WHAT’S AT STAKE: THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF AUSTIN’S WATER SUPPLY
One of the most important and critical issues in this race is Austin’s water supply. We need a safe and secure water supply, now and for future generations of Austinites. That’s why I voted to construct the water plant to get us there—something my opponent has said she would NOT have done.
In the Fall of 2009, I cast the crucial swing vote to go ahead with construction of Austin's Water Treatment Plant 4, the first new water plant in over 40 years.
It’s the toughest vote I’ve ever cast, and I am proud to stand by it.
I am convinced that building WTP4 is the right and prudent thing to ensure safe and secure drinking water, and adequate water pressure for firefighting, for all Austinites in all parts of town.
Two Aging Water Plants?
Austin currently has two aging water plants on Lake Austin that are close to their expected design life. The even older Green water plant downtown has already been demolished. When I was elected, I knew the vote to build a new water plant would be one of the biggest decisions I'd make in my first term.
That’s why I spent much of 2009 listening to citizens and experts, and I convened a Town Hall to make sure that all sides were heard.
Opponents of WTP4 had ample opportunity to make their case.
Experts Agreed: WHEN, Not IF?
As Council listened to citizens and experts, it became clear there was no scenario under which our growing city would never have to build WTP4 — no matter how successful we are at water conservation.
Once the debate shifted from
—2021 versus 2016 versus 2014—I voted to proceed with the plant to be ready by 2014.
Ultimately, I was unwilling to gamble with Austin's water supply. Being ready a few years too early is far less costly and far less risky than being too late.
I also voted to raise our conservation goals to make our water resources go farther and hopefully prevent us from needing to expand WTP4 beyond the currently authorized treatment capacity.
This is the kind of balanced approach I bring to major decisions.
My Goals: On Time, On Budget
Since that crucial swing vote, I have focused on ensuring that WTP4 is built on time and on budget, safely, sustainably, and sensitively. We have 100,000 hours without a lost day incident. I have worked with neighbors in the area to divert truck traffic.
I will continue to stay engaged throughout my time on the Council to make sure this project is a success while we protect the environment and we work with the neighbors impacted by construction.
My Opponent: "I Would Have Voted NO"
My opponent has stated repeatedly on the campaign trail that
she would have voted AGAINST building this crucial water treatment plant
. That just means she would have punted this tough decision to a future council, and by then
it could have been too late
. If elected, will she vote to stop or delay the plant? That could mean risking over $100 million already invested in—not to mention
millions in legal fees
to defend the inevitable lawsuits.
Business Background, Balanced Approach
My background prepares me to make these kinds of balanced decisions. I have an MBA from Harvard and I founded, built, and sold an Internet business to a publicly traded company. I’ve been trained to
listen to all sides
, get the facts, and make common sense decisions. That's why I worked so hard to solicit input, from citizens and from experts, on this crucial issue.
We can't just let those who shout the loudest determine the direction of our City.
The stakes are too high to sit out this election. This race presents a real choice. We need to face our future and make the tough decisions that ensure Austin remains as strong, healthy and vibrant as possible.
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Re-Elect Randi Shade for City Council P.O. Box 301479 Austin, TX 78703
Political advertisement paid for by Re-Elect Randi Shade for City Council Campaign, PO Box 301479, Austin, Texas, 78703, Beverly G. Reeves, Treasurer.
This campaign has not agreed to comply with the contribution and expenditure limits of the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance. Accordingly, no public funding
will be utilized.