By Bill Oakey – April 9, 2021
Let’s keep this simple. What is a “strong mayor?” It is a local oligarch who has so much power, that he or she could veto almost anything that the rest of your elected City Council tries to do. Like so many things in politics and life, it comes down to simple numbers. Right now, we have 11 equal Council members, including the Mayor. It takes 6 votes to pass an ordinance. If you support protecting neighborhoods and other progressive issues, you can fight for or against any proposed ordinance and win, by convincing 6 Council members.
But Under a Strong Mayor, You Would Need 7 Votes to Override the Mayor’s Veto
Please understand that it takes two-thirds of the Council members to override a strong mayor’s veto. We are taking about two-thirds of 10, because the Strong Mayor does not participate in the override votes. Two-thirds of 10 rounds off to 7. So, now your neighborhood association or progressive organization suddenly faces a much steeper hill. You would need to secure 7 votes instead of 6 for every critical issue. And get this…The Strong Mayor doesn’t even have to attend the City Council meetings! He or she could fire any City department heads, and hire a band of personal cronies. Don’t bring The Swamp to Austin!
Don’t Be Fooled By the Smooth Talk and Hype – A Strong Mayor System Would Benefit the Special Interests, Not You!
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out who must be backing this so-called “progressive reform.” The Big Money special interests would like to install your next mayor. So, vote No. And while you are at it, vote against their entire package of propositions. We don’t need to change any of our current election standards. What we do need is better transparency, tougher ethics policies and more accountability for some of the missteps under our Council-Manager system. Those are reforms worth fighting for.
Prop F Gets an F From Austin’s Real Progressives! Vote Early, Starting Monday April 19th – Click Here for Polling Locations
This will be a low turnout election. Please share this blog link with as many people as possible.
Yes, there Is a “strong mayor” song, and the messenger is literally Strong:
1. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – By Barrett Strong. He was the first artist signed to a Motown label, and this was a #2 R&B hit in 1960.
2. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – By the Beatles, from their second album
As a retired city management official, I would ask that you please consider voting AGAINST the strong mayor form of government proposition. If you feel there is corruption and inefficiency in city leadership now, consider the regular instability when a newly elected mayor takes office and then brings in his or her select cabinet members – none of which would have municpal experience. – a quality that has existed for many years in Austin under the present city council/manager form of government. We have a very fine form of government which is time tested. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.