Consideration for Austin Energy independent governance set for April 11

Austin City Council will take up on first reading an ordinance establishing and planning a transition of Austin Energy to an independent board of trustees. Council approved the schedule during a March 26 work session.

"I want to bring this forward as soon as possible," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said.

The council approved a resolution Feb. 14 directing the city manager to create the possible guidelines for an independent board to run the municipal utility. Since that resolution, council members have been struggling to find an appropriate time to bring the ordinance up for consideration, juggling schedules and further studies of Texas and national public utilities that could pertain to the ordinance. AE is currently run by the City Council.

Councilwoman Kathie Tovo, who will not be attending the April 11 meeting because of previous engagements in China, said scheduling the final vote for later gives the community time to understand the ordinance.

"I think that provides some level of responsiveness to our community and the concern I raised," Tovo said. "We did hear concerns from community members that they would like sufficient time to review a proposed ordinance as well as the report and really digest that information and provide council with feedback."

The second and third reading on the motion has not been scheduled but could possibly take place the week of April 22–26.

Council also passed a motion detailing its intent to have a full council for the final reading and vote for the ordinance. Councilwoman Laura Morrison said she felt it was important to try to have the entire council present for the vote.

"I think this is one of the most important decisions we'll be making this year, if not the most important decision," Morrison said.


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