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Rhett R. Smith, Mayoral Candidate


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.

While I am not opposed in theory to energy from nuclear power, I believe your newspaper has reported the tremendous environmental damage incurred in this region from nuclear developments.

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)?

It is a multifaceted initiative and San Antonio needs more time to learn about this.

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?

More bus transit , carpooling, special lanes . . . . .other cities have many other alternatives,  however,  San Antonio needs Federal funding for long term maintenance of any elements.

4. If San Antonio faces a budget shortfall, where would you be willing to make budget cuts?

Cut city manager Sculley’s salary and/or cut the pay of members of the Association of S.A. Police Officers; we could ask for budget reductions department by department;  however I would prefer to save jobs.

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 believe the HOT tax has spending restrictions.

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?

San Antonio is a regional center,  and center for training for military medicine worldwide; to build on this, all schools in San Antonio should offer a pathway to a career in military medicine. I would like forour institutions of higher learning to focus on international development.
Water shortage/availability is a weakness here, and I would like  to focus on regional ecosystem development and education.

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?   

The office of the City Auditor is not relevant; transparency and accountability are the responsibility of the news media and alert public citizens, which necessitates more open meetings/open records. For the dollars spent, I would rather have an environmental auditor/toxicologist and more citizen oversight.

8. Do you support extending the digital-billboard pilot program? If so, what restrictions, if any, would you recommend on their placement and use?

Yes, case by case basis.

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.

The new executive administrator, Robert Puente, seems to be forthcoming with a strong plan.

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?

Since my service in the U.S. Navy, I've worked for 26 years with the same private security company.  I can adjust my schedule of take a leave of absence.  I can recuse myself and/or completely separate if there are any conflicts of interest

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?    

I am the only candidate who  is a plaintiff  in the Free Speech Coalition lawsuit against the City of San Antonio and Mayor Hardberger---who said, "it's your speech , pay for it, is like renting a house "   When the First Amendment is being evoked by any persons, I believe the City officials are bound by the First amendment and cannot order any financial impediment.

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

They should break even  if possible 

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.
As mayor, I will be primary advocate for the children of our community. I will require a children's impact statement with each and every city endeavor/council action.
The mayor's office will always be open to every child and respective family.
I believe that San Antonio-Bexar County has not addressed the issue of hazardous materials and/or transport of same, and therefore I am asking for re-evaluation of emergency preparedness.
Finally, I am praying with 40 Days for Life and the San Antonio Coalition for Life.    

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