Frequently Asked Questions

What is a council-manager form of government?

A council-manager form of government respects representative democracy by empowering voters from across the city to choose their council member that best represents the will of the voters in a district.

What would a “strong mayor” form of government mean for Austin?

If voters this year approve the charter amendment for a “strong mayor,” Austin will have an elected mayor operating independently from the council with vast spending authority on personal initiatives, veto authority over council decisions and the power to dole out political favors and critical city jobs to supporters. The mayor would not even be required to attend council meetings, relegating council members to positions of old-school ward representatives — essentially silencing many voices across the city that we fought so hard for in the adoption of the 10-1 system.

What does a city manager do?

City managers provide professionally trained leadership, vision, and a focus on results that is needed to create communities that better serve Austinites. They manage a city’s finances and budget to ensure a sound financial future for the government which in turn, ensures taxpayer dollars are being spent as intended.

Why does a council-manager form of government work for Austin?

A council-manager form of government provides a balanced system of democracy. Elected officials hold the city manager accountable for implementing the policies and laws that are passed.  This system requires elected officials to work together for the betterment of the city. Additionally, if a city manager isn’t performing, they can be removed immediately, while a Mayor can only be removed every four years.

What is Austinites for Progressive Reform?

It is a political action committee comprised of Austin residents who are advocating for radical changes to the City of Austin’s form of government in the May 2021 election.

Why is APR’s proposal wrong for Austin?

APR’s proposal will only benefit the very well connected politically, financially secure and socially elite in Austin. These are the people with the capacity to donate to a mayoral election.

APR uses other proposed reforms that sound more palatable to the public like campaign finance reform, moving election dates and ranked choice voting as cover for centralizing power in the mayor’s office to benefit Austin’s political elite. 

What APR doesn’t want you to think about:

APR is actively trying to keep as many people from weighing in on this as possible by targeting a May election date following a presidential election, which historically has the LOWEST voter turnout.

Just eight years ago a citizen-led effort resulted in a 10-1 system, which expanded geographic representation along with a more representative and inclusive city council. Those efforts to make the voiceless heard and to assure that neighborhoods across Austin are represented will be greatly diminished.

The power granted to those council members will be stripped away and placed into the hands of one individual—the mayor.

Why does a council-manager form of government work for Austin?

A council-manager form of government provides a balanced system of democracy. Under this system, elected officials are required to work together for the betterment of the city, and a city manager is held accountable for implementing the policies and laws that are passed.

Video Courtesy of International City/County Managers Association

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Political advertisement paid for by Restore Leadership ATX Political Action Committee (PAC). As of April 23, the PACs top 5 donors are Cumby Development $50,000, Mike Levy $25,000, Rex Gore $20,000, David Roche $20,000, International City/County Management Association $13,500.

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