The 2012 Charter Revision Committee is scheduled to vote on a recommendation for geographic City Council representation at its final meeting Feb. 2.
The Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Boards and Commissions Room at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St.
How the Council is comprised – the mix of at-large and district representation – is still being discussed along with who will draw the boundaries for the districts. Earlier discussion has included the possible need for an independent commission to draw the district lines.
The Committee has already approved recommending 16 Austin City Charter changes to the Austin City Council for its approval to put on a ballot for voter consideration.
Those recommendations include:
Move the date of Austin’s municipal elections from May to November.
Prohibit City Council Members from switching Council places to avoid term limits.
Make the number of required signatures the same for charter, initiative and referendum petitions. The current requirement of 5 percent of the municipality’s qualified voters to initiate a ballot measure now only applies to charter amendments. The committee recommendation extends that minimum requirement to initiative and referendum petitions.
The City Attorney will report directly to the City Council and appoint Deputy City Attorneys.
City Council will appoint the Council staff.
The City Clerk will appoint Deputy City Clerks.
The City Auditor will appoint Deputy City Auditors.
A new 30-day fundraising period following elections, including additional restrictions on officeholder accounts.
An increase in officeholder account amounts (funds used for expenses related to holding an office) with the additional restriction stating that these funds cannot be used for campaign purposes.
Give the City Ethics Review Commission jurisdiction and enforcement powers in any case of alleged violation of City campaign finance law.
Report within one business day all campaign contributions and expenditures exceeding $2,500 made within nine days of an election.
More financial disclosure by reporting and disclaiming independent expenditures, including “express” advocacy and electioneering.
Electronic filing of all campaign finance, lobbying reports and expenditures in a publicly searchable and downloadable database.
City elections will be required for major new revenue bonds greater than $50 million, with a cost of living adjustment.
Ex officio members of the Planning Commission (members who are on the commission because it is part of their duties in holding another office) are non-voting members whose attendance does not count for quorum.
Limit the amount of funds a registered City lobbyist can bundle in a contribution to a City Council candidate. The limit is a maximum of $1,750 per Council candidate per election cycle with a maximum of five contributors. The maximum amount registered firms can bundle is $3,500 per City Council candidate per election cycle with a maximum of 10 firms.
For ways to comment or more information, visit the Charter Revision Committee website or call 512-539-0070.
The Austin City Council is expected to review the recommendations made by the 2012 Charter Revision Committee in the upcoming months. The Council has final authority to approve any Charter amendments.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701