Friday, October 20, 2017

On whose behalf, pray tell, did the Chamber submit "Austin's" Amazon bid?!?

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Soo...this happened:

The natural follow up:

Umm, excuse us?!?

The Chamber of Commerce is submitting an a "Region" bid for the Amazon project, but the public isn't allowed to see any details?!?

To this point, we've been relatively agnostic on Amazon.  We feel similarly to the way we feel as a Yankee fan about signing Bryce Harper.  It might be a mutually beneficial partnership, but only up to a certain price tag.

Instead, we're given a top-secret "process" where the public isn't even permitted to know the price tag; if things don't change soon, this will rapidly become the hellest of no's.

Questions off the top of our head:
  • What political subdivisions are involved in this "region" bid?!?
    • eg. City of Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, Various other ISD's and Cities.
  • Are the provisions of this bid legally binding on the afore mentioned political subdivisions?!?
  • Is the State of Texas involved in this bid?!?
  • Will the public be allowed to see the terms of this bid before the relevant political subdivisions commit?!?
  • What happens to this "region" bid if some of the political subdivisions want to move forward while others don't?!?
  • Are any sort of wage/benefit mandates contained in this bid?!?
Like we said, that's off the top of our head; we're sure we could come up with another 50 to 100 questions if we thought about it for awhile.

This secretive process needs to stop.  Say what you will about some of the stranger proposals other cities have made, at least they're being open with their citizens and taxpayers.  But, apparently, Austin's "civic leaders" think they can write a proposal in secret and who cares what the public thinks.

Good luck with that.

[Note: We've already sent the relevant open records requests.]

Bottom Line: Six months ago, this website helped lead a coalition that defeated Warren Buffett; if things don't change, soon, we can do the same with Jeff Bezos.

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