Attorney Steve Adler of the eminent domain law firm Barron & Adler LLP won Austin's mayoral race by a large margin during Tuesday's runoff against City CouncilmanMike Martinez.
Several other important political races were settled but the mayor will be a critical ringleader for the fresh, and larger, City Council that will take its seats soon. And Adler — who ran on a pro-business platform and had the support of many local corporate stalwarts — will be an important touch point for business leaders just as past mayors have been.
We asked Austin's next mayor to answer a few questions we think you should know:
Of all the things on your agenda that matter to business, what will you tackle first and how? First, I'll focus on how Council does business and crafts policy. My goal is to make it more thoughtful, deliberative, proactive and focused on long-term issues. Fixing ourbroken permitting process will be the next step, as it is greatly impacting so much that is happening in our city right now.
Which businesses or members of the business community were instrumental to your campaign or platform? I'm proud of the strong support from many different communities across Austin. From the business community, I know many folks from my 30-year law practice, from my work with nonprofits throughout Austin over the last 25 years, and from many connections developed over my time in Austin. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my campaign treasurer, [Entrepreneurs Foundation CEO] Eugene Sepulveda, and my good friend [developer] Tom Terkel, both of whom helped tremendously with the campaign.
How do you expect to interact with business leaders in the coming months, and on what issues? I am looking for dialogue that is open, honest, transparent and consistent on the biggest issues facing the city: affordability, the permitting process, CodeNEXT, traffic, education, water and utilities, and protecting neighborhoods and the environment. We all need to ensure that growth and prosperity is shared so that we can move forward as a community together.
As mayor, what's the best way for Austin business leaders to reach you and get their needs and desires across? Call me and email me. Come to my office. If we're not responsive enough, let me know.