Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

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Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »

Colleagues,

This most recent major winter storm has frustrated Austin residents with how it was handled. This frustration shouldn't go unnoticed and we should act swiftly to answer our duty as elected representatives and be responsive to the concerns that our constituents have.

As policymakers, one way we can take action for the community is to investigate Austin Energy's vegetation management plan and how they handle extreme weather events and locate areas to make improvements to current operations. Finding places for improvement will increase resiliency for the whole community.

This is why I have authored the following resolution for the February 9th, 2023 council meeting:

Posting Language:
Approve a resolution directing the City Auditor to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Austin Energy Vegetation Plan and Austin Energy’s response to the February 2023 winter storm event.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 140105.pdf

I am pleased to have Council Members R. Alter, Vela, and Velasquez co-sponsor this resolution. I am thankful for their support and willingness to stand with me as we ensure the safety of our constituents and that best practices are being implemented.

I encourage any of my colleagues to join as co-sponsors in this effort as a step forward to answer the call of so many Austinites after such a frustrating week.

Kind Regards,
mk
Council Member, District 6
Leslie Pool
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Leslie Pool »

CM Kelly, I appreciate your intention with this IFC, but I cannot support your item and its approach at this time. As the mayor and I have communicated, we have agenda items for all affected departments to provide us with status and progress reports and to answer questions from the dais. We will have abundant opportunities to sift through what we just experienced, to probe for answers, and I intend to ensure our professional staff have appropriate and necessary time to finalize their after-action reporting. We do not know what that report will tell us and that is why I do not support your call for audits at this time. Instead, I want to review outcomes and scope a responsible action after assessing the situation. I ask that this item not be taken up at this time.

Sincerely,

Leslie
Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7
Ryan Alter
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Ryan Alter »

Thank you for your quick action on this item and inviting me to co-sponsor it with you. I believe the question of vegetation management is one that is clearly on the public’s mind and merits additional scrutiny. However, as we initially discussed, I believe it is most appropriate to limit this audit to that singular focus. There are other questions surrounding the response to the storm that we will certainly review carefully, but I do agree with CM Pool that those questions should be part of an after action review process.

To that end, I would like to reiterate my desire to remove bulleted items 3 and 7 from the resolution. I am happy to offer this as an amendment or have you incorporate it in any tweaks you might be making.

Thanks,

Ryan
Council Member, District 5
Ryan Alter
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Ryan Alter »

Please see below for these edits in a motion sheet:

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 091030.pdf
Council Member, District 5
Paige Ellis
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Paige Ellis »

CM Kelly -

Thank you for bringing this item. I also agree with CM Ryan Alter’s sentiments on the scope of the audit and will support the item with his amendment if it accepted as friendly.

Thank you,
Paige Ellis
Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis
City Council District 8
Ryan Alter
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Austin Energy Audit Resolution - February 9th, 2023, Council Meeting

Post by Ryan Alter »

Below is an updated version of my proposed amendment with a small edit to the end of the sixth bullet item, consistent with the rest of this motion:

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 113201.pdf
Council Member, District 5
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