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Troxclair brief opposes city’s ballot language

Friday, August 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Writing on city of Austin stationery, City Council Member Ellen Troxclair has filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in support of a writ of mandamus seeking to overturn the ballot language Council proposes for a proposition requiring the city to hire an outside auditor to audit the entire city.

Troxclair, who is not running for re-election to her District 8 seat, states in her brief that she believes that “Council adopted superfluous, prejudicial, and speculative language that will mislead voters” when they go to the polls on Nov. 6.

The language adopted by Council includes the information that the city already has both an internal auditor and an outside auditor. In addition, the language informs voters that the cost of such an audit would be $1 million to $5 million.

Troxclair says Council adopted this language “for the express purpose of having the proposition implicitly advertise against itself to voters in the voting booth, in an effort to make the proposition sound redundant, expensive, and ultimately to result in its defeat.”

Troxclair filed her motion on Tuesday, one day after the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, filed its own brief in support of Ed English’s request for mandamus related to the audit proposition.

The Texas Supreme Court could release a decision today on the mandamus requests for both the audit proposition and the proposition related to CodeNEXT or other changes to the Land Development Code. The court was scheduled to have a conference on Thursday and today and is slated to release orders today also.

Thursday was the deadline for the city to file a response on the request for mandamus related to the CodeNEXT lawsuit. If it needs to change the ballot language, Council must act quickly in order to meet Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir’s deadline of Sept. 4.

Photo by WhisperToMe [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons.

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