San Antonio is about to come on hard times, given major budget cuts at a state and federal level. What programs do you think can be trimmed back? What should we not touch?
I will apply the “Yellow Pages Test” to all city functions no related to public safety. If there is a private sector business that can do the same function for a cheaper price, then we should privatize that function and pocket the savings. I am the only candidate who supports an on-going review of every city department to ensure that we are economizing in every way possible.
Are there programs you plan to champion to ease the impact of those outside funding cuts on our community? Are you committed to continuing the SA2020 process?
Animal Control is a major issue in this district. I propose repurposing firefighters who are otherwise just sitting at the fire house waiting for an emergency to augment those operations. I fully support the SA 2020’s continuation.
What is your position on the city’s investment in two proposed nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project? CPS Energy plans for early retirement of the Deeley coal plant? Renewable energy development?
How could the city better support public education? Do you support efforts to allow Mayor Julián Castro to be able to appoint some school board members?
The city has a responsibility to make sure the neighborhoods and sidewalks around the schools are safe. We also have an obligation to attract jobs and businesses to contribute to the tax base that funds schools. Beyond that, school board members should run the school districts. The city has enough to stay busy with as it is.
Given the EPA is planning on toughening national air quality standards, what steps do you think the city can take to make sure our skies are healthy (and federal transportation keeps flowing to San Antonio)?
We should exploit existing technologies to generate efficiency, encourage more usage of public transportation on ozone action days and seek out best practices from cities around the country who are innovating and employing new technologies.
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?
What life experiences make you uniquely qualified to serve on the city council?
I am a City Hall outsider. I do not have the experience of owing favors all over town to lobbyists, developers and unions. As a small businessman, I understand what it takes to create jobs and develop a successful business. As one who is fairly tight with a dollar personally, I am the only candidate who has pledged to hold the line on taxes and rein in city spending.
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?
We have a good economy, but it could be much better. Our main weakness is focusing too much on larger employers and ignoring the small businesses that provide 3 in 4 jobs. Our strength is the tourism industry. We should make the permitting and application process faster and more streamlined to encourage small business start-up. I will also push for more efforts to fully establish small business incubator programs. The tourism industry doesn't really need augmentation. Our biggest challenge is educating those visitors on the numerous benefits of doing business in San Antonio and with San Antonio businesses.
How do 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 am the owner of an IT company. There are no conflicts with City Council business.
Should service on the San Antonio City Council provide a living wage? Why or why not?
That topic cannot be considered at this time. Every dollar we have is desperately needed to balance the budget and address this substantial shortfall.
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.
The need for stronger ethics enforcement is paramount. We need to control lobbyist access to city staff and commissions and require more disclosure. I also support reforming the contracting and bidding process to increase city revenues and removing the backroom dealings. I support an “E-Bay” style process to replace the sealed bid process. It will allow businesses wanting to partner with the city to more aggressively bid for our business. If bidders can see their competition, they will bid more closely to their margins and taxpayers will get a better deal.
Find out what district you live in, how to register to vote, information on the the other districts and more in our 2011 City Council Election Guide.