Posts Tagged ‘city council’

City Council Meeting This Week: Texting and Billboard Ordinances

This week’s city council meeting should be interesting. There are two ordinances and related matters up for consideration that tend to light up comment threads.

The first is the texting ban that was passed earlier this year and is going for another reading before being put into effect next month (item 90 under Items from Council). Chip Rosenthal is one of those leading the opposition to the ban’s current wording. I tend to agree with Chip on all of his points. You can also follow Chip and this issue via the Facebook Fan Page if you’re into that sort of thing.

The second (item 92 under Items from Council) is something that the Statesman has called out via Twitter and on its City Beat blog. The city is considering reimbursing Reagan for moving a billboard that will be out of compliance with a city ordinance if it changes that ordinance (141 PH on the agenda) to require billboards to be 500 feet from residences. The actual resolution can be found here. After reading the comment thread on the Statesman, I’m not surprised that most of the commenters have neglected to even read the resolution.

As the Statesman post sort of indicates, City Council is proposing changing the ordinance that dictates how close the billboard can be to residences. If the ordinance changes, then the billboard will be out of compliance. If it was in compliance when it was erected, where does that leave Reagan? The rationale in the resolution is that we’re trying to promote growth downtown, so we need to make changes like this to promote that growth. That being said, it sounds like poor planning on someone’s part with respect to the zoning and the ordinances for signage. And, as others have already asked, if we have to pay to move this one, how many others are there? Will we pay for all of them too? Or is this one really getting special treatment? Don’t changes like this usually have grandfather clauses to avoid this sort of problem?

Demotivators and motivators

It was the day that I saw one too many “Teamwork” posters that I was happy to discover Austin’s own Despair, Inc. Perhaps teamwork is falling out of favor as a workplace theme, because once-ubiquitous saturated photos of a crew on the water from a low overhead perspective, or even any parodies of that sort of poster, are less often to be found in those places where people earn their daily bread, if anecdotal evidence beyond my own experience is to be trusted. Even the Despair people have just one teamwork image that I can find, and the locale is not near the water. The current NYT Sunday magazine calls national attention to the Despair people, focusing on the “Worth” concept (“Empowering by Disempowerment,” byline Rob Walker, 4/27/08).

There are those who still believe in self-improvement as a personal conscious endeavor and, if the account in the local daily (byline Sarah Coppola; see links under photograph for itemized lists) is to be believed, one of our council incumbents is among them. An opponent made a public information request and now has used the results in an amusing four-page full-color mailer that displays images of selected invoices discovered among materials elicited following the PIR. I don’t know how I’m going to vote yet, but I’m not overjoyed to know that taxpayer dollars went to buy 20 copies of “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” And fish food?

Thanks to a new initiative by the Despair people, while feigning to look deeply engaged in the proceedings of meetings that are boring in the extreme, you can occupy yourself by mentally designing your own demotivational poster (which image should be accompanied by which heading and which “inspirational” language?).

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