Recommendations for the city and school district
The Chronicle editorial board offers the following endorsements for the Dec. 13 General Election run-off. In all three races, we repeat our picks from the first round. See lots more coverage at austinchronicle.com/elections.
Austin City Council
District 10: Alison Alter. Alter, a philanthropic adviser, enters the run-off having taken 35.5% of the vote in last month's election, pitting her as the underdog to D10 incumbent Sheri Gallo, who nearly won outright with 48.2%. Gallo distinguished herself as the most pragmatic of Council's conservative trio and deserves credit for that. Alter offers the more progressive background and a number of endorsements from Democratic clubs. We agree with Gallo that her two years of experience would benefit a second term, but there is no doubt that Alter would be the more progressive voice on environmental issues. Her time on the Parks and Recreation Board (from which she was released, by Gallo, after announcing her bid for Council) and earlier work on the Ramsey Park renovation plan show that. Both candidates support the 20% homestead exemption that hamstrung Council's FY 2017 budget proceedings, something certain to please homeowners in District 10. We saw this summer how challenging it was for Gallo and her colleagues to crunch numbers, and Alter didn't say anything to persuade us she would've fared much better. The fundamental difference between the two lies in approach to the city's explosive growth. Alter's bulldog efforts to hold developers accountable will best serve her district.
Austin Community College Board of Trustees
Place 4: Sean Hassan. Former Texas Education Agency auditor Michael J. Lewis has more ACC experience, but seems a little too lockstep with the current administration. Texas Education Partners co-founder Sean Hassan stands out for his passion, insight, and commitment to practical solutions to access and enrollment issues.
Place 9: Julie Ann Nitsch. Nitsch presents a strong option over Guadalupe Sosa thanks to her student's viewpoint and progressive credentials.