Three former Austin mayors and 6 native environmental organizations have introduced their opposition to Proposition F, the constitution modification that will change Austin’s Council-manager type of authorities to a system that will remove town supervisor and provides the mayor the facility to rent, hearth and supervise division administrators, together with town lawyer.

Former mayors Lee Leffingwell, Lee Cooke and Ron Mullen, who collectively served as each Council members and mayors between 1977 and 2015, launched a letter Wednesday calling Prop F “devastatingly harmful.” Their announcement places them within the camp with nine current Austin Council members who declared their opposition to the strong-mayor plan final week.

In a separate information launch, Clear Water Motion, Folks Organized in Protection of Earth and Her Assets (PODER), the Sierra Membership’s Austin Group, the Save Our Springs Alliance, Save Barton Creek Affiliation and the Austin Environmental Democrats all introduced their opposition to Proposition F.

The strong-mayor proposal is a part of the bundle put collectively by Austinites for Progressive Reform, whose chief is Andrew Allison. APR led a profitable effort to place 4 propositions on the Might 1 poll: the strong-mayor proposal; altering the date of mayoral elections to coincide with presidential elections; ranked-choice voting; and a city-funded system to assist candidates finance their campaigns.

If Prop F is adopted, the mayor elected in 2022 would serve for 2 years beneath the present system. Nevertheless, the mayor elected in 2024 would take over the duties at the moment carried out by town supervisor and would have veto energy over ordinances authorized by Council. Council would be capable to override the veto inside 45 days with a supermajority.

In accordance with the letter from the mayors, “Most individuals who’ve served as mayors of any metropolis would admit, if pressed, that they’d have liked to have had extra energy whereas in workplace. The lure of autocracy is robust! Happily, our metropolis constitution ensures that that may’t occur. The Council-manager type of authorities is essentially the most consultant, democratic and accountable system possible. Quite a few checks and balances are constructed into it, and large entry for the general public is assured.”

Additional, they warned that “a swap to robust mayor would imply one particular person holds all of the playing cards in municipal authorities.” Such a state of affairs can be “ripe for cronyism and backroom dealing.”

Angela Richter, government director of the Save Barton Creek Affiliation, provided the next evaluation: “Austin is a metropolis with a robust environmental ethic, and we usually have a number of Council members who perceive the advantages of fresh air and water, parks, and pure areas to present and future residents.” She added, “We are able to’t predict who shall be elected mayor sooner or later and we shouldn’t take the possibility that this particular person may dismantle generations of labor to make Austin a livable environmental metropolis.”

Susana Almanza, director of PODER, mentioned, “Our authorities ought to signify the experiences of all residents in all elements of city, not simply the viewpoints of 1 particular person elected at giant. Placing a lot energy within the fingers of the mayor will diminish the voices of individuals of shade.”

David Foster, state director of Clear Water Motion, additionally warned {that a} strong-mayor system would focus an excessive amount of energy within the fingers of 1 particular person. “This may be a jarring departure from the best way Austin is ruled now, and nobody can say for sure that some future mayor gained’t select to undermine our metropolis’s long-standing commitments to water conservation, clear power, watershed safety and extra by appointing division heads who’re detached or hostile to those values. The Council wouldn’t be ready to stop this.”

Bob Hendricks, chair of the native Sierra Membership group, mentioned such a change would enhance the affect of particular curiosity cash in mayoral elections. “Council elections would lose a few of their significance, and much more developer and big-tech cash would pour into costly citywide mayoral campaigns. This may very a lot be to the detriment of odd Austinites and our surroundings.”

Invoice Bunch, government director of the SOS Alliance, mentioned he was significantly involved about the potential of a mayoral veto. “The mayoral veto would give one particular person the facility to impede environmental progress throughout a time once we want pressing motion to deal with the approaching impacts of local weather change,” he mentioned.

In a current on-line poll, 89 % of voting members of the Austin Environmental Democrats voted in opposition to Prop F.

Photograph made obtainable by means of a Creative Commons license.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made attainable by donations from the group. Although our reporting covers donors occasionally, we’re cautious to maintain enterprise and editorial efforts separate whereas sustaining transparency. An entire record of donors is on the market here, and our code of ethics is defined here.

‹ Return to Today’s Headlines

  Read latest Whispers ›


Source link