Leffingwell's Legacy

RECEIVED Tue., Jan. 20, 2015

Dear Editor,
    Regarding Mark Cathcart’s Feedback letter [“You Get What You Vote For,” Jan. 16]: There is, unfortunately, a need to pile on former Mayor Leffingwell. With the defeat of the urban rail bond on Nov. 4, Mayor Leffingwell stated he believes rail is dead "at least for the next decade or so." But how can someone who said he believes Austin needs passenger rail, and also, as an elected executive official who should exhibit a level of statesmanship (even as an outgoing mayor), pronounce such a death knell on efforts to bring a passenger rail referendum back before voters, as soon as possible? Why not expend any good will and political capital accumulated while mayor on an effort to bring a much better initial light/urban rail route before voters? Former Mayor Leffingwell is the very definition of a sore loser, whose pet legacy project (urban rail) failed badly, in large part due to his heavy-handed oversight – solely appointing three different city citizen advisory commissions (the only city commissions appointed by only one City Council member) and turning a deaf ear to criticisms of the rail route and planning process for over six years from leading Austin rail advocates. But this is also the mayor who was the sole City Council vote against strengthening Austin’s Climate Protection Plan (April 10, 2014) while at the same time, hypocritically, just two months later, signing a resolution supporting the national Climate Protection Plan (June 20, 2014 at the National Conference of Mayors in Dallas), and casting many other inexplicable 1-6 City Council votes in his last few months as mayor (40 alone at his last city budget adoption meeting on September 8, 2014 – including voting against funding many essential social welfare programs), perhaps revealing himself to be a wolf/Republican in sheep’s/Democratic disguise? Fortunately, for Austin, good riddance.
Andrew Clements
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