Political Property

Using the Travis County Appraisal District’s website, Traviscad.org, I pulled the appraisal values for the homesteads belonging to our city’s politicians. Before I did this, I had a limited knowledge of which neighborhoods our elected officials hail from. For most people their homes are their biggest investment, and I generally believe our politicians are pretty typical.  There is some interesting information contained in these values.   For instance, former Austin Neighborhood Council president Laura Morrison’s Old West Austin property is worth $1,429,485!  I’ve heard through the grapevine that as recently as last year Marc Ott rented in downtown Austin’s AMLI on 2nd, but is currently in Circle C.  Mayor Will Wynn lives with his family in downtown Austin’s Austin City Lofts.  Randi Shade lives in a Clarksville condo.  Brewster McCracken is perhaps renting north of UT at the mixed-use development, the Triangle.  Mike Martinez lives in the Holly district of East Austin (I couldn’t find the record but I know the neighborhood).  Mayor elect Lee Leffingwell calls Highland Park West Balcones Neighborhood home.  Sheryl Cole and her family live in the neighborhood I can best describe as Cherrywood or northern French Place.

See the list after the jump!
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Ideas For Austin

Brewster McCracken - Ideas For Austin

Brewster McCracken - Ideas For Austin

Now this is an example of a inclusive mayoral campaign.  Brewster McCracken has launched “Ideas for Austin” – a website that works much like digg.com – visitors can suggest city initiatives and vote on their importance.  What’s interesting is that ANYONE can participate.  Including those supporting Lee Leffingwell or Carole Strayhorn.  We can all agree that it gets old being pandered to by our politicians.  This is one of the most progressive platform tools I’ve seen.  The City of Austin should take notes and provide the citizens a site this well done.


City Hall Hosts A Candidate Forum Tonight

The Ethics Review Commission will host a forum for candidates for Austin Mayor and City Council Places 1, 2, 5 and 6 on Thursday, April 16, 2009, from 6 to 9 p.m.

There have been several high profile forums, but expect all candidates to be in attendance here.

City of Austin Forum

Chris Riley Has Broad Support Throughout Austin

Chris Riley For Austin City Council Place 1

Chris Riley For Austin City Council Place 1

DANA board member Greg Anderson – “I think out of all the candidates running, Chris best understands the problems which we as a society are facing. Chris understands the need for sustainable communities: walkable, dense and vibrant places where there are options other than driving.”

Chris Riley continues to pick up a breadth of community support: Burnt Orange Report, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, and NOKOA The Observer have all recently announced their support of Chris.  These are in addition to being endorsed by the majority of Democratic clubs, local public safety unions, as well as numerous other civic organizations and community groups.


City Council to Vote on Phase Two of Downtown Austin Plan

On today’s city council agenda, item #4 is a vote to fund phase two of the Downtown Austin Plan.  The city and downtown Austin stakeholders have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and money to design a downtown befitting a world class city.

Laura Morrison, Lee Leffingwell, and Mike Martinez are expected to align themselves against downtown.  After all, if you study the Statesman you’ll realize that it’s en vogue to hate on downtown.  Though, these council members will vote against downtown under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

Dont’ be fooled!

Politically they are posturing themselves to support a comprehensive plan for the city.  Something that could take years, will certainly require more expensive consultants, and just as easily could be thrown out as they seem to want to do with the Downtown Austin Plan.  The City’s shelves are thick with research studies and improvement plans which have never been implemented.

I hope I’m wrong.  We should know by lunchtime how each council member voted.