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Abilene City Council to discuss elections, downtown parking, COVID-19 reporting



ABILENE, TX — Downtown Abilene parking, voting in November, and how the coronavirus numbers are reported will all be discussed during the Abilene City Council meeting Thursday.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we have our November election properly called and noticed. We have all of our contracts with Jones County and Taylor County,” says city manager Robert Hanna.

Abilene citizens will vote on the office of mayor and two places on the city council Nov. 3, the same day as the presidential election, which is why the city secretary says the contract with Jones County is necessary.

“We normally we don’t include them just because it’s a May election and we don’t have to have county-wide polling locations, but in November we do have to have county-wide polling locations, which means we have to contract with the counties. Since Abilene is in two counties we have to have both Taylor in Jones County,” says Shawna Atkinson.

Hanna says they are considering a simple and cost-efficient solution for parking in downtown Abilene.

“Right now our parking stalls are very wide angles. What we’re talking about doing is narrowing those angles up a little bit and maybe reducing drive lines in some areas to accommodate more parking spaces where we can,” says Hanna.

One of the most notable conversations expected to take place during the city council meeting is how COVID-19 results are reported.

“It’s very clear that some of our council members would like to see more static reporting, and it’s very clear that some of our citizens want to see more static reporting, so what we’re recommending is council just tell us exactly what they want us to do, what they want to see, and we will report accordingly moving forward,” says Hanna.

Hanna says he expects to hear solutions to make the reports easier to understand, and they’re taking a look at how other communities are handling the reports.

“My recommendation is that we be very simple in what we report. Some of the demographic information would go away, most of it would go away in fact and that’s something they can then dig and find on their own if they choose to.”