Austin City Council Election Endorsements

Election day is Saturday, May 3. There's a list of polling places and lots of other election information on the city's web page, -- for yet more, check out the Chronicle's Web Elections Board at /election.

And, to repeat the Chronicle's endorsements:

Proposition 1: No. This request for $35 million to "purchase, acquire, and install emergency service equipment" is a little misleading: This money would actually go for new communication equipment. And it's not at all clear that we need the equipment, nor have we gotten any other county entities to sign on. Surely we can find a cheaper way to keep the system running.

Propositions 2, 3, 4, 5: Yes. Prop. 2 would authorize $35 million to pump water from south of the Colorado River up north to meet demand citywide. We support this much-needed extension. Props. 3-5 provide the funding, by cancelling previously approved bonds for water and wastewater projects no longer deemed necessary.

Mayor: Kirk Watson. He's unproven, but with a solid record and an apparent talent for building bridges between opposing factions, Watson just may have what it takes to save us from the suburban sprawl nightmare toward which we are careening.

Place 2: Gus Garcia. If you think the Austin City Council is a chaotic and irresponsible sandbox now, imagine it without Gus Garcia, who more than a few times in the last term has seemed the only real leader on that august body.

Place 5: Bill Spelman, Bobbie Enriquez. Spelman is recognized as a strong environmentalist, but he also possesses a refreshing breadth of knowledge in matters pertaining to public safety, transportation, and urban planning -- three areas that are of utmost concern to our community. Enriquez has mounted a successful campaign that revolves around what she calls the forgotten agenda -- human services issues that too often fall victim to short change and short attention spans on the part of elected officials.

Place 6: Willie Lewis. Eric Mitchell has shown little regard for his constituents, and he's been the most divisive factor on the council. It's his way or no way, and that's no way to be a councilmember.

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