SAN ANTONIO – When he first announced his candidacy, he was deemed a “longshot.”
July 22nd marks one month since Ron Nirenberg was sworn in as Mayor of San Antonio.
Today, he talks about hitting the ground running while keeping his expectations high as he looks around his new office.
"It's bigger than my apartment when I met my wife," Nirenberg says.
The corner office at San Antonio’s City Hall does come with its perks, plenty of space for collectibles and family pictures, Nirenberg points at the picture of him holding his son after a speech.
"That's my favorite picture," he says.
As its newest occupant, Nirenberg is also aware of the history here.
"There’s a lot of people who did some really good work for our city and it's pretty awesome to be among them, but it's also an extraordinary responsibility to honor the office," Nirenberg says.
No stranger to City Hall, the longtime Councilman's move downstairs means laying out a citywide agenda. The top of the list, jobs, economic development, and infrastructure-streets, sidewalks, and rail lines.
"We need to have mass transit options. These are all the functions of a strong city with a strong economy and that's what we need to get, we need to get past the point of planning and start digging, very soon," Nirenberg says.
We also talked sports, specifically professional soccer.
"We are on a glide path for Major League Soccer to come to San Antonio, and I intend to see that through," Nirenberg says.
Then there’s professional baseball, on the day he was sworn in, the Missions announced its Triple-A intentions. Nirenberg says he still hasn't had a formal meeting with Missions Management.
"I am willing to look at any deal presented, if it’s good for the citizens of San Antonio, with regard to Triple-A, it's all speculation, I have nothing to say about a deal that we haven't even seen the details of," says Nirenberg.
Nirenberg says he judges all things by what he believes is good for the city, after all he says he considers this their office as much as his, and he wants San Antonians to feel it's in good hands.
"I'm serving people, we can talk all we want about infrastructure and roads, sidewalks and schools, bringing jobs to San Antonio, but unless it's actually positive for the people of San Antonio, then what are we doing it all for," says Nirenberg.
Nirenberg says his biggest surprise so far is the sustained level of excitement he feels throughout the city, the sense of optimism, and he wants the level of civic engagement to increase.
Nirenberg wants people to feel hopeful about their city, and the government that represents them. He is also very clear that no mass transit system will be built, until the voters approve it.
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