Progress in permitting reform

permitting progressWe’ve made progress on permitting reform. According to a poll, satisfaction with the Development Services Department — the City department that issues permits and conducts inspections — has increased dramatically since the Zucker Report was released two years ago. In addition, the Austin Monitor reports that Development Services are issuing more than twice as many residential permits as they did two years ago. Continue reading

2017 State of the City Address: The Spirit of Austin

2017SOCAnight

Mayor Pro Tem, Council Members, City Manager, Distinguished Guests, my fellow Austinites.

There is something magical about this place, our people, our culture and our spirit.

We know that diversity makes us stronger, that taking care of our environment is to our credit and not to our detriment.  We’re laid back and focused.  We’re willing to fail so long as we learn quickly and keep trying. The character of Austin is important to us for a reason. It’s about a quality of life where we don’t thrive despite our weird, diverse, and inclusive values – we thrive because of them!

The State of our City is as wonderfully unique and special as it has ever been.

But that’s not quite the story we always tell ourselves about Austin, is it? There is something else we often tell ourselves about this city, and we say it as if it were a knowing, painful joke:

The best time to be in Austin, we say, was five years before you got here.

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