Storm Briefing Request - Tuesday 2/7

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Alison Alter
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Storm Briefing Request - Tuesday 2/7

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Colleagues and City Manager,

We would like to request a briefing on the City’s storm response during Tuesday’s work session. As we recover from this storm, our community deserves answers. As policy makers, we need to better understand what worked and what didn’t in our response, which processes require improvement, and where we need to make adjustments or investments moving forward. We anticipate this will be the first of many conversations that we must have with Austin Energy, City leadership, and with our community.

We agree that the most pressing priority is to restore power to all Austinites as quickly as possible. Thank you to our line crews and our first responders for all that they are doing.

Council Members Alison Alter and Vanessa Fuentes
Council Member, District 10
Colleen Pate
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Re: Storm Briefing Request - Tuesday 2/7

Post by Colleen Pate »

Thanks for this. I agree that we need to better understand what worked and what didn’t in our response and what should happen going forward. Council Member Pool and I had discussed this and thought that to do this we should give AE the time to put together the data we will need. Right now, they are all hands-on deck trying to get us through this crisis and that’s where we need them to focus.

Chair Pool and I thought that the upcoming AE Utility Oversight Committee meeting, which is scheduled for our Work Session on February 21st, would allow more time for AE to prepare and give us a more thorough review. You will recall that we discussed moving the AE Utility Oversight Committee meetings back to Work Sessions at our Work Session.

For this coming Tuesday, it would probably be very helpful to have staff update us on the status of things at AE, Austin Water, ARR (including brush debris removal) and any other work in the aftermath of this event. We could then follow up on the 21st with the beginning of the analysis of what happened and where we need to improve. And, of course, the after action report work will be further along and likely more helpful.

Again, thank you for the posting.


On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Ryan Alter
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Storm Briefing Request - Tuesday 2/7

Post by Ryan Alter »


I agree on the need to urgently review the City’s winter storm response and opportunities for operational or policy improvements based on this most recent experience. The focus for both the Council and staff is rightly on the most critical needs of the City right now, but I do believe it is important to have this posted for discussion for our 2/7 work session. I would anticipate being able to ask questions and request information at that session that may, in some cases, take until the 2/21 meeting to answer.

Ryan Alter
Council Member, District 5
Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Re: Storm Briefing Request - Tuesday 2/7

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »

Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, Council Colleagues, and City Manager,

First, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Austin Energy and all of the first responders who have been working around the clock to get our city back on its feet. Their tireless efforts are truly appreciated.

I also want to express my agreement with The Mayor and Council Member Pool about the need for a thorough review of what worked and what didn't during our response to this crisis. In order to get a complete picture, it's important that Austin Energy be given the time to gather the data we need. Right now, their focus needs to be on restoring power and getting our city back to normal as quickly as possible.

That's why I support the Mayor and Chair Pool's suggestion of using the upcoming Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee meeting, scheduled for our Work Session on February 21st, as an opportunity to have a more in-depth review. I believe it would be very helpful to have staff provide updates on the status of Austin Energy, Austin Water, and any other services impacted by the storm. This will allow us to follow up with a thorough analysis of what happened and how we can improve for the future.

In the meantime, I remain optimistic that our city will come out of this storm stronger and more prepared for any challenges that may come our way.

Thank you,

Council Member, District 6