Questionnaire by GSACC to Byron Miller District 2
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 2009 City Council and Mayoral Candidates
1) Economic Development, Job Creation and Retention: How would you encourage job
creation and retention?
Local businesses must be given some type of incentive from the City of San Antonio
to create jobs — perhaps in the form of a tax credit or abatement. I would also
establish and strengthen partnerships with Alamo Workforce, local school districts,
ACCD and the corporate and small business community to help develop a well
Please describe the model/tools and/or incentives you would support to boost
economic development in San Antonio.
Would leverage programs such as the Empowerment Zones with targeted job
training funds, tax abatements, tax credits and other resources to encourage
companies to locate in Council Districts such as District 2.
Would support continued use of tax abatements/tax incentives for companies
relocating to San Antonio and would strongly consider offering abatements and
incentives to local businesses that seek to expand and grow in San Antonio (in the
final analysis, they are less likely to relocate)
What are your thoughts on additional organized labor entering the San Antonio
Given the current economic state, additional organized labor could negatively impact
job growth and retention in our region
2) Emergency Services: Do you believe that the City of San Antonio provides adequate
Police and Fire protection and other emergency services for its citizens? Please
explain. If additional personnel are required, what funds will be used to pay for
There are areas in District 2 that are under-resourced in terms of police and fire
protections as are some of the newer areas and newly annexed areas of the city. I
propose paying for additional police and fire personnel, in part, by adding
surcharges to fines for certain crimes and violations. Stimulus funds.
3) Education: What role should local government have on education and workforce
issues? Local government cannot afford NOT to be involved in education and
workforce issues, particularly secondary education. Education is the root that feeds
every issue of this city and government should become involved in seeing that every
young person has the best available education. While the City is not directly
involved in the local school systems, it can significantly impact education through
the millions of dollars it pays annually to child care providers by setting standards of
learning for pre-school children enrolled in City funded child care programs.
The City should take the lead in partnering with the education community and the
business community in seeing that every high school student has post-high school
education — either college or trade school — and strengthen its literacy and job
How can the City be involved in student mentoring and dropout prevention
We can encourage churches and organizations in our communities to establish
mentoring and student success program as well as encourage them to work
together to develop programs to stabilize families; work closely with social service
agencies, schools, churches, etc in our communities to identify students who have
dropped out or are at risk of dropping out (e. g., teen mothers); identify factors that
lead to dropping out and seek to mitigate those factors through aggressive use of
City and community resources; City and local educators can spend a minimum of
one day a month making person to person contact with at risk students.
If additional monetary resources are being recommended, from where will they
First, we must look at our existing departments within the city with new eyes and
see how we can leverage existing funds; second, we will need the business
community’s assistance to voluntarily invest in a Fund in this area and local media to
support an aggressive education oriented p. r. campaign
4) Water: What do you think about the status of water with regard to the current
drought? San Antonio is not running out of water, however, due to federal
environmental mandates, we will have less water available for our use
What is your plan to improve the quantity and quality of water for our City and
Quantity: San Antonio has been very successful with SAWS conservation
campaigns. Must use every opportunity to support and expand them. Must educate
population on the need for alternative source of water and ask them to support
moving forward with plan to develop source. Educate property owners on use of
gray water and offer incentives for its use.
Quality: Protect the Edwards Aquifer from encroachment by entities that have the
ability to pollute groundwater
How will your proposal(s) be funded? Position city to be able to receive more
federal money involving water; Use existing funds more efficiently
5) Transportation: What transportation projects would you recommend and support in
order to alleviate our traffic congestion issues?
Light rail; establishment and enforcement of HOV lanes in most congested corridors
of the City; Educational campaigns to increase acceptance of public transportation
How would your proposed projects be funded? Position San Antonio to be able to
receive a greater share of federal funding available in Stimulus Bill; State legislation
allowing added fee to Driver’s Licenses and automobile registration
Please share your thoughts on the recommendations of the San Antonio Bexar
County Transportation Task Force.
I support the recommendations, especially those to consolidate agencies and to
pursue rapid transit and light rail. Agree that San Antonio is far behind the curve in
relationship to other Texas cities and that needs far outweigh available resources
and that forces must be joined to create a coordinated plan.
6) Energy: Do you believe our municipally owned electric utility has done a good job in
diversifying our energy mix, including coal, natural gas, nuclear power, wind and
CPS Energy has done a good job, evidenced by the fact that San Antonio rates are
among the lowest in the state and that they have incentives in place to expand use
of wind and solar power.
Please share your thoughts on the importance of each of these sources.
Coal and natural gas are the foundation of CPS’ energy mix and, as a practical
matter, cannot be abandoned; coal is a cheap source of energy and in plentiful
supply and technological advances continue to make it more friendly to the
environment; Nuclear power is a clean and cost effective means of energy and its
use should not be discounted; while the goal must be to expand our use of solar
and wind energy, they are, at this point, almost prohibitively expensive to implement
on a widespread basis However I would keep all options open and strive to make
the best decisions for the city.
7) City Budget and Finance: What are your top five budget priorities for FY 2009-2010?
(Public Safety, Neighborhood and Housing Services, Education and Job Training,
Streets and Infrastructure, Economic Development)
What is your position on increasing revenue streams for the City to address basic
city services, such as streets, drainage and other infrastructure improvements?