At a Feb. 10 press conference adjacent to the Candlewood Suites, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell and Commissioner Cynthia Long joined Sen. Charles Schwertner, District 6 Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, and Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz to call on the City of Austin to back off on plans to convert the hotel into permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
Gravell and Long, according to Community Impact News, said they were present not to deny or affirm the merits of converting hotels into housing for the homeless but rather for what they said they perceive as a lack of transparency from the city. They said they should have been invited to the table and will now pursue legal avenues.
“Don't mess with Williamson County," Gravell said, via Community Impact "You have stepped over the line without coming to the table and having a conversation. I'm willing to have that conversation. But if you are not, we will take you to a conversation in the local courthouse, and you will not be pleased with it.”
.“I will fully fight this with every ounce of energy I have,” Schwertner said, via CI. “We need to find a better way forward to address the homeless situation in Central Texas. But what has been enacted by the city of Austin through their City Council is not right," calling for better physical and mental health options.
“What the city of Austin did was bamboozle these business owners and residents and force them into a position where they had to make a choice about whether or not they will stay here, and we don't need to have that,” Kelly said, via CI.
See video of the press conference from Hill Country News below: