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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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ANC ranks your City Council
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano
Yesterday, the Austin Neighborhoods Council announced the debut of its brand-new Council Member Scorecard. The card ranks the 11 members of City Council according to specific votes that ANC had taken positions on through its resolutions over the last two years. Most Council members got passing grades. Council Member Leslie Pool scored the highest, with 92 percent; Council members Ann Kitchen and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo both earned 90 percent; Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Pio Renteria and Greg Casar received 79 percent scores; Council Member Ora Houston got a 77 percent; Council Member Delia Garza got a 74 percent; and Council Member Sheri Gallo earned a 64 percent. Council Member Ellen Troxclair got a 52 percent from ANC, and Council Member Don Zimmerman got the lowest score – 20 percent. In a press release about the new scoring system, ANC President Mary Ingle noted that the results “aren’t especially surprising.” But Ingle said she was excited to have a way “to quantify which Council Members are doing a better job of listening to the citizens of Austin and which are serving some other interest.” Ingle also noted that there is no easy way for the average citizen to figure out how Council members have voted on various issues. The press release further explains that in scoring Council, “Issues and votes were divided into seven categories including ‘Affordability,’ ‘Transparency’ and ‘Neighborhood Self Determination.’ Each council member receives a point if they voted in accordance with ANC’s position. Major votes (e.g. [accessory dwelling units], reflecting lobbying transparency) receive three points. The points are then divided by the total points possible for each issue to get a score. A vote can count toward more than one issue. The total score is the average of all scores for issue areas.” We’ve embedded the ANC scorecard below, for the curious-minded.
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