Politics & Personalities
1996 Readers Poll
1996 Critics Picks
Best City Department

One department whose services we hope you use a lot and one department whose services we hope you never need, tied for first place honors.Environmental Conservation and Recycling/Waste Disposal were solid runners-up. Even the Department of Silly Walks got a vote!

Austin Fire Department
92 Red River
Austin Fire Department Headquarters, 4201 Ed Bluestein, 512/974-0130
Austin Fire Department Station #7, 201 Chicon
Fire Station #11, 1605 Kinney
South Austin Fire Station, 1705 S. Congress, 512/442-6822
Fire Station #1, Fifth & Trinity, 512/974-4100
www.cityofaustin.org/fire

Best Community Program

Our Readers say Re-Use It or Lose It and vote this service the Best Community Program for the third straight year. Meals on Wheels holds second place in this varied ballot which reflects the diversity of this town. Notable nominees include: Out Youth, Green Builder, Austin Interfaith, and Neighborhood Watch.

Austin Recycles
Solid Waste Services
512/499-2111

Best Councilmember

The three runners-up include an in-coming (Daryl Slusher), an out-going (Brigid Shea), and a reelected and staying (Jackie Goodman). Max has swept this category for the last four years. Is he ready to try another four as mayor?

Best Effort To Control Pollution/Improve The Environment

A mantra, a battlecry, an integral chunk of Austin's soul, Save Our Springs, the citizen's initiative to save Barton Creek, has taken its share of knocks this last year but stays refreshingly afloat. Austin Recycles came in second with half of the votes S.O.S. received, and other mentionables include: the Bike Program, Ozone Action, Light Rail Plan, and Capital Metro.

Save Our Springs Alliance
221 E. Ninth #300
512/477-2320
www.sosalliance.org

Best Lobbyist/Consultant

We resurrected this category from two years ago and the very same winner for 1994 and 1993 popped up again. Diane Hardy-Garcia, the diligent and articulate rep from the Texas Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby came in a very, very close second.

Best Local Eccentric

The People Have Spoken: Crazy Carl is still eccentric for the fourth year in a row. His run for council didn't hurt his reputation none, neither. Your range, dear Readers, is impressive, however, with votes coming in for: Leslie the Homeless Cross-dressser, Neal Spelce, Daniel Johnston, and Genevieve Vaughan.

photograph by Alan Pogue   Alan Pogue

Best Local Scandal

In a town full of 'em (from the looks of this ballot, at least), the chilling grand-daddy of them all is Jim Bob Moffett's megalithic Freeport. The second most-mentioned controversy was the series of "Gay Raids" at Pease Park, Bull Creek and Hippie Hollow. Some of the others mentioned are intriguing: "The Communist Bicycle Helmet Law," French Smith, the gutting of S.O.S., the privatization of Brackenridge, and the cheerleaders' skirts at Round Rock High.

University of Texas at Austin
727 E. Dean Keeton, 512/471-3434
Sarah M. & Charles E. Seay Building, Speedway & Dean Keeton, 512/471-1157
UT Architecture Library, 200 Battle Hall, 512/495-4620
University of Texas Department of Art & Art History, 2301 San Jacinto, 512/475-7718
www.utexas.edu

Best Local Visionary

The Slush man cometh to a council near you. Max Nofziger, Eddie Wilson, Mary Arnold, Paco Xander Nathan, and Barbara Jordan received votes, among a field of over 50. Some of you even voted for yourselves.

Daryl Slusher
Eighth & Colorado
499-2260

Daryl Slusher with new councilmember Beverly Griffith   photograph by Alan Pogue   Alan Pogue

Best News Story

And along with controversy (see above) comes the public's appetite for facts. Freeport sweeps this as well. The runners-up include the boycott of First Texas Honda and advertisers of The Texas Triangle, and the baseball vote.

University of Texas at Austin
727 E. Dean Keeton, 512/471-3434
Sarah M. & Charles E. Seay Building, Speedway & Dean Keeton, 512/471-1157
UT Architecture Library, 200 Battle Hall, 512/495-4620
University of Texas Department of Art & Art History, 2301 San Jacinto, 512/475-7718
www.utexas.edu

Best Nonprofit Group

This new category filled a full page with nominees from you. And is that any wonder? Austin has as fine a reputation for volunteer service and care as it does for culture, music, and livability. S.O.S was the clear leader, but AIDS Services of Austin came in strong at second, with Center for Battered Women and Habitat for Humanity close on its heels, tied at third.

Save Our Springs Alliance
221 E. Ninth #300
512/477-2320
www.sosalliance.org

Best Public Servant

Davis took the title as Homeless Services Coordinator for Health and Human Services, but he left that agency recently. Thank goodness he still advocates for homeless individuals through his work as a case manager for Youth Options, and in his work with the Passages program.

Best Rumor

Oh, c'mon people! Didn't the "Dreamworks is buying the rights to the music of every Austin band" cover story tip you off???? It's amazing the amount of calls, letters, and frantic e-mail we get around April 1 every year. And your second-place choice, "Glen Maxey is Straight!" is actually a joke that Chron writer Spike quipped in response to previous winner of this category, "Ann Richards is gay." And what is it with your obsession in this vein?? Look what else you dreamed up: "Bruce Todd is gay." Yuk-yuk. "George Bush is gay." Oooh, Nanny nanny boo-boo. "Eric Mitchell is black." Can't you do better next year?

The Austin Chronicle
4000 N. I-35
512/454-5766
www.austinchronicle.com

photograph by Alan Pogue   Alan Pogue

Best Texas Legislator

Reclaiming his 1994 crown from 1995 winner Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, Maxey reigns again. Just don't tell him about that certain rumor you've been spreading (see above)! Congratulate Sherri Greenberg for her fine showing in second place.

Glen Maxey
www.fb.com/glen.maxey

 
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