Questionnaire by GSACC to Anna MarÃa Caballero District 6
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 2009 City Council and Mayoral Candidates
Anna Maria Caballero
1. Economic Development, Job Creation and Retention:
According to Forbes Magazine, in April 2008 San Antonio was awarded the
noteworthy title as being the #2 recession proof city in the United States.
Responsible and forward moving economic development is attained by recognizing
that city leaders must support the key existing contributors for jobs which are
healthcare, biotechnology, the military, information security and technology, an
emerging aerospace and engineering segment, finance, tourism and convention
business and the arts. The model that should be implemented is one that recognizes
that acquisition and retention of industry and business, occurs simultaneously. In
addition facilitating the study of future trends in job opportunities that promote highwage
skilled professions such as the “green” industry must be implemented as well.
Creating a solution oriented business model that partners with our local colleges and
universities that would provide the necessary green courses to facilitate the
promotion of this emerging industry is key. Also, this could blend into an incentive
for attracting or sustaining business by assisting with making their facilities green.
Furthermore, small business development programs supported by small business
financing through the South Texas Business Fund, partnering with our small
businesses on how to obtain government contracts, supplying small business startup
information and technical and regulatory assistance can help promote a healthy
balance between large and small business. Also, ensuring that our infrastructure
can support our business’ growth and sustainability model is critical
Our City Manager’s office can assist by creating an economic development strategic
plan that would include a focus on seeking federal funds earmarked for projects and
workforce initiatives that our city can implement. Laser focus on maintaining our
AAA bond rating is another priority. Robust communication centered on economic
development, job creation and retention on a local, state, federal and global level
should also be considered. Generating a communal sense of continuously improving
our plans and processes in order to achieve the highest standard of professionalism
no matter what our job responsibilities are will also foster economic development,
job creation and retention
Finally, I support promoting a healthy balance between organized labor and nonorganized
2. Emergency Services:
Based on the current budget, our city worked hard to maximize its resources with
providing Police, Fire and Emergency services. The current increases allotted for
Police and Fire protection will help to make our city safer and work towards an
optimal level of protection. It’s important to continue to explore efficiency gains,
however due to the needs of our citizens we must look for additional funding to
continue to build our Police and Fire protection. We should continue with the 2008
initiative to decrease unnecessary spending and earmark those funds toward public
Local government should support early childhood education that includes
parental/primary caregiver involvement from infancy through high school.
Partnering with our schools, early childhood education programs and education
advocates will ensure San Antonio’s future is strong. In addition focus on the middle
school years by fortifying the after school challenge program for this sector should
be considered. Parks and Recreation program designs along with promotion of
public Library programs within our schools could provide avenues for supporting
these efforts. Mentoring should be everyone’s business. A program reaching out to
our business community, our retirees and our very own city employees to help
mentor our youth can be implemented. A volunteer mentoring effort would
generate minimum cost. The potential rewards are exponential.
Understanding that water levels can fluctuate up to 20 feet (as has been the case
from 3/08 to 3/09), strategic oversight of SAWS water management plan is
essential. SAWS, whose primary responsibility is to manage and maintain water
resources for San Antonio, must be held accountable to ensure that San Antonio
continues to have the best water in both quantity and quality. SAWS has several
projects, initiatives, and programs in place that include an Aquifer protection and
evaluation plan, the underground storage system, commercial and conservation
programs that include the retrofitting of homes with water saving items in low
income areas, and drought restriction measures are but a few of the strategies
currently in place to protect our water supply.
I do favor the implementation of increased commuter transportation such as the
rapid transit (BRT) design in place on Fredericksburg road from the Medical Center
to downtown San Antonio. We should also consider a light rail system along the
same corridor. I had the opportunity to witness the use of the light rail system in
the Houston Medical Center. It was greatly utilized, quick, clean and efficient.
We should also explore the option of smaller mass transit buses and the use of biodiesel
fuel to power them. This is similar to what Councilman Rodriguez has
proposed with his recommendation for alternate fuels for fleet vehicles which I am in
Smarter urban planning and partnering with the county to ensure that new
residential communities are designed with an effective traffic flow system are critical.
The key to funding these projects is to garner targeted federal funds.
The goal of the San Antonio Bexar County Transportation Task Force was to provide
an actionable recommendation for the provision of an integrated transportation
system by January 2009. In order to move forward with their findings,
communication is important in order to garner public support. Finally, based on the
fact that a new federal administration is in place the task force must press forward
with presenting its findings and recommendations at the federal level now in order
to be at the forefront for receiving available funds.
All sources of energy are important and worth cultivating further. CPS Energy is an
industry leader in diversifying its product and must be allowed the flexibility to
continue to do so. An open door policy communicating findings and
recommendations at the district level can prove to be effective in support of our
sustainability plan. The Strategic Energy Plan for supplying power to our city
focuses on four key objectives; increasing energy efficiency and conservation efforts,
expanding renewable energy resources, providing cost competitive electricity, and
having a strong commitment to protecting our environment. CPS currently utilizes
wind, landfill gas, and solar energy that provide 11% of our peak demands. In
addition, CPS has a goal of attaining 20% of peak energy capacity with renewable
energy resources. This will sustain their reputation as a national leader for
renewable resources. It is important that we continue to develop clean, efficient,
environmentally responsible sources of energy while keeping our economy robust
and growing more jobs for San Antonio.
City Budget and Finance
1. Police and Fire Protection
2. Enhance community resources- streets, drainage, and parks
3. Financial oversight and accountability
4. Promoting and retaining workforce, business and economic development,
5..Develop eco-friendly and environmental solutions that will in turn translate into a
green industry in San Antonio.
Increasing revenue streams will result from a careful focus on the aforementioned.
A safe city will attract and retain industry. Careful planning of the maintenance of
our infrastructure will net fewer extensive overtime. Financial oversight and
accountability will help maintain our AAA bond rating and support responsible
budget allocations. A healthy workforce will fortify the needed income stream
necessary to meet our budget. However, the economic downturn is expected to
have an affect on our city. I will be committed to an additional review of our budget
and look for any additional efficiency and economies of scale wherever possible and
use those cost savings as a revenue source.