Q & A with Andro Mendoza 

San Antonio is about to come on hard times, given major budget cuts at a state and federal level. What programs do you think can be trimmed back? What should we not touch?

At present, the City saved approximately $11 million by seeking efficiencies. To continue this positive direction the City should adopt a Zero-Based budget policy wherein, every department submits a budget based on needs for the year versus a budget based on the previous years expenses plus whatever percentage is added for additional expenses.  By requiring departments to submit and justify their budgets based on a set of metrics real savings will be realized.

Are there programs you plan to champion to ease the impact of those outside funding cuts on our community? Are you committed to continuing the SA2020 process?

As a Respiratory Therapist/Neonatal Pediatric Specialist, I am appalled at the number of family’s that live without food or medical assistance.  According to the San Antonio Food Bank 1 in 6 residents in Bexar County have to choose between food or things like rent. Moreover, from a primary care perspective there were 1994 births in District 5 of which 1321 were born to single mothers.  Based on the aforementioned, District 5 has the highest percentage of births to single mothers in San Antonio.  Ensuring single parents and their children receive the benefits they are eligible for (Food Stamps, Medicaid) will not only improve individual quality of life but it will also bring Federal dollars to San Antonio for administering programs, etc.
I am committed to continuing the SA2020 process.

What is your position on the city’s investment in two proposed nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project? CPS Energy plans for early retirement of the Deeley coal plant? Renewable energy development?

There is a debate as to what extent future CPS Energy power requirements should be met by renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal) and energy efficiency versus nuclear power plants, coal-fired plants or gas-powered plants.  Which do I favor and why? I favor renewable sources because they provide sustainable energy without the concern of pollutants or other harmful discharge like coal-fired plants, gas powered plants and nuclear power plants.

How could the city better support public education? Do you support efforts to allow Mayor Julián Castro to be able to appoint some school board members?

As an Instructor at Northwest Vista College, I am reminded on a daily basis of the importance of public education.  I wholeheartedly believe the City could promote the necessity of education and in concert with the various school boards.  Though promotion will only highlight the strengths and weaknesses, it is this exercise that will allow parents to make choices involving their children’s education.

I support the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), role as the governing body over District 5 schools.  I can appreciate that the Mayor wants to involve himself in School District business, however he has no jurisdiction nor authority to do such so I cannot support his desire to appoint school board members.

Given the EPA is planning on toughening national air quality standards, what steps do you think the city can take to make sure our skies are healthy (and federal transportation keeps flowing to San Antonio)?

a) The quality issues that I find important equate to the condition of the air and water that sustains humans and other living beings.

b) Unfortunately, many of our everyday activities generate pollution harmful to our air and water. Emissions from vehicles, power plants, and industries that create the products we use are the main sources of air pollution. Runoff from roads and agriculture affects our water quality.  These sources create opportunities for council to take a leadership position.

c) In addition to an educator, as a Planning and Marketing professional my experience in environmental protection has been directly related to creating strategic business plans that guide the creation of hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and physician offices.  In creating such plans, extreme care is taken to ensure the development of and construction

What is the right mix of public-transit options for San Antonio’s future, and what do you think is the best method to fund/maintain each element?

I support and the City would be best served by the Council working with VIA and the SmartWaySA; VIA’s community-driven Long Range Transportation Plan up to the year 2035. Through SmartWaySA, high capacity transit corridors will be identified and prioritized.  Transit alternatives will be recommended for the corridors and high capacity alternatives will be considered for our region including bus rapid transit, electric streetcar, light rail, commuter rail and High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes.

What life experiences make you uniquely qualified to serve on the city council?

Graduate of Luther Burbank High School; former student of Lowell Middle School and Graebner Elementary School. As a high school graduate from Luther Burbank High School, pursued a four-year term in the United States Navy, which allowed me to earn an Associates in Respiratory Care and Bachelors degree and a Masters Degree in Business Administration via the GI Bill. Then received a nomination to attend a Healthcare Executive Management Fellowship at      the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Please briefly describe your conception of San Antonio’s economy, its strengths and weaknesses, and what you would do to build on the former and address the latter?

In comparison to cities the size of San Antonio; the market is solid economically with primary industries being tourism, hospitality, military, and medical.  Secondary industries that will position San Antonio above the rest include; Biomedical, Green Energy, Cyber Security.
The answer to improving on our strengths and addressing our weaknesses is simple.  We need to develop an available and capable pool of talent that can be resourced by some of our leading corporations.  At present, professional talent is not readily available in supplies necessary to meet the needs of our corporations.  By focus on improving the talent pool through innovative programs at the cities educational institutions will serve to on bolster the markets ability to be a leader in new business categories and human capital capabilities.

How do you financially support yourself? How will you balance your work demands with your council responsibilities? Do you foresee any conflicts of interest between your profession (or former profession, if you’re retired) and a position on council? If so, how will you handle these?

I am an Instructor at Northwest Vista College.  I am able to balance my schedule to meet the demands of council therefore I do not see any potential conflicts.

Should service on the San Antonio City Council provide a living wage? Why or why not?

I believe service on City Council should expect a living wage.  Doing so in my estimation ensures individual goals from a familial to a City responsibility perspective are aligned.  Currently, City Council representatives must balance their elective responsibilities against their professional responsibilities due to a lack of income on the City Council.  If that is changed then City Council and the City will only benefit from the representatives allocating all their time to the elected position.

Related:

Find out what district you live in, how to register to vote, information on the the other districts and more in our 2011 City Council Election Guide.

 

 

 


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