Making growth pay for itself!

Category Archives: costs of growth

Grove Decision Thanks to Brian Rodgers’ Litigation

The following article is from the Austin Monitor:
Grove affordable housing plan explainedchristmas tree copy

If approved on third reading, the new plan for affordable housing for the Grove at Shoal Creek will not only increase the amount of affordable housing available but will also save Austin Water more than $5.3 million over 20 years. These changes are due in large part to a lawsuit filed by local activist Brian Rodgers related to the Pilot Knob planned unit development. Read the rest here.

Merry Christmas, Austin!

No news is good news…

No news is good news. That’s our reading on the continuing saga of City Manager Marc  Ott’s performance evaluation. We have been urging the new 10-1 council to hand pick their own new city manager and replace Mr. Ott, whose record of costly mistakes, poor management and mad pursuit of growth at any cost is wrecking our quality of life — that’s the sad truth. We need a paradigm shift in thinking at the top which is not possible with Ott in charge.

What we do know is this. The Council has been intensely debating the issue of Ott’s performance, thanks in large part to the ruckus you’ve helped us raise with your emails and phone calls. We know that support for Mr. Ott has weakened substantially That’s why, for weeks and weeks now, you haven’t heard anything about it. Even the media has been mute. These discussions continue in Executive Sessions and the Council has yet to schedule a “retreat” to finish their performance review, leaving Mr. Ott’s future hanging in the balance for months.

As rumor has it (and we underscore the word rumor), the Council is considering giving Ott a six month extension for him to find another job. IF this is true, this is a big win for you, for Austin and gives us faith in what we all worked so hard for — geographic representation and the 10-1 Council.

Did you see this recent Statesman article about the latest on the Pilot Knob fiasco?

The Council is continuing to follow the advice of their law department that advised them to fight Brian’s lawsuit. Remember, all Brian was asking for was for Council to go back and do a proper posting of the Pilot Knob deal, followed by an open debate of its fiscal impact, especially for the water utility and its ratepayers.

Keep in touch with Mayor Adler and your Council member and remind them you are counting on them to fulfill the promise of 10-1.

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Growth machine says you don’t care about lobby reform

Since the 2008 fight to stop the Domain shopping mall subsidies, we’ve seen enough dog and pony shows at City Hall to choke a horse.

We hear tell that the growth machine, some of Austin’s biggest advocates of unbridled growth, subsidized by your tax dollars, are claiming that you don’t give a hoot about lobby reform.

The Ethics Review Commission is hosting a public comment session this Wednesday at 6:30 pm at City Hall on some basic lobby reforms needed at City Hall. (Free parking.)

It wouldn’t surprise us to see the Chamber, RECA and other assorted special interest hogs at the public trough, packing this hearing. At the least, their arguments about this will be entertaining.

Folks, the new law is based on what the state requires for state lobbyists. Nuff said?

Can you show up at this, please? If you want to testify, please do or sign a card that you support these basic reforms.

Click here to see City Councilwoman, Leslie Pool’s, resolution for lobby reform.

Click here to see the FAQs about these reforms (written by reform attorney friend, Fred Lewis).

If you can’t make it, please call or email your council member and Mayor Adler here. Tell them you care about lobby reform and you support the Pool resolution.

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and contribute to our efforts!

PS BTW, we think lobby reform is just one of many reasons Austinites finally passed a new district voting system now called “10-1”. Prove us right, please.

Our Petition Rights and Affordability Are Under Attack!

gridzillaaloneOur petition rights are under severe attack! And, it’s at the very same time that plans are underway for mass movement of water (“Gridzilla”) to aid developers to continue building in areas without local water supply.

Why are we so opposed to these bills? Simply put, these two bills together sum up the most important battle in this session for citizens of Austin to have any mechanism to challenge the “growth at all costs” mentality that is burying our region in unaffordability, traffic gridlock and soaring costs for housing.

Isn’t in time to stop the monkey business? fef689c6-b4d8-4b7b-ad0c-a5b5b79aca96

Read these fact sheets, then contact your State Senator TODAY to OPPOSE these bills!

Find your State Senator here. (If you want to email them use their first name dot last name @senate.state.tx.us

We would also love to see you at the Capitol — come on over to back us up!

MONDAY: (May 18) 

  • 10 am    Meet at the Capitol Grill, E1.1002. (Come in the main Capitol and ask for directions). We will get you fact sheets and update you, then set up teams to go visit legislators before these hearings begin.
  • 2+ pm?  HB 3298 (Gridzilla) is on the Ag Committee Agenda but towards the end – hearing notice here. Rm. E1.012. Come sign up against the bill at a kiosk or testify. We’ll help you.

TUESDAY: (May 19)

  • 9 am – Sign in against House Bill 2595 to protect your petition rights. Come testify! Rm. E1.012. Notice here. (Sign in on kiosks or come to the meeting rooms to meet us.)