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Questionnaire by GSACC to Sheila McNeil for Mayor

 

 

 

Questionnaire by GSACC to Trish DeBerry-Mejia for Mayor

Questionnaire by GSACC to Julian Castro for Mayor

 

 

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

 

 

Questionnaire

 

 

Sheila McNeil

Mayor

 

 

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?

“Economic development has been a major priority for me as an elected

official. During my tenure as the D2 Councilmember we have build 3 new

hotels, relocated a major corporation (Rackspace) to the area, built a

condominium project, established the first official quiet zone, just to name a

few. I would continue to encourage economic development through a

stakeholder-driven long-term strategic plan that would lay out how the City

will enhance our efforts to attract, create and retain jobs over the next

several years. The City currently has an extraordinary opportunity to for job

creation and retention through the military presence in the area. The military

is the city’s largest employer and an employer that is expanding in San

Antonio. BRAC 2005 is bring 12,000 jobs to Fort Sam between now and

September 15, 2011. It is important that we prepare, invest, support and

maximize this opportunity, as it is what will stabilize our economy for years to

come. I believe that unions have their place in the region and while they are

a reality in our community, I would only support union efforts that are fair

and balanced.”

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 feel that we have the finest Police and Firefighters in the country. We are

one of the safest cities in America however as one of the fastest growing

cities we fall behind when it comes to police to resident ratios. We must

invest cities resources to meet the growth demand. Police and Fire

protection is by charter a basic city function and should be funded with city

tax revenue.”

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?

“As an educator, I feel that local government’s role in education and

workforce issues should be through partnerships. Education is at the very

basic foundation of the success of our City. Forming strong partnerships to

improve the quality of education in San Antonio is the only way we will

succeed. Workforce development is key to job creation and retention and

economic stability. We should forge stronger partnership in the area of

workforce development with our state agency to maximize available state and

federal resources.”

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?

“Conservation and protection of our natural resource is important to

addressing the current drought. Working closely with the San Antonio Water

System to continue securing alternative water resources to meet the growth

demand in our region is key. Funding for these efforts should be through

water rates and federal funding opportunities.”

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.

“As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), I have actively been

involved with the transportation issues across the San Antonio/Bexar County

region. The MPO recently in response the federal stimulus funding

opportunities prioritized local transportation projects. Loop 1604 at 281, Loop

1604 at FM 78 (Randolph AFB), 36th Street, Wurzbach Parkway and the 281

Superstreet were among the priority project I along with the rest of the MPO

supported. As we look to the future challenges we face in the area of

transportation, I believe it is imperative that we put all possible funding

options on the table to meet our future needs. I support the local options bill

currently being considered in the current legislative session in Austin. With

regards to the San Antonio/Bexar County Transportation Task Force, I greatly

appreciate the work and dedication the members of the taskforce in invested

in this very important process. However, I am still researching the tangible

benefits to the recommendation of merging the various transportation entities

outside of consolidating efforts and planning.”

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 feel that CPS Energy is doing an outstanding job providing reliable energy

through a diverse portfolio. San Antonio currently has the lowest energy

rates in the State and it is directly due to the diversity of energy sources.

Through the urging of the current city council, CPS energy has implemented a

very aggressive renewable energy program. In order for CPS and San

Antonio to remain competitive in the market we have to be open to the

expansion of clean sources of energy which includes nuclear energy.”

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?

“My top five budget priorities for FY 2009-2010 are Police and Fire, Economic

development, Infrastructure, Environment and Neighborhood Services. There

are unprecedented economic conditions facing the nation and cities are

increasingly straining to meet their financial needs. The City of San Antonio

has over a $2 billion budget and I feel we should cut spending before we

consider increasing revenue streams to address basic city services. I am

opposed to increasing taxes.”