S.A. District 6 candidate John Barfield
OCCUPATION: Probation Officer
EDUCATION: Master Degree in Psychology
FAMILY: I am a native of Houston, Texas. Married for thirty-seven years to Francis King Barfield and we are the proud parents of two children and five grandchildren.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? I am running for city council because I care about our city and our district. We need to get constitutes involved. I‘ve walked our district and knocked on hundreds of doors speaking with District 6 constitutes and only a few knew who our City Councilmen is. Last election only 2,455 people voted. I feel that's a problem because the apathy by the majority has allowed a few to be the voice of those whose doors are kicked in, graffiti written on their property, streets needing to be repaired and fear of gang members selling drug in their neighbor with no reprisal. I believe our politicians today are more concerned with their wishes than the people. A good example is the Martin Street project. The price tag started at $32.9 million dollars and has elevated to $36.2 million dollars and constitutes knew nothing about. I know I can make a different just as I did in my neighborhood, the Air Force, an elected school board member at Robins AFB, elected prescient chairperson, and a Problem Solving Court Manager. We need change. I am reminded of the time when I was working on my vehicle starter for several hours and I could not get one of the bolts off. I went inside frustrated when my dad said to me "Jr. you have been working on that same bolt for hours why don't you try something different. You keep trying the same thing over and over again and getting the same results." I decided to try something different and I was successful in getting the bolt off. I feel District 6 have to try something different.
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? No
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? Air Force Intelligence Non Commission- In -Charge, an elected school board member at Robins AFB, elected prescient chairperson, and a Problem Solving Courts Manager.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL? I hope to give everyone in District 6 their voice not just a few. I want to listen and hear what they have to say not vote on an issue or ordinances and come back and tell your constitutes how things are going to be. I would like to work on how board members are appointed.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FACING THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO? Addressing the needs of one of the fastest growing population in Texas which means the education system, both public and private schools and colleges will need continual updates and enhancements. Secondly, San Antonio has competition with other cities in attracting hi-tech companies and industries. Education will be paramount in order to perform these hi-tech well-paid jobs.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SAN ANTONIO? The biggest obstacles facing San Antonio long term will be the population growth rate. By 2050 it is predicted that San Antonio population growth will increase by 70%. Therefore, education transportation, employment and a host of things will follow.
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the USA and the 2nd largest in Texas so economic growth will need a robust. The City council should continue providing incentives and tax breaks in exchange for jobs. If the companies do not keep their part of the deal then they should lose their tax breaks. It should be all or nothing. If companies don't employ the amount of employees negotiated on then the companies should not get tax breaks.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. Yes, I disagree with the cost of the Martin Street Project because it started off costing tax payers 32.9 million dollars and before long the cost had risen to 36.2 million dollars and the contractor haven't even begun the work. The council voted for the project or ignored the cost and swept it under the rug. Secondly, the city councilmen had the opportunity to vote for the Non-discrimination ordinances but choose not to due to the upcoming city council election. Finally, the Ethics code that the city council supposedly voted to strengthen has showed how weak it is or how little the current city councilmen care about ethics. This election has shown how little ethics matter. My dad once said in this world a man only has one thing and ardies
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? I have reviewed the ALL Funds Operating and Capital budget for 2013 and the total budget is 2,277,339,360 which is a 3% increase from Fiscal year 2012. I did not see any items/programs I would like to cut. However, I did see two areas that I would like to add additional funds to. One such area is the Streets and Sidewalks Maintenance which only receives $12.5 million and the
other one would be Neighborhood Revitalization.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? Yes, I voted in favor of Pre- K4 because it will pay off in a big way in the future. If one child is successful he /she can affect hundreds and the hundreds can affect millions. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." What concerns me is there are some who are worried about the money spent to educate our 4 year-old but never stop to think what we pay to incarcerate the criminals in Bexar County Jail , for one inmate it cost tax payers $55 a day nearly $22,000 a year and we are willing to pay it to feel safe. Studies after studies have shown the earlier you start educating children the better they are going to do in school. Studies also have shown if you read to your child in the womb they are likely to do better than the child that was not read to.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? Being a part of Law-Enforcement and supervising gang members on a daily basis. I have learned that many of them do not like their way of life but it's all they know. As a city, state and nation crime has become a serious problem and no one has been able to stop it but have learned to control it with the help of families, education, involvement by citizens, close supervision by probation officers and parole officers, the courts and police officers all have help to control the gang members and crime. I know if you can get people to watch out for each other and get to know their neighbors it can help deter crime. I can tell you putting more police on the street will not stop crime but neighborhood watch and involvement by politicians can stop crime one block at a time.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States and 2nd largest city in Texas it's also one of the fastest growing cities. San Antonio bi ways and streets will need to keep pace with its growth rate because by 2050 San Antonio population will have doubled. Many of streets are in bad condition. It appears that the city is repairing the outer part which is the part that is most traveled while allowing the inside meaning neighborhoods are going undone. I would like the city to re-evaluate on how they do the streets in neighborhoods because for some streets they wait for 20 to 25 years before they do it again.