Elizabeth Findell

City Hall reporter

Elizabeth Findell covers Austin government for the Austin American-Statesman. A Colorado ski town native, she’s been in Texas six years. She worked previously for the Dallas Morning News and, in the Rio Grande Valley, for The Monitor.

Latest from Elizabeth Findell

Races grow more crowded ahead of November Austin city elections
 Ask Travis Duncan why he’s running for mayor of Austin, and he’ll tell you a tale. Of a city where electricity and food are free and “a network of cooperative projects” pays the bills. Of the city he believes this could be. You probably haven’t heard of Duncan, a drummer and former Tesla worker, and that would...

Posted: 4 days ago

Ask Travis Duncan why he’s running for mayor of Austin, and he’ll tell you a tale. Of a city where electricity and food are free and “a network of cooperative projects” pays the bills. Of the city he believes this could be. You probably haven’t heard of Duncan, a drummer and former Tesla worker, and that would...
Does Austin need a new, independent board to police city ethics?
 Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...

Posted: 7 days ago

Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...
Austin Energy customer service fail: The tale of a $12,000 water bill
 For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...

Posted: 14 days ago

For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...
Austin Energy customer service fail: The tale of a $12,000 water bill
 For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...

Posted: 14 days ago

For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...
Austin city taxes, fees expected to hit $4,032 for average homeowner
 Thanks to lower-than-expected spending on public safety, Austin will likely end its fiscal year with a tad to spare and, thanks to growth and tax increases, will have more money to play with next year than it did in 2018. As for growth, the city is expecting $3 billion in new construction value in 2019. But be careful, the city staff warned...

Posted: 16 days ago

Thanks to lower-than-expected spending on public safety, Austin will likely end its fiscal year with a tad to spare and, thanks to growth and tax increases, will have more money to play with next year than it did in 2018. As for growth, the city is expecting $3 billion in new construction value in 2019. But be careful, the city staff warned...
Austin: Meter readers made up reads, causing fall water bill spikes
 Austin officials now have an answer to the mystery of what caused the water bills of thousands of residents to spike in September — and it’s exactly what residents had suspected and the Austin Water Utility had denied was possible. Two former water meter readers apparently fabricated readings along their routes in late summer...

Posted: 17 days ago

Austin officials now have an answer to the mystery of what caused the water bills of thousands of residents to spike in September — and it’s exactly what residents had suspected and the Austin Water Utility had denied was possible. Two former water meter readers apparently fabricated readings along their routes in late summer...
Memo details which Austin pools might get funded and which might fail
 With $120 million, just under the amount a task force recommended for Austin’s aquatic system, the Parks and Recreation Department could keep all the swimming pools in the city functioning, plus add four, city staffers said in a memo this week. With half that amount of money, the department would replace all six pools at imminent risk...

Posted: 22 days ago

With $120 million, just under the amount a task force recommended for Austin’s aquatic system, the Parks and Recreation Department could keep all the swimming pools in the city functioning, plus add four, city staffers said in a memo this week. With half that amount of money, the department would replace all six pools at imminent risk...
Laura Morrison launches her campaign for mayor
 Former City Council Member Laura Morrison speaks to supporters Monday at the launch of her campaign for mayor. Austin’s race for mayor is officially on. Laura Morrison launched her campaign Monday night before a room of neighborhood
            activists who’ve long pushed for her to run. Morrison, a former City Council member...

Posted: 24 days ago

Former City Council Member Laura Morrison speaks to supporters Monday at the launch of her campaign for mayor. Austin’s race for mayor is officially on. Laura Morrison launched her campaign Monday night before a room of neighborhood activists who’ve long pushed for her to run. Morrison, a former City Council member...
Judge denies request to block Waller Creek Tunnel contract termination
 A judge Monday declined to block Austin from belatedly terminating its contract with Waller Creek Tunnel builder S.J. Louis — allowing the cancellation to stand, for now, as the city’s response to what it called massive flaws in the tunnel. However, the firm’s breach of contract lawsuit will proceed. The city contends that...

Posted: 25 days ago

A judge Monday declined to block Austin from belatedly terminating its contract with Waller Creek Tunnel builder S.J. Louis — allowing the cancellation to stand, for now, as the city’s response to what it called massive flaws in the tunnel. However, the firm’s breach of contract lawsuit will proceed. The city contends that...
City: Waller Creek Tunnel works, despite fight over construction flaws
 Don’t panic, Austin officials said this week. The Waller Creek Tunnel works — just. The American-Statesman broke the news this month that the $161 million project, designed to lift a swath of downtown out of the creek’s flood plain, has severe structural problems that could reduce its ability to control flooding downtown...

Posted: 28 days ago

Don’t panic, Austin officials said this week. The Waller Creek Tunnel works — just. The American-Statesman broke the news this month that the $161 million project, designed to lift a swath of downtown out of the creek’s flood plain, has severe structural problems that could reduce its ability to control flooding downtown...
Former Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier cleared in ethics case
 Former Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier, accused of using a city computer for private consulting work, did not violate city policy and will not receive any sanctions, the Austin Ethics Review Commission said Wednesday. The 7-2 vote, after lengthy and emotional testimony, could set a precedent for future ethics cases as Austin weighs standards...

Posted: 29 days ago

Former Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier, accused of using a city computer for private consulting work, did not violate city policy and will not receive any sanctions, the Austin Ethics Review Commission said Wednesday. The 7-2 vote, after lengthy and emotional testimony, could set a precedent for future ethics cases as Austin weighs standards...