
the word will get out there.

It's been discussed quite
significantly, and so my
concern isn't giving public
input.

My concern is are we going
to limit the council's
discussion on this as well,
because that's going to take
hours.

And I -- it's not a joke.

I'm dead serious, because
I -- I see and read, just
like you all do, that there
are multiple amendments
coming, and so my question
is going to be, if there are
amendment that are going to
be asked of us to be
considered, will those
council members offering
those amendments support
this item if those amendment
are adopted?

And if the answer is no, I'm
not going to support
amendments.

I mean, I don't appreciate
that tactic of trying to
amend an item just to vote
against it in the end.

So that will be a question i
ask if amendment are made on
thursday.

and
council member, I know you
know this, but just for
everyone that's -- it's a
parliamentary question,
there is a way to limit
council discussion also.

It's a motion to call a
question, which requires a
second and two-thirds
majority to pass.

And that's on any item, any
item, not just this one.

Council member tovo?

well, I appreciate
the suggestion -- or the
discussion about limiting
council discussion on this
issue.

I'll just say, we have -- i
mean I have a slew of
questions some of which have
been out there pending for a
while, and I will be asking
them on thursday.

So, you know, we can -- we
can try to limit our
discussion, but I think we
all have an obligation to
explore this issue fully and
to look at some of the
information staff provides
and discuss it as a council
body.

further
clarification, the
two-thirds majority is five
votes, and it is not a
debatable motion.

So the vote has to take
place immediately after the
second.

Anything else?

Mayor pro tem.

mayor, I would like
to ask -- or put it on your
mind, I guess we can't take
action on it, that we set
the public hearing on the
bond election for a time
certain of 6:00.

I just want to put that on.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

Would you do me a favor and
put that in writing to my
office and we'll --

>> cole: I will.

I just wanted to put that on
everybody's mind.

join
you on that.

>> Mayor?

imheb
morrison.

I hoped we'd
have time to talk about the
civic service [inaudible]
sponsored by myself and
council member spelman and
martinez, and clearing more
discussion needs to happen
on that, including with our
[inaudible] and our friends
in manage.

I wanted to make sure -- i
received -- I received a
memo and I gather my
co-sponsors did also, from
afsme in response with
comments and thoughts on the
city manager's extensive
memo, and I wanted to make
sure that that memo is
available to all of my
colleagues.

So I don't know, did you --
did you send it to
everybody?

Okay.

So I would encourage them to
read that, and I hope that
we can sit down with manage
and afsme and walk through
some of these things and
folks from my co-sponsor's
office in the next day.

>> Mayor leffingwell: okay.

If there's nothing else i
think a lot of folks have
prior commitments, so I know
there are other items that
would like to be discussed
but we're out of time today,
so without objection we
22
p.m.

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