Council passes ’12 priorities

Austin City Council members passed its 2012 priorities without much discussion, though they could be getting to work on some of this year’s goals soon.

The council set a list of seven priorities during its work session meeting in January.

Because the council makes a list of priorities instead of set goals, members decided to keep a few of last year’s priorities, like supporting green initiatives and Vision 2020, on the list.

“We really need to do a better job to address those priorities,” council member Judy Enright said.

Much of 2012 will consist of budget work for 2013. The council has indicated it will discuss the budget at one meeting per month. In past years, the council does not discuss the budget in detail until about August. Council member Steve King said last month that they need to be vigilant in finding ways to make Austin’s local government more efficient and affordable.

The council could achieve one of its goals soon, however. Members discussed putting together a regular informal community gathering at cafes and large spaces around town so residents could bring ideas and issues to the council. The meetings could be structured around specific departments like Park and Rec or police, and local administrators could be on hand to talk about their departments. Council members were inclined to make the meetings a monthly affair, though they could start out with a quarterly meeting. The issue will be brought up at the next council meeting.

2012 Priorities

—Support Vision 2020

—Look for cooperative efforts with Albert Lea

—Establish an informal process to gain citizen input

—Continuously review budget to find efficiencies

—Research opportunities to collaborate with other governmental units

—Continue to support HIP program

—Continue to support green initiatives

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