Frank Ward III
City Council, District 8Campaign Website
Issue(s): Land UseQ
As you know, the City unsuccessfully tried to change the code, what do you believe needs to be done differently to achieve a better code? Will you support working to revise the land development code to provide and allow for predictability and deep affordability? (Y/N; Explain)
While I initially supported the land development code rewrite that CodeNEXT would have ushered in, city leadership allowed the effort …More >>
Affordability is discussed a lot in our community. How do you define affordability?
Countless individuals and families are finding it more and more difficult to afford to live here in Austin—this is largely …More >>
One of the best ways to make Austin more affordable is to ensure we have a diverse set of industries which provide local, skilled and the hard-to-employ talent the opportunity to compete for jobs that have a career ladder. The Austin City Council is considering adopting a revised economic incentive policy, expanding the previous one-size-fits-all policy. If the Austin Chamber of Commerce presents a company that meets the criteria for an incentive as set by City Council policy, will you vote to support incentivizing jobs for both small operators and large in our city? How will you monitor success with the provision requiring employment of the hard-to-employ?
We need to evaluate how our approach to incentives currently works and what we could do better. Government should not …More >>
Would you support a policy requiring the City’s Development Services department to achieve its goal of 90% permit review completion within 15 business days across all departments/disciplines by April 2019? (Y/N/Explain)
Absolutely. And then let’s get that number closer to 100%.More >>
Do you support maintaining affordable utility costs across Austin Energy and Austin Water that adheres strictly to the City’s affordability goals for Austin Energy, which require AustinEnergy rates to be in the bottom half of Texas ratepayers and minimizes increases to two percent per year for each rate class? (Y/N Explain)
We need affordable rates at all levels. We also need to review whether or not rates need to increase on …More >>
Issue(s): Open GovernmentQ
What is your collaborative vision when working with other governmental entities (Travis County, State of Texas, Central Health, etc.)?
We should be working with many different governmental entities and their leaders at the local, county, and state levels to …More >>
Issue(s): Diversity & InclusionQ
Austin has experienced growth but some constituencies have been left behind. What is your vision for the City’s role in funding/supporting the nonprofit network that provide much needed social services? What is your plan for addressing disparities and inequities in our community?
This will require much work and planning. We need to establish a task force made up of community, business, and …More >>
Issue(s): Economic OpportunityQ
Do you support a budget at the effective tax rate so home and business owners continue to benefit from the “growth dividend” and pay the same amount in property taxes as in the previous fiscal year? How do we balance this strategy with meeting the needs of people struggling to access services due to a lack of service capacity? How do you prioritize additional funding? Where would you look for efficiencies? (Y/N; Explain)
We need a full audit of the City’s annual spending to determine how to better prioritize how taxpayer dollars are …More >>
Solutions to homelessness exist – they require scaling up social services and housing programs, including the pathways from shelter to housing. To date, Austin has not identified adequate funding to address this challenge. How would you work to identify the funding needed?
Public-private partnerships (community leaders, individual philanthropists, churches, nonprofits, and corporate interests working together to address this challenge). Bring the right …More >>
Council adopted the Strategic Housing Blueprint last year, calling for 13,500 new units annually over 10 years. This gets us to break-even in terms of need. Would you support amending the City’s proposed Strategic Housing Plan to increase the number to at least 15,000 housing units per year for 10 years, keeping the breakout across income levels and including permanent supportive housing for those chronically experiencing homelessness? (Y/N; Explain)
While not ideal (because I don’t think that government is best positioned to most effectively address this growing challenge), we …More >>
Austin has long since been perceived as a town of creative innovators. Given the City’s recent regulatory attempts with the sharing and gig economy (Uber, AirBnB, Scooters), what is your position on how the City should handle emerging technologies and emerging markets? What is your view, generally, on the conflict between consumer demands and government interests? Similarly, when non-profits secure grant funding for innovative social solutions that requires a local match, what is your view on city funding being available for the match?
By and large, government needs to get out of the way and let the free market do its job. In …More >>
Many low-income families and persons experiencing homelessness have debt to the utility companies, which are now barriers to their ability to securing housing. Would you support increasing debt forgiveness programs for 3-4 years to help more people access housing? (Y/N/Explain)
We need to give people in extreme poverty a second chance and an opportunity to get back on their feet. …More >>
Council has passed 2 resolutions supporting an annual increase of about 2-3% for social service contracts in order to ensure that service agencies can keep up with rising costs of doing business and maintain service capacity. Would you direct the City Manager to include this annual increase in the budget for contracts meeting their performance targets? (Y/N/Explain)
I agree with the need to incentivize social service contracts. I would support the city manager in providing an annual …More >>
In a recent poll, residents of Austin cited rising property taxes as a major issue they face, iconic business are having to close their doors and longtime residents are moving out citing rising property taxes. Some have also cited homelessness as an impediment to business. How would you slow or stop the increase in City property taxes, encourage other taxing entities to do the same, and balance the requests for more funding coming from the City Departments and the public? One example of the request of more funding is to expand social service contracts to meet needs, including to provide more supportive housing programs. How do you balance less taxes and increased demand for social services? Please explain.
We are getting taxed into oblivion. Property taxes are becoming a massive burden on so many people, especially folks in …More >>
Transportation is the second highest family cost. When it is difficult to move freely around Austin, access to services and economic opportunities are limited; time spent commuting leaves less room for family obligations and socializing; and Austin becomes a more frustrating place. Do you support the items below? (Please mark each one you agree with)
Agree: Support improvements for South Mopac and completion of North Mopac Support I-35 improvements along the Williamson, Travis and Hays …More >>
How will you coordinate with regional partners to meaningfully address our increasing traffic level? What is your long-term vision for addressing traffic in Austin, and what would be the immediate first actions you would champion as a City Council Member to address the crisis?
We must work closely with county leadership and TxDOT to ensure that major projects like the new underpasses at MoPac …More >>