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Latest from Elizabeth Findell

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Council members set maximum city tax increase at 6 percent
 During their regular meeting Thursday, Austin City Council members set the maximum tax rate at 44.2 cents per $100 of property value, a rate that will increase exisiting tax revenue 6 percent in 2019. The move doesn’t mean that will be the adopted tax rate, but the rate cannot exceed that figure. A draft budget proposed by staff members...

Posted: 3 days ago

During their regular meeting Thursday, Austin City Council members set the maximum tax rate at 44.2 cents per $100 of property value, a rate that will increase exisiting tax revenue 6 percent in 2019. The move doesn’t mean that will be the adopted tax rate, but the rate cannot exceed that figure. A draft budget proposed by staff members...
Report: Mayor’s aide received cut of nonprofit’s contracts with city
 When the nonprofit founded by a former staffer for Austin Mayor Steve Adler won a contract with the city, the aide received a cut, according to an independent investigation. Documents show the aide was paid $37,110 by the nonprofit over the first two years he worked for Adler. Frank Rodriguez served as executive director of the nonprofit...

Posted: 4 days ago

When the nonprofit founded by a former staffer for Austin Mayor Steve Adler won a contract with the city, the aide received a cut, according to an independent investigation. Documents show the aide was paid $37,110 by the nonprofit over the first two years he worked for Adler. Frank Rodriguez served as executive director of the nonprofit...
NAACP voices discrimination concerns amid city Equity Office inquiry
 Austin’s NAACP chapter announced Thursday it will investigate “harassment of African American employees at the city of Austin.” Among its concerns is a pending city investigation centered on the city’s Equity Office, which has brought strained relations between groups representing minorities. RELATED: Investigation...

Posted: 5 days ago

Austin’s NAACP chapter announced Thursday it will investigate “harassment of African American employees at the city of Austin.” Among its concerns is a pending city investigation centered on the city’s Equity Office, which has brought strained relations between groups representing minorities. RELATED: Investigation...
Revealed texts and racial tension prompt Austin office probe
 An investigation centered on the city of Austin’s Equity Office has sparked strife in City Hall circles, with groups representing minorities strongly weighing in with different viewpoints. The city used an outside firm to investigate a complaint filed last spring by former employee Nadia Kalinchuk, who alleged that the Equity Office&rsquo...

Posted: 5 days ago

An investigation centered on the city of Austin’s Equity Office has sparked strife in City Hall circles, with groups representing minorities strongly weighing in with different viewpoints. The city used an outside firm to investigate a complaint filed last spring by former employee Nadia Kalinchuk, who alleged that the Equity Office&rsquo...
Proposed Austin budget increases taxes, but less than it did last year
 Austin residents will see a tax increase in 2019, but under a proposed city budget unveiled Monday, it could be the smallest in years. The city staff has recommended setting the tax rate to increase revenue just under 5 percent, not the 8 percent maximum allowed by state law, which Austin typically hits. That means an estimated increase to...

Posted: 7 days ago

Austin residents will see a tax increase in 2019, but under a proposed city budget unveiled Monday, it could be the smallest in years. The city staff has recommended setting the tax rate to increase revenue just under 5 percent, not the 8 percent maximum allowed by state law, which Austin typically hits. That means an estimated increase to...
Austinites will see a smaller than usual tax bump under draft budget
 Austin residents will see a tax increase in 2019, but under a proposed 2019 city budget unveiled Monday, it could be the smallest increase in years. City staff have recommended setting the tax rate to increase revenues at just under 5 percent, not the 8 percent maximum allowed by state law that Austin typically hits. That means an estimated...

Posted: 7 days ago

Austin residents will see a tax increase in 2019, but under a proposed 2019 city budget unveiled Monday, it could be the smallest increase in years. City staff have recommended setting the tax rate to increase revenues at just under 5 percent, not the 8 percent maximum allowed by state law that Austin typically hits. That means an estimated...
Rematch: Susana Almanza will again face brother for City Council spot
 Susana Almanza, director of the advocacy group PODER, will run against her brother, City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria, for East Austin’s District 3 seat again. Almanza, who had remained coy about a possible run, appointed a treasurer and filed for a place on the ballot at City Hall on Friday. Her candidacy sets up...

Posted: 9 days ago

Susana Almanza, director of the advocacy group PODER, will run against her brother, City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria, for East Austin’s District 3 seat again. Almanza, who had remained coy about a possible run, appointed a treasurer and filed for a place on the ballot at City Hall on Friday. Her candidacy sets up...
Michigan city hires Austin Assistant City Manager Mark Washington
 Less than a week after new Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk announced a shakeup of his executive team, Assistant City Manager Mark Washington is taking a new job in Michigan. City commissioners in Grand Rapids voted 6-1 Tuesday to hire Washington as city manager, according to MLive. Commissioners there touted him for his experience in Austin...

Posted: 12 days ago

Less than a week after new Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk announced a shakeup of his executive team, Assistant City Manager Mark Washington is taking a new job in Michigan. City commissioners in Grand Rapids voted 6-1 Tuesday to hire Washington as city manager, according to MLive. Commissioners there touted him for his experience in Austin...
Austin city manager will replace executive team after open recruitment
 Austin’s new city manager, Spencer Cronk, will eliminate the positions that form his executive team and replace those with five new roles oriented to City Council-endorsed goals, he said Friday. As part of the changes, the existing five assistant city managers will have to join other candidates in applying for the new positions. Cronk...

Posted: 17 days ago

Austin’s new city manager, Spencer Cronk, will eliminate the positions that form his executive team and replace those with five new roles oriented to City Council-endorsed goals, he said Friday. As part of the changes, the existing five assistant city managers will have to join other candidates in applying for the new positions. Cronk...
Austin city manager will replace executive team after open recruitment
 Austin’s new city manager, Spencer Cronk, will eliminate the positions that form his executive team and replace those with five new roles oriented to City Council-endorsed goals, he said Friday. As part of the changes, the existing five assistant city managers will have to join other candidates in applying for the new positions. Cronk...

Posted: 17 days ago

Austin’s new city manager, Spencer Cronk, will eliminate the positions that form his executive team and replace those with five new roles oriented to City Council-endorsed goals, he said Friday. As part of the changes, the existing five assistant city managers will have to join other candidates in applying for the new positions. Cronk...
Protesters and supporters square off at Southwest Key headquarters
 Protesters and counterprotesters faced off Thursday outside the headquarters of the Austin nonprofit Southwest Key, clashing over the organization’s operation of facilities for immigrant children who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Protesters yelled that Southwest Key’s leaders are getting rich by...

Posted: 18 days ago

Protesters and counterprotesters faced off Thursday outside the headquarters of the Austin nonprofit Southwest Key, clashing over the organization’s operation of facilities for immigrant children who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Protesters yelled that Southwest Key’s leaders are getting rich by...
Mystery conservative, ex-felon and mayor file first for city elections
 A community organizer with a felony conviction looking to defy Texas law and run for office. A newly minted candidate intent on replacing the only conservative on the Austin City Council. Oh, and the mayor. All three formally applied for a place on the November ballot as filing for the latest municipal election began Monday at City Hall....

Posted: 21 days ago

A community organizer with a felony conviction looking to defy Texas law and run for office. A newly minted candidate intent on replacing the only conservative on the Austin City Council. Oh, and the mayor. All three formally applied for a place on the November ballot as filing for the latest municipal election began Monday at City Hall....
Who’s the mystery candidate running for Austin City Council?
 Austin City Council member Ellen Troxclair is not running for her seat again. But some other people are. Are you a fiscal conservative hoping to replace City Council Member Ellen Troxclair in District 8? Someone is. Troxclair announced in a news release Thursday that, though she’s 
            not running for a second term this November...

Posted: 25 days ago

Austin City Council member Ellen Troxclair is not running for her seat again. But some other people are. Are you a fiscal conservative hoping to replace City Council Member Ellen Troxclair in District 8? Someone is. Troxclair announced in a news release Thursday that, though she’s not running for a second term this November...
Austin council challengers match incumbents in campaign fundraising
 Austin’s most senior City Council member may be getting a run for her money this election season. Political newcomer Danielle Skidmore out-fundraised downtown District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo $47,143 to $41,591, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday. Skidmore, a civil engineer, drew support from several urbanists and...

Posted: 27 days ago

Austin’s most senior City Council member may be getting a run for her money this election season. Political newcomer Danielle Skidmore out-fundraised downtown District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo $47,143 to $41,591, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday. Skidmore, a civil engineer, drew support from several urbanists and...
Austin Mayor Adler’s fundraising tops $574,000, Morrison raises $92,000
 Austin Mayor Steve Adler has raised $291,500 for his re-election campaign since January, plus more than $283,000 in late 2017, easily eclipsing rival Laura Morrison’s fundraising. Adler’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed that the mayor’s fundraising has continued unabated since his re-election campaign...

Posted: 28 days ago

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has raised $291,500 for his re-election campaign since January, plus more than $283,000 in late 2017, easily eclipsing rival Laura Morrison’s fundraising. Adler’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed that the mayor’s fundraising has continued unabated since his re-election campaign...
Austin Mayor Adler’s fundraising tops $574,000, Morrison raises $92,000
 Austin Mayor Steve Adler has raised $291,500 for his re-election campaign since January, plus more than $283,000 in late 2017, easily eclipsing rival Laura Morrison’s fundraising. Adler’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed that the mayor’s fundraising has continued unabated since his re-election campaign...

Posted: 28 days ago

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has raised $291,500 for his re-election campaign since January, plus more than $283,000 in late 2017, easily eclipsing rival Laura Morrison’s fundraising. Adler’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed that the mayor’s fundraising has continued unabated since his re-election campaign...
Report: Most donations to 2016 council races from outside districts
 Most of the money Austin City Council candidates raised for their races in 2016 came from outside their council districts — more than 90 percent for Council Members Delia Garza and Greg Casar — according to a report issued by Texans for Public Justice. The city’s three wealthiest districts accounted for 68 percent of all...

10:16 PM Friday, Jul. 13, 2018

Most of the money Austin City Council candidates raised for their races in 2016 came from outside their council districts — more than 90 percent for Council Members Delia Garza and Greg Casar — according to a report issued by Texans for Public Justice. The city’s three wealthiest districts accounted for 68 percent of all...
Austin mayor claps back at a constituent: Texas’ attorney general
 Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are exchanging words, as Texas vs. Austin tensions continue to flare. Adler shot back Thursday at an opinion piece by Paxton calling the city hypocritical and disdainful of the rule of law. “The city of Austin recently declared itself a ‘freedom city’ &mdash...

11:05 PM Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are exchanging words, as Texas vs. Austin tensions continue to flare. Adler shot back Thursday at an opinion piece by Paxton calling the city hypocritical and disdainful of the rule of law. “The city of Austin recently declared itself a ‘freedom city’ &mdash...
Homelessness or infrastructure? New city budgeting targets goal topics
 Don’t ask how much money the Austin City Council can give your department. This year, ask instead how your department can contribute to the council’s goals. As Austin reaches the budgeting season for fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1, city departments have put in requests for $46 million in additions beyond the finance department&rsquo...

4:43 PM Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018

Don’t ask how much money the Austin City Council can give your department. This year, ask instead how your department can contribute to the council’s goals. As Austin reaches the budgeting season for fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1, city departments have put in requests for $46 million in additions beyond the finance department&rsquo...
Troxclair, Austin council’s lone conservative, won’t seek re-election
 City Council Member Ellen Troxclair will not seek a second term, she said in a news release issued Wednesday, setting up an open race to replace Austin’s only conservative City Council member. “I can leave knowing that I accomplished what I set out to do — serve as an advocate for my district, a voice of reason, a fiscal...

11:23 PM Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2018

City Council Member Ellen Troxclair will not seek a second term, she said in a news release issued Wednesday, setting up an open race to replace Austin’s only conservative City Council member. “I can leave knowing that I accomplished what I set out to do — serve as an advocate for my district, a voice of reason, a fiscal...
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