City leaders want public input on re-working council meetings

FILE - Austin City Hall (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin City Hall (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s no secret Austin City Council meetings have a history of going until the wee hours of the morning. The newly elected council and mayor want to make city government more “user-friendly.”

For the first time in history, city council members in Austin represent geographic regions; a total of 10 across the city. Members hope to make strides in council function and efficiency. They want to re-work the way meetings are conducted and how business passes through the system.

Ultimately, the goal is to not waste your time.

“The way you kill civic participation is to ask someone to come down at 10:30 in the morning and have them still there at 1:00 a.m. to get their three minutes,” said Don Zimmerman, Austin City Council Member, District 6.

Thursday, January 22, council members and the mayor will host a town hall meeting. That’s where Austinites can go ahead and speak up about these new ideas.

“Each one of your council members has been hearing from their local people, so what’s going to happen Thursday is all those ideas are going to come together for the first time, and that’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to it,” said Zimmerman.

The public input meeting Thursday starts at 5:30 p.m. at city hall. The council’s first official meeting is Thursday, January 29. That’s the earliest they could vote for the new proposal for re-structuring meetings.

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