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Questionnaire by GSACC to Robert Garibay District 7

 

 

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

 

Questionnaire

 

 

Robert Garibay

District 7

 

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

region?

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

Force.

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

these sources.

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

energy mix.

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?

Top Five Budget Priorities:

1) Public Safety

2) Infrastructure

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

federal government.