There was a good turnout at Cynthia and John Keohane's house on Sunday, April 17, for the Meet and Greet with city council candidates Laura Morrison (Place 4 – photo on the far left) and Kathy Tovo (Place 3). Laura Morrision started it off with a brief introduction followed by a Q&A from neighbors. She touched on a variety of issues not all of which were neighborhood related. One question had to do with the imposition caused by the recent vote extending parking meters hours downtown. Laura voted agains the extension.
Laura said she is for single-member districts recognizing that it is a painful process but one she believes is worth the effort and needed for Austin.
She pointed to the introduction of compatibility inserted into the discussion on live music as an accomplishment that has been a benefit both to neighborhoods and to supporting live music in the city.
She was asked about vacation rentals and said she recognizes neighborhood concerns and supports regulating them.
She also talked about affordablity issues pointing to the fact that continued central city growth is pushing families out resulting in a reduction in school enrollment in our central city schools.
Laura said she has been involved in a lot of envrionmental issues. Health and human service issues are also very importatn to her. She commented that coordination between the City, County and Shool District is going to be even more important as federal and state funding cuts hit.
Kathy Tovo has lived in Austin for 20 years. She came to Austin to attend graduate school. She has been involved in city issues for 10 years and very active with her own neighborhood association, Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, serving as President at one point. Most recently she served on the Planning Commission and the AISD Facilities Task Force. She and fellow taskforce member Susan Moffit, issued a minority report in opposition to the recommendation of the Task Force to close 8 central city schools.
Kathy is running because she says there is a need for a change in direction on the City Council. "Someone needs to stand up for citizens." She admits being late getting into the race attributing that to no one else stepping up as a strong challenger.
"Affordabilty," she said, "is going to be a primary focus" for her. There have been some big costly developments that are going increase utility costs for everyone.
She supports the no kill policy as a goal of the City and has an interest in animal issues.