Update: City Auditor Kenneth Mory says only nine of the 66 people who have applied to sit on a redistricting review panel are qualified to serve – and all of those people are white.
A three-person panel of accountants is being assembled to select a pool of qualified applicants that may serve on the redistricting commission. (Click here for an overview of the redistricting process.) Mory says it has been hard to get qualified CPAs interested because it is tax season. And many CPAs have or want to work with the city – which would be a conflict of interest.
Mory says he thinks his office has done as much as possible to recruit a diverse group.
“We’ve gone out and talked to the state society, we’ve gone and talked to the Institute of Internal Auditors, we’ve gone and talked to the National Association of Black Accountants – pretty much begging them to help us out," Mory said.
He says the deadline won't be extended to allow for additional applicants.
“From my perspective looking at it, I think adding another week or so to try to get more as heavily as we’ve been out there asking it’s not really going to help," Mory said. "I think what would hurt is that we would then take away time from the people who are going to have to draw the maps.”
Original Story (8:02 a.m.): The deadline to apply for the commission that will draw Austin’s city council district lines is Friday.
The city auditor's office is making one last call for applicants.
“Commission members will make history as the first citizen-initiated, independent entity to establish the boundaries for the 10 new City Council districts," City Auditor Kenneth Mory says.Fourteen people will be chosen to serve on the redistricting commission and the city wants a group that reflects Austin’s diversity.
Earlier this month, the auditor’s office said 90 percent of the commission applicants so far were white and 80 percent were male.
Since then, a total of 300 people have applied to be on Austin’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission so far. Now 73 percent of applicants are white, and 63 percent are male. (View a detailed breakdown here.)
The city is also looking for certified public accountants to serve on the Applicant Review Panel. It currently has 66 applicants.
The deadline for commission and review panel applications is Friday. For more information, visit Austin's redistricting website.
Correction: This post has since been updated with newer numbers reflecting the current applicants to the commission and review panel.