Here's Why People Have Opinions About Prop K, A Seemingly Boring City Proposition About Auditing

Oct 19, 2018

At face value, Proposition K seems pretty milquetoast. It's about auditing. Not a dollars-and-cents, scream-into-the-void-while-hoping-you-don't-go-to-federal-prison-for-tax-fraud kind of audit. It's, seemingly, about efficiency, about how well city departments function and where the proverbial fat could be trimmed.

That's how the political action committee Citizens for an Accountable Austin pitched it when it collected more than 30,000 signatures to get the proposition on the ballot.

So, a vote for Prop K would get the ball rolling on a third-party audit of every nook and cranny of the $4-billion bureaucratic behemoth that is the City of Austin.

Supporters argue – according to their polling – a whopping 81 percent of Austinites agree with them, that the effort would bolster transparency at the city, and that the city's current oversight isn't as comprehensive as it could be.

Opponents argue that the city already has an auditor's office that does just that – it audits city programs and regulations to see what works, what doesn't and what could use some attention at the City Hall dais.

Those same opponents would further argue that a politically motivated PAC initiated the effort with a misleading petition, that Prop K's backers have been less than forthright about their funding sources, and that the effort is a ploy to undermine the City of Austin's autonomy.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, the voter.

Here's a look at what you'll be seeing at the end of the lengthy list of municipal ballot measures.

Without using the existing internal City Auditor or existing independent external auditor, shall the City Code be amended to require an efficiency study of the City’s operational and fiscal performance performed by a third-party audit consultant, at an estimated cost of $1 million–$5 million?

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