Beside the Point: City Council Notes
Missing from the ballot will be Steven Adams, who has been publicly running for Place 1 for several weeks, but who somehow managed to miss the 5pm filing deadline on Monday. Although he'd been appearing at candidate forums and campaigning on ACTV for some time, Adams missed the deadline by one minute leaving the Place 1 field to heavily endorsed Lee Leffingwell and everybody else.
The late additions suggest that the presence of the smoking ordinance on the ballot may be a wild card, and the chances for runoffs, already likely in Place 3, have increased across the board.
Another open question is why anyone at all might want to run under current circumstances, only to welcome generous public abuse over the toll road debate as well as the smoking ordinance all for the privilege of death-by-a-thousand-zoning-cases. The toll road independent study returns today (Thursday), as the council determines whether the city will underwrite the entire cost of the work or accept (unlikely) help from other involved agencies (see "Point Austin").
As to the smoking ordinance, despite the final 7-0 vote on the language (wrangled out intermittently over several hours), there were divisions on the council between those (Daryl Slusher, Raul Alvarez) who wanted to hew close to the Onward Austin anti-smoking petitions, and those (Jackie Goodman) who wanted to make explicit the likely subjects of any strengthened ordinance the 250 or so bars (including "live music venues") that are to a degree exempted from the existing restrictions. But the current council won't have to take as much heat on the ordinance as the new candidates. On the campaign trail thus far, they all have pretty much been able to respond to toll road questions with a reflexive city stand of "I'm agin it." That won't work for the smoking ordinance, which will have strong and vocal public factions on both sides.
City Council Candidates
May 7 ElectionPlace 1
Betty Dunkerley (incumbent)
Phillip Byron Miller