San Antonio limits construction noise with ‘goodnight, goodnight construction site’ ordinance
The San Antonio City Council amended the city’s noise ordinances on Thursday to limit the hours during which construction crews can do any exterior building construction work, including demolition and excavation. The council also approved more stringent penalties for violations.
Council members fret about process for SAWS and CPS board appointees, but not enough to derail new trustees
Council members’ concerns over the process for appointing trustees to the city’s water and utilities spurred lengthy discussions Thursday, but ultimately weren’t enough to derail the newest SAWS and CPS Energy board appointments.
Affordability concerns stall Friedrich Lofts complex housing development
The council members on the San Antonio Housing Authority Public Facilities Corporation Board delayed a vote on financing during a Tuesday meeting that would have allowed the “Friedrich Lofts” project to move forward. The project would create 358 units of studio, single-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments in a non-historic portion of the Friedrich Complex on East Commerce and Olive Street.
District 9 Councilman John Courage keeps his cool amid politically charged runoff
It’s a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, and I’m on the phone with Councilman John Courage, who is in the midst of a blistering runoff against conservative advocate Patrick Von Dohlen for San Antonio City Council, District 9. “I think all of the people who voted back in May are faced with a very clear decision — myself or my opponent,” says Courage, 70. Von Dohlen ended the night with 35.6 percent (8,978 votes), forcing the incumbent into a second and final round of voting on June 5. Historically, District 9 has leaned Republican, so it was a surprise to political observers when Courage defeated frontrunner Marco Barros in 2017. Courage, who admits he would have preferred to win the contest outright, shares his theory about Von Dohlen's May Day success.mysanantonio.com
Assclown Alert: Unpacking Patrick Von Dohlen’s absurd allegations against Councilman John Courage
Assclown Alert is a San Antonio Current column of opinion, analysis and snark. San Antonio Councilman John Courage may be a lot of things — a retired teacher, a former Air Force police officer and a guy with some progressive ideas elected in the traditionally conservative-leaning District 9. Yet Patrick Von Dohlen, Courage’s opponent in the June 5 runoff, has accused him of being just that. Although Von Dohlen didn’t return the Express-News’ calls requesting comment, the motivation behind his desperation move is clear. But, hey, at least Von Dohlen outed himself as an assclown unfit for office.outinsa.com
Stonewall Democrats slam anti-LGBTQ District 9 City Council candidate Patrick Von Dohlen ahead of June 5 runoff election
In a May 18 press release, the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio”strongly urged” voters not to cast ballots in the June 5 runoff election for District 9 candidate Patrick Von Dohlen citing his “extensive history of inciting anti-LGBTQIA hate.”In the District 9 runoff, Von Dohlen is facing off against Stonewall-endorsed incumbent John Courage who received 47 percent of the vote in the general election. Von Dohlen also ran for the District 9 seat in 2017 but did not make it into the runoff. Von Dohlen is a partner at the Von Dohlen Knuffke Financial Group located at is located at 45 NE Loop 410. In an essay posted later that month on the SAFA’s website Von Dohlen wrote, “I believe the City of San Antonio shouldn’t be a vehicle for politically correct social engineering . Early voting for the runoff election is scheduled for May 24 through May 29, and on June 1.outinsa.com
Vaccine waitlist expected to be discussed during city council committee Tuesday
SAN ANTONIO – With all Texans 50 years old and over now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the pool of people anxiously looking for appointments has grown larger. On Tuesday, one alternative will come up again - the creation of a vaccine registry or waitlist. The city council’s Community Health and Equity Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday. While a vaccine waitlist is not on the official agenda, it is expected to be discussed. The District 9 councilman brought up the registry idea at least twice in February city council meetings.
'I'm calling them out': 2 San Antonio council members question H-E-B's mask policy
H-E-B is getting some heat from San Antonio council members for its face mask policy for customers. Greg Abbott announced he is lifting his face mask order. Before, his H-E-B comment he asked all local business owners to think about their neighbors when making their face mask mandate decision. According to the Washington Post, Target, CVS, Starbucks and Kroger are some of the retailers that will continue to require customers in Texas to wear face mask while in its stores. You can watch the full city council meeting below:Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | @CillaAguirremysanantonio.com
City Council adds charter change for bond projects to May 1 ballot
San Antonio – The San Antonio City Council has sent a proposed charter change to voters, which could offer more flexibility in what kind of projects the city can fund with bond money. The city council voted 10-1 Thursday to add the proposal onto the May 1 ballot for voter approval. Ad“There may be still other state laws or federal laws that govern what we can do on specific projects,” City Attorney Andy Segovia said. Perry also criticized the way the proposed amendment was brought to the city council. Amendments added to the ballot by the city council are typically considered by a mayor-appointed charter review commissionAdWhile there was no commission this year, a 2018 Charter Review Commission had previously considered changing the charter language surrounding the use of bond dollars, at Nirenberg’s request.
Metro Health director nixes central registry for vaccine sign-ups
Courage used the opportunity to once again call for a citywide, central registry for which residents could sign up and be notified when it’s their turn to get the shot. Currently, residents must try to call or register online at each of the individual vaccine providers whenever new doses become available. A central registry, Courage argued, would help residents feel secure in the knowledge they’d eventually be in line to get vaccinated. Ad“We need to be able to reassure them that they will be contacted by call or email when their time comes to receive the vaccine. They’ll know where to go, they’ll know when to go and what to be prepared for when they get there,” Courage said.
San Antonio City Council discusses uncertain future of Alamo Plan
SAN ANTONIO – With the Cenotaph relocation apparently off the table, San Antonio City Council members discussed options forward for the $400 million Alamo Plan. With the monument’s relocation a “crucial” part of the overall plan, city staff members say plans or timelines need to be changed. “We’re going to have to redo redesign because that Cenotaph is not moving,” City Manager Erik Walsh told council members. In its entirety, the Alamo Plan includes repairs to original structures, a redesign of the plaza and a museum. Following the nearly two-hour public discussion, council members spent close to another hour in a closed executive session but took no official action.
San Antonio City Council passes $2.9 billion budget, no ‘defunding’ of SAPD
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio City Council passed a $2.9 billion budget Thursday that makes few changes to the San Antonio Police Department, over the strong objection of activists. The San Antonio Police Department’s general fund budget will increase more than $7 million over the FY 2020 budget to roughly $486.5 million, largely due to a scheduled 5% pay increase for officers. As police funding discussions take place in San Antonio and cities around the state, Gov. The San Antonio Police Officers' Association released a statement from its president Mike Helle in support of the budget vote, too. “The City Council, and the people of San Antonio, should make no mistake: this ‘repeal’ movement is just one more way to ‘defund police!’” Helle wrote in the statement.
City leaders face backlash over stance on Black Lives Matter movement
SAN ANTONIO Two San Antonio City Council members were the recipients of anger for their positions over the Black Lives Matter movement and other recent controversial issues that have recently surfaced during city meetings. I believe that Black lives matter. I believed Black lives mattered before I ever heard the term Black lives matter. I will continue to believe Black lives matter. District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry also sparked some anger from people during that June meeting, when he did not raise his fist in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Renters Meeting Draws Few Renters; Landlords Seek Balance in Commission
Landlords, realtors, and property managers showed up in force to a public meeting Saturday to call for representation on a proposed Renters Commission for the City of San Antonio. [Thats the] reason why we need a renters commission embodied by renters, Diaz said. A renters commission would be redundant, she said. The Renters Commission or sub-committee should include six renters and four people representing property owners, he said. The Renters Commission proposal will be considered later this year by Councils Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee, which Trevio chairs.therivardreport.com
Zoning Decisions Result in Approval of Lavaca Apartments, Protection of Toudouze Building
With a 9-1 vote Thursday, Council approved a zoning change that will allow a 36-unit mixed-use apartment complex in the Lavaca neighborhood near Brackenridge High School. The Lavaca Neighborhood Association said it would prefer 20 units but would accept a 35-unit project if the zoning was changed to a lower-density designation and added more off-street parking. Neighbors were concerned that the approved infill development zoning (IDZ-3) will allow for future increases to the density. Under IDZ-3, there is no limit to height and number of units, but the historic neighborhood has a height restriction of four stories. Now that the building is historic, redevelopment efforts are eligible to receive state and federal historic renovation tax credits.therivardreport.com
D9 Councilman John Courage shares his New Year’s resolution
SAN ANTONIO – As a new decade begins, City Hall reporter Garrett Brnger has been talking with members of the San Antonio City Council about their New Year's resolutions. District 9 Councilman John Courage said he has resolved to listen to his constituents. To see more resolutions from other San Antonio City Council members, click here.
San Antonio City Councilman John Courage Makes Listening Part of Public Service
click to enlarge Jade Esteban EstradaFor San Antonio City Councilman John Courage, 68, the journey of leadership and volunteerism began as an only child growing up in his native Massachusetts.He was 12 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Texas soil. When she married Courage, she combined the names.So, shes Zada True-Courage, he says with pride. His father, who wasnt involved in his life, died when Courage was 7. He lost his mother shy of her 50th birthday.So, I really never had a father in my life. And so, I just dont have that kind of background to be able to give you a better answer.sacurrent.com
Mayor Creates Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee Council Aide Pay Updates
The Governance Committee will review the results of the analysis in December and Council is expected to vote on changes to Council aide pay in January. Its important to keep in mind that currently, those Council aides are employees of each Council member. Some have suggested that Council aides could become City employees; others have suggested a blend of employees and contractors. City Council wants to talk about the independence of the City Council from City management. If the city managers recommendation is to make them all City employees: who is that benefitting? Trevio said.therivardreport.com
San Antonio City Council Approves Changes to Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
San Antonio City Council voted 8-3 Thursday to approve revisions to the paid sick leave ordinance passed last year with an amendment that requires all San Antonio businesses, regardless of size, to provide the benefit to their workers. We firmly believe that wage compensation and employment ethics are unique to each business and are dictated by existing state and federal law, said Cristina Aldrete, president and CEO of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, who was joined at the podium by leaders of the San Antonio and South San Antonio chambers. The ordinance, as revised by the Paid Sick Leave Commission, included interns in the definition of employee and those eligible to earn paid sick time. Legal challenges to a Dallas paid sick leave ordinance are also pending, although that citys ordinance has gone into effect. In July, a group of local businesses, including the San Antonio Restaurant Association and staffing agencies, filed a lawsuit against the City of San Antonio to block its paid sick leave ordinance.therivardreport.com
Proposal would make San Antonio among first cities in Texas to have gun buyback program
SAN ANTONIO - In response to the nation's most recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, two San Antonio City Council members have proposed a citywide voluntary gun buyback program. A military veteran and gun owner herself, she said, "Your Second Amendment rights are constitutionally enforced, and we have no right to take those away from you." Both council members said many gun owners may realize if their weapons are stolen, they could wind up in the wrong hands, to threaten, kill or rob others. The council members said 20% of the San Antonio Police Department's asset forfeiture funds would be used to pay people for their guns. Although the program would not pay for broken guns, they would be accepted and destroyed with all the rest, he said.
City council members propose gun buyback in effort to reduce gun violence
Oli Scarff/Getty ImagesSAN ANTONIO - Two San Antonio City Council members are expected to announce a joint proposal for a citywide gun buyback program. District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan and District 9 Councilman John Courage will formally announce their plan to submit a council consideration request for the buyback program at the San Antonio Police Department on Tuesday morning. The idea came after two mass shootings unfolded in less than 24 hours -- one in El Paso, the other in Dayton, Ohio. A news release cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which pegged Texas as the leader in firearm-related deaths with 3,513 in 2017. "The buyback programs goal is to reduce gun violence by reducing the number of firearms in circulation and preventable, accidental deaths," according to a news release.