Your Questions Answered: San Antonio City Council District 1 candidates

SAN ANTONIO – Saturday, May 4, 2019, is the general election in San Antonio. All 10 city council district seats will be on the ballot.

This page will offer links to results for the City Council District 1 election in the May 4 San Antonio general election. 

Check back for the results. Go ahead and bookmark this page now so you have it ready on May 4 and 5, and beyond. 

Important Election Dates

Monday, April 22, 2019: FIRST day of Early Voting.  

Friday, April 26, 2019: Holiday - Municipal and County Offices Closed.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019: LAST day of Early Voting.

Saturday, May 4, 2019: Election Day

San Antonio City Council District 1 candidates:

  • Alan Dennis Inchaurregui
  • Raymond Zavala
  • Oscar Magaña
  • Brad Kessler
  • Justin Holley
  • Colton Unden
  • Lauro A. Bustamante
  • Roberto C. Treviño
  • Richard Gonzales

Your questions answered!

We asked you to submit your questions for the San Antonio mayoral and city council candidates and you delivered. We received more than 300 questions in the last few weeks. We then asked you to vote on the submitted questions to help us select the top ones in each council race that you would like to have the candidates answer.

We sent those questions to the candidates and asked them to answer them by April 23. 

We are posting the answers we have received. They are posted unedited and as they were sent to us from the candidates. If there are candidates not included in the Q&A, it is because they have not responded.

Here are the top questions chosen by KSAT viewers/KSAT.com readers followed by the answers from the candidates:

District 1 Candidate Questions:

  • A total of 31 votes were received.
  • Top vote recipients:
    1. What are your policy ideas to counter gentrification & the continual rise of taxes within the city as our cost of living is steadily increasing & those on fixed income or in a medial paying job are finding it harder to sustain a reasonable way of life. - Anonymous submission (10 votes)
    • Raymond Zavala: "My plans for countering gentrification and rising taxes are to improve existing older neighborhoods and thus limiting or preventing developers from land grabbing and displacing senior citizens and families that have medial paying jobs. I would also meet with the county elected officials and travel to meet with the state officials to create a plan for tax relief. I will also challenge the use of eminent domain."
    • Oscar Magaña: "Work in reducing or freezing property taxes for seniors and those on fixed income. In addition, ensure that luxury condominiums or apartment buildings from being built by neighborhoods that are already at risk."
    • Brad Kessler: "First, I strongly support lowering and cutting taxes for small businesses and home property owners, I do support affordable housing solutions and initiatives to counter gentrification, I am in strong favor of supporting affordable housing in the district and throughout the city. District 1 is facing a gentrification problem and is enabling the historic neighborhoods such as Tobin hill and King William citizens to leave. I will fight for investments into affordable housing provide tax relief to those seeing a rapid change in the community, change is good but rising property taxes and cost for the high living is not good. I don't want property owners to feel the crisis with rapid growth and change happening in their area and I do not want anyone to suffer paying higher taxes. I will fight for affordable renting options and homeownership opportunities within the district, I don't want to see anyone displaced or leave the district due to rising cost in rent or mortgages. We also need good quality jobs and education among the community, better opportunities to stop displacement and suffrage with the rising cost of living."
    • Justin Holley : "we are out of balance when it comes to property taxes and the burden falls more on the homeowners of San Antonio than any other sector of our economy. We need to reign in our fiscal policies in regards to spending. We have a surplus just about every year. Why do we collect more money than we actually need and then we must ask where is the extra money going? City council plays 2 roles on the tax issue - sets the rate and spends the money.
      We as city council need to focus on setting a vision for our city/district that includes opportunities and jobs for all levels of our economy. We currently have a strong Hospitality industry in District 1, as a city we heavily rely on them to provide the core of our tax and fee collections. Funding just about 18% of the city budget. This industry is currently the economic driver of District 1, when it should be the industry providing the services for other strong industries. We are starting to see sectors that are on the rise, including Healthcare, Bio Science and Technology. We must put our foot to the pedal and speed up this process by ensuring our economic development and education system have the resources to make this happen."
    • Lauro A. Bustamante: "I would advocate rebates, discounts, waivers, and exemptions for residents paid for by outside city revenues. This have been done in other cities and can be achieved using data sharing and a smart city application."
    • Richard Gonzales: "I would try and get a tax freeze on the properties that are directly affected. Just because next door is worth 300K, doesn't mean mine is worth anything in that Tax Bracket."
    1. How do you plan on representing ALL the people of San Antonio/or Districts using the statement that you/city do not discriminate according to race, sex, religion and so on without placing one group above any others? - Anonymous submission (7 votes)
      • Raymond Zavala: "I will represent and be inclusive of all the residents and businesses of San Antonio, regardless of race, sex, religion, and economic status. The needs and request of the residents will be prioritized and not one group will be denied equal representation."
      • Oscar Magaña: "I will continue to represent District 1 the way I represented the entire U.S. as an airman in the United States Air Force, with respect and honor."
      • Brad Kessler: "I strongly support and will preserve the city's NDO and I want to set examples and be the leader who can properly represent everyone fairly, I am a supporter of human rights and equality for all regardless of race, background, gender, and religion. I am committed to fighting for equality and compassion to respectfully represent the citizens of San Antonio in the best interest and to my abilities, hate has no place for San Antonio and I will ensure folks can live a compassionate life without fear of discrimination or bigotry from local government."
      • Justin Holley : "I will offer up a new Non Discrimination ordinance that will be very clear, it will read - "The City of San Antonio does not discriminate for any reason". We will then ensure the office of inclusion has the resources to investigate any and all claims put in front of them. Ensuring 100% transparency"
      • Lauro A. Bustamante: "I will again take an oath to uphold and defend the US-Texas constitution to not discriminate according to race, sex, religion and so on."
      • Richard Gonzales: " I would consider the funds available and the people it would help vs. the request. For instance the Rainbow Crosswalk the City paid in excess of 12K. That could have paid for about 120 window A/C's for resident's without A/C. Common Sense Spending. No Special Interests."
    2. Are you satisfied with San Antonio being the sanctuary city that it is? If not --what would you do to change the existing sanctuary city status? -Submitted by Don Stephens (4 votes)
      • Raymond Zavala: "I am not satisfied with the city of San Antonio being a sanctuary city. We have to take care of our citizens first and foremost. Our resources are stretched beyond their limits and can't afford to keep accepting more requests for help. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I believe that federal immigration laws need to be enforced."
      • Oscar Magaña: "I’m not. I would change how the higher crime charges are handled. Anything below a class B should be acceptable but anything higher should be handled in a quicker manner and have individuals deported to ensure our city stays safe from violent criminals. We house illegal criminals in jails for too long and then release them back into the public that’s unsafe for our community."
      • Brad Kessler: "San Antonio is an international city and should be welcoming and home to anyone and everyone who enjoys our quality of life, culture, and heritage. The Governor and State Legislature of the State of Texas signed to end sanctuary cities and the city of San Antonio I believe doesn't have the authority to override state law, it will just put us in a legal process with the state legislature, governor and attorney general and will divide us further. The issue about sanctuary city is a state and federal issue, I, however, stand on the side of law enforcement and our community, I support a good public safety and we must help our citizens first, we have an ongoing homeless problem, displacement due to gentrification and high cost in living affecting people, our city council does support sanctuary city policies, I do not, for the safety of our community and because we must put our residents first before else, I am not at liberty to go against the law, I am going to respect and follow the laws that were put in place, so I am against Sanctuary City policies for San Antonio, but that does not mean I am against Immigrants or others, we must have a comprehensive immigration plan and be welcoming to folks from all around who want to live in San Antonio but that is the state and federal powers to fix that issue."
      • Justin Holley : "Technically San Antonio is not listed as a sanctuary city, but our policies as a city have us being perceived as one. Immigration laws are all federal issues and we must ensure that our city follows the federal laws. As a city that has become a gateway of immigration both legal and illegal we must be an advocate for what is just and compassionate. Our history with the 5 Spanish missions mandates us to continue to be the front door for the country for people that want to live the life all of us are living today."
      • Lauro A. Bustamante: "I would change it to a “Humanitarian, Human Rights, caring, loving sanctuary city”. The Bible commands us to love and serve our neighbor care for and help the poor and needy."
      • Richard Gonzales: " I am satisfied with the status, but it needs to be enforced. McManus has Cost us over 225K in Legal Fee's already for his Failure of enforcement."
    3. How would you have voted for Chick-fil-A being located at the airport? - Anonymous submission (4 votes)
      • Raymond Zavala: "I would have voted for Chick-fil-A to have been included. Several reasons were given to exclude them from being added to the list of airport food vendors In my humble opinion, no business should be discriminated against,because of their religious or political beliefs."
      • Oscar Magaña: "My vote would have been “Nay”. This is not about Chick-fil-A, this is about a process of an RFP (Request for Proposal). The city of San Antonio had already approved Chick-Fil-A, then city council decided that they had a “legacy for being anti-LGBTQ” which deemed them discriminatory. If they had a legacy, wouldn’t the city’s purchasing department have been aware of such behavior and not accepted their proposal? The mayor later stated that it was since they do not open on Sundays and that they are not a local restaurant. Again, was this part of the RFP? Why did they not state they wanted someone local? The RFP should have mentioned a requirement to be open on Sundays, and from the beginning, Chick-Fil-A would have been aware that they did not meet the requirements.  Who is discriminating now? We should have processes in place and City Council should not be able to jump in without a legitimate reason."
      • Brad Kessler : "I would've voted to keep Chick-fil-a and be on the side of faith-based businesses and evangelicals, but I will say this, id rather have a local business in the airport rather than a chain fast food, there are two sides to this issue with "local business" and also the issue about "discrimination" we should be welcoming to ALL, faith-based and LGBT no one should be treated unfairly, so when it comes to both issues that's where I stand, and as a Catholic, sometimes I feel i am excluded due to my personal religious beliefs and having recently met with members of the LGBT community, religious leaders, community members from both republican and democrat, I came to the conclusion to side with the business on its faith-based stance but I am against it for the airport inquiry because id rather have a local business."
      • Justin Holley : "This was a case of not following policy or procedure. This clearly points out the weaknesses of our contracting process as a city. I will ensure that process is fixed. As a individual I personally do not eat at Chic Fil A."
      • Lauro A. Bustamante: "I would have voted for Chick-fil-A being located at the airport because they give chicken to our veterans, and children at the airport and the children like the big Chick. The Chick-file-A vote was made for reasons that violate the constitution. I will again take an oath to uphold and defend the US-Texas constitution "
      • Richard Gonzales: "The Chick Fil A issue was not just exclusive to Chick Fil A. Many other companies were excluded in the Bidding Process and not even allowed to submit a bid. It was totally unfair. The AG will have the Final Word on this issue, then it will clear this matter once and for all. Natiowide."

Here is a list of other questions that were submitted.