Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lame-Duck City Council shuts out public to raise electric rates

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Good grief, you leave town for two days and while you're gone:
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austin’s city council decided that it doesn’t want to hear from anyone who opposes its policies, and doesn’t care about Texas open meetings laws.

Here’s what happened, according to the report. The Austin city council has been interested in imposing some harsh new environmental standards on Austin Energy. Austin Energy, the city-owned electric company, opposes those regulations because it believes that they will force energy prices to hike, by a whole lot. That will hurt the city’s thriving economy and take money out of residents’ pocketbooks. Businesses generally oppose the regulations, while the Sierra Club and other environmental interests support them.

At the city council meeting Thursday night, those regulations were on the agenda. The city council sent everyone home who had come to speak on the issue, which included many who opposed it, with the assurance that the regulations would not be taken up in that meeting. The council said that the regulations would come up in its Friday meeting instead.

So they cleared the room of everyone who opposed the regulations. Which they’re not supposed to do.

And then they reversed course and put the regulations on the agenda, and passed them. Representatives from Austin Energy had left the meeting, and were at a restaurant when the vote took place.
The new council CANNOT take office quickly enough; read the whole thing here.

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