I watched the City Council hearing on the Apple tax gift ["Point Austin: A Taste for Apple
," News, March 23]. I'm sad that there isn't even one council member who can ask a fundamental question and get an answer to such a question. For example, Sheryl Cole asked the city's economic development staff about how many unemployed people there were in Austin and what percentage of that number Apple's new jobs could put to work. But no one proposed a contract amendment to link the tax gift to Apple's employment of unemployed Austin people. They approved this deal with lip service to reducing Austin's unemployment rate without any hard bargain to make that a real condition for the richest company in the world to get a tax gift from Austin. It's not just "no balls," it's "no brains."
And who was the clever populist revolutionary who decided to play on Channel 6, immediately after the vote was taken to approve the Apple deal, George Strait's "Ocean Front Property"? That was hilarious. The council just fell for this bluff about Phoenix being our competition, and the song's lyrics are coming over the city's TV channel: "I got some ocean front property in Arizona/and if you'll fall for that, I'll throw in the Golden Gate for free." Says it all.