This is a good mayor with a good vision for the city. But sometimes he does get carried away. His hasty plan to bring the Ice Bats to the shores of Town Lake, for example, had to be aborted mid-stream, but still, the end result was a better plan for Auditorium Shores. While he's a fast mover on ideas he likes, the mayor is a man whose instincts are usually trustworthy: "Some of his ideas are half-baked, but he's a good chef," said a source close to the council.
There's no question that the mayor has been, in the words of one council-watcher, "emboldened" by his successes. And the Nov. 3 passage of an ambitious bond package, including the mayor's Palmer Auditorium/new civic center scheme, has him riding even higher. "We haven't had a mayor as strong as this since the Roy Butler days," said one downtown developer-type. "If you're on the wrong side of the mayor, watch out."
But one of the main reasons you've got to watch out for this mayor is the enormous consensus he's built -- a unified council and a solid majority of Austinites who come out to raise their own taxes by approving huge bond packages. Anyone who challenges him needs to provide an alternative -- quickly and very publicly. The mayor's coalition is only growing, and his mark is being left more thoroughly on this city every day. So speak now or forever hold your peace.
Polling the Poleyard by Kayte Van Scoy
Let's Make a Deal by Kayte Van Scoy
Copyright © 2023 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.