Questionnaire by GSACC to Robert Garibay District 7
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? 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
I would encourage job creation by investing more in green opportunities such
as solar energy and wind farms. A green city can create thousands of
opportunities for San Antonio residents to take advantage of. San Antonio can
retain its jobs by making sure that businesses want to stay in San Antonio.
San Antonio is a great city, but we have to show businesses why San Antonio
is best for them. So I believe showing them why San Antonio is best for
them, and by giving them incentives they will want to remain here. I support
tax breaks for businesses. We need to help small business owners because
small businesses are what keep our economy going. So I would support more
tax incentives like a green tax incentive for going green.
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 our Police and Fire departments do a great job but there is room for
improvement. We need to work on improving response times, give more
funding, expand community programs like the Cellular Patrol, and hire new
Police and Firefighters. The money for this needs to come from our city
budget (Revenues from our General Fund, Sales Tax, etc). There has been a
lot of talk about the potential 1% budget cut for the Police and Fire
departments, and that is not the direction we need to go in. In fact we need
to give our Police and Fire departments more funding so that we can afford
to add more personnel, and enhance these departments.
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?
Our local government needs to have a bigger role than it has now on
education and workforce issues. The city can get involved by making room on
the budget for programs like mentoring and dropout prevention programs,
and help can come from the state and federal level. We need to find ways to
help students succeed. Many times students are in situations where they are
at a disadvantage and we need to help them by giving them other routes
toward a diploma or GED. We need to make sure that once our students are
leaving High School they are seeking further education whether it be a trade
school, technology school, or college. In today’s world a High School diploma
just is not enough and students need to realize that. In addition we need to
help students who are looking to go from High School to the workforce by
getting them in after school programs that will prepare them for the
workforce so that they have the tools needed for the workforce. We need to
be setting our young ones up for success and I will work toward doing that.
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?
I think we are in a terrible time when it comes to the status of our water. I
believe we need to work toward conserving our water so that we have an
adequate amount. One of my plans is to teach everyday people the
importance of water conservation and I think that if we continue a Water
Conservation Campaign plan with SAWS, San Antonio can manage to
conserve its water and have enough for years to come. Another one of my
plans is to look into alternatives to the Edwards Aquifer. Rainwater
harvesting, Aquifer Storage and Recovery, and Recycled water are just a few
examples of alternatives. As for the funding I think we need to ask for some
help on the state level.
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 recommend that we continue to move toward city wide Traffic Light
Synchronization, road expansion, High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (HOV
LANES), and a Light Rail system for San Antonio. I agree with the
recommendations laid out by the San Antonio Bexar County Transportation
Task Force. I think its unfortunate that we are dealing with transportation
problems now when we could have prepared for them in the past. The task
force recommendations are much like mine and are focused on meeting our
needs in the future. I believe that we can work with the recommendations
and add to them if needed.
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
I feel that we need to start looking into alternatives from coal and nuclear.
Natural gas, wind, and solar should be our main focus when it comes to our
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:
1) Public Safety
3) Parks, Recreation, Public Library, etc
4) Economic Development
5) Environmental Sustainability
As far as increasing revenue we need to work on expanding our revenue
beyond the Sales Tax by looking into ways to increase revenue from our
General Fund, and we need to start looking for help from our state and