Ron Wright, Candidate for City Council, District 2 

1. Do you support the addition of two new nuclear power plants to the South Texas Project to meet our future energy needs? If not, please describe the alternatives you favor. If so, please explain your position or philosophy on the long-term storage of nuclear-fuel waste.

With what we know now, I do not support the addition of two new nuclear power plants. In addition, I have committed to COPS/METRO that as soon as these discussions begin with the new council (if I am so favored) they will accompany me in any conversations regarding nuclear-fuel waste and the storage thereof.

2. Do you support Mayor Hardberger's Mission Verde initiative in its entirety? If so, what do you see as the most critical steps council must take to implement it successfully? If not, do you support any of its provisions, and why (not)

I support Mayor Hardberger’s Mission Verde initiative. The most pressing and important issue regarding its implementation is a fortified council, speaking in unison to the commitment of green jobs, open spaces, etc. It is my hope that the new mayor and entire council can champion this effort as a group.

3. 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?

This is a difficult one for me. Retrofitting has not necessarily proven successful in other cities. Close examination is in order. As much as I want San Antonio to be recognized as a major city with major rail, I am also guilty of enjoying its slow pace. I am not sure as of yet, where I stand and more importantly have not had enough of a conversation with my community to get their feel.

4. If San Antonio faces a budget shortfall, where would you be willing to make budget cuts?

I would concern myself with saving the city of San Antonio money by decreasing the crime rate in our part of town. By opening (2) field offices in the districts highest crime areas we will cut the need for more police and can reassign funds that may have went to adding more police. ?

5. What are your top spending priorities for the HOT tax? Would you support a recommendation to use some of those funds to expand the Convention Center?

The Arts and East and Northeast Culture would be where I would best like to see the HOT tax funds spent. I would like to see an African Diaspora on MLK all the way into downtown and I would like to see some of that funding go into our Film District, thus allowing our young and old the opportunity to learn film and produce, direct and shoot movies right here in our own district. It also serves as a great carrot for young men and woman who have had checkered past. This can become a reward (learning and working in the film district) provided they assist me in decreasing the homicide rate in this community. I am not interested in the expansion of the Convention Center but would discuss it at length with my community and honor their wishes. (ie: Check out the efforts of the Pushcart Derby in Dignowity Hill).

?6. 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’s medical, military and tourist attractions are clearly our strengths. Our weakness remains poverty in particular along the lower districts. With a reputation for not paying our own, I will move toward honoring San Antonio’s workforce continuously looking for opportunities for everyone. Each and every time an opportunity makes itself available at city hall, I will exhaust its resource looking for a San Antonian to fill the position.

7. Keeping in mind the playground scandal, the Healy-Murphy Park sale, and the El Mercado flap, how would you increase accountability and transparency at City Hall? Specifically, would you change the role or method of choosing a City Auditor, and his/her scope of authority?

I have designed with the community’s help 3B- The Better Blueprint Builders Association, which will ensure transparency regarding council member and contractor/developer relationships. This is a board of neighborhood presidents who will join me at city hall. 3B will sit at the table with the council and developer. As long as the City Auditor has autonym and independence, he/she has my support.

8. Do you support extending the digital-billboard pilot program? If so, what restrictions, if any, would you recommend on their placement and use?

I have heard some about this issue and it hasn’t been positive. I would like to examine the issue further, but I do believe San Antonians should be kept the scenic place that we all love. My main concern continues to surround the potential health risks and the energy consumption side of this issue.

9. Do you support SAWS' current plans to secure San Antonio's water supply? If so, please explain why. If not, please explain what you believe they should be doing differently.

The Carrizo Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project is a great example of what the city of San Antonio can do in more areas than in just water. SAW’S forward thinking in areas such as alternative storage in high times pleases me to no end. This storage systems capability to produce 30 million gallons of water per day in dry times is truly remarkable.
SAWS consideration of all Bexar County in its water demands is not only bright and insightful it is truly proactive. If the city of San Antonio would stretch like this in other areas like proactive plans to cut homicide in our city, ensuring that all our seniors are well taken care of and that real economic opportunities existed for the minorities in the city with real results would truly catapult our city to the number one spot in the country.

10. Please briefly describe how 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 will continue to run my small business. I have worked at city hall before and have learned that I will give as much as I possibly can, but never as much as I do to my family. ?

11. What is your opinion regarding the Parade Ordinance that is the subject of the Free Speech Coalition lawsuit? Specifically, what fees, if any, should the city charge for parade permits? Should they distinguish between types of applicants and events, and if so, how and by whom should those decisions be made?

As Brenda Sapino Jeffreys states, “To make access to public street marches available only to those with political influence or financial wealth is to profoundly limit freedom of speech and the quality of public debate in San Antonio.” To this I concur. While requesting more time to examine the issue closer, initially I agree with smaller fees or no fees where necessary in order to guarantee all groups can hold a parade.

12. Please briefly describe your philosophy toward the maintenance and funding of publicly owned and/or operated spaces such as golf courses, libraries, parks, and El Mercado. Should these entities break even, make a profit, or be viewed as investments with tangible returns? Please propose a solution for the issues surrounding either Healy-Murphy Park, El Mercado, or La Villita.

I am in no way attracted to doing away with free areas in the city (ie Healy-Murphy Park). Second, I support the funding of publicly owned spaces for two reasons: a. These are the only areas often times in our communities that allow our young people and seniors a place to go, b. Public spaces, like golf courses employ our citizens, our city employees. While often times these are not the highest paying jobs, they are jobs.

13. If we've failed to raise a question or issue that you feel represents your values and priorities as a candidate, please discuss it here.

As your next councilperson, I will commit to what my community has stated is our biggest issues:
A: Cutting the homicide rate from the largest in San Antonio to single digit numbers by 2011.
B: By breaking the disengaged citizenry approach that Councilwoman McNeil has fostered, by bringing 3B- to City Hall with me. (A board of neighborhood presidents)
C. Lastly, through the 100 Yard Rule we will begin lifting those under the poverty rate line and further distancing those on or slightly above it to Next Level Living.
Change has come to our Country, Now it’s time for Courage. I hope you’ll get on the Wright Track.

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