S.A. District 10 candidate Arthur M. Thomas
EDUCATION: BA Computer Science, Baylor University 2001
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? I am running because we have, for too long, had people on council wanting to manage government or with ideas of how to spend more taxpayer money. We need someone that questions government growth and looks for ways to cut spending. We need someone that returns power back to the taxpayers whenever possible. We need someone that starts with the question: "Should government be doing this int he first place?"
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? No
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? I have been lead on development software for my employer. I have also as officer and committee member within the Libertarian Party.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL? I hope to reduce burdens on taxpayers and eliminate expansive government and the debt it has created. I also hope to empower citizens to solve problems locally.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FACING THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO? I believe San Antonio faces the same challenges of any growing city. There are people that want to use taxpayers to fund their ideas instead of being responsible and making sure basic city services are taken care of. Its the age old problems of politics taking from citizens instead of giving them the power to make decisions.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SAN ANTONIO?
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? It can quit playing around with subsidies and taxes. It should create a fair taxation system and always focus on working towards giving taxpayers back their money. Government cannot "help" the market. It can only get in the way and take from it.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. As a whole, Pre-K4SA, Streetcars, and Toll Roads are all 'big ticket' items that the city should not be supporting. I think the biggest "hidden" issue our city has is a council that agrees 99% of the time and only questions %1. We need more people questioning every decision and not just the big "newsworthy" items.
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? Pre-K4SA, Streetcar program, SAWS rate increases. I would also put salary caps on city employees. I would cut marketing from agencies that have a monopoly in the city. Programs that do not have anything to do with basic city services utilities, roads, and safety should be reviewed. I think every agency in the city should have a sunset type review to see what can be cut.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? Against. We can all think of of programs we want to implement? But is government no more than a battleground to steal from one another with a simple majority vote? What rights do we have to the lives and decisions of each other? What program is "more" moral or worthy than another? When we take out of each others pockets then it diminishes the capacity for each other to pay for their own family, life, and dreams. Government is not a tool for us to take from one another even under that best intentions.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? Unfortunately much of this is an effect of our failing education system that must be dealt with at the state level. Cities are are left dealing with the after effects of a problem and not the core. I think community leaders are the best to reach out and work with these groups. Where they have crossed the line into crime then there is little recourse than the justice system. The hard solution, and the right one, is communities building outreach.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? I just want the city to meet its basic road obligations. We are taking spending away from the basic promises of roads to pay for higher minded ideals like the streetcar project. If we cannot take care of the basics like roads then how could we hope to do more? SAWS also needs to make improvements, but it should become an efficient and responsible agency before asking for more money.
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