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The Watters International Realty office is located in the heart of Austin at Mowpack and 2222, in District 10. If you're thinking of buying or selling a home in Austin, it's really important to understand the hot button topics and know about the leaders in the community who are making decisions. Since we feel it's our duty to keep you informed, we've interviewed Robert Thomas, who's running for city council of District 10. We were lucky enough to hear him talk about his plans to improve our city:
Q: What sparked your interest in city council?
Robert: I've been active in the community for over 20 years. I moved here to go to law school and later got my MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. I got super engaged in the entrepreneurial community, spent some time at a high-tech start up, started investing in local businesses, creating my own businesses, as well as buying and selling businesses. Through all of this experience, I started to gain an appreciation for the impact of regulation on business people who are trying to build good jobs for folks. I also started serving on the Austin Child Guidance Center Board and Safe Place Board to try to give back to the community in a meaningful way. As my children got older, I got involved in the school district and people have encouraged me to continue contributing.
Q: What's your action plan for the city? What should we do about the traffic problems?
Robert: People were saying the same thing 10, 15, 20 years ago. There are no new ideas, there has just been a failure of leadership to implement them. We have to have a multimodal, strategic transportation plan that includes all of Austin, but also all of the surrounding region because there are many commuters from around the area. We need to have a strategic plan that talks about how we're going to develop our roadways, and prioritize those where the greatest need is and then expand out. I'm also looking at bringing real affordable public transportation to all of Austin, not just parts of it. If Proposition 1 doesn't pass, we need to sit down with the community and come up with a real plan.
Q: A big problem we're dealing with here in Austin is affordability. Property tax rates are through the roof, forcing many people to move outside of Austin. What do you suggest we do to keep Austin affordable for the people who live here?
Robert: The problem is not property evaluation. The real problem is the tax rate that's set. It matters how much local governments want to raise taxes to fund inefficient government, to fund wants and luxuries as opposed to core municipal services. I propose we do a top to bottom audit of all city departments and the city budget - both a performance review of the departments and an audit of the finances - to find out whether we need to tax the people of Austin at such a high rate, which is really what creates an affordability issue.
Well, there you have it - Robert Thomas on what he plans to do if he is elected to the District 10 City Council. It's important to stay informed so you can vote for the leaders who will make our city a better place. We want to give a big THANKS to Mr. Thomas for granting us this interview and helping us keep our great readers in the loop on an important topic.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. If you have any questions about Austin real estate, or are interested in buying or selling in the area, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!