Questions from the Northfield Neighborhood Association to Candidates for City Council

by Sebastian Wren

The Northfield Neighborhood is fortunate enough to have representation from 3 elected officials on the new 10-1 city council.  Of course we are represented by the Mayor, but we will also be represented by Council Members from District 9 (to the south) and District 4 (to the north).

As the first district-representative city council election draws near, the Northfield Neighborhood Association wanted to ask candidates their thoughts about a few questions that are particularly important to people living in Northfield.  We did not want to inundate them with hundreds of questions about far-flung topics — we restricted our questions to topics that are directly and perhaps uniquely important to our neighborhood.

In the end, we settled on just 4 questions to ask of candidates for City Council.  The questions asked of every available candidate for either District 4 or District 9 were:

1. The city council lowered occupancy limits in an attempt to reduce the proliferation of so-called Stealth Dorms, but this reduction in occupancy limits will only be in place for 2 years. What would be your commitment to following through on that initiative to ensure the preservation of single-family homes into the future?

 2. Austin housing prices have increased dramatically over the past 20 years, raising concerns about both affordability and property taxes. What efforts will you take as a city leader to improve housing opportunities in central Austin for people from economically diverse backgrounds. And what will you do to keep increasing property taxes from driving people out of their homes?

 3. The City of Austin started a process to improve Airport Boulevard, but there has been no progress in recent years. What would be your commitment to continuing that process?

 4.What are the most important improvements and initiatives that you feel would benefit constituents in the Northfield Neighborhood?

 These questions were sent to each candidate who could be contacted through their campaign website.  Candidates who did not have a campaign website or who provided no contact information are still invited to respond to these questions.  Responses to these questions from any candidate for either Place 4 or 9 will be posted to this blog in their entirety.  And responses will be posted in the order in which they are received.

Also, it is important to note that some candidates have had relationships with our neighborhood association in the past, and some candidates may even pay for advertising on this blog.  However, the Northfield Neighborhood Association is not making endorsements or stating support for any candidate.

We encourage all voters in the neighborhood to participate in the November election in an informed manner, and we greatly admire every candidate who is running for office.

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