Questionnaire by GSACC to Justin Rodriguez 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 region?
To a certain degree, the rules of the game have changed in that we are working in
an economic environment that is much different than it was even six months ago. I
would begin with local initiatives such as a recent policy initiative that I filed to give
preference to San Antonio residents in the hiring of police and fire personnel.
Secondly, I would empower the City Manager to implement successful tools for
economic development that have worked well in other communities. We should also
strengthen federal lobbying efforts that bring more funds to San Antonio thereby
increasing capital development projects and workforce initiatives. Finally, I
encourage a balance of organized labor and non-organized labor work forces so as
to stay as diversified as possible through these tough economic times.
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
I believe that in two years, our current Mayor and Council have made significant
strides in adding to our police and fire ranks. Almost 200 officers have been gained,
more than have been added in the past decade to the city’s streets. I would like to
see that commitment continue. However, in these economic times, we likely can
only fund additional positions through budget cuts and cost savings plans such as
the City Manager’s current department by department 2% reduction plan.
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
I believe that an enlightened society should be measured by the product of its
intellectual capacity as a whole. As a former school board member, I take great
pride in supporting public initiatives to increase all pedagogical proficiencies. We
must build consumers of the greatest capacity if we are to keep capitalism strong in
America and most especially—locally. I am committed to strengthening our after
school challenge program, programs such as the Cribs to College initiative, and our
public library system through any financial means necessary.
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?
First and foremost, we all have the responsibility to conserve our water resources
and SAWS has the responsibility of managing water quality and output. The Council
has taken recent steps to strengthen our water level restrictions and has over the
past two years committed funds approved by Prop 1 to protect recharge land
around the aquifer. I believe that in the coming years we will need to explore
alternative sources of water such as desalination and extending the Prop 1 funding
through another referendum.
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 have supported the development of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line on
Fredericksburg Road since its infancy stage. The current Council has also been
instrumental in implementing traffic light synchronization city-wide. Lastly, I am
supportive of exploring a plan for large scale mass transit such as light rail and
commuter rail. I would support all options for funding including leveraging federal
and state dollars.
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.
It is imperative that we have a well-diversified energy portfolio and CPS has done a
good job of being a market leader in accomplishing this. All sources of energy are
important and worth cultivating further. I believe we need to continue to look at all
options for future energy production with a significant emphasis on wind and solar
as well as a real commitment to energy conservation.
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?
1) Police/fire personnel
3) Bond oversight for on-time project completion (CIMS)
4) Park improvements
5) Economic development
I believe that we need to hold the line on taxes and be as conservative as possible
with the financial resources we currently have. Unfortunately, under the short term,
there are not favorable prospects to enhance city revenues. As always, I will
commit to working with the City Manager and her staff to find ways to operate as
efficiently as possible.