About the Author
Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2015, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and as of 2015, 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.
November 2014 Transportation Bond: Austin City Council members approved a $1 billion mobility bond question for the city's November 2014 elections on Aug. 7, 2014. In it, the city asks for $600 million in funding for a new urban rail system and promised to find an additional $400 million for major road improvements.
Urban Rail 2014: An effort undertaken to secure funding for the first leg of what would more-or-less be a light rail system for the City of Austin. It marked the third such major attempt in a decade.