What the City Ignores

RECEIVED Mon., April 6, 2009

Dear Editor,
    Re: Information on Austin's comprehensive plan "to preserve and enhance the community’s quality of life" as seen in local utility bill enclosures.
    What’s wrong with this sentence: "The planning process will focus on policies for growth and development, land-use guidelines and best practices regarding sustainability, among other priorities"?
    In one sentence, the city of Austin announces how it intends to ignore sustainability for "other priorities" and ignore us constituents, who know that nothing comes ahead of living in a sustainable balance with the natural system and that growth and development in an already full world of limited room is not sustainable.
    With the population set to double by the year 2030, are City Council candidates being asked in the many forums these days whether, as natural resources diminish and pollution increases, the city should switch to discouraging population increase and easing the transition to less consumption, for example, by localizing businesses and food sources? At a recent Unitarian forum, one candidate for mayor just changed the subject. Aren't they all ducking this question, which gets more urgent every day the City Council continues to promote greater, unsustainable growth and energy use, and we let them get away with it?
Mary Love Lehmann
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