Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lame Duck City Council threatens South Austin road project

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

The Austin City Council, with about two-and-a-half months left to govern before giving way to a new, larger council of uncertain leanings, is considering legal action to prevent construction of the Texas 45 Southwest tollway.

The council Thursday will consider a resolution — sponsored by council members Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison — directing city staff “to explore legal options available to the City of Austin” regarding Texas 45 Southwest and report to the council by Nov. 20.

In theory, that would give the current council time to have its lawyers file a lawsuit or take overt steps to stop construction of the proposed 3.6-mile, four-lane toll road on the city’s southwest border.

“I don’t want to talk specifically about any particular legal actions at this point,” Tovo told the American-Statesman Monday. “We need to act as quickly as possible. This is a fast-moving project.”

Tovo — who is running for election from District 9 of the new geographically elected council against fellow incumbent Chris Riley and a third candidate — demurred when asked if the point was to erect a roadblock for the project before a new council comes in that might favor Texas 45 Southwest.

In a 6-1 vote in May, the current council approved a resolution laying out what amounted to a policy case against building the road.

“We do have a history with this council,” Tovo said. “Certainly the existing council understands this subject well.”
This lame duck City Council cannot leave office soon enough; learn more about District 8 candidate Ellen Troxclair here.

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