Viewpoints

From the piece: The City of Austin could immediately pay off the current convention center debt with existing convention center reserves. With the 334 debt cleared, in cooperation with Travis County, the City could put forth a ballot measure that would renew the tax for a variety of tourism-related projects all over Austin, including the Palm School.  Read More.

From the piece: The City of Austin could immediately pay off the current convention center debt with existing convention center reserves. With the 334 debt cleared, in cooperation with Travis County, the City could put forth a ballot measure that would renew the tax for a variety of tourism-related projects all over Austin, including the Palm School.  Read More.

July 15th 2019

Unconventional Austin SPAC Files Contributions & Expenditures Report

(AUSTIN, TEXAS) — July 15, 2019. Today, Unconventional Austin filed its initial campaign finance report to the City disclosing its contributions and expenditures made in support of its petition drive. 

The Unconventional Austin SPAC campaign finance report shows that there is no outside “dark money” supporting our petition. All of our money comes from Austin residents, voters, and two organizations that have helped preserve what makes Austin exciting to visitors and residents alike. The largest individual supporters of the Unconventional Austin petition drive are whistleblower, real estate investor, and current Tourism Commission member Brian Rodgers; and Save Our Springs Alliance attorney and Executive Director Bill Bunch. Bunch also serves on the Tourism Commission with Mr. Rodgers. Read More.

Last week a couple of press outlets in town reported that convention center expansion is the only way to unlock well-deserved hotel tax revenues for live music venues and musicians. Those articles were based on two myths. These two related myths—that the only way to increase funding for live music is by expanding the convention center, and that expanding the convention center will generate new money for live music—are addressed in this brief report.

In short, the Austin City Council can increase funding for live music, and heritage tourism more broadly, at their next meeting by simply reallocating a portion of the fixed percentage of hotel occupancy tax that is accumulating, unused, in a convention center account. Read More.

 

On Sunday night, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan posted a blog on his website titled, A Dragon in Petition’s Clothing. Despite our shared love for GoT, we don’t plan to continue the analogy but rather stick to facts and respond to misleading and unfounded statements made in the post.

First, it’s sad that a sitting City Council Member would devolve to personal attacks simply because somebody holds a different opinion than he does. Calling someone a “dragon” and attributing intent to “burn the city down” is a hilarious overstatement.

Second, Mr. Flannigan made his position on the Convention Center clear when he appointed the chief lobbyist for the Texas hotel industry, Scott Joslove, to the City’s Citizen Commission on Tourism. It’s not a surprise that Jimmy Flannigan favors corporate hotel interests over local businesses. But as a Council Member, he has a responsibility to truth and accuracy. So let’s go through his statements and the facts. Read More.

 

 

 

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