SAN ANTONIO – On Tuesday, Rebecca Viagran will finish out her fourth term on the San Antonio City Council and hand the reins of the district off to her replacement and sister, Phyllis Viagran.
“It feels surreal being my last couple of days because so much has happened in these past eight years, and so much more needs to continue,” Viagran said in an interview with KSAT on Friday.
Forced off the dais because of term limits, Viagran said she is proud of the money she was able to bring back to the district for infrastructure and economic development during her tenure. She says she’s happy with the various opportunities that now exist in -- or are coming to -- District 3.
“So we have jobs now in District 3 that range from becoming a professor, becoming a doctor, to working at a medical school to work in advanced manufacturing,” Viagran said.
But looking back at her time on council, Viagran says she wishes she would have realized earlier on how much influence she had as a council member.
“I would have asked the city staff to do more outreach to the to the community, more direction to say, ‘Hey, did you do this? Why did you do this? Give me more of this,’ and really do that community collaboration more at the onset,” Viagran said.
She will also have to leave some projects unfinished, such as getting a police or public safety substation built in the district or an East-West corridor to accommodate the South Side’s growth.
“I’m frustrated I’m not being able to see that completely through, but at least that is on people’s radar, and it’ll continue to be a collaboration with all of the private, public and city entities,” Viagran said of the latter project.
With her sister winning her open seat, though, Viagran is comfortable with handing over the reins. Phyllis Viagran was at her side throughout her time on council, Viagran said, and she knows the district’s issues.
“I know she’s ready to hit the ground running and start moving forward so that it is there is no hiccup in the transition as she starts her administration,” Rebecca Viagran said.
The soon-to-be-former councilwoman already has a new job lined up with Texas A&M-San Antonio as its inaugural Director of Workforce Development and Community Partnerships, a role the university said will “lead the University’s strategy for advancing initiatives and partnerships to increase educational attainment and enhance the talent pipeline throughout the region and south Bexar County.”