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What do citizens think about their city budget?

Monday, September 11, 2017 by Jo Clifton

The city’s Budget Office worked very hard to find out what citizens want from their city, making presentations not only to City Council and at commission meetings but also at town hall meetings in various parts of the city. The office also provided ample opportunity for citizens to register their concerns on the city website. One of the questions citizens answered was, “What do you think is the single most important issue facing Austin that the city needs to address (?)” Citizens from eight of Austin’s 10 districts responded. Here is a sampling of what 811 citizens said: District 1 respondents most often cited transit, transportation and affordable housing. In District 2, the first response was simply “Abbott,” followed by affordable housing, education and equity. District 3 cited affordable housing, decrease in quality of life related to fast growth, “police racism/brutality,” and diversity. Those who responded from District 5 in South Austin had a slightly different take, with several indicating an interest in “carbon free energy,” and one who was concerned about “speeding cars in our neighborhood.” In far North Austin’s District 6, affordability was still an issue along with Gov. Greg Abbott, (Lt. Gov.) Dan Patrick, and “state legislation overreach causing undoing of city rules in very negative ways!” In addition, several were concerned about the high cost of housing and the high cost of their water bills. In Southwest Austin’s District 8, people were concerned about affordability, the cost of living, “making the development process cheaper and quicker to navigate,” too much spending, and “working with schools to get the Legislature to re-issue their responsibility to fund public schools.” The Austin Monitor believes that each of these people had a clear point, even though some of the words seem strange in context. There were no responses on the website from citizens in District 4 and District 7.

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