More Needs To Be Done

RECEIVED Wed., May 4, 2005

Dear Editor,
    We very much appreciate your coverage of AMD CEO Hector Ruiz’s proposal to move 2,000-3,000 Austin employees from offices in East and North Austin to a new campus on Southwest Parkway in the Barton Springs Watershed [“AMD and the Edwards Aquifer,” News, April 22].
    We ask that you do more to expose what such a move will mean for our city and the misinformation campaign promoting the move as good for Austin.
    Both our local daily and AMD spokesmen support the move as good for Austin with two false claims: that the proposed complex will comply with the voter-approved Save Our Springs ordinance and that it will help reduce traffic because “58 percent of AMD employees live within ten miles” of the proposed site on Stratus Properties’ Lantana site.
   Stratus claims “grandfathering” for Lantana based on preliminary plans filed in 1984 by previous, long-since bankrupt owners. When Stratus bought the site in 1995, it was clearly under the SOS ordinance; but then “good citizen” Stratus (then Freeport McMoRan) went to the Legislature and lobbied retroactive grandfathering legislation. AMD’s proposed facility will not even come close to complying with SOS water quality protection measures.
    While insisting the Lantana site would serve employee convenience, AMD has admitted that only 36% of its employees live southwest. That means almost two-thirds live in other parts of Austin. The “58 percent within 10 miles” factoid has been manufactured to hide the fact that most AMD employees do not live in and do not now commute onto the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Watershed.
   AMD has been good for Austin. We need it to stay that way. We ask the Chronicle, its readers, and AMD employees to join with Austin Neighborhoods Council, Liveable City, Save Barton Creek Association, SOS Alliance, Texas Clean Water Action, and Zilker Neighborhood Association in asking AMD CEO Hector Ruiz to reconsider his decision and to work with the community to find an AMD home outside the Barton Springs watershed. See for more information.
Bill Bunch
Executive Director
Save Our Springs Alliance
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