Making growth pay for itself!

Colony Park Neighbors Dispute “Leaders” Plans

After you read the release below, please feel free to contact the City Council. The contact information is at the bottom of this message. You can share it and add a comment if you like. Thanks, y’all.

Brandon Reed
Brandon Reed (photo credit to Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman)

For Immediate Release
March 5, 2015; 12:35 pm

Colony Park Neighbors Dispute Their “Leaders” Plans

Brandon Reed lives in Colony Park and is the former Vice President of the Colony Park Neighborhood Association. Reed and a group he started in 2014, the Austin Community Improvement Association, is actively against giving up 735-acres of city parkland for high-end golf courses at Walter E. Long Park. Reed led a small team of residents who walked the neighborhood and completed a survey this week. Despite the uncooperative weather, they knocked on over 300 doors over two afternoons and completed 87 surveys, most with permission of residents to release this information to the Austin City Council. (Names have been redacted from the attached spreadsheet for the purposes of this release only.)

Of the 87 surveys completed, 61 had never heard of the golf proposal and only 4 of the 87 were in favor with 56 against, 24 no opinion, 3 with “mixed emotions”.

Adjacent neighbors to Colony Park Association President, Barbara Scott, knew nothing of the proposal, including a neighbor who has been living there for 42 years. He said there were “other needs for development in the neighborhood”.

Another 30-year Colony Park resident said he considered himself a member of the neighborhood association, but was “never asked” how he felt, and had “no opinion” on the golf courses. He also expressed that he would rather have a full-fledged park.

A female resident who has lived in the neighborhood for about 40 years, a few houses down from CPNA Secretary Sarah Jackson, was “not aware of the golf project” and that she would “rather have a park.”

Mr. X has lived in Colony Park for about 30 years, a few doors down from treasurer, Algie Williams. He stated that he was “aware of the project” but was “never asked” how he felt and was against the golf course and for a full-fledged park.

Mrs. X, a homeowner in Colony Park for 19 years who said she had heard vaguely about the project, said, “Golf courses will cost a lot of money. It will raise our taxes and we’ll be taxed out of here.”

Ms. X, a renter in Colony Park for the last 12 years said, “There is nothing out here for our kids to do but mischief. I would rather see something else built for our youth.”

Mrs. X has been a homeowner in Lakeside for the last 14 years. She said, “There are already three golf courses near here. This is not a good plan for us.”

Mr. X, who has lived in Colony Park for 40 years and is a homeowner, said he was against the project because it would “kill natural habitat” and lead to “gentrification”.

Mr. X, a renter for the last 9 years in Colony Park said, “We have a golf course down the street. They’re trying to push minorities out.”

Mrs. X has lived across the street from Barbara Scott for 18 years and stated she was not aware of the project and was never asked how she felt about it. She also stated that she was “against the golf course” and wanted a park for residents.

Mrs. X, lives a few houses down from CPNA Vice-President Helen Miller in Lakeside, has been back 14 years after moving away for a job purposes. She stated that she was not aware of the project; She was a part of the original Lakeside NA, which is non-existent. She said. “There are already three golf courses near here. This is not a good plan for us.”

Brandon Reed said, “When I was elected Vice-President of the Colony Park Neighborhood Association, I had to press for an election. They would only hold a vote on the open seats of Vice President, Assistant Secretary and Parliamentarian. Barbara Scott has been President at least the last 10 years without an election. I saw quickly that the organization had no intent of organizing the neighborhood, so I left and started my own to represent the poor and working poor of this neighborhood and other neighborhoods in Austin, because I felt they had no voice.”

Reed met Brian Rodgers for the first time last October when ChangeAustin.org came out against the proposal to put high-end golf courses at Walter E. Long Park. Rodgers had this to say about Reed’s efforts, “Brandon is doing what community leaders do – they go out and listen to the residents to find out what they really want. This luxury golf deal is a great example of precisely why this community fought so hard for 10-1, to change course away from ad hoc developer driven city policy. In November, I went to Council and offered to donate $50,000 to start real efforts at designing a park for everyone. Let’s begin by taking the fence down so we can all discover the park together. Please don’t give away pubic parkland almost the size of New York’s Central Park.”

Click here to read the survey.

Click here to read the survey responses.

Brandon Reed and Brian Rodgers will be at City Hall starting at 2 pm.

Please reach the Council

Parkland Heist Moves to Council Soon

image003
We never promised you a rose garden with 10-1. We did promise you a CHANCE to take back your city.


Last November, the outgoing Austin City Council declined to vote on the plan to lease 735 acres of public park land to private interests for two high-end golf courses until the year 2105 — for 90-years! 

The deal is back and masquerading as economic development for a sport whose public participation is plummeting and whose water requirements belie the realities of our drought of record.

“We’re in a historic drought like we’ve never seen in our lifetimes,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said in a prepared statement.

It’s likely to be postponed from Thursday’s Council Agenda but will come back to you real soon.

Read Brian’s request for postponement and get ready, folks!

Share and comment at the bottom please — we love hearing from ya!

  1. The 10-1 council has yet to be briefed on this very contentious proposal.
  2. There is a big addendum in the works that none of us have seen which shouldn’t be sprung on us last minute.
  3. The project is being sold as economic development.  Wait until after the 10-1 policy workshop on economic development March 2nd.
  4. Thursday’s meeting is closed to public comment?  Why doesn’t the City Manager want you to hear from the public?
  5. An alienation of public parkland requires a vote of the public. Put it to a public vote

41.Authorize negotiation and execution of a 50-year license agreement with DECKER LAKE GOLF, LLC to provide funding, design, development, management, and maintenance services for a golf course at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. (THE PUBLIC COMMENT FOR THIS ITEM WAS HELD AND CLOSED ON NOVEMBER 20, 2014).

National Golf Foundation reports:

Experts report:

  • “A golf course closes every 48 hours in this country. Golf is dying on a limb.”  NBC Sports Anchor David Briggs
  • “All the people under 35 are leaving the game.”  McRedmond Morelli, founder of Boxgroove with 50,000 golf members
  • “Golf has been a crummy business for a long time,” Paul Swinand, analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago
  • “Golf is a dying game” Gerhard de Bruin, org
  • “Golf is in a structural decline.”  Ed Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Kevin Gomillion, City of Austin PARD Golf:

  • “We’re running 35 to 40% capacity at existing golf courses.”
  • “We have plenty of availability now and in order to really be solvent… we need more people paying $20 golf and I don’t need two more golf courses.”

Local control in the crosshairs, come to Bastrop Saturday!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.31.07 PMY’all come on out to Bastrop this Saturday — regardless of party or persuasion — for the “Building the Rural-Urban Coalition for Local Control” meeting put on by the non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas.
 
Click here to view the agenda.
Click here to reserve a seat.

Besides….our own Brian Rodgers, is speaking on his alternative to the Chamber of Commerce’s model for economic development which stresses unbridled population growth with the costs passed on to you. 

This event is appropriately being held in Bastrop, home of the Texas water wars, as an unholy alliance of the real estate lobby, water marketers and some leading state politicians now in session want to move large quantities of water underlying Lee and Bastrop counties to the I-35 growth corridor.
With the legislature now in session, it’s likely to be a bumpy ride with the rights to local control clearly in the cross-hairs. So show up or forever hold your peace! 

PS Linda didn’t make the runoff for Texas House District 17, but ran a surprisingly strong race as an independent in 3 weeks, coming in third in a five-way race. She is currently locked in a battle with Bastrop County on alleged election misconduct to ensure a fair runoff…also a topic on Saturday that Fred Lewis will be speaking on. More here in today’s Statesman.  

Can you see Linda Curtis in the Texas House?

Do you know that early voting started today in a special election taking place to our east in House Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 12.31.29 AMDistrict 17 (Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties)? Election day is Tuesday, January 6th.
Neither do the voters in HD 17. This is why our own Linda Curtis jumped into this race to run as an independent for the Texas House of Representatives. Linda says,
“This stunt was pulled to replace House Speaker Joe Straus’ water boy — Tim Kleinschmidt — with the Republican Party establishment’s choice to front for the real estate lobby. You all know by now that the intent of Republican insiders (and some key Democrats who are looking the other way) is to grab HD 17’s groundwater to fuel unfettered growth that is driving unaffordability in central Texas.”

Thanks to the antics of our outgoing Governor, who called an election with 3 weeks notice in the middle of the Christmas holidays, the door is open in a 5-way race (two Ds, two Rs and one independent) for Linda Curtis to make history being elected as an independent to the Texas House.

Can you envision Linda walking into the Capitol to take on the big corporate lobbies that are running roughshod over Texans of all persuasions?

You can help Linda by reaching folks who live in HD 17 and donating to her campaign.

Happy Holidays y’all. Don’t let them get away with it!
Brian Rodgers
PS So few people know that there is an election happening, Linda could win this with a few thousand votes. If that happens, maybe the next Governor won’t even consider pulling an election stunt like this.

Vote on Tuesday, Austin…or Else!

140
If you don’t vote in the runoff, you better watch out for this.

We never thought 10-1 would be a panacea for all of Austin’s woes, but it has opened up a can of voter whoop ass. Are you gonna use it or lose it, Austin? .

Today is Tuesday, December 16th. It is Election Day in eight runoffs and some of them are likely very close, especially East Austin, District 3 and SW Austin, District 8.

You can vote at ANY poll site from 7 am to 7 pm.

In small turnout runoffs, every vote will count.

Here’s all we ask of you. Consider our endorsements and pass them on to your friends.

It’s called each one, reach one and it’s very effective IF you do it!

If you don’t see an endorsement below, it’s because we didn’t endorse. BUT you may find the questionnaires useful to make your own decision.

ChangeAustin.org proudly endorses the following candidates for Council:
District 1:  Ora Houston
District 3:  Susana Almanza
District 4:  You have two great choices — Casar or Pressley
District 7:  Leslie Pool
District 8:  Ed Scruggs

Vote Austin, or else you might wind up using the whoop ass on your own self!
 
PS We have lots more plans to make growth pay for itself, not like that silly idea for high-end golf courses on public parkland in the middle of a drought. Help us win this election and you’ll be amazed at what new things we can bring to the table.

Victory, now on to more victory!

We won the first round against the Decker Lake high-end golf courses on city parkland. The developer didn’t have the votes and so they will try their luck with the new Council in February. Stay tuned.
Now, we have an election to win — the WE — is YOU, Austin.
Watch this and share it with your Austin voting friends, especially those who live in SW Austin.

ChangeAustin.org proudly endorses the following candidates for Council:
District 1:  Ora Houston
District 3:  Susana Almanza
District 4:  You have two great choices — Casar or Pressley
District 7:  Leslie Pool
District 8:  Ed Scruggs