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Mayor plans overhaul for Austin Energy oversight

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TWC News: Mayor plans overhaul for Austin Energy oversight
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Mayor Lee Leffingwell plans to announce steps he wants to take to change the way Austin Energy is run.

The mayor said he has support from Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and Council Member Bill Spelman to create an independent board overseeing the publicly-owned utility.

As it stands, the Electric Utility Commission makes recommendations to the City Council for changes to how Austin Energy is operated, but the Council remains the main governing body.

Leffingwell says last year's tumultuous rate case is a prime example of why an independent board should handle the city's largest asset.

"Get a degree of separation between the business of running a business—energy production and delivery, distribution—and politics," Mayor Leffingwell said.

Leffingwell plans to bring the item before City Council at its meeting next week. His plans contradict research done by the City Manager in December.

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