Liveblogging Today's City Council Meeting, That Is, At Least Until They're Done Talkin' About the Interesting Stuff

Categories: City Hall

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Sam Merten
City Manager Mary Suhm and Mayor Tom Leppert early this morning at today's city council meeting.
With my trusty laptop in hand, I prepared to liveblog the heck outta today's city council meeting -- the last one before the council leaves for its July recess and then returns to tackle a $131 million budget shortfall. But I soon realized that the council chambers lack an electrical outlet, which was necessary since said laptop has about two minutes of usage before the battery conks out.

Schutze had me convinced that there were outlets hidden underneath the first row of seats, but after inspecting the area several times, I surmised that he had successfully pranked me. Or the city yanked them out to mess with me. Either way, I headed back to Unfair Park HQ to watch on TV.

The council narrowly defeated the expanded senior tax exemption by an 8-6 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, Steve Salazar, Tennell Atkins, Carolyn Davis, Tennell Atkins, Delia Jasso and Vonciel Hill voting in favor of it and Angela Hunt absent for the vote.

Those voting against it agreed that it's a bad time to add another $2.6 million to the budget, with Dave Neumann prompting City Manager Mary Suhm to explain as much and affirm that punting this for a second year is her recommendation.

"I'm very glad to hear that Mr. Neumann is going on staff recommendation," Caraway said, referring to the upcoming vote on the Dallas Love Field Airport concession contracts.

Mayor Tom Leppert said he "would be happy" to vote for tax relief for seniors, but now is not the time.

"I very much want to do this, but I also want to do it in the overall context of the budget," he said.

The council also unanimously approved a deal to hand over $100,000 in Public/Private Partnership Program funds to a partnership that includes convention center hotel and South Side on Lamar developer Jack Matthews to build a movie and TV studio.

The Love Field addendum items are up, and with Hunt still absent, Leppert has called for a 10-minute break.

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