Questionnaire by GSACC to Philip A. Cortez District 4
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 2009 City Council and Mayoral Candidates
Philip A. Cortez
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 addition organized labor entering the San Antonio
By increasing tax abatements for those companies that create new jobs, pay
an acceptable or above average wage or salary and/or relocate to San
Antonio, we can further diversify our economy that would benefit our city
services and local government by not having any disruptive or volatile
estimates of revenue received by the City of San Antonio.
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?
It is my opinion that our services currently provided by our men and women
in uniform are exemplary. However, with that said, there is always room for
improvement in terms of the amount of time it takes for one to receive
service from an emergency and non-emergency request.
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 addition monetary resources are being
recommended, from where will they come?
Local government at this time has restricted influence on the agenda of
school programs and how they are managed. I would support creating a task
force to increase graduation rates amongst our high school students that
would recommend various programs and lobbying the State Legislature to
implement any recommendations by such a task force.
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?
As of the time of writing this response, water restrictions are not in place
which is a good sign since we have had limited rain for the past year and a
half. SAWS has indicated that it would take an addition four years of drought
to create any dramatic emergency of water shortages and I feel that because
of the good management of our local water utility, we are in a good position
compared to other water utilities in the state and nation.
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
I would support lobbying the state to receive a higher percentage of highway
funds as well as any stimulus funds for a high-speed inter-city rail system.
6. Energy: Do you believe our municipally owned electric utility has done a good
job diversifying our energy mix, including coal, natural gas, nuclear power,
wind and solar? Please share your thoughts on the importance of each of
CPS currently has some of the lowest rates in the state and the nation. We do
need to diversify our use of energy sources and I believe both the state and
CPS are taking the first steps towards that process. However, we must also
keep in mind to not only make ourselves independent from foreign sources of
energy and diversified in our resources, we must also make sure that the cost
for such resources and competitive and can be adequately managed in a
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
Top Five Budget Priorities in no particular order are: Public Safety, Economic
Development in District 4 through Economic Development Department,
Improve and expand infrastructure, Improve and Expand services provided to
our senior citizens, increase and improve resources to strengthen our
neighborhoods such as graffiti abatement, animal control, code compliance,