Politics & Personalities
1997 Readers Poll
1997 Critics Picks

photograph by John Anderson   John Anderson

Best City Department

With last summer's drought and this year's tornado & flood TKO, it's no wonder Austin loves its firefighters and first-response emergency teams.

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

Best Community Program

The Happy Kitchen provides nutritional info, shopping hints, and cooking tips as a public service. It won Critics Picks in '95 and '96. This is its first showing in the Readers Poll. Congratulations!

Sustainable Food Center
2921-C E. 17th

photograph by Minh Carrico   Minh Carrico

Best Councilmember

The Slush man woneth. Could it be that you, our readers, feel that way because you read him here first? Seat jumpin' Gus Garcia was a very close second.

Daryl Slusher
Eighth & Colorado

Best Effort To Control Pollution/Improve The Environment

The court decision to uphold S.O.S. seemed to steady Austin's enviro keel. Second-place Yellow Bike program colorfully addresses our auto-erotic car obsession and encourages alternative transportation.

Save Our Springs Alliance
221 E. Ninth #300

photograph by John Anderson   John Anderson

Best Lobbyist/Consultant

Behind nearly every major citizen initiative and progressive candidate in this town lies veteran political consultant Mark Yznaga, whereas after Richards lost the Governor's Mansion, she landed on a velvet cushion as a lobbyist for weapons makers, railroads, and the City of Austin.

Best Local Eccentric

Former councilmember and mayoral hopeful Nofziger beat out four-time champ Crazy Carl to win this soft spot in Austin's heart (head?) – now, what does that tell you?

Best Local Scandal

Ah, Big E. There were many to choose from – we're guessing that most readers had his graceless concession speech in mind.

Best Local Visionary

God loves a lefty, and so do you. A couple of them, apparently. Curious that Max swept the "eccentric" category, as well.

Best Nonprofit Group

This relatively new category honors the labor-of-lovers of Austin's public service community. Congrats, ASA, and runners-up Sustainable Food Center, S.O.S., and Center for Battered Women.

Vivent Health
104 E. Highland Mall Blvd. #100, 512/458-2437
7215 Cameron, 512/458-2437

Best Nonprofit Volunteer

This ubiquitous activist-attorney donatesabout 20 hours of legal services a week to 20 different public service organizations.

MariBen Ramsey
Austin Community Foundation
4315 Guadalupe #300

Best Public Servant

Chairman of the Travis County Family Violence Task Force and the Director of Travis County Attorneys' Trial Division, Denton exemplifies what a good lawyer can be: compassionate, dedicated, and humane.

Best Rumor

There were so many scattered votes in this category, but the curious common element in a great number of them was "Eric Mitchell" and what he supposedly is. Believe us, the list is too tedious to put here. Hmmmmmm.

Best Texas Legislator

Maxey and Barrientos trade this trophy every year or so, and with good reason: They're both strong local advocates who govern from the heart.

Glen Maxey

Readers: Outdoors & Recreation
Readers: Services

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