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City Charter

What we could be seeing on a May ballot

Austin voters will likely have a lot to think about before going to the polls on May 1. City Clerk Jannette Goodall has already certified two petitions – one from Austinites for Progressive Reform and another from the Austin Firefighters Association…

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Groups ready to battle over strong mayor

The group Austinites for Progressive Reform, which wants to replace Austin’s council-manager form of government with a strong mayor form of governance, submitted 24,000 signatures to City Clerk Jannette Goodall on Monday in an effort to place four charter amendments on…

City departments may now deal with small-scale violations

City Council unanimously approved a change to city code Thursday that will allow the Office of the City Auditor to refer small-scale secondary employment misuse cases to the city manager’s office. In cases where a city employee is found using…

Coalition publishes draft amendments for modified local democracy

In a city where an appointed city manager administers policy, midterm mayoral elections are decided by a wealthier and whiter electorate, costly runoff elections draw a fraction of eligible voters, and nearly 70 percent of all City Council campaign contributions…

Human Rights Commission calls for democratically elected police chief

On Monday, the Human Rights Commission agreed that City Council should change city ordinance to allow Austin to democratically elect its police chief. Under the proposal, which was put together by commissioners Nathan White, Kristian Caballero and Alicia Weigel, Austin…

City seeks diversity in applicants tasked with redrawing Council district map

Just over six weeks ahead of the application deadline, the Office of the City Auditor is seeking candidates from Latino and other minority groups interested in helping to create the city’s next City Council district map. Applications for the Independent…

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Push for 2021 charter amendments could make Austin a 'strong mayor' city

A new group of community activists and political insiders intends to push for amendments to the city charter that could bring about a change to a “strong mayor” form of government, along with other changes focused on increasing voter turnout…

Paxton files suit against planning commissioners

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is once again challenging the makeup of Austin’s Planning Commission. In a suit filed Tuesday, Paxton asks to remove Fayez Kazi, James Shieh, Greg Anderson, Claire Hempel and/or Patrick Howard from the Planning Commission “because…

Paige Ellis represents sharp political shift for Southwest Austin's District 8

Paige Ellis, the incoming City Council member for District 8, has very different political views from her predecessor, Ellen Troxclair, who spent the last two years as the only Republican on Council. Ellis, who made her affiliation with the Democratic…

Ethics Review Commission weighs in on potential charter changes

In the midst of discussions about soccer stadiums, CodeNEXT and the 2018 bond, the Charter Review Commission is asking citizens to consider one more thing: changes to the city charter. At its June 13 meeting, members of the Ethics Review…

Changes ahead for Planning Commission?

At this week’s meeting, City Council is scheduled to consider changes to how members of the city’s Planning Commission are selected. The city attorney’s office has offered two alternative approaches – one of which could have a radical impact on…

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Should the auditor’s office be exempt from municipal civil service?

Having an independent auditor’s office is integral to running a city where checks and balances fulfill their intended function. Independence, however, is not always easy to maintain, and in Austin, the Office of the City Auditor is working to balance…

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