SOS Electioneering

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 21, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Thank you for Amy Smith's great article on AMD's proposed move of thousands of employees out of East Austin and into the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Watershed [“Back to the Trenches,” News, Dec. 16]. To our knowledge, no company has ever proposed to abandon East Austin and relocate in our most fragile watershed. This controversy will only intensify in the months ahead.
    We are working with many community groups to gather enough signatures to place on the May ballot two proposed charter amendments (changes to Austin's constitution). The Save Our Springs charter amendment would – if approved by voters – specifically ask AMD and other major employers not to locate in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Watershed, among other measures to protect Barton Springs.
    The Open Government Online charter amendment would – if approved by voters – put City Council members' calendars online, so the public can see whom they are spending their time with, along with other measures to improve transparency at City Hall for all citizens to see.
    Mayor Wynn was meeting privately with AMD about their scheme months before the public knew of AMD's intentions. If the Open Government Online charter amendment had been in place, the public would have known when the mayor's meeting with CEO Hector Ruiz was scheduled.
    Rather than alerting and enlisting the entire community to deter AMD from a disastrous decision to urbanize the fragile Barton Springs Watershed, Wynn agreed to keep AMD's plans secret. With a smidgen of public leadership, AMD would have already changed course and narrowed their search to the Desired Development Zone, as so many tech companies have done successfully, most recently downtown-bound Silicon Labs.
    Read both of the proposed charter amendments at You can also download the petitions and gather signatures to help get these needed amendments on the ballot in May.
Colin Clark
Communications director
Save Our Springs Alliance
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