Naked City

Tivoli Systems supports smart growth with its move to a desired development zone; Nelson Linder announces his candidacy against willie lewis for city council; the austin lesbian gay political caucus makes its endorsements; cherrywood neighborhood assn. supports depressing i-35 lanes.

Cedar Park's heavy-duty courtship of Tivoli Systems Inc., apparently wasn't sweet enough to woo the software company over the county line to build its new headquarters. Last week, Tivoli made Austin the suitor of choice, a move that won the company a heap of praise all around for its Smart Growth commitment to build in the Desired Development Zone. Tivoli will anchor its hefty million-square-foot campus just north of IBM, its parent company of a few years, on Burnet Road in North Austin. And the first guy to claim a victory for the city was, of course, Mayor Kirk Watson, who noted in a glowing press statement that with Tivoli and other major employers choosing not to build in the sensitive watershed region, "we have proven that we can manage how and where we grow, protect environmentally sensitive land, grow our tax base ... and prove that these goals are NOT mutually exclusive."

Tivoli must have been on some kind of PR roll last week because its CEO and chairman, Jan (pronounced yawn) Lindelow also scored big at the Austin 360 conference where he gave an impassioned anti-smog rap and then agreed to co-chair, with SOS Chair Robin Rather, the local quality-of-life efforts on behalf of the high-tech community. Observed one techie: "It's a big, big statement that businesses are starting to put their real weight behind something other than IPOs and fast cars ...

The Place 6 race for City Council may have lost a candidate last week in Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, but it gained another in insurance agent Nelson Linder. Chances are most of you have never heard of Linder, but the first-time candidate has laid out a campaign platform that promises to address the needs of African-Americans in areas of education, social justice, and business. Supporters of incumbent Council Member Willie Lewis don't regard Linder as a threat to Lewis' re-election bid. Meanwhile, there's rumblings afoot that Linda Dailey, a registered nurse, is considering a run against Lewis. Dailey, who had not returned phone calls at press time, placed fifth in a field of nine when she ran last year for the Place 4 council seat held by Beverly Griffith. After that race, Dailey denied rumors that she planned to mount a campaign against Lewis in 2000. By the time things really get rolling in the City Council races, Todd Main, Lewis' political consultant, expects there to be at least four or five candidates in the running ...

At its candidates' forum Tuesday night, the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus broke from tradition and invited GOP candidates to show up and deliver their best pitch for a possible endorsement. The invitation brought out all of three Republican candidates: District Attorney hopeful Shane Phelps (who did not fill out the group's questionnaire), 353rd District Court contender Demetri Anastasiadis (who began his performance with some one liners, a la Henny Youngman), and County Court No. 5 contender Grant Goodwin. Suffice it to say, ALGPC went straight Democratic in its endorsements for the upcoming primaries, backing the same candidates who are racking up most every other endorsement in town: Ann Kitchen (Dist. 48), Dawnna Dukes (Dist. 50), Gisela Triana (County Court #5), and Scott Jenkins (53rd District Court). There's plenty more political forums on the horizon, though, so there could be some surprises yet ...

As a footnote to last week's story on I-35 improvements in Central Austin, the idea of depressing the freeway's lanes is turning into a real crowd pleaser. The Cherrywood Neighborhood Association met last week and endorsed the proposal, along with a plan to eliminate a concentration of exiting traffic at 38 1/2 street.

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