The CodeNEXT fiasco clearly demonstrates the need for new leadership at City Hall and a need for voter approval of any comprehensive development code overhaul. It is unacceptable to try to force adoption of an entirely new code that could potentially remake much of our city and displace thousands of residents, without even allowing the people a chance to vote on it.
It is also unfortunate that so much time, money and effort was expended before the current mayor finally decided to pull the plug on CodeNEXT, barely three months before the November election. On his watch, CodeNEXT ballooned from a two million dollar, two-year project to over $8.5 million with the final cost and finish date still unknown. How long it will take to heal the divisions created by this poorly handled process is anyone’s guess.
With new leadership and vision, I believe it is possible to reset this failed attempt and work together in an open and transparent process toward sensible, effective code revisions that benefit all Austin residents.
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