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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Martinez represents rowing concession at Council
Friday, February 18, 2022 by Jo Clifton
Former City Council Member Mike Martinez made his first appearance before Council Thursday since leaving the dais in 2014. He was representing Susan Goldberg, the owner of a Lady Bird Lake concession called Rowing Dock, which provides watercraft rentals from Zilker Park. He said Goldberg had been expecting a request for proposals on the concession, which she has operated for the past 20 years. Instead, staff members have proposed a two-year extension to her contract to allow the city and the community to develop a long-term design under the Zilker Park Vision Plan. Council members Paige Ellis and Ann Kitchen were both enthusiastic about Rowing Dock, and Kitchen asked Martinez to explain his client’s concerns. “It’s very difficult to operate a business on a two-year time frame,” he said. One problem in particular was that the contract requires 10 percent of the annual proceeds to go to improvements to the property. That amounts to several hundred thousand dollars, he said, and the two-year contract makes it particularly difficult. He requested that Council postpone the item to March 3. The contract is set to expire at the end of April, so there is little time to waste arguing.
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