Statesman.com reports. The concern is that voters will split on the district plans and it will doom both to failure.
ballot will give voters three choices: keep the council as is with 7
members representing the entire city, a plan with 10 district
representatives and one citywide mayor, or a plan with eight district
representatives and three citywide members, including the mayor.
group called Austinites for Geographic Representation gathered 30,000
signatures to put the 10-1 plan on the ballot, but other council members
prefer the 8-3 mix to strike a balance between neighborhood needs and
city wide issues, so on a 4-3 vote the council voted to put that plan on
the ballot as well.
There will be two more votes on this issue
this summer, so the council could decide differently later. Political
experts think that most Austinites will favor no change and then the
rest of voters will choose one or the other plan, scuttling both.
Austinites have voted against district plans six times since 1970.
district plan will have to get over 50 percent of the vote to be
enacted. The council added a provision to the ballot that if both plans
get more than 50 percent of the vote, the plan with the most votes will
be the winner.
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