One of the best ways to make Austin more affordable is to ensure we have a diverse set of industries which provide local, skilled and the hard-to-employ talent the opportunity to compete for jobs that have a career ladder. The Austin City Council is considering adopting a revised economic incentive policy, expanding the previous one-size-fits-all policy. If the Austin Chamber of Commerce presents a company that meets the criteria for an incentive as set by City Council policy, will you vote to support incentivizing jobs for both small operators and large in our city? How will you monitor success with the provision requiring employment of the hard-to-employ?

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

I will support the adopted revised economic incentive policy designed to improve job opportunities for lower-wage and middle-skilled workers. If a company meets the criteria set by policy, I will vote in support. Prior to moving back to Texas, I served on a local Workforce Investment Board and also served as Vice President of Economic Development for the local chamber. I am familiar with the reporting required for incentive recipients to demonstrate meeting their agreements. The monitoring of the agreements should be done in committee on a semi-annual or annual basis. The city does have some issues in monitoring agreements and performance, we need the Austin Open Data to be the one stop location for all performance metrics and reporting. Data is still kept in too many places and too often it is difficult to determine how old the information. It is time to make this simpler.