In 2015 the shift to single-member districts was finally realized, leading to big changes at City Hall. Now, almost a year later, the Austin Monitor is taking a look back at the past 12 months from our admittedly selective point of view.
Austin Monitor editor Liz Pagano and publisher Mike Kanin chat about the year in City of Austin news.
Austin Monitor TravCo reporter Caleb Pritchard joins publisher Mike Kanin to talk about the year in Travis County government and politics.
In an interview with the Austin Monitor, City Council Member Ora Houston called her first year on Council “extremely rewarding” but said that the job had a “steep learning curve.”
City Council Member Delia Garza had a busy freshman year on Austin’s first 10-1 Council, working on city issues and serving on bodies with officials from other jurisdictions to take on some of the most pressing issues facing the region. She talked with the Austin Monitor on Dec. 16 about Council’s accomplishments and challenges this year and her plans for next year.
The inaugural year of Austin’s brand-new single-member district City Council is getting high marks from at least one man on the inside.
District 4 City Council Member Greg Casar came to his job as a workers’ rights advocate. So it is unsurprising that he chose as his favorite accomplishment of this first year in office helping his constituents at a North Lamar mobile home park form their own neighborhood association and successfully negotiate against their landlords, who were illegally raising rents and utilities.
City Council Member Ann Kitchen has a long list of what she considers to be the first 10-1 Council’s achievements in its first year, but she also has ambitious plans for what she hopes the body will accomplish next year.
For City Council Member Don Zimmerman, 2015 was a year of some triumph and a great deal of frustration with city staff.
City Council Member Leslie Pool made the environment, city services and transparency major issues in her 2014 campaign, and based on her look back at the freshman year of Austin’s first 10-1 Council, she remains concerned about those issues. The District 7 representative talked with the Austin Monitor on Dec. 15 about the new Council’s first year and her priorities for next year.
In 2015, City Council Member Ellen Troxclair’s most gratifying moment came when one of her District 8 constituents told her that the things she had talked about during her campaign were consistent with the change she has since worked to effect at City Hall.
As the sole returning member of City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo is able to offer a unique perspective on the past year. Tovo was re-elected to represent Central Austin’s District 9, which includes downtown, and was later elected mayor pro tem by her fellow Council members.
In her first year on City Council, Sheri Gallo occupied a unique place on the 11-member body.
One year into his term, Mayor Steve Adler says there are so many things to do that being the top elected leader of the city requires his attention 18 hours a day. He took one of those hours – on a Sunday – to talk with the Austin Monitor about 2015 and some of his plans for 2016.
After nearly eight years as Austin’s city manager, Marc Ott remains the most powerful man in city government. But he keeps his hands on the wheel, rarely making public comments about his job or what he sees in Austin’s future. He did, however, agree to sit down with the Austin Monitor for this review of 2015, the first year of operation for the single-member district City Council system.
The Austin Monitor sat down with former Mayor Lee Leffingwell at the end of 2015 to get his observations about how the new single-member district system is working and what he thinks City Council’s challenges might be in 2016.
As 2015 came to a close, the first woman elected to wield the gavel at Travis County Commissioners Court surveyed her historic first year on the job with confident satisfaction.