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ATX Council sends back police union contract

City staffers say this is a first in Council history

(Photo:KLBJ 590AM/99.7FM/Jon Cooley)

Hundreds shouted out in a fervor of glee and success after Austin City Council unanimously decided to postpone last night's vote on the police union contract. But even in the activists side the move is not without its dissenters. Some felt the Council could have made a statement by voting No and letting the old contract lapse. 

The motion was brought forward by Councilmember Jimmy Flannigan, and seconded by Alison Alter. Ora Houston compared the contract to a marked deck of cards and even Ellen Troxclair who admitted she and her constituents typically are ready to shell out for police, said she could not approve of the deal. But now the City and Union have until late March to get a new contract put together and presented before council again for a vote.

Many of the comments made against the contract showed a lack of faith in the city's meet an confir system, APD Chief Brian Manley believes the city is much better off with it than without.

The Police Union reports the contract took 11 months to put together but Austin's Mayor Steve Adler said the document just needs more time ands sees a real opportunity for a win win, for activists and the police department.

But some activists are infuriated with Austin City Council for postponing a vote on the police union contract rather than giving it a flat out NO. But Mike Lewis is content with the decision. He wants 8 big reforms to the contract, including... getting rid of the 180- day rule,  allowing the power of subpoena to the civilian review panel and for a complete overhaul of the police promotion system.

With the council's decision the ball is now in the police union's court. Council hopes to vote on a new renegotiated contract on March 26th.

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