Mayor discusses Google, railroads, unions

By Steve Spriester - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor admits she hasn't had a lot of time to reflect on her victory, or the historic significance of being elected as the first African-American mayor of San Antonio.

Taylor said it's all because she is busy doing work for the city.

Her first term will have challenges, from union negotiations, to Google Fiber. It's why she and her husband, Rodney, whose character was questioned during the campaign, is ready to look to the future.

"There were times when I had a little apprehensiveness about wondering how this type of thing could happen, " said Rodney Foster.

"We knew we couldn't directly fight, or respond and, in many instances didn't think it was appropriate to do so, but I think it united us as a family," says Mayor Taylor.

A united front at home, but at City Hall, it may be a different story for the Taylors.

Sitting in her living room and putting the bruising campaign past behind her, Mayor Taylor would like to do the same thing with the police and fire union contracts. She's hoping what's on the negotiating table can become part of the budget.

"I'm hoping they'll take a closer look and reconsider, because the time crunch is real. It's not manufactured," says Mayor Taylor

The long negotiations are also holding up future projects, including things like the Lone Star Rail Project, that would build a commuter rail line on existing tracks between Georgetown and San Antonio.

"Until we resolve the contracts, it makes it difficult to focus on other large scale projects," says Mayor Taylor.

The mayor doesn't exactly sound on board with the Lone Star right now, pointing out they still haven't identified how the city will pay the $10 million to $20 million a year to operate the line. One issue she is full throttle on is Google Fiber. She tweeted out a picture last week, outside Google headquarters.

"I'm hoping we'll have some good news in the next few months on that," says Mayor Taylor.

She says meetings on Google Fiber were very positive, and that Google is doing their due diligence before they announce anything coming to San Antonio, but Google is hiring and building here.

"The reason why it's taking them so long to do their due diligence is simply because of the sheer size of San Antonio. We're a big city, not just by population but by land mass, and we're talking infrastructure. So yeah, it is taking them a little bit longer, but I'm very encouraged," says Mayor Taylor.

She says at the top of her agenda, infrastructure, transportation, police and fire union contracts, but admits little can be done until the city and the unions find a common ground.

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