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?
Due to the uncertainty of the funding amounts that will be coming from Washington and the State of Texas for our coming City budget, I could not possibly answer this question with a definite and honest answer. It’s goes without saying that cuts should not be made to programs that are necessary to maintain our way of life such as garbage, recycling, utility repairs, etc.
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?
If elected and I can get my Energy plan implemented with CPS to install and maintain locally manufactured solar panel kits on our homes, then that local manufacturing can be exploited to strengthen our economy and lessen the amount of cuts that might be needed. I do support the efforts of the SA2020 and I think that the information gathered in the process will be very helpful for finding solutions to some of our community' problems.
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?
As a San Antonio City Council Representative I would not support current or future city contracts to build, in part or in whole, any new nuclear power plants for San Antonio's use whether along the coast or in our own backyard.
I am totally in favor of closing the coal plant as soon as possible. I lived downwind from that coal plant for about 12 years and I know first hand what the emissions from it are like.
Our city's energy policies are all wrong and as a city council representative I will want to change our energy policies so that they will benefit our city rather than restrict it. We buy 100% of the wind energy we use. That makes us vunerable to rate fluctuations that are determined by someone else. There are plans to build more solar farms around the city but this will not be the solution to our energy problems because it will take too much land for all the solar panels we need and we will still be buying solar power from someone else in the end.
Our city cannot afford to be energy dependent on sources of energy where we have no control over the rates that we will have to pay. I want to make our city energy independent by requiring CPS to install and maintain locally manufactured solar panel kits for our homes. Once a solar panel kit is installed on a home then we should replace their current billing rates with a small fixed charge to the bill for the solar panel kit. By doing this the home owner is using all the energy they need and the extra energy produced is fed back into the grid. Everybody wins.
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?
Perhaps the city could start its own lotto game with all proceeds going to education. I do not support the option for the Mayor to appoint members to school boards. In my opinion we need to shift the operation of schools back into the hands of the schools and lessen the outside influence of boards and districts.
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)?
I support using light rail to lessen the amount of traffic on our highways. As part of my committment to change our existing energy policies I have made it known that I want to implement a city ordinance that requires businesses with large parking lots such as Walmart and Target and extra large parking lots such as Malls to have them covered with a structure that can support a solar system and rain water recovery system. This serves three purposes, first it reduces the heat island effect which will reduce air pollution. Second, it will allow these businesses to use the rain water stored on site for restrooms and landscaping. Third, solar energy produced on site will replace energy taken from the grid to power these large buildings.
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?
The right mix of public transit would be light rail running parallel to all major highways and the use of smaller busses on routes within neighborhoods while the larger busses are used on main roads. Funding from Federal, State and City levels will be needed to build and maintain a light rail system.
What life experiences make you uniquely qualified to serve on the city council?
I believe that my presence on the council will bring balance to the diversity of the council. The goals that I am bringing to the council are mainly related to energy matters. The other members will be bring their goals to the council too. I have been educated in Aircraft Maintenance, Electronics and Drafting and Design and am capable of developing and managing many different types of projects. I also have public utilities in my working background. The last part of my working career, before becoming disabled, was spent in quality control at a job that was helping to develop the first electric smart grid in the world.
Aside from my working background and education I have been an Activist in our community since 2000. I founded a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in 2000 and lead the group for five years. During that time I attended City Council meetings for about three years and became knowledgeable in the operations and procedures of the Council. More recently I have become a member of the Board of Directors of the TeaPot Party and have founded a local chapter called the Alamo City Teapot Party that can be found on Facebook.
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?
San Antonio has a more or less stable economy which is why we have survived the recession better than most cities.
Our strengths are mostly the tourist industry, the military and our diverse medical and science community. Our weakness is our manufacturing base.
To maintain our strengths we should continue encouraging tourism and tourist related businesses, continue working with the Military to meet their needs and give interested medical and science related businesses incentives that will encourage them to move here to do business.
I would address our weakness in our manufacturing base by requiring CPS to install and maintain locally manufactured solar panel kits on our homes. By doing so we will be creating many manufacturing jobs.
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 disabled and live on a fixed income. There is no conflict of interest and doing service for the city will not interfere with any other responsibilities.
Should service on the San Antonio City Council provide a living wage? Why or why not?
I have always believed that the wage for service on the council is sufficient and should not be increased.
As part of my personal commitment to reduce the city's budget I have made it known that I do not intend to collect any wages for my services.
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