SAN ANTONIO – With poll respondents describing San Antonio as “safe,” “friendly” and a good place to live or start a business, Mayor Ron Nirenberg is looking on the upside of the Bexar Facts Poll.
“The biggest takeaway for me is that people are optimistic about the future of San Antonio,” said Nirenberg, of whom 53% of people had a favorable opinion.
However, the poll results also indicate a possible uphill battle for him. When asked about uses for 1/8 cent sales taxes, respondents supported all three questions: extending funding for an aquifer protection program and expanding the linear park system (80%), extending funding for Pre-K 4 SA (68%), and allocating more money to send to VIA (64%).
There is only enough room in the current sales tax rate for two of those initiatives, though, and the polling results showed a clear preference, with 40 percent of people saying the first priority for sales tax dollars was protecting the aquifer and expanding the linear park system.
Those are the same tax dollars, however, that Nirenberg wants to to send to VIA instead. Only 7% of people put increasing bus frequency and making public transportation more reliable as their top priority for sales tax dollars.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Nirenberg said of the support the poll results show for the aquifer protection program, “which is why I've worked my entire career as a as an elected official to make sure that we have secure aquifer protection.”
Nirenberg has been looking for a new funding source for the aquifer protection program so that the tax dollars can be redirected for transit.
The polling results, he says, also show that people want aquifer protection, a Pre-K 4 SA program and public transportation.
“And so we can do that. The options to do that are limited, but we’re developing a solution to do all three of those things,” Nirenberg said.