Election night paves way for power shift at city hall
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Four city charter measures passed on Election Day Tuesday night gave greater power to the Austin City Council.
Propositions 2, 3, 5 and 10 add depth and responsibility to the city's elected positions.
On election night, Mayor Lee Leffingwell explained to YNN the direction he believes the city is going when it comes to our way of local government.
"It marks a shift beginning to move away from the council-manager form of government, investing in more day-to-day authority in the council itself," the mayor said.
Prop 2 moves city elections from May to November, which is expected to raise voter turnout.
Also, now council members will serve four-year terms instead of three.
"It means representatives don't always have to worry about getting re-elected, so that they can have time to pursue bigger and broader goals," St. Edward’s Political Science Professor Brian Smith said.
Prop 3 provides 10 geographical single-member districts. The current at-large council has six members.
"Single council members are really going to have to change the way they view things and have to be delegates of what the people in their district want," Smith said.
Prop 5 gives council the authority to hire and manage its own staff. That job currently belongs to the city manager.
Prop 10 sets up civil service status, giving most city employees more job security. This charter revision allows council the power to impanel a commission. This commission serves as an appeal board for employees disciplined or fired. The commission has investigation authority and reports directly to the council.
In the past, the city manager had the authority to hire and fire city employees. No dates on when 2, 5 and 10 officially become part of the Austin City Charter.