Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2018


Re: Aug. 8 article, “Travis County to purchase $8 million paper trail voting system.”

It is not common for government workers to receive outside praise, but Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir certainly deserves a huge pat on the back for fighting for and finally getting approval for a state-of-the-art voting system.

The new digital system will include a paper trail for each vote that the voter can see and verify. This greatly enhances the overall confidence level in our voting system. Yes, it will cost the county some money, but it pushes Travis County into the forefront of national voting systems. It will ensure that every local person’s vote will be counted and properly tallied in future elections.

Many congratulations to DeBeauvoir for all her hard work toward implementing such an improved voting system in plenty of time for the next presidential election

JOHN LA CLAIRE, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 8 commentary, “CodeNext’s suspension is a chance to rebuild public trust.”

Our choices are between more than “this” or “that.” The media has a role reminding people, including politicians, of the complexities we face if we are to truly tackle the problems of our time.

The Aug. 8 Austin American-Statesman editorial in framing the choice around CodeNext as a battle between those who, on one side, wanted urbanity (more housing in walkable communities) and on the other wanting neighborhood preservation (including for civil rights groups), left out all of us who like urbanity in its place, neighborhood preservation in its place and civil rights everywhere.

Austin is a magnet for those of us who love living here because of the texture and character of different neighborhoods, the spirit of innovation that would improve neighborhoods, and the genuine care for community well-being.

MARY (MOLLY) SHARPE, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 8 commentary, “CodeNext’s suspension is a chance to rebuild public trust.”

You make it sound like Mayor Steve Adler thoughtfully decided to table CodeNext after hearing the community’s concerns. Really?

As I understand it, it wasn’t until community activists won a suit to let the voters have a say on whether they want the council to be able to rewrite the entire code, picking winners and losers along the way, that the mayor even started to “listen.”

I am grateful for the hard-working activists who have donated countless hours and dollars to save our city from CodeNext, which is not at all in line with Imagine Austin, on which CodeNext was supposedly based. To them goes the credit, not the mayor, who has happily paid $8 million of his constituents’ hard-earned money for the CodeNext mess.

LAURIE DE FIELD, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz” and Aug. 8 letter to the editor, “Column on renewables reeks of amateurism.”

I am heartened to see the responses to the commentary on Georgetown’s wise move regarding electricity. I also think the word “amateurish” fits very Gonzalez’s piece well.

As a professional working in the energy field, I admit to being largely an amateur in this arena of the industry, but Cutter W. Gonzalez’s views display less knowledge than my own. Gonzalez ignores technologies now available — and others becoming rapidly available — that can transform the distribution grid to fit very well with what Georgetown and others are doing to transform the electric industry.

Let’s look to the future as Georgetown is doing by bypassing this kind of obstructionism and get Texans in the lead instead of the outdated foot draggers this commentary encourages us to be.

THOMAS HARTMAN, GEORGETOWN

Re: Aug. 7 letter to the editor, “Let’s regularly call Trump what he is.

A reader just sent in a letter to the editor stating we should regularly call President Trump what he is. I totally agree with her.

Everyone, including the American-Statesman, should call him either “President Trump” or “Mr. President.” After all, we were forced to call Obama either President Obama or Mr. Obama despite all his antics.

WILLIAM NEW, AUSTIN

Just wondering: How much does it cost the American taxpayer every time President Trump spends a weekend at one of his own golf clubs?

Do our taxes pay for his room and board at his own hotels? Do our taxes pay for the large number of people who must accompany him, such as the Secret Service, White House staff and various personnel? I would also like to know who is paying for his political jaunts to campaign for Republicans. He has taken several of those lately and has announced that he plans on taking five or six a week from now on. Who is paying for the flights, Secret Service and staff on these political jaunts? Are campaign funds of the candidates paying for all of this, or are our taxes?

And, by the way, who is minding the store while he is constantly away playing golf and playing politics? Just wondering.

CONNIE MAVERICK, WIMBERLEY



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