Mayor Wynn Deserves More Credit and Has Earned More Respect Than the 'Chronicle' Has Given Him

RECEIVED Wed., June 9, 2004

Dear Editor,
   It is unusual to feel the need to defend a politician, but I do in response to Mike Clark-Madison's recent concerns about the visibility and impact of our mayor ["Where's the Mayor?" News, June 4].
   I have a small-business point of view as the owner of Downtown Lounge. My first encounter with the mayor was during his election when he was first tentative about the smoking ordinance. I watched as he became more informed about the facts and consequences of a smoking ban and saw that it was a largely symbolic gesture that could have the unintended consequence of hurting our struggling entertainment community. I respect a person who listens and learns.
   I see the mayor speaking to the downtown businesspeople about development in the city. I see him speaking at the opening of the new Austin Visitors Center about attracting tourists to Austin. I see him dragging his ass to Europe to attract solar-energy business to Austin. I see accelerated action on Block 21, Seaholm, Green Treatment Plant, the Federal Courthouse, improving traffic patterns such as at San Antonio Street, commuter rail, relocating Austin City Limits to downtown to nurture a world-class entertainment district. Progress on the Second Street retail areas to attract tax-generating business, the acceleration of plans by developers to building more resident units downtown, etc. I see that on the back of his office door is a sign that says "How many jobs have you created today."
   I also see that there is much more that can be done downtown to help make parking more friendly, to refine some of our policies on panhandling, vagrants, noise control, traffic patterns, and continuing to work with the APD to make the area more friendly to businesses and visitors.
   I see his fingerprints all over the revival of Austin.
Paul Silver
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