Election Guide: Janet Anderson for City Council Member-at-Large

Published 10:49 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Janet Anderson is the incumbent candidate for City Council Member-at-Large

Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin’s overall expenditures?
A. Additional LGA (Local Government Aid) cuts are likely so the City Council and Staff have been planning ahead to address these serious issues. One way to save costs is to continue to pursue 0 percent wage increases for 2011 for all city employees. We also have been extremely careful as we considered the upcoming budget and the City Staff is working closely with each Department Head to look for the best ways to cut cuts while preserving services and city jobs. We have a back-up plan of projects that will be put on hold depending the amount of further LGA cuts.

Q. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council?

A. The City Council works in partnership with DCA, Port Authority, HRA, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Project for Downtown Revitalization, Initiative Foundation on various aspects of job creation and employment growth. Also, city projects like Flood Mitigation and a variety of road construction and other projects have a positive impact on the area job market. For example, the recent $5 million flood mitigation grant matched with other grant and Local Option Sales Tax revenue will enable the City of Austin to move forward on a major project in the next construction season.

Q. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council’s role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations?

A. I believe that the City Council learned valuable lessons and gained helpful perspectives during some challenging times. We are moving forward with a very positive working relationship and clear communication with both the police and fire department.

Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they?

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A. The City of Austin has a detailed, clearly defined plan in place for all phases of flood mitigation and it is available to the public on the City website or by contacting the Public Works Dept. The City will be moving forward on several phases of flood mitigation in the next construction season starting in Spring 2011.

Q. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council?
A. I believe that my well-established community commitments for over 36 years, 14 years on the Planning Commission, two years on Human Rights Commission and nearing completion of my first, 2-year, term as City Council Member-at-Large give me a distinct edge over my opponent.  I am fully committed to studying the issues, listening to citizens and making well-informed decisions on City Council. I am actively involved in many facets of Austin community including Austin Area Foundation, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Historic Paramount Theatre/Austin Area Commission for the Arts, Matchbox Children’s Theatre, Safe Cities Coalition, Seibel Center Consortium, Gerard Advisory Committee, etc.