Austin council members want to restore parts of police contract


Highlights

Council members will present a resolution to restore portions of the city’s contract with police on Feb. 15.

Officials say the temporary measure would implement previous provisions while a larger pact is negotiated.

The Austin police union’s contract with the city expired at the end of December.

Some members of the Austin City Council plan to bring forward a resolution to restore some provisions of the former contract between the city and Austin police union while a larger agreement is worked out.

A post on the council’s online message boards from members Alison Alter, Jimmy Flannigan, Ora Houston, Ann Kitchen and Ellen Troxclair said their offices have been forging a path toward a new contract since the council voted to send the last proposed contract back to negotiators in December.

The members said their goals for a new contract would include “accountability to the public, is fiscally sustainable for the city, ensures our peace officers remain the highest paid force in the state, and allows the financial flexibility to hire more officers.”

“At this time, we have developed a set of recommendations to move forward that we feel achieves these goals,” the message said. “It includes guidance on an overall spending limit and details on other fiscal and non-fiscal items.”

The members said the details they have agreed upon will be delivered to City Manager Spencer Cronk “as soon as possible.”

RELATED: Austin police union ready to re-enter contract talks

In the meantime, they will bring a resolution to the full council on Feb. 15 to put some items from the old contract back in place for the short term while an interim agreement is worked up.

The message did not specify which items were being considered.

As the council prepares for the Feb. 15 meeting, the city’s Public Safety Commission will hear from members of the police union, city activists and others on Monday to discuss the current status and future of police accountability in Austin.

The city’s Citizen Review Board, an oversight body tasked with examining cases of police misconduct, was shuttered last month as a result of the police contract’s expiration. The contract’s failure also put limitations on the department’s hiring and promotion process.

Austin police union President Ken Casaday informed interim City Manager Elaine Hart on Jan. 26 that the union had selected its new negotiating team and was ready to reenter negotiations as soon as the city was had selected their team and was ready to make substantive proposals related to both economic and non-economic subjects within the contract.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

State of the City: Adler pledges to make Austin a global leader
State of the City: Adler pledges to make Austin a global leader

Calling this year “a new Austin moment,” Mayor Steve Adler vowed to make the city a global leader in politics and culture in spite of what he sees as a wider environment of political turmoil. “It seems our country is losing its way in the world,” Adler said during his State of the City address Tuesday evening. “Here in...
Affordable housing advocates push back against latest CodeNext draft
Affordable housing advocates push back against latest CodeNext draft

The most recent iteration of Austin’s land use policy rewrite might give a sigh of relief to neighborhood activists, but it does nothing for affordable housing, affordability activists said Wednesday. Representatives of Habitat for Humanity, Austin Housing Coalition and Austin Cooperative Business Association gathered at City Hall to lodge opposition...
Right-wing media uses Florida school shooting as conspiracy fodder
Right-wing media uses Florida school shooting as conspiracy fodder

The teenagers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who a week ago lost 17 of their classmates and school staff members in a mass shooting, have emerged as passionate advocates for reform, speaking openly of their anger in the hope of forcing a reckoning on guns.  But in certain right-wing corners of the web — and...
Trump’s ‘tougher on Russia’ claim fits a pattern of striving to one-up Obama
Trump’s ‘tougher on Russia’ claim fits a pattern of striving to one-up Obama

To hear President Donald Trump tell it, he is tougher than former president Barack Obama. He is smarter than Obama — more shrewd, more effective, more respected. The 45th president is, by his own accounting, superlative to the 44th in almost every way.  In private and in public, while devising policies and while crafting messages, Trump...
Rubio faces backlash for gun control inaction
Rubio faces backlash for gun control inaction

He called it "heartbreaking" and said he was devastated. Dozens killed or injured in a shooting rampage that shook Florida and the nation - and "deeply impacted" him as he considered his political future.  Twenty months passed. Then, it happened again. Another mass killing.  Now, Marco Rubio has become the face of congressional...
More Stories