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City Council Preview: Soundproofing, Single Member Districts, and Electric Rate Reset

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News
Not all the action in City Hall today centers on City Council: the Charter Revision Committee is set to recommend a scheme for future elections.

The Austin City Council convenes today, taking up a 35 item agenda. For y’all following along at home, that’s actually pretty short by council standards. Still, there’s a few items that should inspire spirited discussion on the dais:

  • Austin Energy’s Rate Revision: The duration of today’s meeting was undoubtedly shortened by the postponement of a second round of public comment on Austin Energy’s proposed rate increases. (Comment on the proposals lasted five hours last time.) Instead, heeding the feedback they’ve received on the rates, representatives from the city owned utility will be presenting “suggested changes” to their initial rate-raising proposals. Council members will be certain to pepper the AE presenters with plenty of questions.
  • A Sound Proposal: An initiative from council member Bill Spelman would create a $40,000 pilot program to soundproof one downtown music venue to experiment with how clubs and condo residents could better cohabitate. If the trial run is successful, Item 14 would fund a soundproofing loan fund to the tune of $750,000 annually.
  • Mapping the Future: There’s a chance the council meeting will be over by 6:30 p.m., when the 2012 Charter Revision Committee begins its confab next door in City Hall’s Boards and Commissions room. It’s the commission’s last meeting, and it’s expected to make a recommendation on what form of elections Austin should hold in the future. Seemingly garnering the most support is the “10-1” plan: 10 single-member districts, with only the mayor running citywide. (Currently, all council members run citywide.) You can learn more about the different proposals here.  

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. and will be streamed on the city's website.

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