Sheri Soltes' Response to Paul Workman's Views on Texas
First of all, the word “donnybrook” went out after WWI. So did wealthy men’s absolute power to roll over anyone and anything they deemed inferior. The pompous, self-serving rubbish written here makes me even happier that I am running for State Representative in District 47.
1. Hypocrite much? Your ridiculous Convention of States is to fight the federal government telling states what to do, and here you are insisting that a state should tell a city what to do.
2. Unless everyone you run into from out of town is a lobbyist for Uber or Lyft, the dismissal for risking their riders’ safety in favor of shortcuts in overhead is hardly the first thing Austin visitors say. More like, “I’m here for the migas.”
3. Sorry, not sorry: local control puts some reins on people who gosh – might want to do something harmful to others for a buck. We know you like those big construction projects and those trees do get in the way of a good pave over. No matter if future generations might want to find some shade to read a book or sip some lemonade – they can just go to a resort if they can afford it, right, Marie Antoinette?
4. Hop in your ride? Well, that is YOUR ride, not the unknown driver your daughter or I encounter after dark downtown. If you don’t care about who is driving her or me around, then I am thankful that Austin does.
5. Ah, home building permits – yes, red tape is cumbersome. Improvements welcome. However, no rules means profiteers, bullies and other short-sighted, selfish, money-lustful characters just might make some harmful decisions. Or do you think those painted white lines on the highway are an infringement on our liberties and we should just careen along basking in the freedom of it all. Or let our un-vetted Uber drivers do it with us loving how free of background checks they are?
6. High-paying tech jobs. Why, oh why do those smart tech types love to move to Austin? Because you paved over Barton Springs to build a high rise? Because they can buy a house that the previous owner expanded to the edges of the lot once he got all those pesky trees out of the way? People move here because Austin has managed to fight off the Orwellian dystopia cloaked in the fraud of “liberty-protecting” that you and your Mr. Moneybags cronies propose. Where do you go on vacation? Where do you live? Places where nature is either untouched or has been defended by brave people who understand the ax in your hand or the money in your pocket does not make you right or just.
7. Is an apartment builder wishing Austin was like Dallas? Maybe he or she should build there. Maybe you can defend them if they get sued for, well as your website puts it: “safety failures, defective construction, and contractual liability cases”. [http://www.workmanadvisors.com/page10.html]
8. I see you are extolling Fort Worth’s hands off policy with its Uber and Lyft drivers. I appreciate you pointing that out so I can avoid them at my next Eastern Hills High School reunion. As WFAA-TV (ABC, DFW) reported February 16, 2017, “thousands of rideshare drivers and vehicles unpermitted and unregistered, and evidence that many others are buying fake vehicle permits on the black market.”
That’s not reassuring. As reported, they do not even have to have a city-permit ID on them. That means that we, the passengers, can’t even IDENTIFY OUR DRIVER if there is a problem. To quote the story, “News 8 rode in a car with one Uber driver in downtown Fort Worth and found the driver puzzled when asked about city regulations there. The driver was unable to produce any identification, and seemed unaware of what rules, if any, applied to Fort Worth rideshare drivers.”
Uber and Lyft assure our Cowtown neighbors that “they aggressively screen and monitor their drivers”. That did not reassure Houston. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stated in the same story, "Through the FBI background checks that we have done, we have discovered many more cases that Uber's commercial background check did not find, especially when dealing with more serious type crimes,". Now, I wish I went to high school in Houston.
We will get to your abysmal voting record against school children on the campaign trail. Unless you care to write another article extolling why hungry kids should be spanked in school.