If a man’s home is his palace, it can safely be said that the State of Texas spares no expense for our King. Last week, spokespersons for Governor and Mrs. Perry announced that the First Family has found a place to live while the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Austin is being renovated.
When the renovation project was budgeted, a line item was worked in for alternate housing for the Governor and his family. According to spokesman Robert Black, Mrs. Perry and the family’s DPS security detail recently settled on a property southwest of downtown Austin that “meets requirements,” necessary for the First Family’s digs.
And the State of Texas is renting the joint for the bargain price of $9,900 per month.
One of the requirements, obviously, was that the Perrys are able to have their 5-year-old dachshund, Lucy, with them. Requirement met – for an $1,800 pet deposit.
What a lucky girl. I wonder what kind of doghouse the complex has?
The house itself, a 4,600-square-foot mansion in its own right, is located on 3.25 acres in the exclusive Estates Above Lost Creek, and has a guest house and pool cabana, which should be perfect quarters for the security detail and some “rotating staff.”
The subdivision is gated, and the property itself is also gated, so our Governor can rest securely as he lounges by the beautiful inground pool, strolls around the manicured lawn or fishes in the property’s creek.
Except, of course, since the property is in Travis County, he should probably catch and release the fish or risk protests from Austin’s population of tree-huggers.
The propery has been on the market for over a year, listed at $1.8 million or so. As a requirement of the lease agreement, the owners had to take the property off the market. Of course, I can’t see that being much of a hardship, since a mortgage on the $1.8 million sales price would run about $9,500 per month. The extra might accidentally cover a portion of the tax bill.
While I doubt I would object if someone offered me the chance to live for free in a place like the Governor’s new digs, I also think choosing this home flies directly in the face of the Governor’s standard blathering about fiscal responsibility and belt tightening.
I’m not suggesting we should have put them up at a Motel 6 for the next year. But with the Austin real estate market “straining,” the way some experts say it is, I’m sure there are plenty of nice, vacant properties out there that don’t come with a $10,000-a-month price tag. There are also a number of nice, suitably luxurious, if not palatial, hotels in downtown Austin that would offer the Governor a nice walk to work, instead of the minimum 25-minute drive he’ll have to take from Barton Creek.
I suppose it’s a minor inconvenience to see how the other half commutes, as long as you don’t actually have to experience how the other half lives. And maybe it’s harder to budget your household expenses when you have the State of Texas to write the checks for you.
I understand that there are certain needs as far as space, security and luxury that are required of the First Family of a state like Texas. After all, they have to work and entertain, meet and greet with all the political and social muckety-muck types in Central Texas. I suppose I’d be less crabby about footing the bill if I thought for a minute I’d be invited to a barbecue on the grounds, or if I thought I could come hang by the pool some Sunday afternoon.
Heck, I’ll even pick up a box of sausage and a bag of ice on my way into town.
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