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Thursday, September 7, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Politicians often make promises about driving out the rats, but it’s not every day that you hear about rats driving out the politicians. Such has been the case on the second floor of City Hall for some time, according to sources knowledgeable about the problem. Several City Council members had taken to meeting and working in conference rooms rather than their offices because the odor from the rats had become unbearable. On Wednesday, the Austin Monitor learned that exterminators addressed the problem over the Labor Day holiday weekend and when people came back to their second-floor offices, the smell of dead rats was overwhelming. An aide to Council Member Leslie Pool reported buying an aromatic candle to drive out the dead rodent smell. An aide in another office said they had to tear out part of the carpet and replace it because it smelled like rat urine. Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said his office and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo’s office had been dealing with the rat problem “for months and months and months.” A spokesman for the city of Austin told the Monitor Wednesday, “Over the weekend an odor was caused by our ongoing efforts to tackle an issue with rodents in City Hall. We have been working closely with pest control over the past couple of months to prevent rodents from entering the building and we are now seeking to address the odor issue as well.”

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