Mayors of Texas’ largest cities left out of meeting with Gov. Abbott


The mayors of Texas’ five largest cities, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, were left off the list of mayors who will meet with Gov. Greg Abbott over the coming week to discuss city-related issues at the Texas Legislature.

Mayors from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth will not be in any of the meetings taking place Wednesday and Thursday at the governor’s mansion. Last week, 18 Texas mayors signed a letter requesting to meet with Abbott to talk about many of Abbott’s proposals they think would “impede the ability of Texas cities to provide vital services.”

RELATED: Senate hearing Saturday puts local government authority in cross hairs

Adler’s office and Texas Municipal League Director Bennett Sandlin said they were unsure why Adler and the other big city mayors were left out of the meetings. A phone message to Abbott’s staff was not immediately returned.

“Austin and Texas’ biggest cities are where Texas’ economy is growing fastest,” Adler’s spokesman Jason Stanford said. “If you hurt these cities, Texas bleeds. By refusing even to meet with these mayors, the governor is cutting off his nose to spite his state.”

Adler has called the special session a “war on cities,” decrying it for several of the policy items that critics believe are attacks on municipalities. Abbott has called on the Legislature to pass bills that would cap increases to property taxes and require voter approval for annexations, as well as bills that would undo several of Austin’s city ordinances, including its tree ordinance, its ban on all hand-held use of cell phones while driving and protections for construction workers.

According to the Texas Municipal League, Abbott will meet on Wednesday with the mayors of Corpus Christi, Galveston and San Marcos. The governor will meet Thursday with the mayors of Amarillo, El Paso and Lubbock. And on Aug. 2, Abbott is slated to meet with the mayors of Arlington, Frisco, Irving and McKinney.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct a quote from Jason Stanford.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

PolitiFact: Cruz didn’t say what viral image alleges
PolitiFact: Cruz didn’t say what viral image alleges

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has been openly opposed to same-sex marriage, but he didn’t blame gay people for mass shootings and public nudity during a 2014 speech. A 2015 viral image that falsely quotes Cruz is gaining traction again on social media as the Republican incumbent looks to keep his seat against Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke...
Austin gentrification study touted as tool to fix affordability crisis
Austin gentrification study touted as tool to fix affordability crisis

When Delwin Goss moved to the Montopolis neighborhood in Southeast Austin in 1992, it wasn’t safe to walk down the street at night because it had so much crime, he said. Over time, the fabric of the neighborhood has started to change: People jog at night at dusk, and many of the drug houses have closed. But home prices are rapidly increasing...
Echoes of Anita Hill in charge against Brett Kavanaugh
Echoes of Anita Hill in charge against Brett Kavanaugh

In a prologue to their 1994 book, “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas,” journalists Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson wrote of how “unresolved the conflict” remained between Thomas, the conservative justice, and Anita Hill, the law professor who testified that he had sexually harassed her a decade earlier...
Did backers of city audit proposition skirt ‘dark money’ restrictions?
Did backers of city audit proposition skirt ‘dark money’ restrictions?

The political action committee behind a ballot proposition that calls for an independent efficiency audit of Austin City Hall might have broken local campaign finance laws by shielding the identities of its donors, according to city officials. In the sole campaign finance report it filed with the city, Citizens for an Accountable Austin showed only...
Judge refuses to dismiss official oppression charge against Dan Gattis
Judge refuses to dismiss official oppression charge against Dan Gattis

A judge ruled Friday that the Williamson County attorney’s office must amend its complaint about an official oppression charge against County Judge Dan Gattis to include more information about the charge against him. Visiting Judge Sid Harle, however, refused to dismiss the charge. The complaint said the county judge...
More Stories