Hybrid District Plan Clears Hurdle in Austin
Austinites are one step closer to having competing single-member district plans on the November ballot. The City Council voted 5-2 this morning to pass on second reading a so-called 8-2-1 plan that would call for eight council members to be elected geographically. Two council members and the mayor would be elected at large.
The 8-2-1 plan would join another single-member district plan on the November ballot. Council member Bill Spellman says that if both options are put before voters, neither will survive.
“If we put two single-member districts proposals on the ballot, I think it extremely likely that both of them will fail, particularly given that we’ve had six chances to put single-member districts on the ballot and it’s gone down six times in a row,” Spellman said
Council member Laura Morrison disagrees. “Not all of our interests in this city are geographically based, and so I think that, fundamentally, that is a critical piece of why I think this has to be a choice for the voters,” Morrison said.
The council will take this issue up one last time a week from tomorrow. And if it passes again, which is likely, it will end up on the November ballot.