Austin Mayor Steve Adler and the current Austin City Council members are the worst things to happen to this city since I moved here in the early ’80s.
First of all, they increase our property taxes at the highest rate allowed by law every single year. Just in the last decade, they’ve doubled how much they’re taking from the median homeowner, and many people are being forced to move out of the city as a result.
On top of that, we have one of the worst traffic problems in the country, and a homelessness crisis that the council made worse. Mayor Adler, who lives at the W Hotel high rise residences and only has to walk three minutes to work, is the one who brought us our recent “let the homeless camp anywhere they want” disaster, a problem that the Texas governor had to step in and correct after months of public outrage and safety risk.
And now, the council is spending $8 million buying a motel to house the homeless. They could’ve used the schools that Austin ISD is shutting down as a solution for much less money, but that thought never occurred to the council. Who is benefiting from the purchase of an $8 million property that is only listed as being worth $2.6 million?
Amid all of this, Adler and the council are still more concerned with building an expensive 20,000-seat soccer stadium where they plan to have less than 1,000 parking spaces.
I was at the council meeting the night they announced the multimillion-dollar expenditure for the soccer stadium and was shocked at the pride with which they announced they would have less than 1,000 parking spaces for the huge facility.
But that’s not the limit to their foolishness.
The council also plans on spending $1.2 billion dollars on a new convention center, even while the current center loses money every year.
Even though the convention center doesn’t pay rent like a normal business, it loses stacks and stacks of money: $15.3 million in 2013. It takes skill to run a business well enough to pay downtown rents. It takes special skill to run a rent-free business downtown and lose twice as much money as you make!
It saddens me deeply that we have allowed this crew to basically ruin our city.
I call our city council “The League of the Golden Birkenstock.” They want to appear as though they’re people-loving progressives, but in fact they’re bleeding us dry as a city and appear to be profiting nicely in their efforts.