Austin City Council Elections: District 7

Meet the candidates: Austin City Council District 7

AUSTIN, TEXAS - When Leslie Pool took the oath to serve on the Austin City Council, she made a pledge to protect neighborhoods and the environment. A promise she believes she's kept with the resolutions she's led on and voted for.

"It's really the most important professional work I have done in my entire career," said Pool. 

Pool was a government staffer, working in the state legislature and on school finance. She's asking voters for four more years to serve her community

"Austin is a really special place and there's a lot going on here and we're booming," Pool said, "and so there's a big prosperity dividend that's being paid in our community and I want to make sure that everybody is the beneficiary of that."

But former teacher turned technical writer Natalie Gauldin wants to take Pool's place.

"I think I just have a smarter vision for the city, its a new vision," said Gauldin. "I am in touch with the average resident and I think that they need to recognize that we have different paths going forward for the city."

The candidates "different paths" can clearly been seen in their opinions of a controversial housing development, The Grove. The project site is just across the 45th street, District 7's border. 

"People's lives and livelihoods and their quality of life is at stake, literally around this development," said Pool.

Pool helped found the Bull Creek Road Coalition which wants to see less commercial and retail space in the development since it's surrounded by neighborhoods, to reduce traffic.

Gauldin helped create Friends of the Grove which supports the project and the city staff's recommendations for it.

And when it comes to the biggest issue facing residents in District 7, the women also have different opinions.

"It really is transportation and affordability and I suppose the combination of transportation and affordability," said Gauldin. "You want to live close to work but you can't because you cant afford to live there, and because of that you have to add additional car miles traveled on the road and so that adds to congestion."

"If I were to do it in five words or less I would say the impact of the FEMA flood maps," said Pool. "District 7 is having significant changes to the flood maps. People who are retired on fixed incomes and who happen to live on some of the branches of Shoal Creek found out just in the last year that they are now in a federal flood plain. And so they have to buy flood insurance."

Both women say they are focused on their neighbor's best interest and now their neighbors will decide who's best for the job.

Click here to watch the District 7 Candidate Forum

Click here to learn more about Leslie Pool, incumbent

Click here to learn more about Natalie Gauldin

(© 2016 KVUE)


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