Time to Tell City Government 'Enough'

RECEIVED Thu., July 15, 2004

Dear Editor,
   It's time that the people of Austin told the City Council "enough." Enough degradation of the quality of life for residents of Austin, enough of the City Council's endless quest for more Home Depots and Wal-Marts, more highway and street construction, more stress injected into the lives of the residents of Austin.
   No disrespect, but how many Home Depots and Costcos do we need in Austin? Why do we need to endure years of street construction when the job, according to the construction crew leaders themselves, could be done in months? When is the City Council going to start representing the people who live here, when is the quality of life of those people going to become as important to the council as tax abatements for yet another big-box store?
   The question needs to be asked, but who exactly benefits from all this degradation of the very things that made living in Austin special? Not the people who live here, so who? Well, the City Council certainly benefits; if they pave the whole fucking city over and tax it, they can collect billions in taxes to be spent, well, by the City Council. We need to elect a government in this city that will protect what we have left to enjoy, who will consider the quality of life of the people who elected them more than the tax revenues they can collect from a new 40,000-square-foot "home-improvement store." Growth is not inevitable; we can retain what's left of this town before it simply becomes another city.
Carl T. Swanson
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