Naked City

Basics, Not Boondoggles

When Daryl Slusher first ran for the City Council, his campaign distributed T-shirts listing "Ten Ways to Spot a City Hall Boondoggle." Given the controversy surrounding the Stratus Properties deal -- and Slusher's two votes for it, as well as his frequent hectoring of Stratus opponents -- "Naked City" decided to reprint the original boondoggle checklist for readers' delectation -- or disgust. Check the Stratus status!

According to Slusher circa 1996, a deal might be a City Hall boondoggle if:

10. It's backed by a herd of lobbyists.

9. It's listed for emergency passage.

8. There's a deadline set by out-of-town investors.

7. The contracts are more than two inches thick and were available only hours before they were to be approved, or even after the meeting started.

6. Lobbyists claim it will create jobs, promote tourism, and boost the tax base.

5. Rules are suspended to limit public input.

4. It's touted as making Austin a world class city.

3. Voters have turned it down once, but it keeps coming back.

2. It's repeatedly posted for executive session.

1. It's said that Austin is the only city of its size that doesn't have one.

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