The city manager is not an elected official; he or she is chosen by our elected City Council. I am glad to delegate that decision to people I trust. I personally know several members of the council and am certain that they are people of high integrity and good intentions. I appreciate their willingness to be public servants.
City manager is a very public position. Qualified applicants who are in similar high-profile jobs might not apply if they believe publicity would jeopardize their current post. Thus, it was logical for the City Council to have initial interviews in private, protecting the identity of the first-round applicants.
While I cannot judge the legality of the choice to hold private interviews, I believe the decision was made to attract the best and brightest candidates. The current lawsuit should be dropped, so our elected leaders can focus on running our city.
SUZANNE BRYANT, AUSTIN
With all the talk and tweeting about the current congressional tax plan, everyone agrees that the current law is overly and needlessly complex. Let’s not forget that this system is a product of our Congress and has catered to special interests over decades. Special interests lobbied and spent lots of money to get the tax law they wanted. How easily and willingly do you think those same special interests will give up hard won and costly gains of the past?
As for those middle-class tax cuts, I calculated my savings using my 2016 tax return and I saved several hundred dollars — OK, but nothing to write home about. So, all of this comes at a taxpayer cost estimate of $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion added to the national debt over the next decade. Doesn’t seem like such a good plan under those circumstances.
ROBERT BETHKE, AUSTIN
Citizens should be appalled by the language and response of many elected officials to the tragic church shooting in Sutherland Springs. The president said it’s not about guns. One of our senators accused the media of politicizing the tragedy. Our attorney general called for more armed parishioners at church.
Let’s clarify this: It is absolutely about the epidemic of gun violence in America that is without comparison in any other country on earth. It is about guns. It should be political, as we must insist on laws that respond to it and we could start by outlawing military-style automatic and semi-automatic weapons completely. Despite the courage shown by someone pursuing and shooting the shooter, let’s not call that a “good Samaritan” deed. The good Samaritan saved a life; it is a vigilante that takes one, for whatever reason.
JOHN CHILSTROM, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 4 Bob Gorrell cartoon
This cartoon reminded us of Mr. Trump’s unfavorable poll numbers. Just curious: Has anybody taken a poll of Hillary Clinton’s numbers since Donna Brazile’s book was released — not to mention the comments from other Democratic National Convention staffers and liberal politicians? Further, is there any doubt that if Clinton had won the election, Brazile’s book would not have seen the light of day?
KENNETH K. EBMEIER, ROUND ROCK
Re: Nov. 3 article, “Texas abortion law adds risk for patients, doctors testify.”
My heart broke as I read the article on the abortion law banning second-trimester abortions on living fetuses. Over and over, I read the term “fetal demise.” Make no mistake: Using language to try and disguise or make the result more palatable does not change the fact that a baby is being torn apart and suctioned out of the mother’s womb.
It has a heartbeat, fingers and toes — even eyelashes. It is a living human being. A baby is being purposely killed in a gruesome way. I can’t believe our culture fights for the right to do such horrific things.
KAREN SEXTON, AUSTIN