March Council Meetings

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Steve Adler
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:12 pm

March Council Meetings

Post by Steve Adler » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:15 pm

Colleagues,

As we limit gatherings and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I propose the following after talking with the City Manager and staff:

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETINGS

• Cancel the 3/24 Work Session
• Hold a very limited, brief meeting on 3/26 only for items that can be handled on consent without debate.

Here are more details on how that would look:
• On 3/26, cancel Music, Proclamations, and the noon Citizen Communication (speakers will be rescheduled to a time at a later meeting date)
• Change the start time of the 3/26 meeting to 2 pm, and at that time, convene at least a quorum of Council thorough a combination of in person and remote options.
• Council will vote only on items that can be handled on consent.
• All zoning cases and public hearings will be postponed
• All other items will be withdrawn or postponed to be handled at a future meeting date.
• Per the new direction from the Governor, the city needs to provide a way for people to speak on the items, but it can be a remote option. Staff is exploring how best to do this.


If Council Members have questions about items, please submit them to the agenda office - as items with outstanding questions or in need of discussion will likely be withdrawn/postponed.


The Clerk’s Office will be contacting offices to see if each Council Member wishes to participate in person or remotely.


SPECIAL CALLED LDC WORK SESSION/DELIBERATION/PUBLIC COMMENT SESSIONS:

As you know, LDC related meetings in March and early April have been postponed. We’ll bring them back after we get a better feel for continuity of operations.


-s
Mayor

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Ann Kitchen » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:49 pm

Thank you Mayor

I think this works, with one suggestion.

I would suggest adding a briefing from the City Manager on the status of the city's COVID19 response. If need be, that could be an Executive Session briefing limited to legal matters related to ability to operate etc. It may be appropriate to post as a briefing and possible action - I know from CM Flannigan's post that there may be an action item for Council consideration.

Thank you
Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:44 am

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:15 pm

Thank you Mayor, I agree with the direction you've laid out.

I would hope that we can keep Item 55 on the consent agenda as it is related to the crisis at hand. I encourage other CMs to join in on the 3/11 message board post (thanks Ann for adding your thoughts!) so we can keep this on consent. We will post an updated version tomorrow or Thursday to incorporate additional input.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Ann Kitchen » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:05 pm

Thanks CM. Flannigan

Yes I would think we could keep 55 on consent. It is important for the Council to move forward on this. Regardless, I think 55 should stay on the agenda, because if everything doesn't get added by the meeting = then I would expect additional amendments might be minimal and we can handle that at this meeting.

When you post the latest, I will respond with any suggestions for amendments.

Best Regards
Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Steve Adler
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Steve Adler » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:43 pm

Colleagues,

A few updates on details for the 3/26 Council Meeting. (new start time will be 2 pm).


Consent Items
• The Agenda Office will be sending out information on which items may be postponed or withdrawn.
• Any council questions or concerns should be sent to the Agenda Office for responses and potential postponement consideration.

Zoning Items
• Council may also consider zoning consent items.
• Staff will work to determine if there are items that can be taken on consent.


Speaker Process:
• The Agenda will be reposted to show the new start time (2 pm on 3/26) and to give instructions for remote speaker sign up
• Speakers will be required to sign up by 12 PM Wednesday, March 25, through an online form with the Clerks’ Office. The link will be provided on the agenda and on the Council Meeting Information Center at: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/c ... center.htm
• Speakers will receive instructions from the Clerk’s office about how to call in for the meeting
• All speakers will be taken at the beginning of the meeting through an audio feed.
• To limit the number of people gathering, no in person speakers will be allowed.


-s
Mayor

Delia Garza
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:20 am

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Delia Garza » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:46 pm

Colleagues,

Thank you Mayor Adler for your suggestions so that we can be most efficient at our upcoming meeting. I could agree to postponing Item 56 on the posted 3/26 agenda if anyone thinks there would be significant discussion. The resolution is pretty straight forward but I understand if there are questions or the need for discussion.

This resolution asserts our commitment to the fair administration of justice in the magistration services we provide for Travis County, and outlines priority reforms to bail and pretrial detention we can work on with our partners at the County. These reforms are critical to addressing some of the most troubling and persistent inequities in our criminal justice system, so I look forward to discussing it in depth at a Council meeting in the near future. I’m grateful for the support of my cosponsors on this item, Council Members Flannigan, Casar, and Harper-Madison, as well as the tireless work of advocates and stakeholders on these reforms.

This item was not written to address the public health threat before us, but ensuring that no one is detained unnecessarily is crucial at this time and we must consider the role our justice system plays in our COVID-19 response. As part of the discussion that CM Kitchen suggested on COVID-19 response, I would also like to understand if APD is using their discretion on cite and release to the greatest extent possible so that we are not arresting people during this time for low level non violent offenses. Judge Statman informed the Judicial Committee that she has issued a standing order to suspend all active class C warrants at the municipal court and not issue new warrants until at least May 8. I understand that a similar order has been issued by the Travis County judges. These measures will help slow the spread of the virus, and as we move forward we should consider additional measures like lifting OmniBase holds and easing community service requirements, as well as longer-term strategies for limiting detention that can be addressed through our interlocal agreement with Travis County for the Central Booking Facility and magistration services.

Thank you for your consideration of passing Item 56 next Thursday on consent.

Delia
Mayor Pro Tem, District 2

Greg Casar
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Re: March Council Meetings

Post by Greg Casar » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:04 pm

Mayor Pro Tem Garza, I hope we can pass Item 56 on consent as well. I'm happy to assist in answering colleagues' questions between here and the Council Meeting as necessary.

Thanks,
Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4

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