Under Your Spelman
Former council member wants his Place 5 seat back
By Wells Dunbar,
4:15PM, Wed. Dec. 17, 2008
A big news day keeps getting bigger: Bill Spelman has formally kicked off his campaign for City Council Place 5. He's set up a fancy new website, where a YouTube video spells out his reasons for running:
Spelman's full press release below the fold.
Professor Bill Spelman Announces For City Council Place 5 (Austin, Texas) Bill Spelman, a Professor at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, today announced his bid for Place 5 on the Austin City Council. Saying he has the background and experience the city needs during these challenging times, Spelman called for a new direction at City Hall. “The economy is the top issue for the next council, and I am best prepared to tackle the budget while protecting the city we love. I believe that a strong economy begins at home. That means protecting the small, local businesses that create most new jobs, and respecting taxpayers by ensuring our limited tax money is being spent on services that are beneficial to all of us and not just to a few insiders and special interests.” Saying that the Council needs to listen to the people of Austin, Spelman said, “Good government is a conversation that needs to involve all of us, and I want to make sure the people of Austin are full partners at City Hall. City Hall needs a lot of changes. Let's do it together.” Bill Spelman offers unique skills as a candidate for the Austin City Council. A professor in urban policy at UT, he earned a Ph.D. in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and then spent seven years with a national association of big-city police chiefs, developing nationally recognized community-policing programs. He served the City as a member of the Austin Water and Wastewater Commission, and from 1997 to 2000, as a member (unpaid because of his University position) of the Austin City Council. After leaving the council, he chaired the Austin Boards and Commissions Task Force, producing recommendations that were implemented by the city council last year. Spelman was also the founding chair of Liveable City, a nonprofit that focuses on quality of life issues, and now serves as Chair of the Waller Creek Citizen Advisory Committee. During his time on the City Council, Spelman championed neighborhood services, performance budgeting, downtown development, and civilian oversight of police operations. At UT, Spelman teaches courses in applied mathematics and statistics, urban policy and management, and criminal justice, and conducts research on police operations, prison policy, and economic development. “Focusing on small businesses, maintaining basic services to current residents, and improving affordability for all citizens are the best ways to protect the quality of life in this city. That's always been the engine of our prosperity and makes this the city we love,” Spelman said. Spelman is running for Place 5, an open Council seat being vacated by Brewster McCracken. Place 5 was the seat Spelman held between 1997 and 2000. For more information go to www.billspelman.org.