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

Will a homestead exemption across town hurt an Austin council hopeful?
 A candidate running to represent East Austin’s District 1 rents a house on East 13th Street but has a homestead exemption — meant to reduce taxes on an owner’s “principal residence” — on a house across town. Natasha Harper-Madison, 40, a local activist and small-business consultant running for City Council...

Posted: 21 hours ago

A candidate running to represent East Austin’s District 1 rents a house on East 13th Street but has a homestead exemption — meant to reduce taxes on an owner’s “principal residence” — on a house across town. Natasha Harper-Madison, 40, a local activist and small-business consultant running for City Council...
Hockey puck, zebra mussels are new finds at annual Lake Travis cleanup
 They found toilet paper and wet socks, metal bars and plastic wrappers. A plastic colander. Sunglasses. Cellphones. An Ohio driver’s license. A beer bong. Even a hockey puck. All were among the loot brought to shore by volunteers in kayaks, in scuba gear and on foot during a Lake Travis cleanup Sunday. About 1,000 volunteers were expected...

Posted: a day ago

They found toilet paper and wet socks, metal bars and plastic wrappers. A plastic colander. Sunglasses. Cellphones. An Ohio driver’s license. A beer bong. Even a hockey puck. All were among the loot brought to shore by volunteers in kayaks, in scuba gear and on foot during a Lake Travis cleanup Sunday. About 1,000 volunteers were expected...
Woman accused of threatening to shoot men who urinated on fence
 An Austin woman is accused of pointing a gun at her neighbors and threatening to shoot them after one of them urinated on the side of her apartment complex. Three men identified by pseudonyms in an arrest affidavit were hanging out in front of an apartment building near South Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday night when one of them urinated...

Posted: a day ago

An Austin woman is accused of pointing a gun at her neighbors and threatening to shoot them after one of them urinated on the side of her apartment complex. Three men identified by pseudonyms in an arrest affidavit were hanging out in front of an apartment building near South Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday night when one of them urinated...
Austin man accused of shooting at police after they tried to stun him
 A man in a bathrobe, wielding a stick and a liquor bottle, yelled a police who came to his house early Saturday before getting a gun and firing at an officer, police said in an arrest affidavit. Dennis Mahan, 61, is accused of aggravated assault on a peace officer, a first-degree felony. Officers went to his house around 2:30 a.m. after a...

Posted: a day ago

A man in a bathrobe, wielding a stick and a liquor bottle, yelled a police who came to his house early Saturday before getting a gun and firing at an officer, police said in an arrest affidavit. Dennis Mahan, 61, is accused of aggravated assault on a peace officer, a first-degree felony. Officers went to his house around 2:30 a.m. after a...
Austin approves $4.1 billion budget, upping property taxes, fees $77
 Austin city leaders approved a $4.1 billion budget — the city’s largest — after a day of tweaks that included their consideration of setting aside money to guard against possible tax-increase caps before they changed their minds. The City Council approved the document by a 10-1 vote Tuesday, with Ellen Troxclair opposed...

Posted: 6 days ago

Austin city leaders approved a $4.1 billion budget — the city’s largest — after a day of tweaks that included their consideration of setting aside money to guard against possible tax-increase caps before they changed their minds. The City Council approved the document by a 10-1 vote Tuesday, with Ellen Troxclair opposed...
Austin approves $4.1 billion budget, upping property taxes, fees $77
 Austin city leaders approved a $4.1 billion budget — the city’s largest — after a day of tweaks that included their consideration of setting aside money to guard against possible tax-increase caps before they changed their minds. The City Council approved the document by a 10-1 vote Tuesday, with Ellen Troxclair opposed...

Posted: 6 days ago

Austin city leaders approved a $4.1 billion budget — the city’s largest — after a day of tweaks that included their consideration of setting aside money to guard against possible tax-increase caps before they changed their minds. The City Council approved the document by a 10-1 vote Tuesday, with Ellen Troxclair opposed...
Late entries could change the dynamic of Austin’s mayoral race
 Mayor Steve Adler and his opponent for the city’s top seat, former City Council Member Laura Morrison, squared off during a downtown forum last week, discussing issues that included homelessness, pro soccer, downtown development and a larger convention center. Other candidates in the seven-way race for mayor sat in the audience. The...

Posted: 15 days ago

Mayor Steve Adler and his opponent for the city’s top seat, former City Council Member Laura Morrison, squared off during a downtown forum last week, discussing issues that included homelessness, pro soccer, downtown development and a larger convention center. Other candidates in the seven-way race for mayor sat in the audience. The...
District 3 council candidates kick off city-sponsored election forums
 Six candidates for the Austin City Council’s District 3 seat met on a stage Wednesday night, when incumbent Sabino “Pio” Renteria touted his work on the council, his sister Susana Almanza challenged his record, and four first-time candidates began to hash out their different platforms ahead of Election Day on Nov. 6. While...

Posted: 18 days ago

Six candidates for the Austin City Council’s District 3 seat met on a stage Wednesday night, when incumbent Sabino “Pio” Renteria touted his work on the council, his sister Susana Almanza challenged his record, and four first-time candidates began to hash out their different platforms ahead of Election Day on Nov. 6. While...
Austin apartment complexes throwing doors open to short-term rentals
 At Corazon, a trendy 2014 complex on the east side of Interstate 35, a studio apartment runs $1,600 a month — or $170 a night. You can live at The Arnold, built in 2016, for $2,000 a month or stay one night for $229. Are these apartment complexes? Or hotels? Many of the newer, nicer apartment complexes cropping up across Austin&rsquo...

Posted: 19 days ago

At Corazon, a trendy 2014 complex on the east side of Interstate 35, a studio apartment runs $1,600 a month — or $170 a night. You can live at The Arnold, built in 2016, for $2,000 a month or stay one night for $229. Are these apartment complexes? Or hotels? Many of the newer, nicer apartment complexes cropping up across Austin&rsquo...
Vexed by licensing, some short-term rental owners fight back
 It’s been advertised as the Carpe Diem Estate. Eight bedrooms. A pool, water slide and in-ground trampoline in the backyard. A rental price of $1,700 to $4,500 per night, on a quiet block of 18th Street, between Pease Park and the University of Texas. For nearly two years, irate neighbors have railed against parties and comings-and-goings...

Posted: 19 days ago

It’s been advertised as the Carpe Diem Estate. Eight bedrooms. A pool, water slide and in-ground trampoline in the backyard. A rental price of $1,700 to $4,500 per night, on a quiet block of 18th Street, between Pease Park and the University of Texas. For nearly two years, irate neighbors have railed against parties and comings-and-goings...
Increasingly, short-term rental boom pits neighbor against neighbor
 The two houses on West 10th Street are charming and tidy, one yellow, one teal. But ask the neighbors and they’ll tell you some tales, of bachelor parties and noisy barbecues, of inflatable penises in the street and slamming car doors at 3 a.m. They’ll tell you the houses are basically a hotel they can’t get rid of. As Austin...

Posted: 19 days ago

The two houses on West 10th Street are charming and tidy, one yellow, one teal. But ask the neighbors and they’ll tell you some tales, of bachelor parties and noisy barbecues, of inflatable penises in the street and slamming car doors at 3 a.m. They’ll tell you the houses are basically a hotel they can’t get rid of. As Austin...