Most Popular Stories
Discover News By District
Ott talks about the “other Austin” in state of the city speech
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 by Austin Monitor
City Manager Marc Ott could name a lot of things that struck him about Austin when he got here – the cosmopolitan culture, the city’s progressive energy policy, the involved community – but Ott also was struck by one thing that many people didn’t wanted to talk about, what he calls the “other Austin.” Despite the city’s boom times and progressive culture,
Ott often talks about the “other
Ott is acutely aware of the economic divide between the wealthy in downtown
“If we’re not making it right for the least of us, it isn’t right for the rest of us,” Ott said to loud applause. “We have to be prepared and garner the courage to do something about those issues as well. We have to make a commitment to do something about it.”
Rose Lancaster, who has sat on the Travis County Healthcare District’s Board of Managers, offered a follow-up question about affordable housing. Ott said that much of the current $55 million in affordable housing bond money remains to be spent. And, Ott added, affordable housing should be available across
The manager also attempted to explain the stimulus package to the group. He said that the stimulus plan might cover $110 million for additional city sidewalks, and that
The city manager also was surprisingly passionate about the city’s impending comprehensive plan, calling it a foundational document that would be the basis for making intelligent decisions with a degree of predictability.
Some expressed a worry that that the new comprehensive plan would undo the work of neighborhood plans, but Ott said the comprehensive plan would give context and foundation to existing neighborhood plans. He also said it would be continually updated. Ott worked in
Asked to comment on alternatives to sales tax, Ott was a bit rueful. A decision to discuss new taxing options is rarely at the top of elected leaders’ favorite topics. “It’s difficult,” Ott admitted. “It’s a conversation that elected officials tend not to want to have.”
He noted efforts in
Join Your Friends and Neighbors
We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?