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“apparently lied to the public when he said he was not committed when he went to Plymouth.” A few days later the two, along with Binder, issued a joint release saying “polarization of the City Council on the nuclear power plant will only cloud the real issue before the people.” But with the two councilmen continuing to say they have “serious reservations” about the project, and Butler continuing to support it, no one can quite see the three becoming terribly close. Two other, more substantive arguments are going on as well. One of them is the economic forecast for Austin’s participation in the project. The anti-nukes say cost overruns are as common as safety badges in nuclear power projects. They cite the example of the Massachusetts plant: it was originally planned to be a $64 million undertaking but ended up costing $220 million. And in the last year alone, the tab for Austin’s share of the STNP power has been revised upward from $357 to $402 per kilowatt-hour. It’s still cheaper than other alternatives, say the pro-nukes, and besides, the STNP cost estimates will prove accurate. The other major hassle is over what effect voter approval will have on the future growth of the city. Wray Weddell of The Austin Citizen was getting warm when he predicted that students would vote against nuclear power because of their “foggy thinking” that they would thereby be voting against growth. Anti-nukes, naturally, don’t see the issue in those terms. But they are concerned that a committment to the kind of energy supply STNP is talking about is not just a precaution for furnishing Austin’s population with power, but a preparation for vigorous courting of industrial expansion and its concomitant population explosion. Dr. Kitto points out that about 40 percent of city revenue comes from the profit on sale of utilities, and predicts that a large investment in energy supply will automatically lead to efforts to sell as much as possible. In addition, the city’s electricity rate structure already favors big users, which does not exactly encourage frugality. The prospect for tripling the availability of energy within this rate structure led The Daily Texan to conclude editorially that the city fathers “will go to almost any lengths to provide big businesses with an abundant supply of cheap energy.” THE VOTERS are being asked to ratify this committment to a radically increased energy supply at the same time the city is beginning its “Austin Tomorrow” program. Austin Tomorrow is without a doubt the grandest project ever undertaken by the city planning department. It is designed to update Austin’s 1961 master plan and, in the process, involve the citizens of Austin in setting goals for the city. City Planning Director Dick Lillie spent the better part of an afternoon explaining the program to the Observer. It involves a three-step effort. In Phase I, which is in progress, the planning department prepares reports on how Austin has changed in the past 13 years and works up projections of how it would change if the same trends continue. In Phase II, scheduled to begin around the first of the year, the staff’s technical information, projections and alternatives will be presented to a series of 50 neighborhood meetings for consideration by residents. Citizens \(a total of 10,000 asked to choose alternative goals in areas like land use, housing, transportation, economic growth, population growth, environmental protection, use of the downtown area, health services and preservation of neighborhoods. The department’s staff will then match citizen goals with alternative regulatory structures and try to work out consensuses which are acceptable to different zones of the city. Those consensuses will then be presented to the City Council for implementation Phase III in zoning, land use and environmental protection statutes and the like. Lillie takes a deep breath when asked if he’s optimistic that citizens will actually become involved and will actually be able to determine the future of their city. He then says yes, “for this reason: we have had full support from the city council, from the city manager and his staff, from the Chamber of Commerce and from every citizen group we’ve talked to.” He freely admits his biggest problem will be involving people in the student community and in East Austin and then working out consensuses among those groups and more well-to-do, more growth-oriented folks in West Austin. To Sandra DuPuis, a member of the Austin Environmental Council, the Austin Tomorrow program sounds like a good idea that will never work. DuPuis says, “I think it would take a strong citizens’ group to make it come off and I don’t think that a strong citizens’ group organized around the future of Austin is going to be able to Contributing Editors: Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Gary Cartwright, Sue Horn Estes, Joe Frantz, Larry Goodwyn, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, Bill Porterfield, James Presley, Buck Ramsey, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Edwin Shrake, Dan Strawn, John P. Sullivan, Tom Sutherland. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with her. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that she agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. BUSINESS STAFF Joe Espinosa Jr. C. R. Olofson The Observer is published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the At of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single copy, 50c. One year, $8.00; two years, $14.00; three years, $19.00; plus, for Texas addresses, 5% sales tax. Foreign, except APO/FPO, 50c additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. Change of Address: Please give old and new address, including zip codes, and allow two weeks. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. THE TEXAS OB SERVER The Texas Observer Publishing Co. 1973 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher A window to the South A journal of free voices EDITOR Kaye Northcott CO-EDITOR Molly Ivins ASSOCIATE EDITOR John Ferguson EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger Vol. LXV, No. 22 Nov. 16, 1973 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin ForumAdvocate. 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