Trying to make the I-35 expansion less bad

There's no way to make the I-35 expansion good.

Trying to make the I-35 expansion less bad
What Airport & I-35 will look like, according to TxDOT's proposed plan. 

An ordinance asks cops to stay: The police union has said it isn't interested in negotiating a one-year contract, so tomorrow City Council will likely approve an ordinance tomorrow that guarantees officers the same benefits that they currently enjoy under the soon-to-expire contract. Notably, the ordinance guarantees they will be able to cash out the same amount of sick leave allowed under the contract. There's a big fear of a bunch of cops retiring now because their sick leave cash out won't be as big if they retire outside of a contract. Those with the max sick leave cash out can get about a year's worth of wages upon retirement.

Watson proposes tying pay to hiring: You may recall the 4-year contract agreed to by the police union and former City Manager Spencer Cronk committed the city to hiring at least 200 new cops in both 2024 and 2025. Every officer would get a 1.5% pay raise if the city didn't meet those goals. Some viewed that as creating a perverse incentive for the cops in charge or recruiting or the academy to not hit the hiring goals, but that wasn't my main concern. I just viewed it as an unbudgeted backdoor pay raise (since 200 is way above our current pace).

Anyway, Watson has proposed the opposite: cops get a raise if APD meets hiring targets. He suggested a more modest raise: 0.5%.

Chito tries to make I-35 expansion less awful, Watson silent: Tomorrow Council will vote on a resolution drafted by CM Chito Vela aimed at making TxDOT's planned expansion of I-35 less bad. Having apparently determined that resisting the expansion is futile, Vela is now focused on getting as much of the new highway capped and getting more east-west crossings. The project will still be a giant waste of money that will certainly increase pollution and will certainly not reduce congestion, but Vela's proposed changes, if accepted by TxDOT, would mitigate some of the misery.