Incumbent Mary Alice Cisneros and challenger Chris Forbrich are joined on the ballot by 51-year-old night auditor Ruby Krebs, the first transgendered candidate to seek office in San Antonio, who says she will neither seek nor accept campaign donations. Krebs did not return a candidate questionnaire.
Mary Alice Cisneros, 59, is a San Antonio native who attended San Antonio College and Our Lady of the Lake University. The wife of former Mayor Henry Cisneros, she has worked on various local boards and commissions, and co-founded (with her husband) American Sunrise, a national community-development housing organization.
Cisneros supports Mission Verde “in its entirety,” and says that nuclear-waste storage and security must be considered if CPS pursues two additional nuclear power plants. The City Auditor “should be independent of oversight from the City Manager,” she says, and although she would not vote to raise taxes to meet a budget shortfall, she does favor using HOT money to expand the Convention Center. She believes independent businesses are the backbone of SA’s economy, but would like to see the city grow its biotech industry.
11. The Parade Ordinance I voted against the parade ordinance. I believe it unfairly restricted people’s first amendment right to peaceably assemble. My position has not changed. No fees should be assessed for parade permits. There should be no distinguishing in types of applicants or events.
12. Publicly owned parks and spaces Publicly owned spaces are no different than any other business in San Antonio; they need to be able to sustain themselves. Public and historical sites however MUST not be sold should sustainability be an issue. El Mercado, La Villita, golf courses, public libraries, and parks are the very investments for the city that attract residents and tourists alike. They are the very fabric of our cultural beauty and all of us in San Antonio love and enjoy them.
If any of these spaces are losing money, then we must responsibly evaluate the situation and determine what is causing the deficit. That deficit must be addressed and changes that will make it self sufficient should be a high priority. However, no decision should be made without the input from its tenants. City staff has the responsibility to ensure all income generated from those open spaces is tracked and applied toward the maintenance, development, or expansion of those sites. The solution to any existing problem is to carefully analyze the funds, the needs, the tenant’s experience, as well as exploring other success models before making recommendations on how to best approach the next steps. The selling of publicly owned spaces such as El Mercado and La Villita is NOT an option.
Chris Forbrich, 25, owns a computer-consultant business and also serves as manager of information technology for Blackbrush Oil & Gas. He’s a lifelong San Antonian and a graduate of UTSA.
Forbrich favors the addition of two nuclear power plants to the South Texas Project, and would like to see SA build a light-rail line as well as Bus Rapid Transit. He would support “aggressive” property-tax incentives to lure more big businesses to SA, and opposes the expansion of the pilot digital-billboard program. He supports parade-permit fees that don’t exceed $40, and would like the Council to hold weekend meetings, so more citizens can attend.
7. The City Auditor and transparency I am strongly against back door deals and secret meetings. When elected, I would only wish to discuss lawsuits and personnel problems that might lead to lawsuits in executive sessions and leave all other discussions to the open meeting.
I believe that the City Council should continue to select the city auditor. The auditor needs to honestly review the books of the City and provide information based on that requirement. If the auditor was elected, like the councilmembers, the office becomes political, making someone have to decide if their decision is popular for the city, or just simple what they actually found during the scope of their audit. I think it would be inappropriate to put an auditor in that type of situation.
12. Publicly owned parks and spaces I think that the cost of the Golf Course Green Fee should be equal to what it costs the city to provide you with the space to play the round. The quality of life added by these facilities is vital to our economic health. When companies are surveyed about features that would attract them locate their businesses to a certain place, golf courses are always at the top of the list.
In regards to parks, libraries, and the zoo: these are public spaces that the city provides to the people for their education, enjoyment and culture. I believe these are investments we making in the people and should. I do believe decisions regarding these institutions should always be made in the public and with as much public input as can be collected.
El Mercado, La Villita, the Missions, and the Alamo are our history, heritage and legacy. They should never be sold off to the highest bidder. There are many options including lease-operate agreements that could be implemented to make facilities more profitable.
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