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by Joe Lanane

Todd Phelps, a self-proclaimed political outsider, is among the candidates vying to become Austin’s next mayor.

Since late April, the native Austinite and country musician has campaigned for the city’s top spot, which will be vacated by outgoing Mayor Lee Leffingwell at the end of the year. Phelps touts himself as a pro-Austin candidate who wants to see Austin’s biggest quality of life issues improve—most notably, traffic.

“It’s a crisis,” Phelps said. “We need an all-of-the-above solution for traffic because it will ruin our qualify of life if we do nothing about it.”

The city’s transportation woes are accentuated during festivals and during weekend events, he said. But when coming up with traffic solutions, Phelps said it is important the city weigh the benefits and unintended consequences that come from each idea. For example, he said seniors on fixed incomes may struggle to pay for managed toll lanes on MoPac.

“Austin has a massive influx of youth, and the voice seniors gets drowned out as a result,” said Phelps, who proposed creating exemptions for seniors interested in using the managed toll lanes, which are currently under construction.

Water conservation and sprawl are two other issues he hopes to address, if elected.

“I would like the solutions to not weigh heavily on the taxpayers,” he said. “I would like more private investment.”

In addition, Phelps said he would help bring more technology-driven companies to town.

For more information, visit www.phelpsforaustin.com.