Austin City Council Election 2006

The 2006 council elections were paired with seven propositions, some of which were highly controversial, but the mayor and three council positions were nevertheless filled without a runoff.

Incumbent Mayor Will Wynn and incumbent Council Member Brewster McCracken easily won reelection.

Mike Martinez won a convincing victory for the Place 2 seat vacated by term-limited Raul Alvarez.

Sheryl Cole won by a big margin to take the Place 6 seat vacated by term-limited Danny Thomas, and become the first African-American woman elected to the council.

Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 were put on the ballot through petition drives and called Clean Government and Clean Water, respectively, by their proponents. Prop 1 would have provided far greater online access to city documents, while Prop 2 would have limited investment in roads, utilities, water quality and drainage infrastructure, and other infrastructure extensions and capacity expansions over the Barton Springs Zone of the Edwards Aquifer.

Both measures were soundly defeated, gaining just 24 percent approval for Prop 1 and 31 percent for Prop 2.

Proposition 4 gained 55 percent voter approval to amend the city charter to allow a council member or mayor first elected after April 30, 2006, to serve three terms (instead of being limited to two terms, as approved by voters in 1994. In effect, that meant that Sheryl Cole and Mike Martinez, both elected for the first time in May 2006, would be the first council members eligible to run for three terms without the necessity of a petition drive to get on the ballot.

Proposition 5 netted 68 percent voter approval to limit campaign contributions from individuals outside the Austin city limits, increase and adjust for inflation the aggregate contribution amount that a council member may collect and the maximum individual contribution to a candidate for city council, allow a person elected to city council to fund an account to pay officeholder expenses, and allow fundraising by unsuccessful candidates and retired council members to retire campaign debt. (By the 2011 election cycle, the allowable limit for individual contributions to a council candidate would increase to $350.)

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