Do you agree that Austin desperately needs a united front of officeholders, local businesses and voters to “make growth pay for itself?” (Note: An example is the passage of full water impact fees implemented on new developments in 2013. See the huge benefits below. Mind you, these benefits would have disappeared had the “Pilot Knob fiasco” been allowed to stand.) $300 million collections years 1-10 (already raised $150M in first 5 years) $45 million less debt service Fiscal Year 2018 15% lower customer bills Rate your support on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most support and 1 being the least.

Linda O’Neal

City Council, District 9

Every candidate is running on affordability. City politicians are happy to run off a list of things that they are doing to keep this town affordable. I say, look more closely. For example, current developers are encouraged to build affordable housing. Their reward for building in some affordable housing units is that they can add an extra floor to their condo building or they can pay a fine for not adding affordable housing (theoretically the city uses the fines to build other affordable housing). Often the developer finds that they don’t have the funds to build the extra floor, and the fine is actually cheaper.

Incumbents are bragging about this as if it will solve our affordability crisis. Also, tearing down existing older apartment buildings to build nicer condos is NOT fixing our affordability crisis. One, building costs are too high, and two, because duh. I do believe that the city should purchase the old apartment buildings and create a lease to purchase program or allowing a percentage of the rent to become equity on a future home purchase (this is being done and Cleveland and it seems to be working, but what works there may not work here and I need to research this a little further).

I also believe that the city should give monied incentives to landlords who give longer leases. This is not rent control. This rent stabilization. Rent control is nepotism and can be passed on by family member. Rent stabilization limits how much rent can be raised. I believe that raising the rent should be capped based on the property taxes increase rather than on market value. This idea would, of course, be challenged by the state, and I think it already has.

So, we need to continue to think along those lines, and find a way to incentivize so that it doesn’t look like we are penalizing the free market. We can afford to do this if we stopped subsidizing Samsung, Precourt, and other giants. All these subsidies do is allow our politicians to attend ribbon cutting ceremonies, while patting themselves on the back for “creating jobs”. Instead, all they’ve created was a nightmare for local citizens: more traffic, higher rents, higher property taxes, worse environment, less opportunity, and more entitled douchebags.

Rate your support: 7