Beside The Point

Now Dash Away! Dash Away! Dash Away, All!

'Twas a few shopping days until Christmas1, when City Council adjourned,

despite a 128-item agenda we thought would keep them 'til morn.

Especially considering – and this ain't a blessin' –

several hours spent gabbing in executive session.

But when they emerged, it was with such a present:

a new site for Water Treatment Plant No. 4 – who would've guessed it?

This was followed by a presentation high-toned and not raucous,

from John Steiner of the city's Integrity Office.

It still drew plenty of laughs on a subject quite sensitive:

Toby Futrell's declared "Unquestionable Integrity Initiative."

But now – lemme return to earlier that morn,

when council's announcements kept them blathering on.

Said Mayor Pro Tem Betty Dunkerley, with some gumption,

she'd bring forth an item addressing Downtown construction.

She'd OK more at night, to cut traffic – so congested!

And maybe Will Wynn won't have fits apoplectic.

Jennifer Kim then announced, without hesitation,

plans aiding small businesses to open additional locations.

It'll be helpful to stores looking to expand their borders –

so what if the beneficiaries are campaign supporters?2

Then Brewster McCracken excitedly – how else? – gushed

that his parking enterprise is delayed 'til Jan. 10. We were crushed.

"It's appropriate we have a full council presentation."

Well, there goes all the joy from my winter vacation.

Then came Item 60, $5 million unceremoniously booted

from Block 21 to "streetscape and hardscape improvements."

"This money should stay Downtown," declared Sheryl Cole,

– a quarter to Waller Creek, half to its river walk, a quarter to Creek Shoal.

New Downtown attractions – that's why Cole was paid dues

of honor from hoteliers3 – or was it 'cuz she's a snooze?

Eventually from the dais they arose with great cheer,

BTP's relieved to be certain, that they're gone 'til next year.4

And so I'll exclaim – happy holidays! – and leave with this slight:

with City Council adjourned, it will be a good night.

1 Thursday, Dec. 13; also encroaching on Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and Mitt Romney's inaugural religion of secularism holiday celebration.

2 Kim thanked campaign boosters Steve Simmons (of Amy's Ice Creams) and Paul Carrozza (RunTex) for their help.

3 On Dec. 9, the Austin Hotel & Lodging Association named Cole Council Member of the Year, earning her a bouquet of towels, travel soaps, and ashtrays.

4 Thursday, Jan. 10, with council unwrapping Austin's new city manager the following week, Jan. 17.

Direct Xmas cards to Rudolph or

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City Council, Will Wynn, Jennifer Kim, Water Treatment Plant No. 4, Brewster McCracken, Austin Parking Enterprise, Sheryl Cole, Waller Creek

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