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- 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.