1.Do you support the addition of two new nuclear power plants to the South Texas Project to meet our future energy needs? If not, please describe the alternatives you favor. If so, please explain your position or philosophy on the long-term storage of nuclear-fuel waste.
2. Do you support Mayor Hardberger's Mission Verde initiative in its entirety? If so, what do you see as the most critical steps council must take to implement it successfully? If not, do you support any of its provisions, and why (not)?
In order to implement the specific initiatives in the Mission Verde plan, it is very important that we have a working group that involves relevant city staff and other knowledgeable members of the community to oversee the effort. Ensuring that all the city staff members embrace and understand the overall effort is key so that each of the city departments can contribute toward the effort as well. Continued public education is also important, so that the citizens can support the effort and understand any budget allocations made toward it.
I am particularly excited about the idea of the Green Jobs program. I believe that human development is a critical component of any of our efforts to improve the city and we have many citizens who could benefit from the opportunity to be trained for jobs in the emerging green sector. An example that would fit our needs in District 2 is training residents to perform weatherization and “green retrofits” on many of our existing older homes.
3. What is the right mix of public-transit options for San Antonio's future, and what do you think is the best method to fund/maintain each element?
I also believe that Bus Rapid Transit is a viable option that should be explored for areas beyond the Fredericksburg corridor.
While I would enjoy the opportunity to use light rail, I believe that further study is needed in order to determine whether the benefit would justify the cost. Our city's development pattern over the last thirty years has not provided the dense clusters necessary to make light rail efficient. I am not sure whether development in those dense nodes would follow the light rail if it were built. I believe that a thorough dialogue with our transportation entities, elected officials and citizens is necessary before a final decision is made.
I believe that we should continue to use the existing funding from federal transportation funds, funds generated through the farebox and also the sales tax used for the Advanced Transportation District. If we were to pursue light rail, a large amount of subsidy through the federal government would be necessary. I also would be in favor of being creative in seeking new sources for transportation funding.
I would make budget cuts to non essential services that do not immediately impact the health and safety of the community.
5. What are your top spending priorities for the HOT tax? Would you support a recommendation to use some of those funds to expand the Convention Center?
I would want to carefully examine a proposal for a convention center expansion. With the recent downturn in the national economy, the number of large conventions may decrease and I would want to have a cost benefit analysis based on projected attendance at conventions to determine whether the additional space is needed.
Our biggest weakness is that many of our citizens are not prepared for jobs. Our high school drop out rate and teen pregnancy rate seriously threaten our future economic development. San Antonio will not be an attractive spot for companies to relocate if they are not able to fill jobs with our citizens. As councilperson, I will make human development a major priority and will work collaboratively with a variety of organizations and institutions to address these issues. Another solution for our community is to facilitate UTSA achieving Tier One status. As councilperson, I would look to assist in that effort as well.
An emerging weakness for our city, are the increasing traffic and transportation issues. We have not reached the point of having crippling traffic like Houston, Los Angles, and Atlanta. If we want to remain competitive, we must ensure that we address our traffic and transportation issues proactively. In addition to seeking funding for new roads, connectors and public transportation options, I believe that we should incentivize development in the inner city and pursue balanced growth options.
At this point, I would not recommend changing the role or method of choosing a City Auditor. The Auditor already reports to the Mayor and City Council through the Audit subcommittee and also has a peer review process to ensure the integrity of the audit program. In light of the playground scandal, I would like to discuss the potential for citizen advisors to work in conjunction with the City Council's Audit subcommittee to increase accountability. But ultimately, the citizens must elect council people who have integrity and are genuinely working to further the health, safety and welfare of citizens. I will be that type of councilperson.
8. Do you support extending the digital-billboard pilot program? If so, what restrictions, if any, would you recommend on their placement and use?
9. Do you support SAWS' current plans to secure San Antonio's water supply? If so, please explain why. If not, please explain what you believe they should be doing differently.
10. Please briefly describe how you financially support yourself. How will you balance your work demands with your council responsibilities? Do you foresee any conflicts of interest between your profession (or former profession, if you're retired) and a position on council? If so, how will you handle these?
12. Please briefly describe your philosophy toward the maintenance and funding of publicly owned and/or operated spaces such as golf courses, libraries, parks, and El Mercado. Should these entities break even, make a profit, or be viewed as investments with tangible returns? Please propose a solution for the issues surrounding either Healy-Murphy Park, El Mercado, or La Villita.
In reference to Healy Murphy Park, I would explore several solutions; including determining the open space needs of the adjacent Salvation Army and determining what uses may be appropriate for the historic Dullnig house which could possibly also utilize the open space. The suggestion has been made to convert the Dullnig house into a police substation. I would consider that, but would want to examine the costs involved and also determine whether that use would be compatible with the historic nature of the existing structure. I would also explore whether any community partners would assist with the cost of upgrading the park to include new plantings and playscapes.
13. If we've failed to raise a question or issue that you feel represents your values and priorities as a candidate, please discuss it here.