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Questionnaire by GSACC to Byron Miller District 2

 

Questionnaire by GSACC to Ivy Taylor District 2

Questionnaire by GSACC to Ron Wright District 2

Questionnaire by GSACC to Dan Martinez District 2


 

 

The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 2009 City Council and Mayoral Candidates

 

 

Questionnaire

 

 

Byron Miller

District 2

 

 

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

trained workforce.

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

region?

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

service enhancements?

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

training programs

How can the City be involved in student mentoring and dropout prevention

programs?

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

come?

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

region?

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

solar?

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?