CM Kelly Amendments for Items 41 & 80 - 2.9.2023 council meeting

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Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

CM Kelly Amendments for Items 41 & 80 - 2.9.2023 council meeting

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »


As we prepare for tomorrow's meeting, I wanted to offer up a few amendments to items for your consideration.


Item 41- Council Member Harper-Madison
Amendment 1: ... 163301.pdf
Amendment 2: ... 163223.pdf
Amendment 3: ... 164158.pdf

Item 80 - Council Member Vela
Amendment 1: ... 163456.pdf
Amendment 1.A: ... 164055.pdf
Amendment 2: ... 163744.pdf
Amendment 2.A: ... 165230.pdf
Amendment 3: ... 165153.pdf
Amendment 4: ... 163839.pdf
Amendment 5: ... 165405.pdf

Your consideration of these amendments is greatly appreciated.


Council Member, District 6
John Lawler
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 1:13 pm

Re: CM Kelly Amendments for Items 41 & 80 - 2.9.2023 council meeting

Post by John Lawler »

Posting on behalf of CM Harper-Madison...

Good Afternoon -

After consulting with my co-sponsors, we have agreed to respectfully decline amendments 2 and 3 that Council Member Kelly has offered on Item 41. We appreciate her collaboration on this item over the Message Board and have taken the time to review and research the proposals over the last 18 hours since they were posted.

We have attempted to address each one below with the appropriate reasoning.

AMENDMENT 1: Provide a fiscal impact analysis of how this fund will impact the budget of the City of Austin.

We see no reason that this context delays or hinders the program and it’s intended outcomes.

Thank you for offering it.

AMENDMENT 2: Create a special allowance for law enforcement association beneficiaries (regardless of income, status, or need) to receive funds intended for low-income families to apply for variances on their property.

Let me first state: any of the families or beneficiaries of the programs my colleague has listed will have just as much a right to the BOA Assistance Program if they meet the income qualification laid out.

Over last night and this evening, my staff attempted to research the programs identified by this amendment. However, given the limited public information available online regarding the qualifications for these benefits programs or the outcomes associated with them, we are left with little information on how they would align with intended objectives of the BOA Assistance Program. Here is our best attempt at reviewing the listed programs.

DPSOA assistance program...
Based on my staff’s limited research, the DPS Officers Association program is available at the discretion of the Board of Directors, and provides immediate aid for the use of DPSOA members. Without further clarification on how the Board determines need, and if it aligns with the goals laid out in this resolution, we can’t in good faith support this amendment.

Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program...
Similarly, the Public Safety Officer’s Benefits Program appears to be a broad death, disability, and education benefits program for survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS professionals, and other first responders.

This is a very admirable, needed, and important benefits program for our public safety officers and their families.
With that said, the BOA Assistance Program that Staff has developed with our volunteer Board of Adjustment and that we have in front of us today is not this type of program, nor is it seeking to serve as one. It is focused on limiting the inequitable financial burden that low-income families experience when going through the variance process. For this reason, we can also not support this amendment.

All line-of-duty death assistance programs...
We respect, admire, and support the goals of the benefits programs my colleague has identified in their amendment. We are happy to partner with them in the coming years on how we can continue to support those who lose a loved one in the line of duty, be it a peace officer, fire fighter, EMS professional, or other first responders. I am proud of the work my office has done over the last four years in addressing the needs of the families of our fallen first responders.

The resolution in front of us today is not the appropriate vehicle of providing that support though. And I would like to stress again, that any of the families or beneficiaries of the programs my colleague has listed will have just as much a right to the BOA Assistance Program if they meet the income qualifications laid out. There is no reason that an income-qualifying individual should be limited to just one or the other.

AMENDMENT 3: Delay operation of the Assistance program an additional four months.

The April date was requested by staff so that help could begin to be provided as soon as possible. We have already heard from our volunteer Board of Adjustment, staff, and community members that this fund is needed, necessary, and reasonable.

In fact, City staff has provided multiple memos to Council over the last year outlining their process of collaborating with our volunteer BOA, identifying funds to support the program, and conceiving a pilot program to be launched as early as last fall.

If our colleague is interested in reviewing the effectiveness of the pilot in the context of the annual budget, we would encourage her to support the April launch date, so that staff can track its impact leading into our annual budget deliberations in the fall. That way, we can collectively make an informed decision on its merit.


Councilmember Natasha Harper-Madison
Austin City Council District 1

John Lawler - Office of CM Harper-Madison