OCCUPATION: Self Employed
EDUCATION: Graduated from Central Catholic High School -- 1985
B.A., Public Justice -- 1991
M.P.A., Public Administration -- 1993
St. Mary’s University, San Antonio TX
FAMILY: Married to MaryAnn (17 years); daughters Alyssa (15) and Isabel (11)
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? I wanted to give the voters in District 9 a choice at the polls. In addition, I feel that I can make a difference in our city government. My many years of government experience have prepared me to manage the issues and concerns that our citizens face everyday. I feel that I am better suited than my opponent to navigate the politics involved at City Hall.
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? No.
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? In addition to leadership roles in the Boy Scouts (as a youth), I have held various leadership roles in college and community organizations. I was the President of my Fraternity at St. Mary’s (Rho Beta Gamma) and I seek out leadership roles as a matter of my regular participation in any organization. I have also taken leadership roles in my children’s extra-curricular activities (Girl Scouts and school activities).
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL? I would like work to find ways to increase city services without increasing headaches and wait time. There are always ways to improve the system. I will speak up for District 9 in that regard. In the wake of recent ethics issues throughout city government, I would like to re-open discussions that would give citizens more answers and less excuses. Recent events have painted a very negative picture of our city government and those who are charged with making very important decisions with our tax dollars. I aim to remedy that situation.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FACING THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO? Keeping up quality City Services is a constant challenge as our population continues to grow. This population growth taxes our ability to maintain infrastructure and utility needs. Water will continue to be an issue as well and the City (and SAWS) will have to continue to work to find new and affordable ways to maintain a good water supply regardless of the weather patterns.
Another consequence of our growing population is our growing problems with traffic. The City will have to work with county, state and federal authorities to both maintain our roadways and expand access and travel options. We need to be thinking outside of the box on this issue and we need to get past obstacles that impede progress. People need to be able to get to and from work in a reasonable amount of time. Businesses depend upon our workforce to be mobile. It is our job to make that happen without excuses.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SAN ANTONIO? For many years San Antonio enjoyed solid employment opportunities in various fields that allowed workers to earn a good living. Some of those large employers are no longer here. San Antonio needs more and higher wage jobs for everyone. That includes young people fresh out of high school, college graduates (to include highly educated individuals), and vocationally trained people like electricians and plumbers. We need to enhance the training programs that are already in existence here and provide better pathways to employment. More people working and making a better wage will point to better economic growth overall for our city. So in a nutshell, we need more better paying jobs to support our workforce.
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? City Council can consider more tax incentives for new and existing businesses.
The City can also expand all economic development activities throughout the area by enhancing public/private partnerships and by partnering with Bexar County and other jurisdictions to develop and promote new partnerships. We need to eliminate barriers to economic growth. We need to help businesses succeed so that they can hire more and higher paid employees.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. I disagree with the decision to move forward with the downtown street car project. From everything that I have seen, a majority of the citizens of District 9 did not want this project to take place and many still oppose implementation. Now we must monitor this project very closely to make sure that the project remains true to plan. Our taxpayers expect honesty and integrity from our city government.
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? I would not cut any items from the current city budget. However, as the city continues to struggle with providing more city services with limited resources, I would scrutinize every item/program and I would be willing to make hard decisions that may not be popular. Basic city services would be my priority and other items/programs would have to be considered on a case by case basis.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? I voted against the Pre-K for S.A. program. I weighed the pros and cons and decided that we already had adequate Pre-K programs in existence. However, now that the program has been approved by the citizens of the entire city it is our job to closely monitor the program and make any necessary adjustments to make sure that the program is a success.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? The City should continue to provide activities for youth that keeps them busy and off the streets. City officials and the Police must continue to work together to find new ways to curb crime and help young people grow up to be productive members of society. These young people represent our future. We need to find ways to help them be successful law abiding citizens who contribute to our community in a positive way.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? With the cooperation of the Bexar County and TxDOT, I will be happy to see the City move forward with the northbound ramps of 1604 to 281 North. This project will help eliminate additional traffic congestion on 281 and the frontage roads. Traffic in surrounding neighborhoods will benefit as well.
The downtown IH 35 lower level drainage issue needs to be resolved. This creates large problems when heavy rains hit the downtown area, literally bringing travel to a standstill and causing dangerous situations.
I would not be in favor of any additional major infrastructure improvements that are not already on the bond projects list. Until the city identifies more revenue sources or can find a way to make budget dollars stretch a little further we will need to maintain a very close watch on city spending. No new projects unless budget surpluses are identified and then only on a high priority basis.