By Bill Oakey – June 16, 2014
As many of you may know, I am privileged to serve as the Campaign Treasurer for Eliza May, who is running for Austin City Council in District 8. We need Eliza May on Council. Here is why I am asking you to support Eliza.
Eliza has a distinguished history of public service, dating back over 25 years to her days as a Legislative Aide. She is the person who helped me the most on the Over-65 School Tax Freeze and the Truth In Taxation bills that passed in the Legislature. I have always admired her ability to tackle complex affordability issues with dedication and attention to details.
Over the years since then, she has continued to serve in many positions with integrity and distinction, including her stint as President of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She chaired the A.I.S.D. Bond Oversight Committee where she ensured that the money approved was spent on projects approved by the voters.
With our new 10-1 City Council structure, we are going to need candidates with the experience and vision to hit the ground running next January. Eliza has committed to supporting several important affordability reforms, including the ones below followed by her thoughtful comments.
– A general homestead exemption for Austin homeowners. “A homestead exemption would provide immediate tax relief. We need to take action as soon as possible to help allow people to stay in their homes. The City Council has the same authority as the County to provide a homestead exemption. It can be phased in over a few years, to ease the transition for the City Budget.”
– A comprehensive audit of all City Departments. “We need to find ways to make City offices run more efficiently. And we can learn from other Texas cities how to make improvements. My goal is to put more resources where we need them and cut back in areas where there is waste or duplication.”
– Better transparency and accountability for the taxpayers. “The public deserves to know what the City is adding to the budget and how much it will cost. It’s time to stop hiding behind the tax rate when tax appraisals are rising. We need to inform taxpayers what the true percentage of a tax increase would be, and lower the rate when necessary to keep Austin more affordability.”
-Make City Hall more open for citizen participation. “Citizens should not have to wait up to 6 hours to speak on agenda items and public hearings. We must find a way to schedule topics closer to the actual time they will be heard, and allow people to come and speak after normal working hours.”
I encourage you to do three things to help elect Eliza:
1. Join her campaign and learn more about Eliza May on the website.
3. DONATE to the campaign. Your early investment will make it possible to for our campaign to not only have the necessary resources to deliver our message of change and engage the residents in our community, but also to provide the support needed to address the issues our community faces. Austin is changing rapidly and these changes will affect the quality of life in District 8.
Thank you for your action in supporting Eliza May today.
Bill Oakey, Treasurer
Eliza May for Austin City Council, District 8