Statement on Election Results

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Colleen Pate
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Statement on Election Results

Post by Colleen Pate »

Council,
For your information, I’m sharing the statement I released regarding today’s election.

The Austin City Council did not adopt the four-year police contract in February primarily because we wanted to protect the right of voters to be heard on police oversight. With the passage of Proposition A, my hope is that we can now get to back to work negotiating a new four-year contract with the police association with the aim of bringing some stability to the seriously understaffed and overworked Austin Police Department.
That said, this already complex situation has been further complicated by two factors: pending legislation at the Texas Capitol that would impact provisions just approved by voters; and a provision in Prop. A that, ironically, could lead to the people of Austin having less oversight over their police department than we had under the expired contract and less than if we had adopted the four-year contract, if the union does not agree to certain Prop. A provisions.
As I’ve said before, this deeply felt conversation about public safety and policing in our community has raised a lot of challenging questions and absolutely no easy answers. But we’ll keep talking in the hope of finding some common-sense solutions that serve all our community. That includes the sort of actions we have already taken such as protecting officers’ salaries and retirement and creating incentives for recruitment and retention.

Kirk

On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office