Beleaguered Austin taxpayers just received an expensive lesson in the folly of trying to “fix” that which isn’t broken.
According to a flabbergasting—though unsurprising—report from Austin’s KXAN station, the city recently “decommissioned” a new website after years of work and spending more than $3 million on its development. A similar project in Houston, by contrast, cost one-tenth that amount.
Of the $3 million, the largest line item was more than $2 million and vaguely defined as “training and consulting.” As Frank Sinatra would say, “Nice work if you can get it.”
This is not the first time the City of Austin’s information technology practices have raised serious questions. A Russian hack of the city last year left Texans statewide vulnerable, due to systems the state shares with Austin. This time, the “only” victim appears to have been taxpayers’ wallets.
Nevertheless, the questions about the city of Austin’s management practices in this area continue, and this latest incident only adds to a long trail of the Democrat-run city council throwing away truckloads of citizens’ hard-earned money.
For example, the council overspent $140 million on a flawed tunnel, flushed away $450,000 on two public toilets, wasted $115,000 to clean one public toilet, literally gave away a total of millions to citizens who simply emailed the city asking for cash, lavished $156,000 on holiday parties in December 2019, spent $88,000 a year on pagers, and threw away a whopping $1 billion on a catastrophic biomass power plant project (which only produced energy for six months before it was permanently shut down).
More recently, city officials also hired a convicted thief and subsequently were robbed of $1.3 million of taxpayer money.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
Austinites with specific information about wasteful city spending can contact Texas Scorecard at email@example.com.