I have written many posts to brag about Austin appearing on various Top 10 lists. I don’t recall any that I considered “mixed blessings,” but instead thought all were clearly great news for a great city. (If there was a downside to any of them, it is that growth threatens the very lifestyle that makes Austin such a great place to live and work and raise a family.)
Today, I found a ranking that I’m not so sure about:
Austin Business Journal, May 12, 2010
It turns out that the City Of Austin is ranked 2nd among all cities in Texas for funding lobbyists. To some degree it makes sense because we are the state capital, and the lobbyists spend a lot of time here anyway. I suspect the reality is more directly related to the “business” of the city.
In that linked article is a list of the 20 top lobby funders in the state — both public and private sector. You’ll see utilities and energy companies very heavily represented there. The City Of Austin owns and operates a large electric utility. I have not done the first-hand research to confirm this, but I would bet a lot that that’s behind this heavy investment in lobbying efforts.
Good news? I suppose so, if it produces results. I’ll leave it to somebody else in a position to influence those decisions to do the research and follow-up.
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