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City in spat with group over petitions

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Jo Clifton

IndyAustin, the specific purpose political action committee led by Linda Curtis that is gathering petitions to force a public vote on CodeNEXT, has a complaint about its treatment at city libraries. It seems the library’s managers believe that petitioners like Bill Bunch, Jeff Jack, Debbie Russell and other, lesser-known Austinites are violating a previously unknown city policy that prevents petitioning on library property. In one instance “a petitioner was threatened with criminal trespass and issued a warning notice by police,” according to attorney Bill Aleshire’s letter to Mayor Steve Adler and City Council. Aleshire and his client contend that the threats and the warning citation are a violation of the city charter. Aleshire said Tuesday night that he had not heard anything back from the city about his cease-and-desist letter. Tuesday was a rainy day and it’s likely that not a lot of petitioners were standing in the rain outside libraries. Rain is also forecast for today and tomorrow, so there may not be a test of the city’s resolve on this issue until the rain stops.

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