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Top Morning Stories 2/9/12: UT in Talks With Players, City Eyes 'Bundlers,' Austin Economy Growing

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UT Board of Regents Negotiate Sale of Players Restaurant

As reported byThe Daily Texan, UT’s Board of Regents affirmed their desire to purchase Players Restaurant from owners Carlos Oliveria and Edward A. Hempe. The news came at a Regents meeting in San Antonio on Wednesday.

The university does not have definite plans for the land but is considering adding a building to house the Red McCombs MBA program.  

University spokesman Gary Susswein would not comment on specifics of the sale because a discussion would undercut negotiations.

“The appraised value of about half of the land is $696,925, according to Travis County property information,” reports the Texan.

University of Texas previously attempted to acquire the land in 2004.

City Committee Wants to Restrict “Bundlers” in City Elections

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the 2012 Charter Revision Committee wants to restrict the amount of money that city lobbyists can raise per candidate, per election. The new rule would limit $1,750 per candidate, at five donations with a city maximum of $350 per donor.

 “The committee wants to require candidates to list the name, address, employer and occupation of each bundler and each person from whom the bundler collects a donation,” said the Statesman.

There is concern from the committee on whether “big money” influences the city elections. But others have voiced concerns the restrictions may make it harder on lesser-known candidates looking to raise funds.

Candidates have six months to raise enough money for their campaigns, money that is used to reach voters via TV, radio, and print.

Austin City Council will put these ideas to a public vote in November. The committee has issued several other recommendations for the ballot, which you can read here.

Austin’s 2012 Economic Outlook Looks Good

According to KVUE, a well known Austin economist predicts 2012 will be a good year for the city’s economy.

Angelos Angelou, with Angelou Economics, predicts “that the top industries to see growth in Austin will be in housing, real estate, video games and clean-tech, just to name a few," reports KVUE.

Last year Angelou predicted growth in the hospitality, leisure, health care and semi-conductor industries, citing the number of jobs at 18,500. The actual number was 20,100.

Angelou has been forecasting about the city’s economy for nearly three decades.

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