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GET ROLLING

[00:00:01]

HERE.

SO, GOOD

[CALL TO ORDER]

EVENING EVERYONE.

MY NAME IS LOUIS OBRA.

I AM YOUR HUMBLE CHAIR OF THE AUSTIN ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION, AND I CALL THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION MEETING TO ORDER.

IT IS SEPTEMBER 28TH, IS THAT CORRECT? YEAH.

MM-HMM.

, UH, AND THE TIME IS 6:16 PM IS WHAT I THINK I SAW.

WE'RE IN CITY HALL BOARDS AND COMMISSION.

ROOM NUMBER 1, 1 0 1 AT 3 0 1 WEST SECOND STREET, AUSTIN, TEXAS SEVENTY EIGHT SEVEN HUNDRED ONE.

I WILL CALL THE ROLE COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. PRESENT.

PRESENT.

COMMISSIONER UCA IS NOT HERE YET.

COMMISSIONER MCCORMICK.

PRESENT CHAIR.

SO PRESENT.

COMMISSIONER DANBURG.

PRESENT.

COMMISSIONER DANBURG PRESENT.

COMMISSIONER LEVINS PRESENT.

GOT YOU.

SECRETARY STANTON.

NOT HERE YET.

UH, COMMISSIONER LAURIE WILL BE ABSENT, I BELIEVE.

AND COMMISSIONER GREENBERG HERE.

AND THEN VICE CHAIR KALE PRESENT.

GREAT.

THAT IS A QUORUM.

UH, VICE CHAIR.

KALE COMMISSIONER DANBURG.

UH, AND COMMISSIONER DANBURG WILL BE ATTENDING VIRTUALLY THIS EVENING.

NEXT IS PUBLIC COMMUNICATION.

UM, I DON'T BELIEVE, AH, I'M GONNA RECOGNIZE THAT SECRETARY STANTON HAS JUST JOINED US.

UM, SO, UH, I DO NOT BELIEVE, UH, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, UM, WE HAVE ANYONE SIGNED UP FOR PUBLIC COMMUNICATION, CORRECT? CORRECT.

OKAY.

IN THAT CASE, WE CAN ROLL INTO OUR AGENDA, UM, SINCE WE ARE EXPECTING ONE MORE COMMISSIONER TO JOIN US.

UH, AND SINCE OUR RULES ARE PRETTY CLEAR ABOUT NOT STARTING, UH, HEARING OR NOT HAVING A HEARING BEGIN, LET ME BACK UP.

THE RULES ARE PRETTY CLEAR ABOUT A COMMISSIONER NOT BEING ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A HEARING HALFWAY THROUGH.

UM, I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE HER COME HALFWAY THROUGH, UH, WHEN WE ARRIVE TO THAT AGENDA ITEM.

SO, IF IT IS OKAY WITH EVERYONE HERE, I WANTED TO GO A LITTLE BIT OUT OF ORDER, UH, FROM OUR AGENDA, UH, WITH ONE OF

[5. Adopt a regular meeting calendar for 2023.]

TWO THINGS.

I THINK I'M GONNA FIRST TALK ABOUT OUR CALENDAR FOR THE COMING YEAR.

THAT IS IN YOUR AGENDA PACKET.

IT IS AGENDA ITEM FIVE.

SO THESE ARE THE DATES FOR 2023.

AND AS YOU CAN SEE, THEY ARE, UH, LIKE THIS PAST YEAR, THEY'RE HEAVILY LOADED ONTO THE FOURTH WEDNESDAY OF A MONTH.

UM, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT GUARANTEES OUR PRESENCE HERE AT CITY HALL OR IF THAT'LL TAKE US, UM, TO FAR FLUNG CITY PROPERTIES.

UH, BUT, UM, THIS IS OUR CALENDAR.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

UM, I'M HAPPY TO PASS THEM OFF TO, UM, OUR EXECUTIVE LIAISONS, PLURAL, UM, OR STAFF LIAISON.

UH, ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? YES.

COMMISSIONER MCCORMICK.

I GO OFF IN 2023.

ARE YOU LEAVING THIS COMMISSION IN 2023 ? TRULY THE END OF AN ERA.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WOW.

WELL, PREEMPTIVELY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, COMMISSIONER MCCORMICK .

UM, ANY, UH, ANY OTHER COMMENTS OR, UH, ANY NOTES ON OUR CALENDAR? YES.

UH, SO LYNN CARTER WITH THE LAW DEPARTMENT, I WILL JUST COMMENT THAT THOSE OF YOU THAT ROLL OFF IN FEBRUARY, WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO STAY ON UNTIL YOUR REPLACEMENT IS NAMED.

AND YOU CAN DO THAT THROUGH SOME DATE THAT WE WILL GIVE YOU IN APRIL.

PLEASE, I CAN BE REPORTED.

I'VE BEEN ON TOO MANY TIMES.

.

WE'LL HOLD ON TO YOU AS LONG AS WE CAN.

COMMISSIONER MCCORICK.

UM, OKAY.

ANY, ANY COMMENTS ON OUR CALENDAR FOR 2023? ALL RIGHT, THEN I'M HAPPY TO ENTERTAIN A MOTION TO ADOPT OUR CALENDAR FOR 2023.

THE CALENDAR, SECRETARY STANTON, UH, MOVES TO ADOPT OUR CALENDAR SECOND AND SECOND FROM COMMISSIONER LOVENS.

I WILL SAY ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, RAISE YOUR HAND AND I WILL COUNT YOU SEE LOVENS WILLIAMS, MCCORMICK GREENBERG,

[00:05:01]

SECRETARY STANTON, MYSELF.

AND THEN VIRTUALLY I SEE VICE CHAIR KALE AND COMMISSIONER DANBURG.

SO THAT IS UNANIMOUS.

BARRING OUR ABSENCES OF, UH, COMMISSIONER TE YUCA AND COMMISSIONER LAURIE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, COMMISSIONERS.

MOVING

[3. Staff briefing regarding ways the public can access to the Austin Utilities Now newsletters in Spanish (en español).]

ON.

UM, WE HAVE AS AGENDA ITEM NUMBER THREE, UH, STAFF BRIEFING REGARDING THE WAYS THAT THE PUBLIC CAN ACCESS CITY OF AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTERS IN SPANISH.

UM, TO BRIEF US ON THAT, UH, I BELIEVE WE HAVE SUSAN AND SUSAN FROM THE, FROM THE CITY OF AUSTIN, FROM AUSTIN ENERGY.

UM, I WILL PASS IT OFF TO YOU FOR THAT BRIEFING.

UM, WHICHEVER ONE OF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN PRESENTING.

WELL, I WILL GO AHEAD AND START.

MY NAME IS SUSAN KIMMEL LINES.

I AM THE MANAGER OF THE UTILITY MARKETING SERVICES GROUP AT AUSTIN ENERGY.

IN ADDITION TO SUPPORTING AUSTIN ENERGY, WE ALSO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO COA UTILITIES.

THAT'S BASICALLY, UM, THE ONLINE VERSION OF THE UTILITY CUSTOMER CARE GROUP, UH, THAT INTERACTS WITH THE PUBLIC.

WE PROVIDE SUPPORT THROUGH THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTER THROUGH, UH, A BROAD, UM, ANNOUNCEMENT OF, UH, VARIOUS CITYWIDE COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING, UM, RATES AND FEES FOR ALL CITY DEPARTMENTS, WHICH IS PART OF OUR CHARTER.

AND, UM, OTHER INFORMATION THAT MAY PASS THROUGH ON WARNING CITIZENS OF SCAMS, ET CETERA.

UM, SUZANNE FLOYD IS WITH ME THIS EVENING, AND I'M EXPECTING SUZANNE TO CHIME IN, UM, IF I BEGIN WANDERING OFF DOWN A PATH OR GIVE ANY KIND OF INFORMATION THAT'S NOT CLEAR.

SUZANNE, DO YOU JUST WANT TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF QUICKLY? HI, EVERYONE.

I'M SUZANNE FLOYD.

UH, I AM ON SUSAN'S TEAM, UH, AT AUSTIN ENERGY, AND I SERVE AS A MARKETING, UH, LIAISON FOR COA UTILITIES, UH, AND THE, THE BILL ONLINE BILLING, UH, ONLINE CUSTOMER CARE AND BILLING SYSTEM.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SO LET ME GIVE YOU AN OVERVIEW FIRST OF, UM, THE COA UTILITIES.

THE BILL AND THE ASSOCIATED AUSTIN ENTERED THE NOW NEWSLETTER.

THE, UM, COA UTILITIES IS PRINTED IN, THE BILL IS PRINTED IN ENGLISH AND ALSO SPANISH.

UH, SEVERAL YEARS AGO WE STARTED PROVIDING THE OPTION FOR A SPANISH NEWSLETTER WITH THE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE NEWSLETTER.

WE AUTOMATICALLY INCLUDE THE AUSTIN UTILITIES.

NOW INFORMATION IN THE ENGLISH VERSION WITH THE SPANISH VERSION OF THE BILL.

WE DO NOT YET INCLUDE THE SPANISH NEWSLETTER, BUT SUZANNE AND I ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON THIS.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE IDENTIFIED SOME MONTHS AGO, MAYBE A YEAR AGO, THAT IT WAS LACKING, AND WE DID NOT HAVE THAT.

WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 10,000 CUSTOMERS THAT HAVE REQUESTED THE SPANISH LANGUAGE BILL.

UM, AND WE HAVE A MAIL LIST OF ABOUT 400 CUSTOMERS THAT ARE AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVING THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTER IN SPANISH.

THOSE TWO ARE SHIPPED SEPARATELY.

SUZANNE AND I ARE WORKING TO CREATE A PROCESS WITH OUR CUSTOMER CARE UTILITY CUSTOMER CARE FOLKS TO STREAMLINE THAT PROCESS.

SO, JUST LIKE WITH THE ENGLISH BILL WHERE THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW IS AUTOMATICALLY SENT WITH THE BILL IN ENGLISH, WE ARE GOING TO PUT A, UH, PROCESS IN PLACE THAT ALLOWS US TO DO THE SAME WITH THE SPANISH LANGUAGE.

BILL, ANY QUESTIONS ON THAT SO FAR? OKAY.

SO LIKE I SAID, CURRENTLY WE HAVE A GAP BETWEEN THE 10,000 THAT ARE RECEIVING OUR NEWSLETTER IN SPANISH AND THE 400 THAT ARE RECEIVING THAT NEWSLETTER THROUGH A SEPARATE MAIL LIST.

TYPICALLY HOW THEY'VE GOTTEN ON THAT MAIL LIST IS THEY WILL CALL, UH, THREE ONE ONE, OR THEY WILL CALL THE COA UTILITIES CUSTOMER CARE PHONE NUMBER TO GET ADDED TO THAT.

THAT INFORMATION COMES OVER TO MY TEAM AND WE MANAGE THAT LIST.

UM, I'M REALLY TROUBLED BY THE GAP BETWEEN THE 10,000 AND THE 400.

SO, LIKE I SAID, THIS HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT SUZANNE AND I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON MAYBE FOR A YEAR TO BEGIN IMPROVING THAT PROCESS.

ONE THING THAT WE ARE PUTTING INTO PLACE IMMEDIATELY IS TO PROVIDE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE, AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW TO LIBRARIES, TO OUR WALK-IN CENTERS, THE BILL PAYMENT CENTERS, TO OUR REC CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

WE CURRENTLY DO THIS WITH THE ENGLISH VERSION AND TO, UH, CITY HALL.

UM, THAT'S KIND OF WHERE WE STAND RIGHT NOW ON THE SPANISH LANGUAGE NEWSLETTER.

AND I'VE LIGHTLY ADDRESSED YOUR OPT IN, OPT OUT

[00:10:01]

IF, IF WE ARE ABLE, AND I THINK WE WILL BE WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO MOVE OVER TO THE AUTOMATIC, UM, SPANISH LANGUAGE NEWSLETTER GOING IN WITH THE BILLS.

THERE WILL BE NO NEED TO OPT IN, OPT OUT.

IT WILL BE AN AUTOMATIC PROCESS WITH THE THE BILL PAYMENT, THE BILL MAILING.

ANOTHER THING I'D LIKE TO ADD ONTO THAT IS WE HAVE A VERY ROBUST COA UTILITIES WEBSITE THAT ALREADY AUTOMATICALLY INCLUDES ELECTRONIC VERSIONS OF BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH NEWSLETTERS, AND ALSO ALL OF OUR OTHER PERTINENT, UH, RIGHTS AND FEES.

UM, SCAM INFORMATION, ET CETERA.

ON THAT SITE, IT IS COA UTILITIES.COM QUESTIONS, SUZANNE, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD? UM, YOU, YOU COVERED THE FACT THAT IT IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, SO THAT WAS ONE THING I WAS GOING TO EMPHASIZE.

SO THANK YOU FOR, FOR COVERING THAT.

UM, I WOULD JUST SAY THAT, UH, IT IS, YOU KNOW, AS YOU POINTED OUT IS IT IS A PROCESS THAT IS IN THE WORKS.

THERE ARE SEVERAL VENDORS, UH, INVOLVED.

UH, SO I, I DON'T HAVE A TIMEFRAME AT THIS POINT THAT TO, TO GIVE.

HOWEVER, UM, UH, YOU KNOW, WE, WE CAN, UH, WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS THAT AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME TIME.

SO THANK YOU.

ANOTHER ELEMENT I'D LIKE TO ADD ALSO, OR ONE OTHER THOUGHT IS WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS INDEPENDENCE OF ANY CONVERSATIONS OR KNOWING OF ANY CONVERSATIONS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN GOING ON WITH THE THIS COMMISSION.

SO LIKE I SAID, IT'S A PRIORITY FOR SUZANNE AND MYSELF AND ALSO FOR COA UTILITIES.

WELL, THANK YOU FOR THAT BRIEFING.

I THINK, UH, SECRETARY STANTON HAD A QUESTION.

I DO.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR THIS INFORMATION.

UM, I JUST HAVE TWO QUESTIONS.

THE FIRST ONE IS, CAN YOU REPEAT WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT THE OPT-IN? I, I MISSED A LITTLE BIT OF THAT? ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY.

SO ONCE WE PUT THIS PROCESS IN PLACE WHERE WE ARE ABLE TO PRINT AND SHIP THE CO THE AEN NEWSLETTER, AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTER WITH THE SPANISH LANGUAGE BILL, THAT WILL BE AN AUTOMATIC PROCESS.

THERE WILL BE NO OPT IN OR OPT OUT REQUIREMENT BEYOND CITIZENS RE REQUESTING A SPANISH LANGUAGE BILL.

THAT'S THE ONLY THING THEY'LL NEED TO DO, IS TO REQUEST THAT BILL AND THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY GET THE NEWSLETTER IN SPANISH WITH THAT BILL.

SO RIGHT NOW, OR DO WE, RIGHT NOW, DO WE HAVE THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTER? THIS IS A NEW CIRCULAR GOING INTO YEAH, WE'VE BEEN, WE'VE BEEN PRINTING THE NEWSLETTER IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH FOR YEARS.

I JOINED AUSTIN ENERGY COA UTILITIES, UM, EIGHT YEARS AGO, AND IT WAS ALREADY A WELL ESTABLISHED PROCESS.

WE HISTORICALLY PRODUCE OUR COLLATERAL AND MATERIALS IN ENGLISH, IN SPANISH, AND THEN ON FOR SPECIAL NEEDS OR FOR EXPANDED NEEDS, WE WILL PRODUCE OTHER COLLATERAL AND DOCUMENTATION IN OTHER LANGUAGES, BUT SPANISH AND ENGLISH ARE OUR PRIMARY LANGUAGES.

OKAY.

AND I APOLOGIZE, I'M STILL NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE OPTIN IS FOR.

SO CURRENTLY, IF PEOPLE WANT TO RECEIVE A SPANISH LANGUAGE NEWSLETTER, THEY HAVE TO CALL EITHER THREE ONE ONE OR THE COA UTILITIES, UH, CALL IN NUMBER.

GOTCHA.

THAT'S THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN BE ADDED TO THE LIST TO RECEIVE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE NEWSLETTER.

THAT IS ALSO THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN RE RECEIVE A SPANISH ONLY BILL.

SO THEY DO HAVE TO CALL, SORRY ABOUT MY CAP.

THEY DO HAVE TO CALL AND, UH, REQUEST TO, TO RECEIVE A SPANISH LANGUAGE BILL.

WHAT I'M SAYING IS, IN THE FUTURE, ONCE WE GET THIS, THIS PROCESS IN PLACE, AND WE'RE STILL NOT SURE HOW LONG THAT'S GOING TO TAKE, UH, WE WORK FOR THE CITY AND WE HAVE A LOT OF VENDORS THAT WE HAVE TO WORK THROUGH CONTRACTS AND PROCESSES, BUT I'VE GOT A SENSE OF URGENCY TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

ONCE WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE THAT PROCESS IN PLACE WHERE WE'VE GOT THE BUNDLING OF THE SPANISH BILL AND THE BUNDLING OF THE, WHAT CAN I SAY? I OWN ANIMALS.

THEY'RE ALL RESCUES , UH, THE SPANISH LANGUAGE BILL AND ALSO THE AUSTIN UTILITIES.

NOW, THERE WILL BE NO NEED FOR OPT IN, OPT OUT, BUT CURRENTLY IF THEY WANT TO RECEIVE ONE OR THE OTHER, THEY DO HAVE TO CALL 3 1 1 OR THEY HAVE TO CALL THE, UH, CUSTOMER CARE CENTER TO BE ADDED IN.

ONCE THEY'RE ADDED INTO THAT, THEN MY TEAM HANDLES THE, UM, SPANISH LANGUAGE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW, AND WE HAVE ANOTHER PROCESS FOR THE BILL.

GOTCHA.

SO THAT SOUNDS EXCELLENT.

SO THE DEFAULT, ONCE YOU GET THIS BUNDLE, THE DEFAULT WILL BE JUST GETTING ENGLISH AND SPANISH.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO REQUEST IT.

AM I UNDERSTANDING

[00:15:01]

ENGLISH OR SPANISH? YOU DON'T HAVE TO.

IF YOU CALL UP AND YOU SAY, I WANT, UH, A SPANISH BILL, THAT'S THE ONLY CUT OF BILL I WANT, THEN YOU'LL AUTOMATICALLY BEGIN RECEIVING THAT.

AND ALSO THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW SPANISH LANGUAGE VERSION.

GOTCHA.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

SO THE NA THE NATURAL DEFAULT IS FOR THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

GOTCHA.

SO PEOPLE ARE A CUSTOMER AND THEY DON'T SPECIFY, WHICH THEY'LL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE VERSION.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

AND THEN MY SECOND QUESTION, AND I'M SURE OTHER COMMISSIONERS CAN GUESS THIS QUESTION, UM, IS THERE A PLAN TO INCLUDE A THIRD LANGUAGE? AND I THINK JUST TRYING TO, UM, TRYING TO, UM, BE CONSISTENT ACROSS THE BOARD.

AND THIS IS WHERE I'M COMING FROM THIS, UH, SENSE OF CONSISTENCY.

WE'VE, WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON.

UM, AND I THINK WE HAVE A PILOT COMING UP FOR VOTER REGISTRATION AND, AND CANDIDATE FORUMS TO BE AVAILABLE IN A THIRD, UM, LANGUAGE.

I THINK IT'S, IS IT CHINESE? CHINESE? IT'S, IT'S LIKELY SIMPLIFIED CHINESE THE PRINTING OF THIS.

YES.

THANK YOU.

BYE.

AND SO MY QUESTION IS, ARE THERE PLANS TO MAKE THE AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW NEWSLETTER ALSO AVAILABLE IN CHINESE? AND CERTAINLY, UM, TIMELINE, YOU KNOW, THERE ISN'T AN URGENCY, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT THERE'S A PLAN FOR INCLUDING THAT SINCE WE RECOGNIZE THAT AS THE THIRD, UM, UH, MOST COMMON PREDOMINANT LANGUAGE, RIGHT? YES.

MM-HMM.

IN AUSTIN.

YEAH.

UM, SO ACTUALLY THERE IS NOT AT THIS POINT, BUT I WILL SAY, SUZANNE, DID YOU WANNA JUMP IN ON THAT? WELL, I, I DID, I DID, UH, HAVE SOME, SOME COMMENTARY ON THIS.

UM, RIGHT NOW, THE, THE DATABASE THAT AUSTIN ENERGY OR THE CITY OF AUSTIN UTILITIES USES DOESN'T HAVE A LANGUAGE CHOICE.

WE OFFER SPANISH, AND THEN PEOPLE WHO WANT ENGLISH BILLS AND OR ENGLISH A UNS CAN OPT IN.

OTHERWISE, WE DON'T, WE DON'T USE CORRECTION PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY ENGLISH BILL AND THEY CAN OPT IN WHEN THEY TALK TO US TO GET THE SPANISH.

I'M, I'M SORRY.

I SORRY.

I DIDN'T MEAN TO CAUSE CONFUSION.

UH, BUT THE POINT THAT, THAT I WAS TRYING TO GET TO IS WE DON'T HAVE AN IDENTIFIER IN OUR DATABASE RIGHT NOW FOR PEOPLE WHO, UH, SPEAK CHINESE OR WOULD WANT TO RECEIVE AN AEN AND CHINESE.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD NEED TO SOLVE FOR.

THAT'S ALL I WANTED TO POINT OUT IS JUST THAT THAT WOULD ALSO BE AN OPT-IN PROCESS.

WE WOULD NEED PEOPLE TO SELF-IDENTIFY AS SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO RECEIVE THE A UN UH, IN CHINESE.

UH, IF WE CREATED THAT, WHAT WHAT CAN WE DO TO RECOMMEND THAT OR TO URGE YOU TO, TO DO THAT AS AGAIN, TO TO ALIGN WITH WHAT'S ALREADY BEEN RECOGNIZED AS THE THIRD MOST COMMON LANGUAGE HERE IN AUSTIN.

AND IT'S BEEN RECOGNIZED AS SUCH BY, UM, YOU KNOW, LEGAL, UH, UM, WOMEN VOTERS.

AND, UM, SO I WOULD JUST LIKE TO, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I WOULD, I PERSONALLY WOULD CHAMPION ACROSS THE BOARD IN OUR, YOU KNOW, IN OUR CITY, IS IF WE RECOGNIZE THAT CHINESE IS THE THIRD MOST COMMON LANGUAGE IN AUSTIN, WHY WOULD WE NOT MAKE SURE, ENSURE THAT SERVICES THAT WE PROVIDE IN SPANISH WOULD ALSO APPLY AND, AND BE AVAILABLE IN THE THIRD MOST COMMON LANGUAGE IN OUR CITY? ABSOLUTELY.

SO THERE'S AB THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON THAT COULD NOT HAPPEN GIVEN OUR ABILITIES.

UM, THERE ARE OTHER FACTORS THAT WILL COME INTO PLAY ON THAT, YOU KNOW, INCLUDING CAUSE BUDGET, BLAH, BLAH BANDWIDTH, UH, MANPOWER SEPARATING FROM THAT.

I WOULD SAY THAT WE DO CREATE MATERIALS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES.

WE HAVE DONE THAT BEFORE, AND LIKE I SAID, ENGLISH AND SPANISH FOR OUR FALL BACK LANGUAGES, BUT FOR UNIQUE OR SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS WE HAVE CREATED IN OTHER LANGUAGES, IF THE REQUEST COMES INTO US, IT'S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT WE CAN MAKE HAPPEN.

UM, I, AT MY DECISION LEVEL, I'M NOT THE ONE TO SAY, HEY, LET'S START DOING THIS, AND WE'RE WE'LL DO IT NOW.

UM, OBVIOUSLY, AND I HATE TO SAY THIS, THAT'S NOT AT MY PAY GRADE , BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS PERFECTLY WITHIN THE REALM OF POSSIBILITIES ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE SPECIFIC INFORMATION IN A LANGUAGE THAT'S MORE ACCESSIBLE BY A CERTAIN AUDIENCE.

I, I, GOING BACK TO WHAT SUZANNE HAD SAID, IT MIGHT NOT BE FEASIBLE FOR AUSTIN UTILITIES.

NOW IF OUR ONLY MESSAGE REVOLVES AROUND, WE WANT THEM TO

[00:20:01]

KNOW ABOUT THE CANDIDATE FORUM, THERE MAY BE OTHER WAYS THAT WE CAN ADDRESS THAT THROUGH OTHER COMMUNICATION MECHANISMS THAT WE KNOW HOW TO USE OR WE KNOW HOW TO ACCESS.

UM, AND, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IF I WERE SITTING DOWN WITH THE PERSON REQUESTING CHINESE, OR SIMPLIFIED CHINESE AS WE NEED TO CONTACT THIS, THIS POPULATION, THEN I WOULD BEGIN ASKING ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS TO TRY AND DISCOVER THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT TO THIS TARGET AUDIENCE.

AND LIKE SUZANNE HAD ALSO REFERENCED, WE DON'T HAVE WITH CERTAINLY WITHIN THE DATABASE FOR OUR BILLS OR FOR AUSTIN UTILITIES NOW, WE DO NOT HAVE, UH, A LANGUAGE DIFFERENTIATOR UNLESS THEY SPECIFICALLY ASK FOR SPANISH.

UM, SO THAT OPENS UP OTHER DOORS ON, ARE THESE QUESTIONS THAT HAVE TO BE ASKED? ARE THERE AREAS THAT NEED TO BE EXPLORED? SO I, I KNOW I'M TALKING, THROWING A LOT OF THOUGHTS OUT THERE, BUT LOOKING AT HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM IN GETTING SPECIFIC INFORMATION OUT TO A PARTICULAR GROUP IN A CERTAIN LANGUAGE? THERE ARE A LOT MORE QUESTIONS THAT I WOULD BEGIN ASKING ON, UH, WHAT IS IT THAT WE'RE TRYING TO TELL THEM? WHAT DO WE WANT TO SAY? HOW DO WE REACH THEM? UM, AND WE HAVE THE MECHANISMS TO GO OUT AND IDENTIFY AS BEST WE CAN WITHOUT SAYING WHAT LANGUAGE DO YOU WANT? UH, WE DO HAVE MECHANISMS TO LOOK AT THE DEMOGRAPHICS IN CERTAIN AREAS, UM, CERTAIN ZIP CODES, UM, YOU KNOW, WHAT FEEDBACK IS COMING FROM COMMUNITY OUTREACH IN PARTICULAR AREAS AND BEGIN TO, UH, RESPOND TO IT IN THAT WAY.

FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE OTHER PROGRAMS, CERTAINLY WITHIN AUSTIN ENERGY, WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW BEST TO REACH UNDERSERVED AUDIENCES WITH INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PARTICULAR PROGRAMS. AND SEVERAL OF THOSE AUDIENCES HAVE A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH AS THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE.

SO THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT.

HOW DO WE CREATE COMMUNICATIONS THAT ARE APPEALING TO THAT PARTICULAR AUDIENCE AND DELIVER A MESSAGE THAT IS EFFECTIVE WITH THAT PARTICULAR AUDIENCE? AND WHAT MECHANISMS DO WE USE? THOSE ARE A LOT OF WORDS, AND I HAVE TALKED AROUND THIS QUITE A BIT, BUT I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT, UM, YOUR, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED.

WELL, THANK, I WANT TO THANK YOU, UH, FOR THE BRIEFING, AND I DON'T WANT TO, I DIDN'T WANT TO INTERRUPT, UH, THAT LAST QUESTION JUST TO ACKNOWLEDGE, UM, THAT, UH, YOU'RE, YOU'RE KIND OF DOING THIS A FAVOR BY SHOWING UP BECAUSE THE, UH, THE EXTENT OF OUR AUTHORITY AT THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION ONLY GOES SO FAR.

UM, MM-HMM.

, AND IN OUR INTERACTIONS WITH AUSTIN ENERGY, UH, BARRING A FEW COMPLAINTS A FEW YEARS AGO, , UM, OH, YOU LOVE US.

YOU LOVE US.

WE'RE WONDERFUL.

WE DO.

NO, WE LOVE YOU GUYS.

UM, PRECISELY BECAUSE YOU CIRCULATE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR CANDIDATE FOR HIM, WHICH WE DO AFTER JURISDICTION OVER.

UM, I WANT TO, UH, BUT I DO WANT TO MAKE SURE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO THANK YOU FOR, UH, YOUR WORK IN MAKING IT MORE ACCESSIBLE TO AT LEAST A SPANISH SPEAKING POPULATION.

AND I KNOW THAT CONVERSATIONS, UH, MOVING FORWARD ABOUT HOW WE CAN BETTER SERVE, UM, OTHER LANGUAGE COMMUNITIES IN AUSTIN.

UH, IT'S GOOD TO HEAR THAT YOU'RE VERY RECEPTIVE TO THOSE CONCERNS AS WELL.

ABSOLUTELY.

ABSOLUTELY.

YEAH.

COMMISSIONERS ARE THERE, ARE THERE ANY OTHER, UH, COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS? NO.

LATER, NO LATER .

SURE.

WELL, THANK YOU SUSAN AND SUZANNE, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND, UH, WE WILL BE IN TOUCH IF WE HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS.

YOU ARE MOST WELCOME, AND I HAVE A WONDERFUL EVENING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALL FINE.

ALL RIGHT, COMMISSIONERS.

UM, SO THERE ARE A FEW OTHER ITEMS ON OUR AGENDA.

I THINK, UM, I WILL ASSUME THAT COMMISSIONER 10 YUCA MAY NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN US QUITE ON TIME, WHICH, UM, LEAVES, UH, WE COULD

[APPROVAL OF MINUTES]

MOVE ON TO OUR MINUTES.

MM-HMM.

, WE CAN DO THAT REALLY QUICK, AND THEN THAT'LL LEAVE THE REST OF OUR TIME FOR OUR HEARING.

SO, SECRETARY STANTON.

YES.

SO LOOKING AT JULY 27 MINUTES, I HAVE THREE AMENDMENTS AND ONE SUGGESTION, UM, LET ME GET THE SUGGESTION OUT OF THE WAY SINCE, UH, WE'LL COME UP.

UM, IT SHOWS UP FIRST, IT'S A PUNCTUATION CONVENTION.

IT'S NOT AN URGENT THING, BUT THE, I'VE NOTICED THAT IN THESE SET OF MINUTES, AS WELL AS IN THE AUGUST SET OF MINUTES, THERE IS A COLON USED AFTER THE WORD COMMISSIONERS.

LET ME DIRECT YOUR

[00:25:01]

ATTENTION TO TWO, THREE, THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH WHERE IT READS, COMMISSIONERS IN ATTENDANCE REMOTELY, AND THEN COMMISSIONERS, AND THEN A COLON.

AGAIN, JUST THE SUGGESTION THAT WE NOT USE THAT SECOND COLON AND JUST SO THAT IT READS COMMISSIONERS AND THEN THE COMMISSIONER'S NAMES.

DOES THAT SUGGESTION MAKES SENSE? I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT.

AGAIN, JUST A SUGGESTION.

SURE.

UM, I WOULD NOT, UM, I'M NOT GONNA BE HEARTBROKEN IF THE MOTION DOES NOT INCLUDE THAT SUGGESTION AT ALL.

JUST WANTED TO PROVIDE THAT FEEDBACK.

SURE.

THERE ARE THREE AMENDMENTS THAT I'M OFFERING.

OKAY.

UM, THE FIRST ONE IS, GOSH, THE SECOND PAGE.

IT'S MY SECOND PAGE HERE.

UM, THE SECOND FULL PARAGRAPH THAT STARTS THERE WAS CONTINUED DISCUSSION ON THE ITEM FROM THE COMMISSION.

SECOND SENTENCE, THE MOTION TO AMEND THE CODE WITH THE CURRENT RECOMMENDATION AS IS.

UM, I WOULD LIKE THAT AS IS TO HAVE A HYPHEN.

OKAY.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS IN THE SAME SENTENCE WITH DIFFERENT LETTERING WAS APPROVED ON COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS MOTION.

THERE SHOULD BE AN APOSTROPHE AFTER THE S MM-HMM.

, I BELIEVE, AND THIS IS WHERE I KIND, THIS IS WHERE I HAVE TO LIKE, DRAW UPON MY GRAMMAR KNOWLEDGE FROM ALL THE TIMES.

LIKE, GOSH, DO YOU PUT AN APOSTROPHE AND THEN ANOTHER S, BUT, UM, JUST FOR CLARITY'S SAKE, SO THAT IT, IT'S NOT THE, BECAUSE THE COMMISSIONER'S NAME IS WILLIAMS, NOT WILLIAM.

CORRECT.

SO PUT APOSTROPHE AFTER THE S AND, AND NO AND NO SECOND S I'LL DEFER TO COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS ON THAT.

WHAT WOULD YOU USUALLY DO? EITHER WAY THEY DIDN'T HAVE JUST TO ONE APOSTROPHE AFTER THE S.

YES.

WE WILL GO WITH THAT.

THE, THE CLEAREST WAY THAT I WOULD RECOMMEND IS JUST NOT YOUTH APOSTROPHE TO SAY WAS APPROVED ON MOTION BY COMMISSIONER AND THEN THE NAME, AND THEN THAT CONVENTION APPLIES WHETHER THERE'S AN S IN THAT PERSON'S NAME OR NOT.

AND IT IS CLEAR.

UM, BUT THE EASIEST FOR RIGHT NOW IS TO PUT THE APOSTROPHE AFTER THE S.

GOT IT.

AND THEN THE FINAL AMENDMENT UNDER NUMBER FIVE, UM, LET'S SEE HERE.

SECRETARY STANTON AND COMMISSIONER 10 Y OF VOLUNTEER TO BE ON THE WORKING GROUP.

UM, IT'S WITH THE SECOND SENTENCE, THE MOTION TO CREATE THE WORKING GROUP TO PREPARE CALENDAR, COMMISSION DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, NOT CO-CHAIRED BY SECRETARY STANTON AND COMMISSION ATTEND YUCA, BUT WITH MEMBERS, SECRETARY STANTON AND COMMISSION ATTEND YUCA ONLY BECAUSE I SAW THAT IN THE AUGUST MINUTES AND IN OTHER MINUTES, UM, IT MEMBERSHIP IS NOT REFERRED TO AS CHAIRED OR CO-CHAIRED.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? I THINK, AND I WAS WONDERING WHY THIS ONE SPECIFICALLY SAID CO-CHAIRED AS OPPOSED TO JUST WE, WE ARE THE MEMBERS OF THIS WORKING GROUP, CUZ IN THE AUGUST MINUTES, THERE'S A, THERE ARE TWO WORKING GROUPS THAT WERE FORMED MM-HMM.

AND, UM, IT WAS JUST REFERRED TO AS THIS WITH MEMBERS WITH MEMBERSHIP OR WITH COMMISSIONERS OR CO-CHAIR AND SO FORTH ON, ON THE YEAH.

I THINK, UH, PERFECTLY FINE TO SAY, UM, COMPOSED OF AS OPPOSED TO CO-CHAIR BY YES.

YES.

SURE.

UM, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN, UH, AN OFFHAND, UM, REMARK ON MY PART THAT GOT INCORPORATED INTO THE MINUTES, UM, IS MAYBE THE MOST PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION YEAH.

FOR WHAT HAPPENED THERE.

UM, AND THAT IS IT, AS FAR AS THE AMENDMENT, SO THERE ARE THREE AMENDMENTS AND ONE SUGGESTION.

OKAY.

AND YOU'LL FIND THAT CONVENTION OF THE COLON AFTER COMMISSIONERS THROUGHOUT THE DOCUMENT.

I SEE.

OKAY.

WELL, I, UM, I AM FINE WITH THOSE SUGGESTIONS PERSONALLY.

ANY DISCUSSION, UM, THEN THERE OVER HIM? YES.

VICE JOE KALE.

HI.

SO, UM, I JUST WANTED TO ASK, I HAVE A QUESTION, SORT OF A PROCEDURAL QUESTION.

MM-HMM.

, UM, I WANTED TO SAY I REALLY APPRECIATE COMMISSIONER STANTON'S TIME ON THIS.

I'M WONDERING IF THERE'S A WAY, PROCEDURALLY THAT SOME OF THIS TYPE OF, UM, ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND THE MINUTES COULD BE DONE PRIOR TO THE MEETING JUST TO SAVE, YOU KNOW, TO SAVE OUR GROUP TIME, UM, ONCE WE GET HERE.

SO, GREAT QUESTION.

UM, I, I WILL TALK

[00:30:01]

TO OUR EXECUTIVE LIAISONS ABOUT THAT, UM, AS THE VERY SENIOR MEMBER AND ONE WHO'S BEEN AROUND DOING THIS FOR A HUNDRED YEARS MM-HMM.

MINUTES ARE, UNLESS THEY ARE REALLY LEGAL DOCUMENTS, MINUTES, ARE TO HAVE SOME WIGGLE ROOM AND HAVING DONE MINUTES FOR UT SYSTEM, I KNOW ABOUT WIGGLE ROOM.

SO THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERIOD DOT THIS AND THIS, AS LONG AS THEY HAVE THE IDEA AND IT'S CORRECT.

THAT'S OKAY.

SO, UH, BECAUSE WE ARE AGENDAS TO POTENTIALLY ADOPT THE MINUTES AND NOT TALK ABOUT THE PROCEDURE SURROUNDING HOW WE CREATE MINUTES OR CHANGE MINUTES, I'M GONNA ASK FOR A MOTION.

I SEE A MOTION FROM COMMISSIONER GREENBERG, UM, THAT BOTH WERE THOSE, THE CHANGES FOR BOTH SETS OF MINUTES OR JUST THE JULY, JULY, I BELIEVE.

OKAY.

MOVE TO ACCEPT THE JULY MINUTES WITH THE SUGGESTION AND AMENDMENTS AS DESCRIBED.

MOVED.

AND I WILL SECOND THAT MYSELF.

UM, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF ADOPTING THE JULY MINUTES.

I'M GONNA SEE SOME HANDS UP.

OH, I WILL COUNT HANDS AND NAMES FOR THE SAKE OF TIME.

I SEE VICE CHAIR, KALE, COMMISSIONER DANBURG, COMMISSIONERS, LEVINS WILLIAMS, MCCORMICK GREENBERG, SECRETARY STANTON, AND MYSELF UNANIMOUS WITH TWO ABSENCES FROM COMMISSIONERS, TEKA AND LAURIE.

MOVING ON TO OUR AUGUST MINUTES.

YEAH.

SO AUGUST 24TH MINUTES, THE SAME FEEDBACK ITEM AGAIN, IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE A PART OF THE MOTIONS.

JUST FEEDBACK ON THAT, UH, CONVENTION OF USING THE COLON AND NO AMENDMENTS FOR THE AUGUST 24TH MINUTES.

OKAY.

THEN I WILL MAKE THE MOTION TO ADOPT THE AUGUST 24TH MINUTES WITH THE SUGGESTION REGARDING THE COLON, UM, INCORPORATED.

THAT'S MY MOTION SECONDED BY COMMISSIONER GREENBERG.

I BELIEVE I WILL DO THE SAME THING.

ALL THOSE IN FAVOR RAISE HANDS AND I WILL START COUNTING VICE CHAIR KALE COMMISSIONERS, DANBURG, LOVENS WILLIAMS, MCCORMICK GREENBERG, SECRETARY STANTON, AND MYSELF UNANIMOUS WITH OUR TWO ABSENCES AT THE MOMENT.

SO THANK YOU COMMISSIONERS.

UH, AND THANK YOU EVERYONE ELSE FOR WAITING TO GET TO WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AGENDA ITEM NUMBER ONE.

UM, WHICH WE ARE FINALLY AT.

UH, I BELIEVE THAT VICE CHAIR KALE IS RECUSING FROM AGENDA ITEMS ONE AND TWO.

UM, AND TWO.

GOT IT.

UM, SO, UH, VICE CHAIR, KALE, YOU'RE EXCUSED AT THIS POINT.

UM, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO, UH, LEAVE, I THINK, UH, I DON'T BELIEVE THERE ARE ANY OTHER ITEMS ON THE AGENDA THAT ARE GONNA REQUIRE A VOTE.

SOMEONE CAN CORRECT ME IN THIS IF I'M WRONG.

UM, I WOULD HATE TO DEPRIVE YOU OF FURTHER PARTICIPATION CHAIR.

YES.

CAN YOU CLARIFY? I DON'T SEE ITEM ONE.

UH, ITEM ONE ISN'T ON THE TABLE OF CONTENTS, BUT ITEM ONE IS A EXECUTIVE SESSION PROCEEDING.

YES.

IT'S ON A TOP, IT'S ON THE AGENDA.

OKAY.

YES.

UH, IT IS EXECUTIVE SESSION, UH, BEFORE WE CONSIDER THE PRELIMINARY HEARING.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

NO PROBLEM.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, IN THAT CASE, WE'RE GONNA TAKE YES, I HEARD, I HEARD, I HEARD A VOICE ON THE SPEAKERS.

OOPS, SORRY.

THAT WAS ME.

UM, MR. CHAIR, THIS IS LESLIE PADILLA, THE COMPLAINANT.

YES.

ON THIS AGENDA ITEM, HAD I HAD ONE UHHUH WAIT, IT KEEPS SWITCHING ME TO, TO UNMUTE FOR SOME REASON.

LIKE, AH, OKAY.

OKAY.

UH, LET'S SEE.

I'M NOT DOING ANYTHING.

I, I JUST, OKAY, LET'S SEE.

UM, I JUST WANTED, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? YES.

OKAY.

I'LL WATCH THIS BUTTON TO MAKE SURE.

I JUST WANTED TO, UM, NOTE THAT I ONLY RECEIVED THE, UM, RESPONDENT SUBMISSION, UH, THAT HAD BEEN MADE TO THE, UH, COMMISSION, UM, I THINK ON AUGUST 24TH.

SURE.

SO THAT'S WHAT IT'S DATED ABOUT, UH, THREE HOURS AGO.

AND WELL, I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE, UM, STAFF'S EFFORTS, UM, IN GIVING ME THAT TODAY.

UM, IT WAS FAIRLY LATE.

I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REVIEW IT.

MR. D I'M SORRY.

SO WHEN WE GET TO THAT AGENDA ITEM, UM, I'M, YOU'RE GONNA HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE AN OPENING STATEMENT, UM, AT WHICH POINT YEAH, AND THIS WAS A,

[00:35:01]

SO WE'VE NOT, THIS WAS ONLY A PRELIMINARY MATTER.

THIS IS NOT AN OPENING STATEMENT, IT'S JUST A PRELIMINARY MATTER.

RIGHT.

UM, AND, AND I APPRECIATE YOU WANTING TO GIVE US THAT INFORMATION.

UM, BUT THE, UH, SINCE WE DON'T, WE HAVE A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD AT THE BEGINNING OF OUR MEETING, UM, I, I'M MORE THAN HAPPY TO TAKE THAT INFORMATION ONCE WE GET TO THAT AGENDA ITEM.

BUT WE ARE, WE'RE AN AGENDA ITEM LIMBO.

UM, COMMISSIONER TEK WITH US, I'M GONNA RECOGNIZE THAT SHE'S JOINED US VIRTUALLY.

UM, SO MS. PADILLA, WHAT I'LL, I'LL EXPLAIN TO YOU, UH, KIND OF HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO GO, UM, FROM THIS POINT ON.

SO WHEN I TAKE UP AGENDA ITEM ONE, THAT WILL BE OUR GOING INTO AN EXECUTIVE SESSION.

SO WE ARE GOING TO LEAVE THIS ROOM FOR THOSE OF US THAT ARE HERE PHYSICALLY.

AND THOSE THAT ARE JOINING US VIRTUALLY ARE GONNA LOG INTO THE EXECUTIVE SESSION ZOOM, SO THAT WE CAN CONSULT WITH LEGAL COUNSEL ON LEGAL ISSUES SURROUNDING THIS COMPLAINT IF WE HAVE ANY PARTICULAR LEGAL QUESTIONS.

UM, THEN AGENDA ITEM TWO, WHICH IS GONNA BE THE HEARING ITSELF WILL BEGIN, I'LL READ A FEW, UH, PREPARATORY REMARKS ABOUT WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THE PRELIMINARY HEARING AND THE RULES, UM, AT WHICH POINT WE'LL HAVE 10 MINUTES FOR EACH PARTY TO GIVE A STATEMENT.

UM, AND AT THAT POINT, YOU'LL BE RECOGNIZED TO GIVE US WHATEVER INFORMATION YOU NEED TO GIVE US, INCLUDING ANY COMPLAINTS THAT YOU HAVE ABOUT WHEN EVIDENCE WAS DELIVERED TO YOU.

UM, AND THAT'LL BE THE APPROPRIATE TIME.

YES.

THANKS YOU, I APPRECIATE THAT.

NO PROBLEM.

ALL RIGHT THEN.

UH, YES, COMMISSIONER GREENBERG.

WELL, IT'S JUST THAT IF THE, UM, RESPONSE ONLY CAME THREE HOURS AGO AND THE, UM, THERE'S PERHAPS GONNA BE A SUGGESTION TO POSTPONE BECAUSE OF THAT LATE, MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T EVEN GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION WITHOUT LETTING HER FINISH WHAT SHE WAS GOING TO SAY.

UM, I CAN'T READ HER MIND.

SURE.

SO, I DON'T KNOW.

NEITHER CAN I, BUT I ALSO DON'T WANT TO, UH, SET A PRECEDENT THAT, UM, TO LET PARTIES AND HEARINGS AND COMPLAINTS BEFORE THE COMMISSION SPEAK, UH, WHEN IT'S NOT THE APPROPRIATE TIME TO DO SO.

OTHERWISE, I'M, I'M SETTING A PRECEDENT THAT PARTIES CAN INTERJECT WITH COMPLAINTS OUT OF TURN WHEN OUR RULES AND PROCEDURES SAY WHEN THAT CAN HAPPEN.

IF IT MEANS WE GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR 30 MINUTES ONLY TO COME BACK AND HEAR AN OPENING STATEMENT WHERE WE SEE THAT THERE'S A NECESSITY TO POTENTIALLY POSTPONE, SO BE IT.

UM, BUT THAT IS MY DECISION.

AND WITH THAT, WITHOUT OBJECTION, I'M GONNA READ MY SCRIPT TO GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION IF I CAN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WITHOUT OBJECTION.

[EXECUTIVE SESSION]

THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION WILL GO INTO CLOSED SESSION TO TAKE UP ONE ITEM PURSUANT INTO SECTION 5 5 1 0.07, ONE OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE.

THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION WILL CONSULT WITH LEGAL COUNSEL ON LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING.

THE COMMISSION MAY GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS A COMPLAINT FILED BY LESLIE PADILLA AGAINST KATIE GERALD COYLE, EXCUSE ME, WITH ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF CITY CODE CHAPTER FOUR DASH EIGHT, REGULATION OF LOBBYISTS, SECTION FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH THREE, REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS IN SECTION FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH 14, CRIMINAL PENALTY IN VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION C OF SECTION TWO DASH ONE DASH 21, ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND REMOVAL.

IS THERE ANY OBJECTION TO GOING INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION ON THE ITEMS ANNOUNCED? HEARING AND SEEING NONE FROM MY VIRTUAL COMMISSIONERS? UH, THE COMMISSION WILL NOW GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION.

THE TIME IS SIX, NOPE, 6:55 PM WE'LL PAUSE THE RECORDING.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONERS.

THANK YOU.

PARTIES.

WE'LL BE BACK SHORTLY.

IT'S JUST THAT OKAY? MM-HMM.

.

ALL RIGHT.

SO WE ARE OUT OF CLOSED SESSION.

THE TIME IS 8:12 PM IN CLOSED SESSION.

WE TOOK UP AND DISCUSSED LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO A COMPLAINT FILED BY LESLIE PADILLA AGAINST KATIE GERALD COIL, WHICH ALLEGES VIOLATIONS OF CITY CODE SECTION FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH THREE AND FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH ONE, AND VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION C OF SECTION TWO DASH ONE DASH 21.

UM, SO WITH THAT, THAT

[2. A complaint filed by Leslie M. Padilla against Katie Jarl Coyle, raising claimed violations of City Code Chapter 4-8 (Regulation of Lobbyists), Section 4-8-3 (Registration Requirements), and Section 4-8-14 (Criminal Penalty), and violation of Subsection (C) of Section 2-1-21 (Eligibility Requirements and Removal).]

BRINGS US TO AGENDA ITEM TWO, AND THAT IS A PRELIMINARY HEARING ON THAT COMPLAINT.

SO I'M GOING TO GO THROUGH, UH, WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS HEARING.

FIRST, I'D LIKE TO START JUST TO GET CONFIRMATION THAT THE PARTIES ARE PRESENT, SO STARTING WITH THE COMPLAINANT BEFORE YOU START.

THANK YOU.

UH, BEFORE I START ACTUALLY, UM, UH, JUST, UH, FOR PURPOSES OF GETTING OUR CONFLICTS OF INTEREST SETTLED, UM, COMMISSIONER TE YUKA, COULD YOU, UH, SAY WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE A

[00:40:01]

CONFLICT OF INTEREST ON THIS AGENDA ITEM? I HAVE NO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UM, THEN WITH THAT, I AM GOING TO TURN TO THE PARTIES.

SO STARTING WITH THE COMPLAINANTS, IF YOU COULD PLEASE STATE YOUR NAME FOR THE COUNSEL.

UH, STATE YOUR NAME FOR THE COMMISSION, AND THEN COUNSEL FOR THE COMPLAINANT.

INTRODUCE YOURSELF AS WELL, IF THERE IS A COUNSEL FOR THE COMPLAINANT.

THANK YOU.

YES.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.

UH, I AM LESLIE PADILLA.

UM, I AM THE COMPLAINANT IN THIS MATTER.

THANK YOU.

AND FOR THE RESPONDENT, PLEASE STATE WHO IS PRESENT, INCLUDING THE IDENTITY OF THE COUNCIL OF RECORD.

HI, MY NAME IS KATIE JAR, AND I'M HERE .

HI, UH, ANDREW KATE'S, COUNCIL FOR THE RESPONDENT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SO, I'M GONNA DESCRIBE THE PROCEEDING.

THIS IS A PRELIMINARY HEARING PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO S SEVEN S FOUR FOUR OF THE AUSTIN CITY CODE.

THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT WAS FILED ON JUNE 30TH, 2022.

COMPLAINANT ALLEGED RESPONDENT VIOLATED CITY CODE SECTIONS FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH THREE FOUR DASH EIGHT DASH 14, AND SUBSECTION C OF TWO DASH ONE DASH 21.

THE ISSUE AT THIS PRELIMINARY HEARING IS WHETHER REASONABLE GROUNDS EXIST TO BELIEVE THAT A VIOLATION OF CITY CODE OF A CITY CODE PROVISION OCCURRED WITHIN THE JURISDICTION.

EXCUSE ME.

THE ISSUE AT THIS PRELIMINARY HEARING IS WHETHER REASONABLE GROUNDS EXIST TO BELIEVE THAT A VIOLATION OF CITY CODE PROVISION WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THIS COMMISSION HAS OCCURRED FOR CLAIMED VIOLATIONS OF FOUR DASH EIGHT.

THE COMMISSION MAY HOLD ONLY A PRELIMINARY HEARING AND MAY NOT HOLD A FINAL HEARING.

SUBSECTION B OF CITY CODE SECTION TWO DASH SEVEN DASH FIVE STATES FURTHER THAT QUOTE, THE COMMISSION SHALL REFER AN ALLEGATION FOR WHICH THE COMMISSION FINDS A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT THERE MAY BE A VIOLATION TO THE CITY ATTORNEY FOR PROSECUTION.

THE COMMISSION'S REGULAR PRACTICE IS TO GIVE EACH OF THE PARTIES 10 MINUTES TO PRESENT THEIR POSITIONS AT A PRELIMINARY HEARING ON A COMPLAINT, UNLESS ADDITIONAL TIME IS NECESSARY.

DO THE PARTIES AGREE THAT 10 MINUTES IS SUFFICIENT OR WOULD THEY REQUEST ADDITIONAL TIME? I'LL START WITH THE COMPLAINANT.

MR. SHE THANK YOU.

10 MINUTES IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME.

GREAT RESPONDENT? I THINK SO.

GREAT.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

THE COMPLAINANT HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO STATE THE CLAIMED VIOLATIONS AND DESCRIBE IN NARRATIVE, FORM, THE TESTIMONY AND OTHER EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THOSE CLAIMS. THE RESPONDENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO RESPOND OR MAKE ANY STATEMENT AT THIS HEARING.

THE RESPONDENT MAY PROVIDE A RESPONSE DIS RESPONSE, DISPUTING THOSE CLAIMS. WHILE STATEMENTS MADE AT THIS PRELIMINARY HEARING ARE UNDER OATH, NO CROSS EXAMINATION IS ALLOWED AFTER THE PARTIES COMPLETE THEIR PRESENTATIONS, MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION MAY ASK QUESTIONS OF THE COMPLAINANT OR RESPONDENT, NO WITNESSES.

OTHER PARTIES OR THEIR COUNSEL ARE PERMITTED TO MAKE STATEMENTS AT THIS PRELIMINARY HEARING OUTSIDE OF THE 10 MINUTE OPENING STATEMENTS AND ANSWERS TO DIRECT QUESTIONS.

FOLLOWING THE PRESENTATION OF THE PARTIES, THE COMMISSION MAY CHOOSE TO RETURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL IF IT'S NECESSARY.

AND FOLLOWING ANY SUCH ADDITIONAL EXECUTIVE SESSION, THE COMMISSION WILL VOTE IF SIX MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION VOTE TO DETERMINE THAT THERE ARE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVE THAT A VIOLATION OF THE CITY CODE WITHIN OUR JURISDICTION HAS OCCURRED, THE COMMISSION WILL REFER THE ALLEGATION AS PROVIDED BY APPLICABLE LAW TO THE APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY.

IF SIX MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION DO NOT VOTE IN SUPPORT OF A DETERMINATION THAT THERE ARE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVE THAT A VIOLATION WITHIN OUR JURISDICTION HAS OCCURRED, THE ALLEGATION WILL NOT BE REFERRED AND THE COMPLAINT WILL BE DISMISSED.

UH, I WILL BRIEFLY ASK, ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT I HAVE LAID OUT? OKAY.

THEN WITH THAT, UM, I AM GOING TO, UH, LET YOU KNOW THAT IT WILL BE SECRETARY STANTON WHO IS GOING TO BE KEEPING TIME, UM, FOR THESE 10 MINUTE STATEMENTS.

UM, UH, MS. PADILLA, WHAT I'LL DO IS I'LL ASK HOW YOU WOULD LIKE, UH, IF YOU WOULD LIKE ANY KIND OF, UH, WARNING OR HEADS UP THAT YOU'RE GETTING CLOSE TO A 10 MINUTE MARK.

UM, IF YOU WOULD LIKE US TO ALERT YOU AT THREE MINUTES OR ONE MINUTE, UM, WANT TO SEE WHAT YOUR PREFERENCE IS ON THAT? IF I COULD BE ALERTED AT ONE MINUTE, UH, THAT WOULD BE SUFFICIENT, AND I WOULD APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU.

SURE.

UM, WHAT WE'LL DO, UM, IF, UH, SO SINCE, SINCE YOU'RE REMOTE, UM, IF YOU'RE IN THE ROOM, WE WOULD JUST GIVE YOU A WAVE OR SOME KIND OF SIGNAL.

UM, LIKELY YOU'LL, YOU'LL HEAR A MICROPHONE TURN ON TO SAY ONE MINUTE.

OKAY.

OKAY.

UM, AND I'LL CHECK WITH THE RESPONDENT, MR. KATES, SIMILAR ONE MINUTE WARNING.

YES.

YES, THAT SHOULD BE FINE.

OKAY.

GOT IT.

ALL RIGHT, THEN WITH THAT, UM, MS. PADILLA, UM, I WILL LET YOU BEGIN WITH YOUR OPENING STATEMENT.

WHEN YOU START TALKING, UM, SECRETARY STANTON WILL BEGIN THE TIMER, SO WHENEVER YOU'RE READY.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION.

UM, AS I SAID

[00:45:01]

PREVIOUSLY, MY NAME IS LESLIE PADILLA.

UM, I INITIALLY, UH, SENT A COMPLAINT, UH, OR A LETTER, I SHOULD SAY, TO THE CITY CLERK COPYING THE CITY AUDITOR AND CITY LEGAL, UH, ABOUT MY CONCERNS ABOUT MS. CHARLES, UH, ACTIVITIES THAT APPEARED TO CONSTITUTE LOBBYING TO ME.

I DIDN'T REALIZE UNTIL AFTER GETTING A, BASICALLY A REJECTION FROM THE CITY CLERK THAT WHAT I NEEDED TO DO TO GET THE CITY TO ACT IN THIS CASE WAS TO SUBMIT A COMPLAINT TO THE ETHICS COMMISSION.

SO I DID THAT, BUT AS THE PRINCIPLE EVIDENCE THAT I SUBMITTED WITH MY COMPLAINT TO THE COMMISSION WAS IN FACT, THE LETTER TO THE CITY CLERK, UH, DATED MAY 24TH, 2022, THAT ATTACHED ABOUT, I THINK ABOUT 170 PAGES OF, UH, MATERIAL THAT I HAD OBTAINED THROUGH A PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST.

AND I'LL TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT LONGER.

ACTUALLY, I JUST WANTED TO BACK UP ONE MINUTE.

UM, MR. CHAIR, I DID WANNA APOLOGIZE FOR THE CONFUSION EARLIER.

I DIDN'T WANT TO MAKE ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ONE ISSUE THAT I'M GONNA COMMENT ABOUT RIGHT NOW.

BEFORE THE HEARING STARTED, I THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAY SOMETHING BEFORE THE ACT, THE PUBLIC HEARING ACTUALLY STARTED.

I DID JUST RECEIVE THE RESPONDENT'S MATERIAL THAT SHE SUBMITTED TO, I GUESS, CITY LEGAL AND TO THE COMMISSION THAT STATED AUGUST 24TH.

I JUST RECEIVED THAT THIS AFTERNOON.

UM, I HAVE HAD SUFFICIENT TIME TO LOOK AT IT, THOUGH.

SO TO MISS THE CONCERN THAT COMMISSIONER GREENBERG RAISED, NO, I DON'T INTEND TO, TO, UM, YOU KNOW, DELAY THINGS, UH, FURTHER, I HAVE HAD SUFFICIENT TIME TO LOOK AT THAT.

UM, SO I JUST WANTED TO MAKE THAT CLEAR.

UM, WHILE THE CHAIR DID EXPLAIN WHAT THE STANDARD IS HERE TONIGHT, UM, IF THE COMMISSION, UH, YOU KNOW, QUOTE, FINDS A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT THERE MAY BE A VIOLATION OF THE LOBBYING RULES, UM, IT MUST, AND THE ORDINANCE USES OF THE WORD SHALL, UM, YOU KNOW, FORWARD THIS TO THE CITY'S ATTORNEY FOR PROSECUTION.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT, UM, BUCKETS, IF YOU WILL, OF MY COMPLAINT, THOUGH.

THERE ARE EITHER LOBBYING, UH, THE, THE LOBBYING CONCERNS, AND THEN THERE ARE THE CONCERNS ABOUT, UH, MS. CHARLES, UM, UH, PARTICIPATION ON THE, UH, ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION.

UH, I THINK YOU FOLKS PROBABLY KNOW THAT, UM, IN, IN AUSTIN, UH, NO REGISTERED LOBBYIST, UH, CAN BE CONSERVED ON A BOARD OR COMMISSION.

AND I KNOW PRIOR TO, I THINK JANUARY OF 2021, YOU KNOW, KNOW MS. DAR DID NOT WORK FOR APA.

UM, AND AS FAR AS I KNOW, SHE DIDN'T, UH, LOBBY ON BEHALF OF APA.

SO THE, THE THE TIME PERIOD THAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT IS WHEN SHE STARTED WORKING FOR APA AS A DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AND POLICY OF AUSTIN PET ALIVE.

UM, MY MAY 24TH LETTER.

UM, AND, UM, CAN I ACTUALLY ASK A QUICK QUESTION? AM I ABLE TO, UH, SH UH, SHARE A SCREEN ON KEY ITEMS FROM MY LETTER OR THE EVIDENCE, OR WILL I JUST NEED TO REFER TO THE PAGE NUMBER, UH, OF THE MATERIAL THAT YOU HAVE? UH, FOR NOW, UM, LET'S REFER TO THE PAGE NUMBER OF THE MATERIAL THAT YOU HAVE.

UM, I WILL LOOK AT CITY STAFF AND SEE IF THEY GIVE ME A SIGNAL ONE WAY OR THE OTHER ON SHARE SCREEN CAPABILITIES.

OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

WELL, I DID WANNA JUST REVIEW A COUPLE, FEW KEY PROVISIONS OF THE, UH, LOBBYING ORDINANCE.

UM, UH, THE DEFINITION OF LOBBY, UM, IS, UH, TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE CITY OFFICIAL TO INFLUENCE OR PERSUADE THE CITY OFFICIAL TO FAVOR OR OPPOSE, RECOMMENDS NOT RECOMMEND VOTE FOR OR AGAINST, OR TO TAKE ACTION OR REFRAIN FROM TAKING ACTION ON A MUNICIPAL QUESTION.

MUNICIPAL QUESTION IS THEN DEFINED AS, UM, BASICALLY IT'S BOTH MUNICIPAL LEGISLATION OR ANY MATTERS SUBJECT TO AN ACTION OR DECISION BY A CITY OFFICIAL.

AND AS MY LETTER EXPLAINED, THIS IS IMPORTANT IN THIS CASE BECAUSE IN ADDITION TO THE ACTIONS THAT CITY COUNCIL TOOK OVER THE COURSE OF 2021 RELATED TO APA, UM, THE CITY WAS, UH, UH, ALSO, UH, TRYING TO NEGOTIATE, UM, A NEW LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR USE OF TOWN LAKE ANIMAL SHELTER, UM, WITH APA.

SO THAT WOULD ALSO QUALIFY AS AAL QUESTION.

UM, THE KEY, THERE'S A KEY, UH, THRESHOLD HERE FOR WHEN A LOBBYIST, UH, MUST REGISTER.

AND THAT'S 26 HOURS PER IN A CALENDAR QUARTER.

SO IF WE JUST THINK ABOUT THIS, IF THERE'S APPROXIMATELY 12 WEEKS IN A QUARTER, AND THAT'S CONSERVATIVE, THAT'S ONLY A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO HOURS EVERY WEEK THAT SOMEONE WOULD NEED TO LOBBY, UM, IN ORDER TO MEET THE THRESHOLD FOR NEEDING TO REGISTER AS A LOBBYIST.

AND ADDITIONALLY, THE

[00:50:01]

ORDINANCE MAKES CLEAR THAT PREPARATION TIME FOR LOBBYING IS COUNTED IN THAT 26 HOURS.

WANTED TO GO BACK TO THE DEFINITION OF LOBBYIST REALLY QUICKLY.

IT, IT, IT CONCERNS AGAIN, IT STATES COMMUNICATIONS WITH A CITY OFFICIAL.

CITY OFFICIAL IS NOT SIMPLY COUNCIL MEMBERS.

IT'S, IT INCLUDES ANY CITY EMPLOYEES.

UH, AND SINCE I BELIEVE COUNCIL MEMBERS, STAFF ARE CONSIDERED CITY EMPLOYEES, YOU KNOW, COMMUNICATIONS WITH, WITH COUNCIL MEMBERS, STAFF, UM, YOU KNOW, MAYBE SWEPT IN, UM, IF YOU'LL GO TO PAGE THOUGHT, IT WAS IMPORTANT TO REVIEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH AUSTIN ALIVE, UH, IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN IN 2021.

UM, IF YOU LOOK ON PAGE TWO OF MY LETTER TO THE CITY CLERK, WHICH IS PROBABLY ABOUT PAGE FIVE OR SIX OF YOUR PACKAGE, UH, THE, UNDER THE HEADING MUNICIPAL QUESTIONS AFFECTING APA IN 2021.

UM, AS I SAID, APA WAS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MULTIPLE MUNICIPAL QUESTIONS, ALL OF WHICH CONCERNED APAS EFFORTS TO NEGOTIATE A NEW LICENSE AGREEMENT, UH, FOR APAS, UH, USE OF CITY OWNED, UH, TOWN LIKE ANIMAL CENTER.

AND I EXPLAINED THE FIRST ONE THAT WAS A RESOLUTION ON MAY 20TH, 2021.

IT WAS AN EXTENSION.

I THINK WHAT, WHAT, WHAT WAS HAPPENING IS APA WAS SEEKING EXTENSIONS OF THE AGREEMENT WHILE THEY CONTINUED TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE CITY REALTOR REALTY OFFICE AND AUSTIN, UH, ANIMAL, UH, CENTER MANAGEMENT.

UM, SO AS THEY PURSUED THESE NEGOTIATIONS, THEY WERE SEEKING EXTENSIONS OF THE CURRENT AGREEMENT TO BASICALLY GET MORE TIME TO PURSUE THEIR INTEREST IN, UH, WHAT THEY WANTED IN TERMS OF A NEW LICENSE AGREEMENT.

UM, SO THAT WAS MAY 20TH, 2021.

THE, IT WAS AN EXTENSION OF THE LICENSE AGREEMENT THAT PASSED ON CONSENT JULY 29TH, 2021.

THERE WAS ANOTHER AGENDA ITEM.

IT DOESN'T, MY LETTERS HAVE FULLY EXPLAINED THIS, BUT I, I, I KNOW BECAUSE I CHECKED LAST NIGHT, THAT WAS ANOTHER AMENDMENT TO THE LICENSE AGREEMENT EXTENDING, I THINK FOR THREE MONTHS THAT WAS APPROVED ON CONSENT.

THERE WERE SEVERAL COUNSEL MEETINGS WHERE THERE WERE EXECUTIVE SECTION ITEMS TO DISCUSS LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE LICENSE AGREEMENT.

AND THEN ULTIMATELY, THERE WAS AN AGENDA ITEM ON NOVEMBER 4TH WHERE APA IN THE CITY HAD HAD RESOLVED THE, UH, NEW LANGUAGE FOR, UM, A NEW LICENSE AGREEMENT.

UM, THANKS TO, AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE DOCUMENTATION THAT I'VE PROVIDED, THANKS TO THEIR INTERVENTIONS WITH MULTIPLE COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT PASSED, UM, ON NOVEMBER 4TH, 2021.

THAT WAS NOT ON CONSENT, BUT I BELIEVE IT WAS UNANIMOUS.

SO THOSE WERE THE MUNICIPAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING APA IN THE COURSE OF 2021.

UM, NOW THE, THE DOCUMENTATION THAT I ATTACHED TO MY LETTER TO THE CITY CLERKS, AS MY LETTER EXPLAINED, ONLY INCLUDED, UH, INFORMATION THAT I RECEIVED, AND IT WAS RECEIVED THROUGH A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST, UH, BETWEEN, LET'S SEE, JANUARY ONE AND OCTOBER 10TH.

I BELIEVE THAT I MADE THE REQUEST ON OCTOBER 10TH.

SO I ONLY SOUGHT INFORMATION, OBVIOUSLY UP TO THAT POINT.

SO MY REQUEST, THE, THE INFORMATION THAT I RECEIVED CANNOT, YOU KNOW, CANNOT, UH, INCLUDE INFORMATION.

YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE REMAINING TO THOSE MS. PADILLAS LATER MEETINGS OCTOBER 12TH.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

AND NOVEMBER 4TH.

SO THERE IS ADDITIONAL, I THINK THERE'S VERY LIKELY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, UH, RELATED TO MS. CHARLES ACTIVITIES.

UM, I WOULD ALSO, UH, NOTE THAT, UM, I MEAN, I'M JUST, I JUST HAVE THE INFORMATION THAT WAS PROVIDED ME THROUGH A PUBLIC REC RECORDS REQUEST.

THERE MAY BE MORE EVIDENCE, UH, OF WHAT MS. CHARLES, UH, LOBBYING ACTIVITIES WERE, DID NOT INCLUDE, UH, INFORMATION RELATED TO COUNCIL MEMBER TOBO.

THAT WASN'T INCLUDED IN MY PIR FOR SOME REASON.

UM, ONE THING THAT I HAD WANTED TO SHARE, AND I THINK I WILL NOT HAVE TIME, AND THIS GOES TO THE CONCERN ABOUT THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION.

ONE THING MS. CHARLES SHARED AT SOME POINT WAS INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION THAT SHE HAD JUST LEARNED THE PREVIOUS NIGHT FOR VIRTUE OF HER SITTING ON THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION.

IT'S PROBABLY ONE REASON WHY IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA FOR WORDS AND COMMISSIONS TO INCLUDE LOBBYISTS.

AND I, I HOPE YOU WOULD ACT

[00:55:01]

ON BOTH OF MY BOTH FOR LOBBYING AND THE PARTICIPATION ON THE COMMISSION.

THANK YOU.

TIME IS UP.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU, MS. PADILLA.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

UM, SO AT THIS TIME, I WILL TURN TO RESPONDENT OR COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT, UM, FOR THE SAME 10 MINUTES TO MAKE AN OPENING STATEMENT.

YEAH, GO AHEAD.

I'M GONNA LET MY ATTORNEY SPEAK FOR ME, BUT I JUST WANTED TO INTRODUCE MYSELF.

I KNOW THAT I ALREADY SAID THAT I WAS HERE, BUT MY NAME IS KATIE JAR.

UM, I WISH THAT I COULD SAY IT WAS A PLEASURE BEING HERE THIS EVENING.

UM, BUT I AM ALWAYS, UH, HAPPY TO COME IN AND, UM, YEAH, AND TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY WORK AND WHAT I DO.

AND, UH, I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT IT'S DEFINITELY BEEN A ROUGH DAY, BUT, UM, IT WAS REALLY NICE TO SEE SUSAN FROM AUSTIN UTILITY HIGHLIGHT HER RESCUE DOGS.

SO AS A CAREER ANIMAL ADVOCATE, I'M GLAD WE GOT TO SEE SOME RESCUE DOGS, BUT I'LL TURN IT OVER TO MY ATTORNEY FOR THE LEGAL STUFF.

APPRECIATE AND TIME HAS STARTED JUST, YEAH, THAT'S FINE.

THAT'S FINE.

YEAH.

UM, HI.

UH, YEAH, ANDREW KATES, UM, IT'S GOOD TO SEE A HANDFUL OF Y'ALL AGAIN.

UM, I THINK I'VE SEEN MOST OF Y'ALL AT THIS POINT.

UM, SO, UH, THE COMPLAINANT ACTUALLY LAID OUT, UH, FAIRLY WELL, UM, THE, THE LAW AS IT RELATES TO, UH, THIS COMPLAINT.

I DID WANT TO POINT OUT A COUPLE OF ADDITIONAL POINTS ABOUT THE, THE DEFINITION OF LOBBYING.

UM, IT IS SPECIFIC TO COMMUNICATING DIRECTLY WITH A CITY OFFICIAL OR CITY STAFF.

UM, SO THAT MEANS YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO TAKE A, AN AFFIRMATIVE STEP TO COMMUNICATE YOURSELF NOT BEING COPIED ON AN EMAIL, NOT, UM, YOU KNOW, SOME SOMETHING ELSE.

YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY TAKE THAT STEP YOURSELF AND MAKE THAT COMMUNICATION YOURSELF.

UM, AND IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT COMMUNICATION MUST BE INTENDED TO INFLUENCE OR PERSUADE THAT PERSON TO TAKE SOME KIND OF ACTION.

WE ARE NOT GONNA SIT HERE AND TRY TO PARSE OUT WORDS AND SAY THAT, WELL, THERE'S NO WAY YOU COULD KNOW WHAT SHE WAS INTENDING WHEN SHE SAID X, Y, OR Z.

YOU CAN FIGURE IT OUT FROM CONTEXT, AND WE'RE NOT GONNA GO THAT FAR INTO INDIAN, INTO ANY OF THIS.

I THINK WE CAN TAKE A REASONABLE PERSON STANDARD AND SAY, YOU KNOW, SHE'S, SHE'S TALKING TO STAFF OVER THERE.

IT'S PROBABLY, SHE'S PROBABLY TRYING TO INFLUENCE THEM.

AND WE'RE GONNA POINT OUT, I, I'LL, I'LL SHOW IN A MINUTE.

UM, THE, THE, THE DOCUMENTS THAT WE SENT TO Y'ALL, UM, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THERE ARE DEFINITELY LOBBYING CONTACTS THAT HAPPENED DURING THIS TIME PERIOD, FOR SURE.

UM, BUT FOR THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT, STATUTE OR ORDINANCE DOESN'T PROHIBIT LOBBYING.

IT JUST REQUIRES REGISTRATION.

IF YOU HIT A CERTAIN THRESHOLD, AND THERE ARE REALLY TWO THRESHOLDS.

ONE IS THE COMPENSATION IN HOURS, AND THE OTHER IS IS LOBBY EXPENDITURES.

SO YOU HAD NO LOBBY EXPENDITURES.

SO THAT PART'S OUT.

UM, AND THE COMPENSATION PART IS $2,000 PER CALENDAR QUARTER.

SHE DEFINITELY MAKES MORE THAN $8,000 A YEAR.

SO LET'S JUST ASSUME THAT SHE'S GETTING PAID ENOUGH, UH, TO HIT THAT COMPENSATION THRESHOLD.

SO REALLY IT COMES DOWN TO 26 HOURS DURING A CALENDAR QUARTER.

UM, DID SHE HIT THAT THRESHOLD OR NOT? THE, UH, COMPLAINANT I HAVE IN MY NOTES HERE, PETITIONER ALL OVER THE PLACE.

I'M GONNA TRY TO NOT MESS THAT UP EVERY TIME.

UH, THE COMPLAINANT CLEARLY REQUESTED ALL THE EMAIL AND CALENDAR RECORDS, UH, THAT MENTIONED MY CLIENT FROM THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AS SHE SAID, IN A PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST, AND SUBMITTED THE 200 PLUS PAGES OF RESPONSIVE DOCUMENTS, UM, I THINK AS AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW AN OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE THAT, UH, SHE SHOULD HAVE REGISTERED TO LOBBY.

UM, HOWEVER, I DON'T KNOW THAT, I DON'T KNOW IF Y'ALL HAVE READ ALL OF THE EMAILS AND EVERYTHING THAT WERE SUBMITTED HERE.

I DID.

UM, AND I WENT THROUGH AND I COLLATED THEM BY CONVERSATION TOPIC AND THEN RE COLLATED THEM BY TIMELINE.

AND, UM, THIS SECTION HERE THAT I HAVE SEPARATELY ARE THE NON-RESPONSIVE DOCUMENTS IN THE EMAILS.

SO THEY DON'T MENTION MY CLIENT AT ALL.

THEY DON'T MENTION KATIE, GERALD, THEY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH HER, OR THEY ARE, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN SEE THIS, THE EMAILS THAT ARE THIS, THIS SMALL THAT YOU CAN'T READ.

UM, AND SO, UH, JUST, YOU KNOW, IF YOU CAN'T READ IT, IT'S JUST NOT GONNA BE NONRESPONSIVE.

I MEAN, JUST WHAT WE HAVE IN FRONT OF US, WE CAN'T READ IT.

SO TAKE THOSE OUT.

UM, THEN I WENT THROUGH THE COMPLAINT AND THE MEMO THAT SHE WROTE TO, UH, THE CITY CLERK.

AND, UH, THE BULLET POINTS SPECIFICALLY, THE BULLET POINTS ARE VERY USEFUL IN THIS CONTEXT, I THINK BECAUSE, UM, AND SHE SUMMARIZES IT VERY WELL, UH, IN HER, IN HER MEMO HERE, ANY OF THEM THAT SAY THAT MR. JAR WAS COPIED ON AN EMAIL IS NOT LOBBYING JUST ACROSS THE BOARD.

IT REQUIRES A DIRECT COMMUNICATION THAT IS NOT LOBBYING ON HER BEHALF.

THAT IS SOMEBODY ELSE COMMUNICATING AND COPYING HER ON AN EMAIL THAT IS 17 OF THE 31 BULLETS IS HER BEING COPIED ON AN EMAIL, NOT ACTUALLY COMMUNICATING HERSELF.

SO THAT LEAVES 14 BULLETS LEFT.

THEN THIS IS WHERE I WANNA SWITCH OVER

[01:00:01]

TO THE SPREADSHEET THAT I GAVE TO YOU ALL.

UM, I ACTUALLY ASKED MY CLIENT TO GO A STEP FURTHER.

UM, AND MS. PADILLA IS RIGHT.

YOU KNOW, WHAT SHE HAS IN THESE EMAILS IS NOT ALL OF THE LOBBYING THAT HAPPENED DURING THAT TIME PERIOD.

AND I WANTED TO BE AS TRANSPARENT AND UPFRONT AND HONEST AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE CAN BE, UM, AND PROVIDE YOU WITH SOME MORE CONTEXT TO WHAT WAS GOING ON.

UM, THAT MAYBE, YOU KNOW, WELL, NOT, MAYBE THAT MS. PADILLA DEFINITELY DIDN'T HAVE THAT YOU ALL DIDN'T HAVE THAT THE CITY DOESN'T HAVE.

UM, AND SO IN THIS SPREADSHEET, UM, AND I THINK I LAID OUT SOME, SOME BULLET POINTS IN THE, IN THE CONVERSATION OR THE, THE DOCUMENT AHEAD OF TIME, BUT ANYTHING IN ORANGE IS FROM MS. CHARLES WORK CALENDAR THAT SHE GAVE ME FULL ACCESS TO.

I WENT THROUGH, I POURED OVER, I ASKED HER QUESTIONS.

I I PULLED EVERYTHING OUT OF IT THAT WAS RESPONSIVE.

ANYTHING IN YELLOW IS A VERIFIED LOBBY CONTACT, UM, IN MY ESTIMATION AS AN ATTORNEY, UM, THAT WAS IN THE DOCUMENTS AND, UH, THAT, THAT MS. PIA PROVIDED.

AND SO, UM, YOU'LL SEE HERE, I MEAN, THERE ARE A LOT OF LOBBY CONTACTS, AND THAT IS TOTALLY FINE UNDER THE CITY ORDINANCE.

YOU CAN HAVE A LOT OF LOBBY CONTACTS, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T ADD UP TO MORE THAN 26 HOURS PER CALENDAR QUARTER, YOU DON'T HAVE TO REGISTER.

AND SO, I MEAN, I, I DON'T WANNA WALK YOU THROUGH ALL OF IT BECAUSE IT'S A LOT OF INFORMATION AND I ONLY HAVE SO MUCH TIME.

I CAN TAKE QUESTIONS WHENEVER.

UM, BUT YOU'LL SEE, I MEAN, I, I BREAK IT DOWN BY QUARTER.

UM, ALL THE GREEN TALLIES ON HERE ON THE, IN THE, WHAT IS THAT FOURTH COLUMN? UM, ADD UP THE TOTALS FOR EACH QUARTER.

UM, YOU KNOW, ON, I CAN'T SEE WHAT LINE THAT IS, BUT OVER IN THE NOTE SECTION I MENTIONED THAT, YOU KNOW, UM, SOME OF THESE EMAILS ARE LOBBY CONTACTS.

IT IS SO HARD, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO ASSIGN A TIME VALUE TO SENDING AN EMAIL, ESPECIALLY IN RETROSPECT.

AND SO I DID, I MEAN, HONESTLY, JUST, I, I GAVE IT MY BEST SHOT AND SAID, IT'S PROBABLY OVERESTIMATING THE TIME, BUT I'M GONNA PUT 15 MINUTES FOR EVERY SINGLE EMAIL THAT IS A VERIFIED LOBBY CONTACT IN HERE, AND JUST ASSUME THAT EVERY ONE OF THEM TOOK 15 MINUTES TO DRAFT.

WE ALL KNOW THAT'S NOT THE CASE FOR EMAILS THAT WE SEND ALL THE TIME, BUT I WANTED TO BE GIVE IT, GIVE IT A HIGH NUMBER AND MAKE IT FAIR AND SEE WHAT THE NUMBERS ADD UP TO.

SO I MEAN, YOU'LL SEE HERE, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, END OF Q1 ONE TOTAL LOBBY HOUR END OF Q2 EIGHT, Q3 15.75.

AND WE DIDN'T END, WE DIDN'T EVEN END Q4 BECAUSE THE LAST OF THE, THE LAST OF THE TIME PERIOD HERE WAS, UH, WAS 11 FOUR, BUT THAT'S THREE 3.75 THAT'S ON THERE.

SO I'M HAPPY TO TAKE QUESTIONS.

I DON'T WANNA TAKE UP ANY MORE OF THE TIME.

UH, DID YOU WANT TO ADD ANYTHING? I'LL JUST ADD SOMETHING VERY QUICKLY.

I TAKE ETHICS LAWS VERY SERIOUSLY.

UM, I HAVE BEEN A REGISTERED TEXAS NONPROFIT LOBBYIST WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS FOR THE LAST DECADE.

UM, I REVIEW THOSE RULES EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN WORKING ON CITY ORDINANCES AT A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OVER THE LAST 12 TO 15 YEARS AS WELL.

AND I HAVE REVIEWED THAT CODE, THAT CODE AND THAT STATUTE MANY TIMES AND EVERY SINGLE TIME, BECAUSE CITY WORK IS SUCH A VERY, VERY SMALL PART OF MY JOB, AND THE MAJORITY OF MY WORK IS DONE AT THE STATE LEVEL, IT HAS JUST NEVER REACHED THAT THRESHOLD WHERE I KNEW THAT I WASN'T COMING CLOSE TO THOSE HOURS.

AND SO I, I DID