Beginning March 4, the Current emailed the following questionnaire to all candidates who filed by March 9 for the May 2009 municipal elections. As responses begin to roll in, we will post them in their unedited entirety here on QueBlog. Excerpts will appear in the April 1 print edition of the Current. if you're a candidate, and did not receive a questionnaire from us, please call Elaine Wolff at 388-0625, or email her at email@example.com, and provide the best email address for contacting you.
Ed. note: Mr. Martinez edited and rephrased the questions. You can find the original questions here, along with District 7 candidate Elena Guajardo's answers.
Would I support the addition of two new Nuclear Power Plants to the South Texas Project?
No, I would not support nuclear power plants at this time. I do support Solar & Wind Energy as an alternative to future energy sources. I do not accept the premise that nuclear power is cheaper in the long run. The fact of the matter is that nuclear power would be more costly in the short investment term and at a time when the economy is at its worse time, and is not getting any better.
Do you support Mayor Hardberger's Mission Verde in its entirety?
No, I do support the Mission Verde in general terms, but not in its entirety. I have some reservations on Initiative #7 of the project. Particularly, anything to do with Toll Roads!
What is the right mix of public-transit options for San Antonio's future?
I think more emphasis need to be given to light rail and essential routes where there is more traffic congestions. Fares on light rail transportation will pay back investment bonds that would be used for construction based on a construction scale over a 10 year period.
If San Antonio faces a budget shortfall, where would I be willing to do budget cuts?
I would first examine the Management Letter from the Independent Auditor to the City Manager for the last 5 years; secondly, I would eliminate Administrative Departmental Travel Budgets, subject to need on a case by case basis; I would freeze all departmental expenditures for equipment & supplies in the last 3 months of the fiscal year ending, I would also examine beginning fiscal year proposed departmental budgets and deduct the expenditures for equipment & supplies purchases made in the previous year-end period.
This will ensure un-necessary wasteful spending of departmental budgets in order to obtain an increase over the previous starting budget.
Question #5 (a)
What are your top spending priorities for the HOT tax? (Higher-rate Option-Tax)*
My top spending priority would be in providing funding for Community Policing to Neighborhood Associations in order to prevent the escalating of criminal activity in neighborhoods. The funding would be used for surveillance cameras, sponsoring Guardian Angels Recruit Training for Safety Patrolling, public safety stations in densely populated neighborhoods, speed humps and other calming traffic methods to reduce neighborhood speeders, etc.
*`Ed. note: The question was meant to refer to the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax.`
Question #5 (b)
Would you support a recommendation to use some of those funds to expand the Convention Center?
Please briefly describe your conception of San Antonio's economy?
Local government plays a large factor in hamstringing and obstructing potential start-up business ventures due to un-necessary regulations and requirements imposed on business investors. A complete review is needed in the process to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from start to finish. We must encourage business start-ups to build our economy and provide more job opportunities.
How would you increase accountability and transparency at City Hall?
Council Members having access and review authority of the Independent Auditor's Management Letter to the City Manager and recognizing that the Manager is only the custodian of the records. Elected Council members are in fact the owners of the records and should devote the time to examine the records accordingly.
Do you support extending the digital-billboard pilot program?
Yes! Digital Billboard lawful locations are like any other Business Service Location. They provide a service and they are required to pay annual taxes on each location. They pay premium rental space to property owners and provide meaningful skilled jobs for billboard workers and help consumers and the economy as well.
Do you support SAWS' current plans to secure San Antonio's water supply?
Before I would make a commitment in support of SAWS' current plan I would need to review the Independent Auditor's Management Letter and examine water usage for the past 5 years to determine if there is sufficient justification for the plan. Transparency is an absolute must for the operation of SAWS. Currently, there seems to be concerns and questions on accurate monthly meter reading totals.
Please describe how you would financially support yourself, and how you will balance your work demands with your council responsibilities?
I am retired, and I manage very well on my Social Security with nearly a debt free status. I see absolutely no conflicts of interest at this time!
What is your opinion regarding the Parade Ordinance that is the subject of the Free Speech Coalition lawsuit?
While I have no legal opinion answer, I do favor a reasonable relaxation of the ordinance to allow for Free Speech to occur and take place.
Please describe your philosophy toward the maintenance and funding of publicly owned facilities?
I see no difference in selling franchises to private companies that is currently in place at this time and receiving a percentage of the revenue that is generated. Vending Machines, Wrecker Services, etc. are just an example.
If we failed to raise a question or issue that you feel represents your values and priorities as a candidate, please discuss it here.
Yes, I would like to point out that it is the responsibility of each Council Person to safeguard his or her own district in the criminal activity that occurs and tell all the Victims that have been victimized by criminals the reasons why they have not provided community policing funds for community groups and neighborhood associations to prevent crimes! Instead of making excuses and placing the responsibility on our Police Force!
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