At 6 feet 4 inches, lobbyist Frank Burney doesn’t blend into the background. When he’s standing at the rear of council chambers, following the back-and-forth between City Council members, he sticks out. It’s the same when he’s chaperoning a client around City Hall. But when you talk to Burney, his presence is less pronounced. He’s unfailingly polite, with a pleasant Coastal Bend drawl, and he doesn’t do sharp differences of opinion — at least not in a way that anyone would recognize as sharp. He’s good at derailing tough questions, sometimes by answering the question he would have preferred you’d asked. He was uneasy about this interview, saying, “If I see my name in print somewhere, I’ve failed.” But despite his publicity shyness, Burney, 64, is a key figure in San Antonio’s politico-development complex, and some of his clients are in the news a lot. Maybe his highest-profile client is Silver Ventures, the … [Read more...] about Lobbyist reflects on Broadway boom and doing deals at City Hall
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Former San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley’s hotly debated salary was in line with the market average for similar roles, a consultant told City Council’s governance committee Wednesday. Linda Wishard of Segal Waters Consulting found that Sculley’s $475,000 salary was “right at market,” just 5 percent above the average of $453,345. That average was composed of nine “peer” cities the consultant identified, including Dallas and Phoenix, along with figures pulled from three published databases and nine organizations the city itself suggested had positions similar to the city manager’s role. But when Sculley’s compensation was compared only with city managers in peer cities, her salary was about 55 percent above the $307,173 average. The next-highest salary for a city manager was $367,113 in Dallas, according to the report. OnExpressNews.com: Business community will honor Sculley with reception next month ‘Peer’ … [Read more...] about Former San Antonio City Manager Sculley’s controversial salary was in line with the market rate, analyst says
Amazon has canceled its plans to open HQ2 in New York City, the e-commerce giant announced on Thursday. The decision comes after months of backlash from some New Yorkers and local politicians. Here is a step-by-step look at how Amazon’s New York HQ2 plans fell apart. Amazon’s much-hyped and frequently criticised New York City HQ2 plans have been canceled. On Thursday, the e-commerce giant announced that it would not be moving forward with its plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Read more:AMAZON CANCELS NEW YORK HQ2 “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” the company wrote in a blog post. While there had been reports that Amazon was reconsidering building HQ2 in New York following local backlash, the announcement came as a shock to many. Here is everything we know about how the HQ2 deal fell apart: Amazon’s … [Read more...] about Amazon canceled its New York City HQ2 plans. Here’s everything we know about how the massive deal unravelled.
A Travis County judge ruled Thursday that the city of Austin violated open-carry laws when it stopped a licensed resident from carrying firearms at City Hall. Judge Lora Livingston ordered the city to pay a $1,500 fine for each day it had violated the law, resulting in a total of $9,000 for violations that took place in 2016.Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in July 2016, alleging that the city had violated state open-carry laws allowing firearms on city hall premises. Paxton’s team asked for a total fine of over $750,000 for what it said were 500 days of violations. Texas law allows a $1,500 fine for each day the city violated the law.The 261st District Court found evidence of violations on six days and fined the city for each of those days. The violation dates are between April and September 2016.“The district court’s ruling preserves and protects the Second Amendment rights of Texans and sends a strong message to the city of Austin that they are bound … [Read more...] about Austin must allow guns at City Hall, pay fine for violating open-carry law, judge rules
Will Weissert, Associated Press Updated 12:21 pm PST, Saturday, December 15, 2018 FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, makes his concession speech at his election night party in El Paso, Texas. When it comes to a 2020 presidential run, Beto O'Rourke is still playing hard to get. The Democratic congressman murmured "No decision. No decision on that," when pressed about launching a White House bid during a town hall Friday, Dec. 14 in his native El Paso. less FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, makes his concession speech at his election night party in El Paso, Texas. When it ... more Photo: Eric Gay, AP Photo: Eric Gay, … [Read more...] about O’Rourke, other Dems don’t want tent city’s contract renewed