Austin City Council discusses homelessness issues at work session

The Austin City Council is holding a work session to discuss the homelessness issues facing the city and at times things got a little tense.

Council is tackling a couple of major homeless related issues today.

They're working through a proposal that some council members brought forward to clarify the ordinance changes council made in June legalizing camping, sitting and lying in public spaces. That new plan includes a camping ban on sidewalks.

But first council heard from city staff about the current status of Austin's homeless crisis. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley was aksed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler about wheter there has been an increase in homeless crime. Chief Manley said he was working on getting the data.

A testy exchange happened between council members Jimmy Flannigan and Kathie Tovo. Flannigan accused certain past resolutions as what he called "micromanaging" city staff and Tovo took issue with that.

A couple of weeks ago Chief Manley said in a press conference that he'd asked Mayor Adler to put the old ordinances back in place while the city figure all of this out. Today Chief Manley reiterated that and said the old rules allowed them to handle calls as they came in and maintained sidewalks for their intended purpose.



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