City council pay, more council districts: commission begins 6-month process considering charter changes

Charter amendment recommendations could be on San Antonio voters’ Nov. 2024 ballots

SAN ANTONIO – How much to pay San Antonio City Council members, whether to add more council districts, and independent redistricting could all end up on San Antonio voters’ ballots next year.

But it will depend first on what a 15-member citizen commission decides over the next six months.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg tasked the reconstituted Charter Review Commission to consider whether to make eight specific changes to the city charter, as well as any broader “modernization” of the charter. The commission’s recommendations on the possible amendments are due to the city council by Jun. 14, 2024.

Voters would have to approve any changes, likely in the November 2024 election.

The commission meets for the first time Monday night at the San Antonio Central Library.

“I don’t diminish the fact that we have a challenge in front of us, but I think we have the right people with the right thoughts around it, that we’ll get ourselves organized and get kicked off today and hit the ground running really in ‘24,” David Zammiello, one of the commission’s two co-chairs, told KSAT ahead of the meeting.

READ MORE: San Antonio voters may decide on more council districts, council & city manager pay in Nov. 2024 election

Zammiello, a retired USAA executive and former head of Project Quest, called the six-month time frame “doable” to consider the following:

  • Whether to add to the 10 current city council districts
  • Whether council member pay should more closely reflect the cost of living in San Antonio
  • Whether council and mayoral term limits should change from four, two-year terms to two, four-year terms
  • Whether an independent citizen committee should handle the decennial redistricting process
  • Whether to undo the 2018 limits on the city manager position (eight years in the job and salary capped at 10 times the lowest-paid city employee)
  • Whether the city should appoint an independent ethics auditor
  • Whether the Ethics Review Board should be autonomous and have the power to compel testimony
  • A broader look at whether the city charter’s language needs to be updated to reflect “current processes, acknowledgments, and roles”

Some of the ideas have been “circulated” and talked about before, so the list of issues isn’t surprising, Zammiello said.

“I think that the idea is that these are the opportunities, and the time is now to really take that fresh look and take a holistic look -- for lack of a better term -- a holistic look, end to end, on these different core responsibilities and say, ‘What is the best thinking that we can put around that? How do we really want to position the city for the future?’ And what the community has to say in that voice is really important,” Zammiello said.

Read more about the different issues up for consideration and the committee members HERE.

About the Authors

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.

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