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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano
Early voting results are in
In the mayor’s race, as expected, Mayor Steve Adler and former Council Member Laura Morrison have broken away from the pack. Adler currently has 61.11 percent of the vote and Morrison trails with 19.13 percent. Gus Pena has 10 percent, Todd Phelps 6.18 percent, Alexander Strenger 0.86 percent, Alan Pease 0.61 percent and Travis Duncan has 2.09 percent of the vote.
In District 1, where incumbent Ora Houston has opted to step down, Natasha Harper-Madison has taken the lead in early voting, with 25.74 percent. In second place is Mariana Salazar who trails slightly with 25.55 percent of the vote. Vincent Harding remains in the race with 24.37 percent, Lewis Conway Jr. has 11.10 percent, Reedy Macque Spigner III has 4.32 percent and Mitrah Elizabeth Avini has 8.92 percent.
In District 3, the crowded field includes incumbent Sabino “Pio” Renteria. Early voting shows he has 48.58 percent of the vote. The rest is split between Susana Almanza who has 21.9 percent of the vote, Justin Jacobson who has earned 6.18 percent of the vote, Amit Motwani who has 7.77 percent of the vote, Jessica Cohen who has 8.83 percent of the vote, and James Valadez 6.72 percent of the vote
Incumbent Ann Kitchen, who is running for re-election uncontested, has 100 percent of the early vote in District 5.
In District 8, where incumbent Ellen Troxclair has opted not to run, but has thrown her support behind fellow conservative Frank Ward, Paige Ellis has taken the early lead with 30.67 percent of the vote, but the rest of the field is pretty evenly split. Bobby Levinski has 23.83 percent, Frank Ward has 23.33 percent, and Rich DePalma has 22.18 percent.
In District 9, incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo faces off against urbanist engineer Danielle Skidmore. Early returns show Tovo with a strong lead at 53.25 percent, Skidmore has 31.83 percent. Underdogs Isiah Jones and Linda O’Neal collected the remainder of the votes with 5.75 percent and 9.17 percent, respectively.
Bonds and Propositions
As for the alphabet of Bonds and Propositions on the ballot, here’s where things stand:
Proposition A, the $250 million affordable housing bond, 73.93 percent of voters have voted in favor and 26.07 percent have voted against it.
The issuance of $250,000,000 in tax-supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, constructing, renovating, improving, and equipping affordable housing facilities for low income and moderate income persons and families, and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so, funding loans and grants or affordable housing, and funding affordable housing programs, as may be permitted by law; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition B, which gives $128 million to libraries, museums and cultural arts facilities, is also up, with 74.52 percent of voters in favor.
The issuance of $128,000,000 in tax-supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, acquiring, constructing, renovating, improving, and equipping community and cultural facilities, libraries, museums, and cultural and creative arts facilities, and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition C, which would give $149 million to parks and recreation projects, is also cruising towards approval with 81.12 percent of the vote.
The issuance of $149,000,000 in tax-supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, acquiring, constructing, renovating, improving and equipping public parks, recreation centers, natural areas, and other related facilities, including, without limitation, playgrounds, hike and bike trails, sports courts, and swimming pools, and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition D, which would bring $184 million to flood mitigation, water quality protection, and open space has 84.61 percent of voters’ support.
The issuance of $184,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for flood mitigation, open space and water quality and quantity for planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, and installing improvements and facilities for flood control, erosion control, water quality, water quantity, and storm-water drainage, and acquiring land, open spaces, and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition E, a request for $16 million for a neighborhood health services center in Southeast Austin’s Dove Springs, has 71.42 percent of the vote in favor.
The issuance of $16,000,000 in tax-supported general obligations bonds and notes for planning, constructing, reconstructing, improving, and equipping a neighborhood public health and human services facility in the Dove Springs area; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition F, which is a public safety bond that includes $25 million for upgrades to the city’s Emergency Medical Services facilities and $13 million for fire station renovations, has 81.98 percent support.
The issuance of $38,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, renovating, improving, and equipping existing public safety facilities, specifically fire and emergency medical services stations, buildings, and other related facilities; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition G, would give $160 million to a variety of transportation projects, including replacing the Red Bud Trail Bridge and rehabbing sidewalks. 81.73 percent of voters favor this proposition.
The issuance of $160,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, constructing, reconstructing, and improving roads, streets, intersections, sidewalks, bridges, urban trails and related utility and drainage infrastructure for the roads and streets; improving traffic signal synchronization and control systems; acquiring and installing traffic signals; and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Proposition H, which would change the how Planning Commission members are appointed and removed according to the City Charter, in early voting 67.18 percent of voters think that’s a good idea.
Shall the City Charter be amended to provide that the term of service and process for removal of the Planning Commission members be determined by ordinance?
Proposition I would clean up the City Charter, which cannot be changed without a public vote, enshrining typos until Austinites give the go-ahead. 73.96 of early voters think that is a good idea.
Shall the City Charter be amended to make non-substantive corrections to grammar, typographical errors, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure; and to change or remove charter language that is obsolete?
Proposition J, which appears on the ballot thanks to a petition drive, would impose a waiting period and voter approval for rewrites of the land development code (like CodeNEXT.) This proposition trails slightly, with 47.53 voting in favor of it and 52.47 percent against.
Shall a City ordinance be adopted to require both a waiting period and subsequent voter approval period, a total of up to three years, before future comprehensive revisions of the City’s land development code become effective?
Proposition K is also the result of a successful petition drive. It would subject the city to an outside audit, or “efficiency study.” Early voters are also wary of this proposal, 59.02 percent of voters are against, and 40.98 percent are in favor.
Without using the existing internal City Auditor or existing independent external auditor, shall the City Code be amended to require an efficiency study of the City’s operational and fiscal performance performed by a third-party audit consultant, at an estimated cost of $1 million – $5 million?
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