Nirenberg: 'San Antonio First' campaign bad idea

Campaign aims to make three changes to city charter

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said a campaign launched by the local firefighters union to change the city charter would effectively destroy our system of local government.

Nirenberg said the "San Antonio First" campaign led by San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association president Chris Steele is a distraction from the union's unwillingness to 
negotiate a new contract with the city. 

One goal of the union is to lessen the requirements to challenge a city ordinance, which effectively makes it easier for voters to potentially reverse decisions made by the City Council.

Related: City, fire union labor dispute flares up after campaign takes aim at city manager, charter

"If they are subject now to a referendum process that is manipulated by a union boss, in this case, or other special interest groups, then the rating agencies take note of that and end up making the cost of doing business for our public much higher, which is a cost to every resident in this city."

Steele said the campaign is about letting voters make the ultimate decisions in the city and believes no matter the issue, citizens would make the right choice. 

City officials have asked the union eight times to join them at the negotiating table to work out a new contract, but the union has never agreed. 

SA Firefighters union asking voters to support 3 petitions by Mary Claire Patton on Scribd

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