Council may change discussion time again

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Austin City Council really wants to have a conversation. Problem is, none of the city’s residents have recently wanted the same.



The council’s informal meetings, called Conversations with the Council, haven’t been well-attended ever since council members switched from holding meetings on Saturdays. The council decided in September to meet with residents a half-hour before its scheduled bi-monthly public meetings, but no resident has attended a Conversation with the Council for the past two meetings.

“Maybe we need to go back to Saturdays,” Mayor Tom Stiehm said.

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Council members noted before their public meeting Monday night that a group of residents had always attended the informal meetings before. Two residents, including former council member Marian Clennon, attended the first Monday informal meeting, but none have come since.

Stiehm said though there were always residents who repeatedly complained about the same issues as the city was finding solutions, there were still residents who brought forward new concerns, such as the residents who pushed the council to work on the city’s dilapidated housing problem earlier this year.

Council members say they’ll continue to hold Conversations with the Council before their scheduled monthly meetings, but will likely switch back to one Saturday a month at the beginning of 2014.