Is the City of Austin afraid to be audited?
That's the question some are asking after in the wee hours of Friday morning the Austin City Council voted to put a third party audit of the city on the November ballot instead of just taking a vote right then and there to do the audit. It's called an "efficiency audit" and it's the result of a petition-drive led by a political action committee called "Citizens for an Accountable Austin."
The City Clerk recently validated the petition that was signed by more than 33,000 Austin residents. According to the group, the efficiency audit would look at the City's structure, operations and budget -- and the goal is to find some relief for taxpayers somewhere.
Council could have chosen to "A" just do the audit or "B" put it on the ballot -- they went with option "B" despite repeated calls by Council Member Ellen Troxclair to just see what would happen if they voted on simply doing the audit. Political consultant David Butts referred to the audit as being a political tool funded by "dark money."
"I think every one of you understands what this is. It's a spear aimed at the City of Austin by a group of extreme conservatives who are out to undermine this City, they do not like this City. The rot starts at the Governor's office and goes down," Butts said.
On FOX 7 Austin Saturday night, former Austin City Council Member and current Director of the Travis County Taxpayers Union Don Zimmerman was live in the studio to about what's next for the audit.