Gallo, Alter and the 'Flower Vase of Destiny'

The ceremony at City Hall Wednesday was pretty short and sweet.
Incumbent District 10 City Council member Sheri Gallo, opponent Dr. Alison Alter and...something a Fox 7 photographer referred to it as the "Flower Vase of Destiny."

The City Clerk drew Alter's name first from the vase.  So she'll be listed first on the run-off ballot.

"I'm excited to be first on the ballot, it's helpful for people for it to be in alphabetical order as well," she said.

As far as the voter psychology of being first on the ballot -- during the March primary, voters elected the controversial Robert Morrow as Travis County GOP chairman.  Some Republicans believe it was in part because his name was listed first.

Council Member Gallo doesn't believe being second on the ballot for a run-off election is a big deal

"I think it's more critical during the general election.  I think the people that will come out to vote for the run-off know already who they're going to vote for," Gallo said.

Dr. Alter calls herself a "great alternative" to Gallo particularly when development cases are before council.  Like the controversial Grove and Austin Oaks projects in District 10.

"We saw this last week with the Champions where Council Member Gallo did not ask any questions of the neighbors that were fighting a new zoning case," Alter said.

Alter is talking about a property on City Park Road.  Last week council approved zoning to allow a multi-family development.

"The reason that I did not ask a lot of questions is that I have been involved with this case for the last year.  The public hearings are the place that the other city council members have the opportunity to ask questions of staff, to ask questions of the surrounding neighbors and the speakers that were there," Gallo said.

Gallo says she sided with the neighbors and voted "no."

"I am a neighbor.  I have been a residential realtor before my job at City Council and I know how important it is to maintain the character or neighborhoods," Gallo said.

"There are going to be a lot of changes to our national laws with respect to clean air and clean water.  And if we want to retain those here in Austin we need people on the Council who are going to champion those issues," Alter said.

Early voting for the runoff begins December 1st and lasts until December 9th.
The actual runoff is December 13th.