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Austin Weather

Austin City Council Elections

Discuss anything Waterloo, or disc golf related here.
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Austin City Council Elections

Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:34 pm

Recently the Waterloo Disc Golf Club put together a questionnaire and sent it to all the Austin City Council candidates. We think it is important for disc golfers to know where these candidates stand on these issues. We compiled the responses and read them aloud at our club meeting last night, and we will also be posting them on our website and facebook page. They are listed in their entirety below.

Only 3 candidates responded and the consensus at the meeting last night was that this said a lot about those candidates.

The other 8 candidates did not respond and the consensus was that this also said a lot about those candidates.

The club feels that one of the reasons we lost our battles this past year was due to lack of political support from elected representatives.

If disc golf is to ever be taken seriously by the City, we must show up in numbers at important meetings and more importantly, vote.


The election is this Saturday, May 14th. Please vote!

Thanks,
Waterloo Disc Golf Club


Austin City Council Election

Place 1

Josiah James Ingalls – No Response

Roger Chan – No Response

Norman Jacobson – No Response

Chris Riley (Incumbent) – see response below

1. Do you think that our sport is bad for or a threat to the environment, and if so, how?

I don’t see disc golf as bad for or a threat to the environment. It’s safe, quiet, low-impact, and it requires only minimal materials.

2. When reviewing the environmental consequences of recreational proposals and existing activities, should PARD, the Parks Board and Council apply standards consistently to all recreational users?

Yes.


3. As you may know it is the opinion of many organizations such as ours that the City is short in development of fields for sports as well as disc golf courses, would you support a bond for adding more; and if so how, if not why?
Yes, I would. We’re aiming to have a general-obligation bond election in November 2012, and I’d support including on the ballot an item for parks and associated facilities.

4. Recently, land targeted for either existing or proposed disc golf courses has been removed from all recreational use, effectively creating more preserves. What factors should be considered when deciding whether public park land should be used for recreational activities or preserved?
In deciding whether parkland should be devoted to preserves or more active uses, I’d expect the considerations to include:
--any environmental features on the property, and the likely impacts of various potential uses;
--demand for each of the various potential uses, in the surrounding area and citywide;
--the reasons for acquiring the parkland;
--any long-term plans for the property in neighborhood plans or in other city planning documents;
--the availability of other nearby parkland offering opportunities for similar uses; and
--input from community stakeholders, the Parks Board, and staff.

5. Where do you stand on organized activities such as disc golf or soccer on parkland?

I strongly support making parkland available for organized activities like disc golf and soccer. Activities like these are an important part of the quality of life we expect in Austin. They promote public health, build community relationships, and help make parkland safer.


6. If a group such as ours is using parkland for our supported activities, what is a reasonable partnership between Waterloo and the City?

I’d like to see an ongoing, cooperative partnership between Waterloo and the City that serves the interests of both. The terms of the partnership should be developed through discussions between the two entities, and should be adjusted over time to meet changing needs and opportunities. The City can make parkland available, provide ongoing maintenance, and assist with special events. Waterloo could help with keeping the land clean and well-maintained, and could work with the City to address needs as they arise.


Place 3

Kathie Tovo – No Response

Kris Bailey – No Response

Randi Shade (Incumbent) – No Response

Michael "Max" Nofziger – see response below

1. Disc golf is not inherently bad for the environment, but like any activity, it can impact the environment, especially grass and ground cover, and then, erosion may become a problem. Care and maintenance have to address the normal wear and tear.

2. The city should apply consistent standards in general, while recognizing the specific character of any given activity. The city should apply general criteria, but with flexibility to accommodate each activity.

3. I think physical activity is something the city should encourage, given the sedentary nature of many jobs and the obesity epidemic. I would support including in the 2012 bond election funds for more fields, and the funding in subsequent budgets to maintain them.

4. There are many factors to consider: size, location, topography, vegetation, proximity of other parks, etc. Preserves may be used to protect unusual features and limit accessibility. Parkland could be used more heavily.

5. I like to see organized activities like soccer and disc golf on parkland. I like to see people enjoying physical activity outdoors, and benefiting from their tax dollars. When I was a city councilmember, it was especially gratifying to me to see the people using the facilities which we had provided through their taxes.

6. I think a reasonable partnership may include joint sponsorship of an event, and ongoing joint maintenance of the grounds used. It would be great if the folks engaged in a specific activity would partner with the city to make sure the grounds are always in top shape.

Thanks for the opportunity to express my views. I appreciate the fact that you have built a successful sport here in Austin that encourages physical activity and fitness. As a councilmember, I will encourage the city to help you grow this beneficial activity.


Place 4

Eric J. Rangel – No Response

K. Toby Ryan Hill – No Response

Laura Morrison (Incumbent) – see response below

1. Do you think that our sport is bad for or a threat to the environment, and if so, how?

Anytime we bring a human activity into nature, we are impacting the environment, so it is important for us to monitor and mitigate those impacts to the best of our ability. Disc golf alone is not harmful to the environment. In fact, I appreciate how the sport brings people into nature to give people a better understanding of what our city is trying to protect. It is it the overuse of an area from foot traffic, regardless of the activity, which increases our erosion problems.

2. When reviewing the environmental consequences of recreational proposals and existing activities, should PARD, the Parks Board and Council apply standards consistently to all recreational users?

Yes. Environmental impact should be assessed fairly and consistently to truly understand the measures of impact for various park uses.

3. As you may know it is the opinion of many organizations such as ours that the City is short in development of fields for sports as well as disc golf courses, would you support a bond for adding more; and if so how, if not why?

Yes, recreational sports are important to the city’s overall public health, for example, in combating the city’s growing epidemic of childhood obesity. I would support consideration of funds for recreational sport facilities in the 2012 bond package.

4. Recently, land targeted for either existing or proposed disc golf courses has been removed from all recreational use, effectively creating more preserves. What factors should be considered when deciding whether public park land should be used for recreational activities or preserved?

We need to do a better job as a city in engaging stakeholders to work through concerns prior to decisions being made that significantly impact the use of parkland. I wholeheartedly believe that if we come to the table to talk about our concerns, we can create solutions that will work for everyone. I also believe decisions that significantly change the primary use of parkland need to be made by the City Council, who are the ones accountable to the public. This will ensure there will be a public voice in the decisions being made.

The factors I would consider in evaluating park land use decisions would be community input, relation to existing plans, environmental impact, deficits of recreational activity, and public safety.

5. Where do you stand on organized activities such as disc golf or soccer on parkland?

I support the use of parkland for both disc golf and soccer. Both sports have high demand in the city and merit consideration for new facilities. In order for us to be a truly sustainable city and promote overall public health, we need to designate areas within our urban area for recreational sports.

6. If a group such as ours is using parkland for our supported activities, what is a reasonable partnership between Waterloo and the City?

We have different structures for various sports and leagues within the city, and I’m not sure what structure would work best for disc golf. There are some sports where we contract with the league to maintain and lease the facilities while we have others that the city maintains and leases. I am supportive of a dialogue to discuss how best to partner with Waterloo.

GordoMK
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Posts: 427
Joined: Aug 30, 2008

Re: Austin City Council Elections

Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:21 am

We just got one more reply; late but at least he sent something. Kris Bailey is in Place 3 (running against Michael "Max" Nofziger, Kathie Tovo, and Randi Shade).


Apologies for not responding by the deadline, it has been very hectic these last few weeks! For what it's worth, here are my answers.

-Kris Bailey

QUESTIONS:

1. Do you think that our sport is bad for or a threat to the environment, and if so, how?

No, I am a disc golfer myself, it's been a couple of years but I do not feel it is bad for the environment in the least. Disc Golfers always seem to be very concerned about not trashing the courses and picking up trash. I sincerely appreciate this from the disc golf community.

2. When reviewing the environmental consequences of recreational proposals and existing activities, should PARD, the Parks Board and Council apply standards consistently to all recreational users?

Yes. The parks are for everyone and all rules should be applied equally to all. No groups or people should be favored over another.

3. As you may know it is the opinion of many organizations such as ours that the City is short in development of fields for sports as well as disc golf courses, would you support a bond for adding more; and if so how, if not why?

No, I will not support any future bonds. I would prefer to pay for things with existing funds instead of borrowing more money. I believe by selling Austin Energy we could pay down a significant amount of debt that the city carries. By ending subsidies to private businesses as well as tax breaks to corporations and higher end homes in Austin, we should be able to finance projects like these without bonds.

4. Recently, land targeted for either existing or proposed disc golf courses has been removed from all recreational use, effectively creating more preserves. What factors should be considered when deciding whether public park land should be used for recreational activities or preserved?

I see no issue with allowing disc golf courses in lands around the city, I don't believe there is any negative environmental impact from this. If it's in an existing park, I have no problems with letting a disc golf course go in.

5. Where do you stand on organized activities such as disc golf or soccer on parkland?

I think it's a great idea!

6. If a group such as ours is using parkland for our supported activities, what is a reasonable partnership between Waterloo and the City?


Do your thing! As long as you are responsible with your use and keeping your areas clean, you will see no opposition from me.

GordoMK
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Posts: 427
Joined: Aug 30, 2008
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