Van de Putte officially receives SAPOA endorsement

Former Texas senator running for San Antonio mayor

SAN ANTONIO – Leticia Van de Putte, a candidate for San Antonio mayor, officially received the endorsement of the San Antonio Police Officers Association Tuesday.

"I am so humble and so proud and i couldn't be more happy to have the support of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day," she said.

Van de Putte gathered with supporters at City Hall to announce her securing the endorsement.

At a candidates' forum at Alamo Colleges Monday, she spotlighted the ongoing fight over collective bargaining negotiations between the city and the police union.

Her opponents followed suit, laying out their plans for a fair and financially sustainable contract.

"We have to ensure that the police understand the parameters that we're operating within and we understand what it is they're seeking for their members so I think just consistent, continuing communication is key," said Mayor Ivy Taylor at the forum.

"We want more public safety, but we also want to make sure we don't break the bank, that the new contract is financially sustainable. That means that the cost of public safety has to grow no faster than our revenue," candidate Mike Villarreal said. "We're not going to be able to put more police officers on the streets and reduce our response time unless we're more efficient and we have contract that we can afford."

Former Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson said his experience on the commissioners court can steer both sides to an agreement.

"We made do within our limitations, and I think any family knows you have to not spend beyond your ability to provide money," Adkisson said. "Everybody understands that and I think the elected officials especially the mayor (have) to make that known."

Paul Martinez, another mayoral candidate, did not participate in Monday's forum, but said the best way to curtail the high cost of public safety would be to cut waste, fraud, and abuse in the city's budget.

Although both sides have expressed optimism that talks are moving forward, Martinez said there should be no rush to strike a deal before the election.

"The decisions that are being made now, I'm afraid that they're going to be done in haste. They're going to be done as a political play by the current mayor and city council to say, 'Hey, look what we did,'" Martinez said. "It's got to be done right, and in my opinion it needs to wait a little while until after the election."