Our opinion: Join council for a cup

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Daily Herald editorial

It’s encouraging to see the Austin City Council restart its informal meetings, but Austin residents should let the council know these meetings should continue by showing up to them.

The latest Conversations with the Council — formerly Coffee with the Council — took place on Saturday. Only three residents showed up to the meeting, run by council member Judy Enright and Mayor Tom Stiehm. That didn’t stop the meeting from being packed with issues, as residents approached city officials with concerns about everything from attracting better jobs to Austin to the need for more street signs and biking directions.

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In other words, the meeting got off to a great start. The council got a sense of what these residents were concerned about, and promised to follow through on various issues. We know the council followed up on several residents’ complaints at last year’s meetings, and we hope that trend will continue.

Yet more people need to take advantage of this opportunity to get answers to their questions. It’s an opportunity to cut the red tape that can confuse even the most savvy Austin resident, to get clear answers from elected officials on large and small issues that may not be part of your average council meeting.

We salute the City Council for making the right choice to restart Conversations with the Council. We hope more residents will follow through on their end of the bargain and let the city know how best to guide Austin into the future.