Category Archives: Development

Apple seeds confusion around incentives

In this column, Wendler & Aleshire (W&A) throw several arguments at the Apple subsidy deal.  Some are worthwhile but not all are crisp. In general, there seems to be a brewing community desire for a ‘better way’ on corporate subsidies, … Continue reading

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Incentivizing Frustration

This Statesman piece on local candidates sparring over economic development incentives is quite frustrating. First, it leaves somewhat unclear what the candidates actually believe.  Certainly we know that Mayor Leffingwell supports their use (downtown hotel, Apple, LegalZoom, etc.) but the … Continue reading

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Some suggestions for the Statesman on their Austin Economy series

The Statesman’s review of the Austin economic climate is a much-needed profile and (to some extent) evaluation of the city’s economy. There are four areas where the Statesman’s coverage could improve. 1. Don’t forget about sub-group income levels. Not everybody … Continue reading

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Austin’s democracy deficit hurts local median income

Wells Dunbar’s tumblr post of demographic data from the City’s African-American Quality of Life Initiative reminded me that there’s a local democracy deficit concerning municipal policies that might help boost median income. I visualize the family median income data below.  … Continue reading

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LegalZoom or LegalDoom?

The City Council is trying to decide whether or not to provide relocation incentives to LegalZoom, an online legal form provider. Here are the deal details.  The City pays out $20,000 for ten years for a nominal total of $200,000.  … Continue reading

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Really Need to Consider a Shift to Deliberative Polling and Citizen Juries

Katherine Gregor writes another excellent and detailed profile of Austin’s comprehensive planning process.   This quote by one of the members of the plan’s citizen advisers stuck out: The risk now is that the task force – rich in community activists … Continue reading

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Austin State of the City: Timid Retrenchment?

Image via Austin Leadership’s Flickr The Austin Chronicle got a hold of Mayor Leffingwell’s State of the City speech. My reaction: We’ve got a good Mayor, Council, and Manager.  The speech is a good set of policies and initiatives already … Continue reading

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