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Questionnaire by GSACC to Chris Forbrich District 1

 

 

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

 

 

Questionnaire

 

 

Chris Forbrich

District 1

 

 

1. Currently, major industries that provide jobs are Tourism, Education, Military,

Government and Medical Services. The South Texas Medical Center provides

San Antonio the opportunity to be a regional care provider for Texas, and

brings good, well paying jobs to the area. San Antonio needs to bring in a

few larger employers to provide additional jobs. I am in favor of providing

property tax incentives to medium through large business that would provide

a solid base in some of the underutilized buildings downtown. We need to

engage industries that will be here to stay, ones that will make an investment

in the community.

Small Businesses are no doubt the life blood of the City. From bakeries to

service providers, these are the people that keep our city moving every day.

Labor Unions provide employees with a voice when their voices cannot

otherwise be heard. I am in support of the police and fire unions, as I

understand it allows everyone to get around the table and make a fair deal

without anyone walking out and striking. I don’t believe that small business

should be required to hire unionized employees. In some cases, small

business cannot afford the cost of collective bargaining, much less benefits.

2. I believe that San Antonio has operated on a limited budget for Police & Fire

Protection. I believe that we need more SAFFE officers. Having officers on

patrol that know the people in the community, that get out on foot and

discuss the issues will help us limit crime and violence. We need to refocus

some police spending into areas of anti-drug and anti-graffiti units, as well as

have the police brass take a more active role in cases involving underage

drinking and capital crimes.

I sat down with Fire Chief Hood and the Firefighters at the fire station in my

neighborhood. The day that I was there, the two fire trucks were both in for

service and could not be used for any fires. We no doubt need more police

officers on patrol and firefighters on the truck.

Funding would have to come from projects that were not aligned with core

city services. Cutting discretionary spending towards leadership fellowships

and lobbyist costs would allow for some funding to provide resources.

3. The city does not have control over the schools located within the greater

San Antonio Metropolitan Area. What I think the city can do, is have the

leadership team (City Council, City Manager, City Auditor) visit with students

about how important it is to finish school and seek higher education. When

elected, I plan to be in our schools talking about programs, experiences and

issues that young people can be motivated by, and hope to engage them in a

sense of community. No additional sources of funding are required for

leaders to work with the community to motivate them.

4. We have a historic problem in having enough water for a city of this size. I

am in favor of San Antonio Water Systems plan to work with water sources

southwest of town to provide water to the San Antonio Metropolitan Area.

We have sufficient capitalization without rate increases. Our focus should be

on conservation rather than taxation.

5. I support a Bus Rapid Transit Program and the development of a Metrorail. I

propose that the capital funding initially come from a bond issue, with

sustaining revenue to come from passenger fees. Having a more efficient

public transportation system is good for our environment and good for our

city. Depending on how stimulus money comes through from the Federal

Government and the stipulations that are attached, funding could be provided

for some preliminary planning and implementation. In regards to the

recommendations, I support the proposal for the most part. I do no support

having a mileage fee for drivers. Every major metro area in the world has a

mass transit system.

6. I believe that CPS is well diversified. The important issue to me is that we

provide reasonably priced power to the area while be conscience of our

impact on air quality. I support additional, sustainable power from Nuclear

Energy. I am not in support of continued use of Coal Power plants.

7. Budget Priorities

a. Police Officers

b. Fire Department- Operating

c. Public Health

d. Infrastructure Improvements

e. Transportation

I do not believe that the city should be raising fees during an economic

recession. Funding sources are going to have to be found in excessive city

programs. What is important is that we are using the monies allocated as

effectively as possible and that City Directors are accountable for their

decisions in purchasing and implementing approved projects.

Taxpayers expect us to eliminate waste, cut red tape and stay on budget.

We should not raise fees because we can. We should only raise fees when

necessary. San Antonio Businesses and families are hurting and added fees

could cripple them.