Dear Editor, While we may differ as to whether open and instant access to public information and city decision-making saves more tax dollars than it costs, perhaps there are a few points on which we agree [“Page Two,” April 7]. We appear to agree that science tells us what we must do to protect Barton Springs. Just as a broad scientific consensus told the powers-that-be in New Orleans that destruction of buffering wetlands and an inadequate levee system would result in tragedy, a broad consensus of the Central Texas scientific community has told us that we must steer urban development away from the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Watershed. As in New Orleans, our public and private leaders are ignoring the scientific consensus. Proposition 2, the Save Our Springs amendment, calls on our public and private leaders to recognize the scientific reality that we face (just as we must face global warming) and to steer development downstream of Texas' most vulnerable aquifer. We also agree that costs matter. For a fraction of the proposed $1.25 billion in highway expansions planned for the Barton Springs Watershed, we could buy up proposed traffic-generating development lands and save, rather than pave, the watershed. Losing Barton Springs to endless, taxpayer-subsidized sprawl will cost us so much more than court costs that may flow from our community again insisting that Austin has a right and stewardship obligation to prevent further contamination of Barton Springs. Right now, as public and private leaders, who should be leading, remain silent, Proposition 2 gives every Austin voter the opportunity to ask our public officials, AMD, and the Chamber of Commerce to respect more than 30 years of community efforts to save Barton Springs and to do what science and sustainable economics tells us we must do.
Sincerely, Bill Bunch Save Our Springs Alliance
[Louis Black responds: Yes, Bill there are things we are in agreement on, but if you start with that tack, why not try honesty and point out there are things we are in disagreement on. The intentions of Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 certainly are of merit, but the props as written are a disaster. Unfortunately, given the political process, it is the bills and their wording that become law, not the intentions.]