Council Watch 

Billy Manes pays attention to city government so you don't have to

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With summer fast approaching its demise – and a month of terribly exciting budget hearings to follow in September – your hired heroes of civic responsibility spent the bulk of this week’s agenda shoring up some predictable expenses and acting in a generally responsible way. Honey, look into that dental plan we have that’s about to be canceled; also, can you pick up five hybrid refuse trucks? Thanks! Now go fix your daddy a drink.

The city hears the first read of a proposed ordinance relating to alcoholic beverages.
Translation: After being drunkenly laughed out of Council chambers just a couple of months ago during their initial presentation, the folks behind manicuring your grown-up downtown experience into something that features no children and encourages super-late weekend alcohol consumption popped back in for the first reading of an ordinance on downtown drinking hours. It’s pretty much the same crap they were peddling in May (“The hangover,” May 29), minus the 3 a.m. extension on weekdays. Lots of problems here: permitting costs for bars, code adjustments for live venues, bars without late-night permits being forced to stop serving at midnight. But the city is doing it “whereas” public safety, so it’s totally perfect.

The city approves the seventh amendment to its agreement for production architect services for the Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Translation: Now that everybody rich is getting a new car thanks to a $94 million deal struck between the county and city mayors this month, DPAC is finally able to quietly say that it is increasing its architectural scope to include the acoustic theater for local arts groups, or Phase II. HKS Architects, which is already getting $35 million from tourist tax dollars, will now get an additional $4 million to get started on making pins drop for no one to hear. Seriously, you guys. It’s happening this time.

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