Wasting Money While You Wait

Tomorrow the Austin City Council will take it upon itself to decide if $355,000 of your tax dollars should be spent on an art project for a new cell phone waiting lot at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA).

It seems ABIA already has a perfectly functional cell phone waiting lot, however the city council and the City of Austin Art in Public Place Program (AIPP) does not think it properly provides a “friendly, green, Austin-style environment that reflects the nature and character of the City.”

The entire project from the AIPP consists of constructing a new roadway that will be called “Spirit of Austin Lane” and run between two already existent roadways – topped off with proper landscaping and “rain gardens” in the median, and an adjacent landscaped parkway and new cell phone waiting lot.

The Austin City Council and AIPP have been vetting Texas artists and will be deciding on Thursday whether to spend this $355,000 on Dallas artist Eric Eley’s artwork for the project based on his past work.

The stated goals of this art project are as follows:

  • “Emphasize the uniqueness of the development,
  • Embrace technological and socially progressive aspects of the site,
  • Engage visitors through artwork viewed most often through moving vehicles, and
  • Create a vibrant and contemporary artwork that is distinct from any pastoral setting.”

Think wasting hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on art projects is unique only to leftists in the Capitol City? Just remember how many Republicans in the legislature had the chance to completely defund state-sponsored art spending (and fund volunteer firefighters instead!), but chose not to.

Wasting tax dollars is a bi-partisan work of art.

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