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Questionnaire by GSACC to John Carlos Garcia District 5

 

 

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

 

 

Questionnaire

 

 

John Carlos Garcia

District 5

 

1. Economic Development, Job Creation and Retention: How would you

encourage job creation and retention? Please describe the model/tools and

/or incentives you would support to boost economic development in San

Antonio. What are your thoughts on additional organized labor entering the

San Antonio region?

A strong economic future relies heavily on the creation of quality jobs all

across our city. District 5 currently has the highest level of unemployment

and thus also has the most number of citizens living at or below poverty

level. In order to combat this current situation we must focus on several

areas of concern that have led us to this current position. These problems

include; lack of quality infrastructure, ineffective education/awareness

process, increase in our crime rate, ineffective municipal code compliance

enforcement and limited community involvement. Further we should explore

a variety of tax abatements for companies who will provide quality

employment opportunities for the citizens of San Antonio. It is vital that the

city provides sufficient recourses and management in order to entice high

quality employers to our city. We should also support the development of

locally owned and operated businesses. I support unions, unions should

strive to provide high quality and certified employees that become partners

that aide in the success of our community.

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?

I believe that our police and fire departments are doing a fine job with the

current resources. There is always room for improvement and additional

personnel would be ideal. Some funding options that might be considered

are the responsible enforcement of current seizure laws and exploring “sin”

tax options.

3. Education: What role should local government have on education and

workforce issues? How can the City be involved in student mentoring and

dropout prevention programs? If additional monetary resources are being

recommended, from where will they come?

I believe that the city should provide a support role for our local school

districts. The actual administration and educational development should

remain in the hands of educational professionals. We should always

encourage student mentoring and dropout prevention by supporting current

organizations such as the Big Brothers and Sister program, The Boy Scouts of

America and other youth programs that directly contribute to the well being

of our youth. These organizations are for the most part privately funded or

rely on limited federal assistance.

4. Water: What do you think about the status of water with regard to the

current drought? What is your plan to improve the quantity and quality of

water for our City and region? How will your proposal(s) be funded?

The current drought should remind all of us of the need to address the issue

that increasing water demand is placing on our current water supply system.

I believe that we must continue to promote conservation efforts. We must

monitor purchases of land that take place on property over the aquifer to

insure that proper notice is given in regard to limitations for impervious cover.

These efforts have had major success when we find that our community is

using the same amount of water as we did twenty years ago while doubling

our population.

5. Transportation: What transportation projects would you recommend and

support in order to alleviate our traffic congestion issues? How would your

proposed projects be funded? Please share your thoughts on the

recommendations of the San Antonio Bexar County Transportation Task

Force.

My vision for a stronger district 5 falls directly in line with helping solve our

current transportation woes. I do support efforts to improve the

effectiveness of our current mass transit method as well a possible light rail

system. I would also encourage the revitalization of our inner city to reduce

the need for long commutes. If we could promote strong economic

development with sustainable quality of life amenities closer to the heart of

our city this may be able to draw families back to our district and at the same

time reduce pollution, transportation expense, and congestion. The San

Antonio Bexar County Transportation Task Force has some positive

recommendations that attempt to fill current gaps. I believe that the

development of a comprehensive regional transportation plan is the most

vital.

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? Please share your thoughts on the importance of

each of these sources.

I believe that our municipally owned electric utility has provided well for our

city. The utility has started to move in the right direction in regard to

renewable sources of energy with the Windtricity effort; however we should

consider doing more in the area of solar power. I believe that we need to

begin moving away from non-renewable forms of energy. I realize that this

should not happen overnight and that the transition should be handled with

care and effectiveness. The future of our energy supply will help to

determine the future of our economic success.

7. City Budget and Finance: What are your top five budget priorities for FY

2009-2010? What is your position on increasing revenue streams for the City

to address basic city services, such as streets, drainage and other

infrastructure improvements?

• Public Safety

• Basic Infrastructure Improvement/Development

• Code Compliance Enforcement

• Neighborhood strengthening (community involvement/education)

• Senior services

We should explore increasing revenue streams to address basic city services,

especially if these revenue streams would help to alleviate the burden placed

on taxpayers.