Austin's city government is comprised an eleven-member City Council (elected by geographically-designated district) that includes the city's Mayor (elected at-large). The Council members and Mayor serve four-year terms with limits of two staggered terms per office. Austin is categorized as having a council-manager system of city government as in addition to the Council and Mayor the day-to-day operations of the city are overseen by an appointed chief executive, the City Manager.
The current system was put in place by Austin voters via referenda in a November 6, 2012 election and first implemented in 2014. Previous to this change, the city had operated with seven at-large City Council seats and term limits of three, three-year terms.
Austin City Council meets once a week and its meetings are televised/streamed and archived via the City's public access channel ATX.
Overall regional planning, advocacy, and coordination for the ten-county Austin metropolitan area are managed by the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG). Founded in 1970 the CAPCOG is one of twenty-four regional Texas councils of government. CAPCOG's Executive Committee, which meets monthly, consists of twenty-nine city and county elected officials alongside four appointed non-voting (advisory) seats reserved for four state legislators. Some areas of focus for the Council are economic development, transportation planning, and infrastructure development.
Regional transportation planning and allocation of funds are performed by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), which is also headquartered in Austin.
From the CAMPO About Us:
"CAMPO coordinates regional transportation planning with counties, cities, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Capital Area Rural Transportation System, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Texas Department of Transportation and other transportation providers in the region.
CAMPO approves the use of federal and state transportation funds within the region. The two main products of CAMPO are the Long-Range Transportation Plan (20+ years) and the short-range program, the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). CAMPO is governed by the Transportation Policy Board, which comprises regional and local officials.
MPOs are designated for all urbanized areas having a population greater than 50,000 as identified by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. MPOs currently operate under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) signed into law on July 6, 2012 by President Barack Obama."
Austin is the seat of Travis County. The County is governed by a Commissioner's Court that consists of a judge and four county commissioners elected for four-year terms. In addition, the operations and administrative work of the county is overseen by the County Clerk, also elected to his/her position for a four-year term. The county-level of government manages administrative (property deeds, marriage licenses, etc.), judicial, policing and corrections functions for the area.
Public and Governmental Resources
Publications and Blogs
Housing/Land-use/YIMBY and Allied Urbanist Organizations
- AURA (http://www.aura-atx.org/)
- Friends of Austin Neighborhoods (FAN) (http://www.atxfriends.org/)
- Evolve Austin (https://evolveaustin.org/)
- ATXFreedomUrbanists (https://www.facebook.com/groups/atxfreedomurbanists/)