Monday, November 6, 2017

#atxcouncil: Open Records Requests begin to reveal (a few) details of "Austin's" Amazon Bid....

"For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light."
Luke 8:17

Following our post a couple weeks ago about the Amazon deal, we put in the following open records request to Mayor Adler's office:
All correspondence between the office of the Mayor and the Austin Chamber of commerce related to's HQ2.
The city replied late last week and we reviewed the documents on Saturday.  For the most part, they're punting to the AG's office (note: But that AG letter is actually fascinating).  Still, some questions were answered.

We'll list what we learned here, then provide the full documents below:

  • Nothing that has occurred to this point in the process is legally binding on anyone.
  • The City of Austin is working with other political subdivisions, but the identity of those political subdivisions remains unknown.
    • Note: If we had unlimited time, we'd put in the same open records request to Travis County, WillCo, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Hays Co, and Buda.
  • The City has a contract with the chamber for "economic development."
    • Note: Excuse you?!?
  • LOL: The Austin Chronicle requested the same information we did.
To which we have to say: What's the point of this process if it's not legally binding?!?  We're going to engage in this long secretive process, then we're going to follow it up with an open and transparent public process?!?  That seems...far fetched.

Information they released:

Bottom Line:  We had been neutral on this project leaning towards "No" based on the secrecy.  We suppose the information contained in these documents brings us back to neutral.  But the optics surrounding this process stink.

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