Former Cedar Park City Councilman Cobby Caputo made an appearance at the council meeting Jan. 26 to give a report on the recommendations of the city's charter subcommittee. The 15-member committee recommended 14 charter amendments to Cedar Park's charter, which was last amended after the May 2010 election.
Caputo said the committee believes the 14 amendments can all appear on the same ballot without becoming burdensome to voters. The committee aimed to clarify and simplify the city's charter, deferring to state law when possible.
"We're trying to stick to the mentality of 'less is more,'" Caputo said.
The amendments address annexation, council procedures, petitions, guidelines for choosing members on the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustments, and the process used to review the charter itself. Caputo said he believed, as does the commission, that the language in the charter has been cleaned up enough so that the city may raise the number of years between charter reviews from four to seven.
"We've cleaned things up pretty well," he said.
The council also approved a resolution to join the Capital Area Council of Governments Central Texas Clean Air Coalition and appointed Councilman Scott Mitchell as the city's representative on the coalition. Membership in the coalition requires the city to take several measures, including participation in the 8-hour Ozone Flex Program.
That program prohibits city vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds from idling—excluding public safety vehicles or vehicles being used during a utility emergency—and requires the city to offer direct deposit to its employees and participation in efforts to promote efficient traffic signal operations through signal synchronization and other Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies. According to city staff, Cedar Park already follows most of those guidelines.
"This is nothing new for us," Director of Utilities Eric Rauschuber said.
The cities of Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos, Elgin, Bastrop, Luling and Lockhart, and Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties are all already members of the CAPCOG CAC.