Challengers Branden Moore, Jeff Carruthers, and Robert Yanez will take on incumbent John Clamp — the only candidate who didn’t return a questionnaire, despite promising to do so — at the ballot box.
Jeff Carruthers, 54, owned his own screenprinting and embroidery business for 15 years and now sells embroidery equipment in a four-state area. He is a past candidate for state senate, justice of the peace, and county commissioners court.
Carruthers says he would cure City Hall’s transparency issues by bringing on self-appointed gadfly Jack Finger as a consultant. He favors adding a single nuclear power plant to the city’s existing two, and doesn’t care for Mission Verde, except for increasing energy efficiency in publicly owned buldings and departments. He thinks amenities such as golf courses should break even (or be privatized, as long as fees aren’t increased), but he’s also against prohibitive parade-permit fees.
3. Public transit We already have the best public-transit options. To fund these big projects would cost the taxpayers way too much money.
6. Economic development The strength of San Antonio’s economy is tourism, retiree’s, low cost of living, and geographical in regards to population and weather. To build on these assets, I would reduce taxes, shrink the budget, and keep criminals that have victims in jail longer. Weaknesses in the economy are lack of high tech jobs available, high property taxes, lack of conventions, and upstart businesses. To correct these issues, I would work on lowering property taxes, reduce user fee taxes, and reduce government bureaucracy for businesses.
9. SAWS’ water development and conservation Unless the property is below market value, I think SAWS should quit spending so much money on land that is so far away from San Antonio. I don’t think it has been proven that the Aquifer can’t handle our current and future supply.
Branden Moore, 26, owns and operates a cell-phone sales and service company with his family. He is a veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.
Moore would like to see an emphasis on community-level initiatives such as rainwater collection to meet our future water needs, a preference for self-reliance echoed in his position on digital billboards: Couldn’t they run on solar or wind? Moore supports the SA Hotel & Lodging Association’s HOT Tax priorities (sanantonio-lodging.org), and declined to share his views on the City Auditor until he unveils specific proposals closer to the election.
1. Expansion of the South Texas Project nuclear plant Due to the cost; the potential for irresponsible harm to our environment; and the possibility of danger to employees and surrounding communities, at the moment I do not support the nuclear option.
Building and management costs alone are tremendous and while there may be present short-term benefits; it would be irresponsible for anyone to ignore the administration of the toxic waste to include the price thereof. In the long run these plants will prove to cost more to all citizens.
A more viable solution is a focus on consumer conservation followed by upgrading existing infrastructure to maximize energy efficiencies. In an effort to improve our environment; reduce our consumption footprint; preserve the beauty of our city for future generations; and become a beacon of innovation to our nation we should expand opportunities for both new energy mediums and employment by implementing and combining alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal.
12. Publicly owned parks and spaces In a free-market society we must, and I say this strongly, stand on the side of a free-market approach. The city is the largest business and should run as one that succeeds; is transparent; and benefits all its citizenry equally. Regardless of the economic climate we should have open and simplified balance sheets which break even, at bare minimum, but preferably result with a return on investment.
Profits resulting from intelligently executed projects should recycle into the business; expand working projects; cushion preventative savings; and more importantly reduce the burden of the citizens by returning or reducing subsequent year taxation.
Robert Yanez, 26, works for Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. Yanez says he won’t support more nuclear power for SA unless the citizens of Texas are willing to put the nuclear waste in their own backyard (paging Andrews County). He favors the big-event theory of tourism advertising (hello, Luminaria), worries that giving too much power to the City Auditor could lead to trouble, and says that digital billboards belong next to the highway.
2. Mission Verde I do support Mayor Hardberger’s Mission Verde plan and I agree with the S.A Bexar County Transportation Task Force on their recommendation on where the city needs to be and how to fund these recommendations in the future. One of the biggest causes of traffic problems in San Antonio is that the city did not plan well for the growth of the city. I support any light rail system from Austin to San Antonio and all towns in between. The funding for the rail system will be difficult to get if the other cities do not support the train system. The cities of San Antonio and Austin will need help from the state and the other cities that will benefit from this rail. There needs to be an open communication line between Austin, Buda, Kyle, San Marcos New Braunfels, Schertz and the communities around San Antonio for this to work. San Antonio is going to have to revamp it’s VIA transit systems to have a more efficient traffic solution. To help cut the congestion on the roads and the pollution that comes with it, there need to be more research on what should be done.
12. Publicly owned parks and spaces I think publicly owned operations such as Libraries and parks should be able to sustain themselves, but I do know it will take help from the city to fund renovations, and to add new and better equipment. The issues surrounding Healy-Murphy Park is unfortunate to that community. What happened to it is not the best outcome for the community expecting a new park. The community expected one thing and then the City of San Antonio saying they were going to do something else with the land is not right. The only solution I can see is for the city to be at bit more transparent in decisions like that of Healy-Murphy Park. The community has a voice and they elected someone to represent that voice on the Council.