Stories by Jo Clifton

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Council seeks answers on Bull Creek purchase

For citizens who want the city to buy about 75 acres of state land at Bull Creek Road and 45th Street, the most interesting part of today’s City Council work session agenda may well take place in executive session.That is…

Friday, October 10, 2014 by Jo Clifton

HHS Committee works to fund agency contracts

City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee continues to meet and discuss how to stretch a limited amount of money to fund contracts with Austin social service agencies for the next fiscal year. The panel made progress Wednesday but still has…

Thursday, October 9, 2014 by Jo Clifton

PAC spending plays role in City Council races

Although political action committees play a big role in the financing of campaigns nationwide and in Texas, they have not been very important recently in electing Austin’s mayor and City Council. While there is no evidence that that will change…

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Proponents, opponents raise big bucks on Prop. 1

While the Let’s Go Austin PAC was touting its fundraising efforts, opponents were quietly raising money, too. As the Monitor reported Tuesday, the pro-Proposition 1 group said it raised $485,876 during the most recent reporting period. That brings the overall…

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Cole, Martinez respond to Adler spending

With the release of Monday’s campaign finance reports, Council Member Mike Martinez and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole got a look at the kind of money that mayoral opponent Steve Adler is raising and spending.Adler, a newcomer to politics, reported…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Council candidates file campaign financial reports

(Monday was the deadline for all 78 candidates for Austin City Council to file their 30-day-out Contribution and Expenditure Reports with the City Clerk’s office. Here is a summary from the mayor’s race and all 10 Council districts. To save…

Friday, October 3, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Council: Large complexes must take vouchers

The Austin City Council Thursday took the first big step toward outlawing discrimination against people using housing vouchers to pay their rent. Austin is the first city in Texas to do so, and opponents said that the ordinance would face…

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Water bills to get increased scrutiny after audit

The City Auditor’s Office has found that the customer billing system that generates the City of Austin’s combined utility bills does not routinely scrutinize the readings on the majority of water bills, leading to the possibility of overcharges. for nine…

Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Jo Clifton

City Council Democratic endorsements continue to roll in

In a Wednesday busy with political activity, both the Austin Environmental Democrats and the Central Austin Democrats weighed in with endorsements for this year’s City Council race.In their final round of endorsements for the Austin City Council, Austin Environmental Democrats…

Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Firefighters form new PAC to support candidates

The Austin Firefighters Local 975 has formed a special political action committee to support eight candidates running for City Council on the November ballot. Firefighters president Bob Nicks told the Monitor that the group had raised $200,000 through membership dues…

Thursday, September 11, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Martinez tries to paint Adler as rich, out of touch

Mayoral candidate Mike Martinez’s campaign continued its attacks on opponent Steve Adler on Wednesday, alleging that he “owns a villa at Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas, one of the most exclusive resorts in Mexico.”That proved to be an exaggeration. Bo…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Council takes first step to buy Bull Creek land

With only Mayor Lee Leffingwell dissenting, the Austin City Council took a small step Tuesday toward the purchase of the prized piece of real estate at the intersection of Bull Creek Road and 45th Street from the Texas Department of…

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Adler to present ‘affordability agenda’

Mayoral candidate Steve Adler promises to help Austin’s “neglected middle class” in an eight-point affordability agenda that will be released today. The Adler campaign released a copy of that agenda to the Austin Monitor on Monday. This is a brief…

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Council to mull purchase of Bull Creek property

City Council members will discuss whether to purchase the state-owned property at 45th Street and Bull Creek Road at 9:30 a.m. today.Council Members Laura Morrison, Kathie Tovo and Bill Spelman are sponsors. With Mayor Lee Leffingwell a definite no and…

Friday, September 5, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Martinez, Adler bicker over homestead exemption

Mayoral candidate Mike Martinez staged yet another battle in the ongoing war over homestead exemptions Thursday, holding a news conference to attack candidate Steve Adler’s plan and reveal details of his own proposal.“If Steve Adler has his way, the average…

Thursday, September 4, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Environmental Democrats back rail, 3 candidates

Even though a majority of the City Council candidates asking for their support said they are opposed to the rail and road proposition on the Nov. 4 ballot, members of the Austin Environmental Democrats enthusiastically endorsed Proposition 1 on Wednesday.More…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Firefighters issue four Council endorsements

The Austin Firefighters Association began announcing its endorsements for City Council Tuesday, beginning with two of its own, Council Member Mike Martinez, who is running for mayor, and District 2 candidate Delia Garza. The group also chose Council Member Chris…

Friday, August 29, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Update: Council motion to reconsider fails, business group reacts to new mandate

Late Friday afternoon, Council Member Bill Spelman asked his colleagues to reconsider their actions on a resolution by Council Member Chris Riley that instructs Austin Energy to greatly increase their renewable resources — specifically solar — and work toward eliminating…

Friday, August 22, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Labor wants to make its mark on Council races

Local labor leader Jack Kirfman reported that the union for local government employees, AFSCME, has interviewed candidates and decided on its choices for City Council. Kirfman said American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees would present their recommendations to…

Thursday, August 21, 2014 by Jo Clifton

Ballot order set for City Council election

The city took another step in the process toward having a 10-1 Council on Wednesday as City Clerk Jannette Goodall drew the names of each candidate to determine in what order they will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.Conventional wisdom…

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