Cheer Up Charlies
"...There's over $1 billion in bonds before Austin voters today, plus seven statewide constitutional amendments. With polls closing at 7pm tonight, we will be updating you through the evening on what passed locally and across the state...."
"...In most elections, creeping over 50% support is good enough. But in bonds, that's bad news, as the Austin Independent School District found out on May 11..."
"...Beyond the sheer cost of the bonds – which the district is already addressing by pointing out that the tax impact (3.5 cents per $100 assessed property value) is relatively low – is the obstacle that there is really not much time to present the information to the voters; for a bond election formally adopted only in late February, early voting runs from April 29 to May 7...."
"...To the editor, The Feb. 11 letter from Dolores Leyba and Jim McDermitt claims, "The formation of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, as a new toll road authority in Central Texas, causes Travis County to commit the full faith and credit to the RMA bonds, obligating Travis County to raise taxes to pay for the bonds if the toll fees do not cover the cost of the bonds" [“Postmarks”]. Not true..."
"...There are two Travis County bond props: 1) $132.8 million in road bonds to cover some 28 projects across the county – specific roadways, some bike lane and sidewalk spending, and also three catchall categories. 2) $82.1 million in park bonds for eight categories also ranging across the district (e.g., Northeast Metropolitan Park, Onion Creek open space, etc.) and the acquisition of conservations easements "to protect natural resources, maintain or enhance air or water quality."..."
"...8 general election. In a metaphor via the ballot box, Travis County's bond proposals sit buried beneath 10 epically dense proposed state constitutional amendments (see "November Props & Bonds," Oct..."
"..."I listened and thought, 'Somebody stole my damn song. I can't believe it!'" says Bonds from his current home in Wheatley Heights, Long Island..."
"...(You'll start earlier next time, you always promise. Really.) Luckily, you needn't stay home from the polls just because you're woefully uninformed! Deadly earnest policy wonks at the Chronicle have been paying close attention all along beginning last year, when the bonds as now balloted were only a vague gleam in the collective eye of the citizens bond advisory committee...."
"...If there was any doubt about the seriousness of the folks pushing the massive road and parks bond package, just one look at their latest financial reports proves their commitment. The Yes! Travis County Bonds Committee pulled out all stops and raised a whopping $122,775 in one month's time, mostly through handsome contributions from developers, builders, engineers, and other business interests -- in other words, those with an interest in the millions of dollars in contracts that would come from the proposed road and highway projects..."
"...But the major outside factor was an attempt by the Slusher/Spelman/Watson trio to lobby for the endorsement of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The chamber came out two weeks ago with a unified recommendation on the public works/transportation side of the package, which specified the goal that transportation spending make up 50% of the total general obligation bonds..."
"...As a group, the seven propositions total $925 million – a major ask, although not quite meeting the $1 billion proposal for both a rail line and mobility projects, rejected by the voters in 2014. The other six bonds would underwrite expanded health care services, parks and recreation facilities, libraries and related cultural facilities, flood mitigation, public safety costs, and (inevitably) more transportation infrastructure...."
"...However, Turner's exit will undoubtedly have an impact on the district's long-term planning processes. One of the few senior members of former Superintendent Pat Forgione's cabinet to remain under Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, he has been pivotal in constructing the last three bonds: 2004's $519.5 million construction and land purchase package, the $343 million interim bond passed in 2008 for technology and renovations, and the current measure before voters..."
"..."If the result holds," Leffingwell said, "it shows again that Austin is a progressive city that believes in the future. All the bonds are passing – except the housing is a little bit below 50%..."
"...All the bonds passed but Prop. 15 -- an affordable housing measure, including repairs for homes of elderly residents -- and that's somewhat mysterious, as voters have supported such bonds before and the rest of the bonds passed easily..."
"...Initial public reaction to splitting the transportation bonds into two referendums – the second package, to include rail, would likely go to voters in 2011 – has been mixed. Some rail proponents say they understand the delay but regret seeing the city use up its available transportation funding on other projects before rail is ready to go to voters...."
"...If voters pass the bonds (early voting starts Aug. 25), the board will call a nine-member committee, including three labor representatives, to oversee an independent prevailing-wage survey..."
"...Cute, Bev. But is that corps of the core going to be good enough to push through the second round of bonds in September and, perhaps more importantly, to keep this council in power come May 1999 when three seats come up for re-election? Or, by concentrating their efforts on fulfilling the life-long dreams of central city Austinites like themselves, might this council so alienate and perturb the residents of the outlying newly annexed areas - not to mention the areas, like Del Valle, which the city will annex soon - that those suburbanites will join up to squash not only this council but also this council's collective dream of a compact, sustainable city?..."
"...Just a few minutes drive down I-35, Pflugerville voters passed a $287 million ask from the district, again mostly going to repairing and repurposing existing structures, and adding new construction to deal with the ever-increasing student population. As always, the passage of these bonds does not necessarily mean that residents will see any immediate impact on their property tax bill..."
"..."Projects in the draft bond package include studies that will be conducted in conjunction with regional partners and that aim to develop regional funding solutions," reads the release. "All projects on the 'A' list of prioritized mobility needs" – those ranked highest on a city-developed matrix weighing community needs and desires – "will be addressed using general obligation bonds or other means of available funding." That means some highly prioritized projects, like the Downtown bike boulevard and other new bike lanes, I-35 improvements, and preliminary work on urban rail, aren't even part of the $85 million bond but are still listed among the bond projects, as not to skew the prioritization results, we suppose...."
"...Repayment of the bonds, as well as the potential impact on appraisal taxes, also raised concerns. AISD has only 13 cents left for maintenance and operation costs out of the Legislature's cap of $1.17 per $100 of valuation..."
"...Place 2 goes to a run-off, with ACC Foundation Board member Gigi Edwards Bryant (33%) and businesswoman Jade Chang Sheppard (28%) heading to a second round. It was mixed news for the district's finances: Voters across the multi-county jurisdiction approved two construction bonds, worth $380 million, to cover renovations and new facilities..."
"...Think of yourself as borrowing money to buy a house; you would not do it unless you knew the payment amount. Since we do not know how much each bond will cost and the city refuses to disclose that information, the “easy answer” is to vote “no” on all bonds...."
"...Is this really the vision people have for Hays County? Hays County is still largely rural and has great open spaces and clean water and quiet nights for all of us to enjoy; let's not pave it over and lose it forever. We need road improvements, yes, but not supersized "highways to nowhere.” The smart vote is "no" on the road bonds..."
"...Nick Frost: We're very different people, and Edgar talks a very different language to me, but we have a special language that the three of us share, and that is filth. Our overriding love of filth is what bonds us together...."
"...1) Pay as We Go: Least controversial yet most likely to improve the common quality of life were the seven municipal bond propositions passed overwhelmingly in November, underwriting everything from basic infrastructure to affordable housing to open space, central library to film studio. As triumphant as the bonds themselves was the public winnowing process a nearly two-year progress involving a broad cross section of the entire city..."
"...Cyclists should take comfort in the fact that no bikeway funds were cut, he said of the six transportation subcategories, bikeways and sidewalks were the only two to escape a trimming. Sullivan said $10 million remains from 2000 bonds for bikeways $4 million is still earmarked for the (maybe posthumous at this rate) Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and at least $4 million for trails is included in the open spaces category of this bond package's recommendations...."
"...The results from last night's elections are in, and the analysis is simple. Travis County voters are still OK with bonds, which may put them at odds with the rest of the state..."
"...Perhaps the responsibility for further engagement lies on both sides of the camera. This is the raison d'être of Sera Bonds' March 28 film benefit for her Austin-based organization, Circle of Health International..."
"...His last seven starts have been kind of crappy, though, and he comes into San Francisco ripe for an implosion. The last thing I want to see is for him to land in the history books for giving up a pair of record-setting home runs to that bulbous ass Barry Bonds..."
"...But as the day wore on, it appeared the council would be stuck with both headaches at once. Indeed, councilmembers and watchers seemed to pay scant attention to the presentation of the overall 1998-99 budget proposal, and the more detailed presentation from the first round of city department heads, because their minds were on the last-minute political arm-twisting and hand-wringing over the bonds..."
"...An embarrassment of riches characterized last week's 2pm briefings, with the Bond Election Advisory Committee's polyform presentation scheduled in between the mayor's Mental Health Task Force report and the aforementioned water talk. Due to the latter's brevity and the bonds' anticipated length, Wynn pushed the bond presentation to the back...."
"...Last week, the air was thick with rumors that certain council members hoped to quash Council Member Beverly Griffith's ambitious proposal to commit $95 million in bonds for building out East Austin parks and acquiring green space over the aquifer. Mayor Kirk Watson had already planned to put $150 million in bonds for transportation improvements alongside Capital Metro's light rail proposal in November, and some said Griffith was asking too much of the city's bonding capacity...."
"...… am I drawn to these Barry Bonds record-tying and -breaking home runs. I can’t take my eyes off of it..."
"...Propositions 1-5 authorize the city to sell GO bonds, which are paid back out of the city's property tax collections (just under half of which goes to debt service)...."
"...Rick Perry has told state agencies to cut 5% of their general revenue budgets. Now legislators have been told that the state may be running out of capacity to issue more bonds...."
"...There's no organized opposition to the bonds, but local Republican groups have come out against them, of course, and their numbers are not to be underestimated this election year, even in Austin. Their beef lies mainly in the threat of increased property taxes..."
"...290 West, and acquiring right of way for an extension of North MoPac. The council has specified these bonds can't be used for any new roads in the Drinking Water Protection Zone without voter approval, and that expansions must be studied to determine whether they would benefit primarily Austin taxpayers or nonresident commuters...."
"...Brock is not alone, though. He is powered by Venom, one of the renegade symbiotes that bonds with him and makes him an unstoppable fighting machine..."
"...After the young runner fixes the tire on his trailer, Del offers Charley a job shoveling horseshit and working with the few horses Del hasn’t yet sold off to “Mexico,” aka the glue factory. Charley instinctually bonds with one of Del’s horses, the titular Pete, despite the warnings of both Del and his best jockey Bonnie (Sevigny) about how “that horse isn’t a pet.” Meanwhile, Ray has his own serious health problems, and so when Del takes Charley on the lowliest of horse racing circuits, it’s up to the boy to work his way into sudden manhood as quickly as possible..."
"...The frame is filled with all manner of eccentric ephemera (my favorite being a “Hang in there!” kitten painting, where the cat is clinging for life above a sea of flames). Amirpour could have reined in her penchant for laconic coolness at times, but where’s the fun in that? This fractured fairy tale of the marginalized have-nots and the bonds they forge continues the director’s obsession for the genre films she grew up with while adding her own contemporary sensibilities, and the result is an ultimately satisfying journey..."
"...oddballs. Killam and Schaal are among the high points as a manically passive-aggressive couple who attempt to aid Frank and Martin, but as the story moves along and vegan Martin bonds with Frank over Bob Seger and blood-red rare steaks, nothing all that exciting, or even all that wacky, happens..."