Cronk picks Chacon; Celia Israel launches mayoral committee

City Manager Spencer Cronk announced today that he’s found the guy to be Austin’s new police chief. It’s Joe Chacon, who has been serving as the interim chief since former Chief Brian Manley retired in March. Cronk’s selection must be approved by Council. There is something deeply ironic about the whole situation. Until quite recently, … Continue reading Cronk picks Chacon; Celia Israel launches mayoral committee

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Half way to bikeable: Austin’s milquetoast milestone

In its newsletter last week, the Transportation Department declared that the city has achieved an important milestone: the All Ages & Abilities Bicycle Network is now 50% complete. The AAA Bicycle Network surpassed the halfway milestone at the 207-mile mark on June 19th, upon completion of the protected bicycle lane on Guadalupe Street from Koenig … Continue reading Half way to bikeable: Austin’s milquetoast milestone

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Here comes redistricting

If you follow national politics, you’re likely aware that the ideal of representative democracy is often perverted by partisan redistricting, or gerrymandering. In 17 states, there is a nonpartisan system in place aimed at preventing gerrymandering, but in 33 states the task is left entirely up to elected legislators. Redistricting is a part of local politics too. Tomorrow the … Continue reading Here comes redistricting

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Where has Austin grown?

Following the deaths of two police officers last week to Covid, the Fire Dept announced its first loss to the pandemic: The fire department says that 78% of those who responded to a recent survey are vaccinated, but many firefighters didn’t respond to the survey. Back in April, the department reported that 60% of its uniformed … Continue reading Where has Austin grown?

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FAR out of downtown?

A couple weeks ago the Design Commission recommended changes to the Downtown Density Bonus, the program that offers developers increased height in exchange for some “community benefits,” notably fees to fund affordable housing. Right now, different parts of downtown are subject to different limits on Floor to Area Ratio, which governs the amount of floor space there can be on a lot. In most of downtown, the … Continue reading FAR out of downtown?

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