1. Do you support the addition of the 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.
Yes, I do support additional power-generating capability because we will need it. We have had nuclear-powered ships in the U.S. Navy for 55 years; nuclear power on combat warships and they have operated safely. I do also favor developing a system whereby any homeowner in San Antonio should be able to install either solar or wind power generating equipment; and with that equipment can sell surplus electricity to our electric utility. Imagine, if we had half the homes in the city generating electricity.. there would be less need for our electric utility to build more power generator facilities.
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)?
Hardberger's "green" initiative is only "okay"; rudimentary; on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) I would rate it at a "one" or a "two." If one has knowledge of basic physics; one would easily see that his proposals could be much more improved. Further, instead of it being a "special project" (which tends to be forgotten over time); I believe instead it should be incorporated into the Municipal Master Plan and into the manual of Standard Operating Practices.
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 believe we have to step "out of the box." Many times I've been down to City Council meetings and it appears they have no understanding that there is a real world beyond the Council Chambers! I have lived in Tokyo, (the world's largest city at 35 million population; San Antonio barely has 1 million); transit transportation is privately operated in Tokyo. We used to have that here but it was all shammed up to end up what we have today; minimal service feeding on the public trough of taxpayer dollars! All these monies that "are supposedly given to anyone by government" are not so!! They are money that have first been collected from taxpayers. Thereafter only a small portion is promoted as "stimulus" money (or by some other fancy title)! The larger portion of the taxmoney.. is slurped up by the government! I have tried the bus transit in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth; San Antonio should stop bragging that we have the best bus system in Texas.. until we actually do. My preference is for better transportation. See my website at michaelformayor.info ; I advocate monorails; monorail provides "another level of transportation service" that doesn't block traffic; nor get stuck in traffic; nor tear up our streets from the heavy weight of buses; etc. Where we may be able to make it privately operated transportation, instead of publicly funded, I would prefer that! So that taxpayers can keep more of their money for taxes in their wallet instead!
4. If San Antonio faces a budget shortfall, where would you be willing to make budget cuts?
Number one: the City Manager's salary! The city manager got a $20,000 bonus.. imagine that! Most people in San Antonio don't even make $20,000 a year in pay! There's lots of praise for the city manager; however, if I were mayor, the city manager would be just barely meeting the minimum requirements. I see people working themselves hard all around town.. while the city manager sits in a comfy chair in a big office making an outrageous amount of money! I will prefer to ask the city manager for a voluntary pay reduction; else, there could be a whole lot more work assignments necessary in order to try and justify so much excessive pay! I guess all that excessive pay came from the Mayor; you know apparently the Mayor says everybody he meets is well off! Problem is, you gotta be well off to meet with Mr. Mayor! I will also ask the City Manager to look at the very real necessity of at least identifying what 20% to 50% budget reductions every department may be able to come up with; if necessary (as opposed to the City Manager's proposal of a 2% budget reduction)! European economic ministers have just forecast the recession will continue through 2010 (many U.S. government borrowed loans are owed to Europeans); so I believe San Antonio needs to get its own house in order first! (I would imagine now the city manager may tell the city clerk to count any vote as two for the other guys while votes for my candidacy will probably be lost on election night!)
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?
Number one: I believe we should lower the HOT tax as much as possible. Most travelers do NOT return to a city that has excessive Hotel Occupancy Tax. Number two: I have lived in Asia, Europe, Africa, and many other places around the world; outside of the U.S., most people have NEVER heard of San Antonio! So I believe some of that money should be used for an occasional advertisement (in order to draw more tourists to San Antonio). Number three: I believe the Convention Center is very poorly promoted and utilized; local birthday and non-profit parties is not the best use of a multi-million dollar convention facility.
6. Please briefly describe your conception of San Antonio ’s economy, its strengths and weaknesses, and what you would do to build on the former and address the latter?
Have resided in: Tokyo (the largest city in the world - with 35 million people; San Antonio has barely 1 million), Paris (the most beautiful city in the world), Korea, Venice, Hawaii, Greece, California, Austria, Florida, Italy, Washington, D.C., Africa, etc. Have knowledge and understand what needs to be done to prepare San Antonio for further growth (within a short span of years, San Antonio may soon be double in size). Further, have extensively studied events that lead up to The Stock Market Crash and The Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.. AND what is really necessary in order to avoid a repetition of that history in America.. either at the national/world level or at the local level. Have seen and experienced the world - have even been to the Basilica where Saint Anthony's tomb is (for whom San Antonio, Texas is named). Could have chosen to live in some major city; however, I returned to San Antonio and know that it can easily be improved from where we are now. (Today, per capita, San Antonio is America's largest poorest city.) San Antonio used to be a great city - Dwight D. Eisenhower came here for his training.. he went on to become a FIVE-STAR General and a President of the United States; Douglas MacArthur got his training here; and probably the most famous aviator of all.. Charles Lindbergh also came here to San Antonio.. to get his training.. he went on to become world famous by later being the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in an airplane. It takes real LEADERSHIP to make any institution "Great." Having worked with thousands of personnel, I can say that none of the other candidates have anything near what is required. I know I can easily do it; always got the job done far beyond expectations and was service decorated. I have even started years before (while in college, returning for Christmas to San Antonio, wrote to a Mayoral candidate and suggested he offer "a Master Plan"; once suggested to another Mayor that "gateways" be developed around Fort Sam Houston and other areas of town; to another Mayor suggested pressure washing of railway underpasses; redevelopment of outdated Victoria Courts (failed housing project); and even at a City Council meeting initially suggested building of the new Spurs Arena on the Freeman Coliseum grounds. I have even been in communication with a major airline in eastern Asia that is very interested in flying to Texas! LEADERSHIP & VISION! Upon election, Michael Idrogo's priorities will be: economic development, economic development and more economic development; investing in neighborhoods; efficient city government focused on customer service; reduction of crime level to near zero percent (we did it 24/7 at Naval Air Stations); building San Antonio as a city of the arts; efficient development of parks; improvement of quality of life (San Antonio is now far behind other major U.S. cities); transportation development; trade development; real estate development (to move this city from a little cow-town to instead begin acting as a major U.S. city); high-tech development; broadband internet development (for example, Korea has 90% of households on broadband internet); not just conventions but also full time "magnet" attraction seeking corporations, that can provide new opportunities, to move here; movie/film industry development; new developments for area military bases; quality education for all children; higher educational development; quality, affordable housing for first-time buyers; lower taxes; an " AGENDA FOR BUILDING SAN ANTONIO INTO AN ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE !! " Michael will also propose a seaport opportunity for San Antonio; major world cities utilize a seaport to expand trade and commerce. Navy commander veteran of foreign wars..
7. Keeping in mind the playground scandal, the Healy-Murphy Park sale, and the El Mercado flap, how would you increase accountability and transparency at City Hall? Specifically, would you change the role or method of choosing a City Auditor, and his/her scope of authority?
I believe it is good if the City Auditor is discovering some discrepancies. Maybe we also need an independent prosecutor? I will have ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption.
8. Do you support extending the digital-billboard pilot program? If so, what restrictions, if any, would you recommend on their placement and use?
Speaking of corruption; the digital-billboards were originally offered as "to be changed only about three times a day." Go look at one of those billboards.. I think they forgot or maybe they meant every three minutes?? Then there's one located at the twisty-curvy intersection of 281 over IH-35!! Yikes! That's a high accident zone!! .. and what did City Council do?? .. they authorized a digital billboard in the busiest spot!! What for?? For more accidents??
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.
I do support; however, here again, speaking of corruption; when SAWS had their initial public meetings on recycled water; they said they were prohibited by Federal Law from allowing the recycled water from flowing into any stream, creek, or river. They are pumping recycled water into the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park! .. and everyone is wondering why the Riverwalk stinks?!
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?
I have a Federal Permit for a hydroelectric power generating plant. Such plants nowadays are fully automated. I expect no conflicts; if any, they will be declared in writing; and if any; unlike some other past councilors; I will abstain from voting or participation in discussions if there is any APPEARANCE of a potential conflict of interest. The mayor's position pays $3000 per year PLUS expenses (something they never tell you). I can manage.. even though, I doubt the city manager may treat me for lunch now..
11. What is your opinion regarding the Parade Ordinance that is the subject of the Free Speech Coalition lawsuit? Specifically, what fees, if any, should the city charge for parade permits? Should they distinguish between types of applicants and events, and if so, how and by whom should those decisions be made?
If there's a question of FIRST AMENDMENT; it appears to me the Parade Ordinance is PURELY POLITICALLY motivated. Each City Councilor should be sworn to an Oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and thereby protect those rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to the people. If they cannot, then they should remove themselves from public office or be removed.
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.
It's in the CITY CHARTER! Sec. 128: "Inalienability of public property. The ownership, right of control and use of the streets, highways, alleys, parks, public places and all other real property of the city is hereby declared to be INALIENABLE by the city!"
They're not even properly sworn in! How can they, the city councilors, be expected to come up with any plan that would benefit the budget for Our municipality?
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.
Stop, look, and listen! Voter education. In my opinion: I will ask every voter NOT to vote for: Castro, Cibrian, McNeil, nor DeBerry! (Nor any of the remainders.. because the remainders are SHILLS -- put in to help influence the result of the mayoral election..) Those candidates that I have named (they may be propped up in the TV and the big newspaper), in my opinion (and I could show facts), are MERE PUPPETS of old political horsetraders! Old guys who've been around the city hall politics since the 40s, 50s, 60s!! Their gettin' is too good.. that they won't go away!! (Anyone would be amazed at the tricks played just so they get their way!) If any of those others get elected.. expect very little, if any, progress for San Antonio. (One candidate is a Larry Craig tap-dancer type.. but they don't want voters to know that. Another candidate got millions from suing the bus company.) Play it safe! Vote Michael Idrogo for Mayor! No strings attached! (Not a puppet.. ya see!) Navy commander veteran of foreign wars (Over two decades of public service as a Commissioned Officer of the United States `Hardberger was another Officer.`)