Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Texas man upset with the way power outages were handled following a storm last week attended a city council meeting Thursday dressed as a clown, claiming he was suited for the job of Austin Energy CEO. More than 348,000 residents were affected by the storm.

During the public statement portion of the meeting, Alex Strenger, an entertainer known for his performances at city council meetings, was called to the podium to address council members.

Wearing a rainbow-colored wig, face paint, a big red nose and a multicolored polka dot tie with a yellow shirt, Strenger said he wanted to speak “in support” of items 39 and 81 because “there needs to be accountability for what happened.”

According to the agenda listed on the city’s website, Item 39 addressed the removal and replacement of members among other related situations, and Item 81 was specifically written to “approve a resolution directing the City Auditor to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Austin Energy Vegetation Plan and Austin Energy’s response to the February 2023 winter storm event.”

Alex Strenger, a resident of Austin, Texas, attends the city council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, dressed as a clown to nominate himself to be CEO of Austin Energy.

Strenger began his allotted time by stating that his mother told him to “dress for the job you want to have,” so he came to the council meeting dressed as a clown because he’d like to nominate himself to be the next CEO of Austin Energy.

In his statement, aimed at making fun of the liberal city’s priorities, Strenger said Austin needs leaders aligned with what’s important to the residents, like “fighting climate change.”

“We need to get to net zero by 2030, and honestly, if we are ever going to achieve these goals, you shouldn’t even be using power at all. Ok?” he said, highlighting that he proved he is “firmly committed to saving the planet” by destroying his gas stove in a fire he created.

Alex Strenger addresses Austin City Council members during the Feb. 9, 2023, meeting.

Strenger said he would be a great candidate for the position because his “priorities align so much with the city” and past administrations in Austin Energy, adding that he put pronouns and Ukrainian flags in his Twitter bio.

He also said he would need a salary between $350,000 to $500,000 a year to be able to support his lifestyle, fund his cocaine habit, and take care of his wife “who has stage 5 testicular cancer.”

“I also took a 23 and me test and found out that I am 3% black, so not hiring me would be a literal act of violence,” he said.

Strenger concluded his statement by saying he would really appreciate a recommendation for the position, and he is “obviously” the “most qualified person for the job, here in this room.”

His satirical speech comes a day after Austin Energy announced it had restored power to more than 99% of customers who were without for days following last Wednesday’s winter storm. 

During the peak of the outages, approximately 150,000 Austin residents were without power. Local news outlets reported Wednesday night that around 230 residents were still without power a week later.

Austin Energy had previously stated nearly all remaining customers could expect power to restored by Sunday, Feb. 12, but on Tuesday, changed the timeline to “well before Sunday.”

Lineman crews work to restore power to neighborhoods following a winter storm in Austin, Texas, US, on Friday, Feb 3, 2023.

Frustrated city council members called for the Thursday meeting to also include the job evaluation of Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk.

“I added the emergency item to the agenda this morning because the management of this situation and the lack of clear and timely and accurate communication has left our community in the dark. It is unacceptable. The City of Austin can and will do better,” Mayor Kirk Watson, who took office last month, said in a statement on Monday.

Also on Monday, Cronk told Fox News Digital he respects and honors the mayor and council’s decision to “ask questions, gather information and consider decisions in the best interest of the city.” He also said he is “deeply proud of the City employees and community volunteers who have worked tirelessly since the storm hit.”