SAN ANTONIO – Improving streets and sidewalks and tackling affordable housing issues were among the top priorities for City Council members during a daylong budget goal-setting session for fiscal year 2019 held Wednesday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Council members discussed their wants and those conveyed to them by people living in their districts, as well as what San Antonians spelled out in the city’s SA Speak Up campaign, which surveys residents to learn what they would like to see included in the budget.
A total of 10,141 people participated in the surveys for fiscal year 2019.
As in years past, improving and maintaining city streets were a top priority for those surveyed. Similar work on sidewalks, plus filling in gaps where sidewalks do not currently exist, came in a close second.
Affordable housing was also a hot topic during the session, including the rising number of renters versus homeowners and housing costs outpacing income levels. Council members raised questions about how future city policy could impact the number of affordable housing options and ways that could play into the next city budget.
Public safety was addressed including the potential hiring of an additional 25 more police officers.
Council members created a list of priorities toward the end of the goal-setting session which city staff will use to create the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget.
The City Council will host a series of budget work sessions over the summer before voting on the final budget Sept. 13.