City Council tables discussion about pay reduction, listens to ideas
AUSTIN, Texas - At Thursday night's public forum at City Hall, you didn't even have to be present to participate. The Council took phone calls, even tweets from all districts on how to make their meetings better.
Jennifer McPhail spoke representing ADAPT Texas making sure City Council activities will be accessible to people with disabilities just one thing she's hoping for is that a podium will be installed for those in wheelchairs like herself.
"Another big concern is that if the committees and community groups go into the districts that those district meetings be held in accessible locations," she said.
Some of the changes Council is proposing to hold meetings more frequently so people aren't leaving at 3 or 4 in the morning. Also to move executive sessions to a day other than Council meeting day.
These are changes most in attendance seemed to agree with but many opposed changes that could end up limiting public comment.
The first item on Thursday's agenda ended up being tabled until next week: a resolution that would allow the mayor and city council members to reduce their pay if they would like and direct those funds to other areas. It's something Mayor Adler says he is financially in a position to do but doesn't want to push it on the council members.
"The overtime or the amount of time that people are spending, these council people, is pretty extraordinary. So what Diane and I are able to do is not intended at all to suggest or to direct what anybody else should do," Adler said.
"That's up to them but I don't think that there should be this attitude of 'I've sacrificed more to be here than you so my opinion is more important,'" said McPhail.
Council member Garza brought up concerns about that proposition. She's afraid people that don't have alternative forms of income will not seek a spot on the ideas. Council tabled the discussion. They're expected to work on it during Tuesday's work session.