Council leaves strong mayor, camping ban up to Austin voters in May

Austin City Council discuss

Because of the massive change this could make to what looks like it will be on the ballot, they are now ironing out what the May ballot will look like

In a special session on Tuesday, Austin City Council approved the electoral decision whether the city should operate under a strong mayor or, in other words, under some form of council of government.

If the ordinance is passed in May, it will allow a special election where voters can choose whether they want the new form of government. Austin is currently running under a city council administration system.

“In a city with strong mayors, the mayor is the chief executive, the chief administrator who is responsible for day-to-day operations. You hire, fire and do all of these things. Mayors are also politicians and partisans,” said Marc Ott, former city administrator, on February 3rd.

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The group is pushing for a system of government with a strong Austin mayor

The reform would eliminate the job of city administrator, a job Marc Ott held for years in Austin.

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However, not everyone agreed with the idea.

Bo Delp of UNITE HERE, a hospitality trade union, is opposed to this form of governance. His group gathered in the town hall to protest. “If we give a person all power in the city and don’t even know who that person is going to be, it jeopardizes everything that this council has done,” he said.

RELATED: Group Pushes For A System Of Government With A Strong Austin Mayor

The council also decided to put the camping ban on the ballot. If voters agree, the citywide camping ban will be restored and panhandling will not be allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In addition, voters will rule on arbitration for the Austin Firefighters Association. In addition, voters will decide whether the City Police Oversight Office is operated and / or supervised independently by a civil authority.

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