Mistakes were made by both parties — the city of Austin and White Lodging — regarding terms of an agreement for economic incentives, worth nearly $4 million, for the JW Marriott hotel under construction in downtown Austin. A solution requires both to compromise on new terms. When it meets Thursday, the Austin City Council should structure such a compromise.
It was, after all, city council members who made the first mistake two years ago, which set in motion the current conflict over wages the developer is required to pay on the $300 million project. A majority of the council inserted a last-minute provision regarding “prevailing wage” in the economic incentives package for White Lodging, which answered the city’s call to develop the luxury hotel that would generate jobs and money for the Austin economy. The council did that in the dark, without knowing its impact on the agreement, the city or White Lodging. The council should have done its homework before approving the agreement in the form of an ordinance.
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Another day, another session
Special session’s wild finish now on statesman.com/opinion and in print Friday.
On the Viewpoints Page