Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to Thanks for your patience.
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Combine Roles

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 23, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Given the resignation of Marc Ott, and another letter writer's suggestion that his position be eliminated [“Nix the Position,” Feedback, Aug. 19], it occurred to me that it might actually make sense to retain the position, albeit with a revised description. Specifically, I propose to fold the impending new "chief equity officer" duties into the city manager position, as it is a natural fit for the oversight role. Surely this could help achieve a substantial (relatively speaking) cost savings for the city. Perhaps the current candidates could be assessed for their ability to fulfill this combined role.
Doray Sitko

No Room to Widen

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 22, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Philip Russell faults the $720 million Mobility Bond package, saying that it’s impossible to build your way out of auto congestion by widening roads [“Easy Fix,” Feedback, Aug. 19]. In fact, there is very little in the mobility package for road widening.
    The package earmarks $482 million to civilize built-out urban corridors whose widening days are over, and $120 million for sidewalks, bike tracks, trails, and safety. Of the remainder of the $720 million maybe a total of $100 million, at a stretch, will go to road widening.
    My friend Philip throws the baby out with the bathwater.
Dick Kallerman

The Right to Respect

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 22, 2016

Dear Editor,
    To the students and parents of Hart and Wooldridge elementaries, and the many other community members who were gathered at the City Council meeting on Thursday or witnessed it on television:
    We want to express our sincere apologies for the offensive remarks directed your way by another member of the City Council. The comments were hurtful and insulting, and we want you to know we don’t agree with them or share our colleague’s views and perspective.
    Later, Council Member Delia Garza eloquently condemned the remarks on behalf of many of us on Council. This experience has been a vivid reminder of a key tenet of the No Place for Hate campaign: that each of us has a responsibility to confront bigotry and prejudice and to call out hateful speech when we hear it.
    Please make no mistake: The position our colleague expressed is not one we share, and we believe everyone who comes to City Hall has a right to be treated with respect. We’re proud to live in and represent the diverse families who together make up this city we love.
    The students and families who came to testify at City Hall on Thursday spoke eloquently about the need for quality afterschool programs and parent-teacher support specialists. We commend their leadership in advocating for these important resources on behalf of their larger school communities – and for their commitment to making Austin a better place for all of our families.

Council Member Ora Houston (District 1), Council Member Ann Kitchen (District 5), Council Member Leslie Pool (District 7), Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo (District 9)
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