District plan is set in motion
Applicants sought to help draw new council districts.
Austin is taking the first steps toward carrying out the plan voters approved last month to change the City Council to district representatives.
The plan will transform the council from seven citywide representatives to 10 districtbased members and a citywide mayor, with the first election of district representatives in November 2014.
City Auditor Ken Mory told the council on Tuesday that his office will start seeking applications in late January from residents who want to serve on the 14-member commission that will draw the district boundaries. The formation of the commission and its work is designed to be free from city politics and from the City Council’s influence.
Mory will also seek applications from practicing auditors for a three-person panel that will help whittle the map-drawing commission applicants to 60 finalists. Each council member will be allowed to strike one finalist. The first eight members of the commission will be chosen at random from the remaining 53 finalists. Those eight will pick six more finalists, looking to round out the commission’s racial, ethnic, gender and professional diversity.
That process was written by Austinites for Geographic Representation, a citizens group that gathered thousands of petition signatures to get the