Dear City Council,
I have looked through the Zucker report and I would urge you to read the "Interim Report - Customer Perceptions". This report states that the customer satisfaction scores for Austin were the worst they'd seen, nationally:
This proves just how badly we need you, as our new City Council, to make three critical changes at City Hall.
First, the City of Austin needs a forensic audit from an outside auditor. I have brought this up before, but the audits being done by the City are simply not acceptable. For example, here is the hotel tax audit, where the Auditor checked five hotels, figured out none of them were paying their hotel taxes correctly, and then the Auditor moved on:
Why did this not trigger a wider audit? Well that brings me to the second change that needs to be made. City Staff need to understand they are there to serve us, the taxpayers, and not just be the personal go-fers for five men.
Which five? The five attorneys and lobbyists who have turned City funds and incentives into a personal gravy train for their clients:
-David Armbrust & Richard Suttle (ABOR, Endeavor, Circuit of America, Walmart, etc)
-Stephen Drenner (TACO PUD, Gables, etc.)
-Michael Whellan (SXSW, American Statesman, etc),
-Peter Cesaro (SXSW, RECA, Austin Chronicle, Highland Mgmt, etc)
You can see a full list of their clients here:
We need you, as our new City Council, to turn off the spigots and tell these 5 men, and their clients, that City Staff and the City's checkbook is no longer available for their personal use.
Third, the City of Austin really needs to take a page from the City of Tyler, They decided to use Six Sigma to ensure its staff actually serves its citizens:
It should be noted that this approach been so successful,that the City of Tyler carries no debt and its accounting department is running out of room to put awards for being good stewards to their community:
I will conclude by reminding you of the promises that were made while each of you campaigned. You promised to ensure 10-1 would be change things at City Hall, and that you would drive that change. Please, put the books in order, cut off the continuous flow of money and staff time to Austin's 5 fixers, and give us a City Hall that doesn't put serving its citizens at the very bottom of its priorities.
editor, Love North Austin