District 5

Rodriguez and Garcia are running in a crowded field of six candidates, which also includes incumbent Lourdes Galvan, 23-year-old former Ed Garza intern (and 2007 contender) David Medina, 48-year-old student Lorena Saldierna, and 57-year-old Raymond Zavala, none of whom returned the Current questionnaire.

Eigenio Rodriguez

Forty-four-year-old former zoning commissioner and retired fireman Eigenio Rodriguez has been a vocal presence in the district for the past few years, attending meetings and engaging public officials and citizens in discussion of neighborhood issues including the Haven for Hope homeless-services campus and the SAHA coal-ash cleanup. He ran for mayor in 2007.

“The problems affecting or about to affect my district are acts of economic discrimination, economic obsolescence, eminent domain, and the possible future gentrification of existing homes and businesses,” says Rodriguez. He takes a skeptical “more study needed” approach to most of the issues raised in our questionnaire, particularly CPS’s plan to add two more nuclear power plants to the South Texas Project, which, he notes, has wide-ranging ramifications for other communities as well as our own.

3. Public transit Before we do anything else regarding transportation we should try to work with the public transportation system (VIA) we have and make it more efficient and user friendly (pricing). Apart from the Express Bus Service (slightly more expensive with no stops) and Skip Stop Service routes, an increase of buses on the 15 minute waiting time bus service could help. Sadly according to some bus riders the 15 minute time is sometimes not adhered to because of accidents, construction or railroad crossing stops. Each city’s section needs are different therefore a study of what different sections of our city requires would help create a better understanding of what might work. Our city is growing and the transportation needs of tourist and local people might not be the same but routes could complement one another.

8. Digital billboards Billboards take away from the scenery but at the same time, if we are for business, they attract tourist, newcomers and everyday commuters to their businesses as people travel through our highways. In all sincerity if I am driving, I rarely see them unless stuck in a traffic jam because my focus is on the road and other drivers all around me.

John Carlos Garcia

Self-employed 30-year-old insurance agent John Carlos Garcia is making his first foray into politics.

“Anyone who is appointed to a paid office, and is in fear of being removed from their office by a small group of individuals is susceptible to falling into thinking ‘politically,’” says Garcia of the contentious City Auditor post. He favors digital billboards as an environmentally friendly and more efficient alternative to traditional billboards and disapproves of the Parade Ordinance currently under suit. The main reason he decided to run: Improve public notice to increase citizen participation.

1. Expansion of the South Texas Project nuclear plant I am not in support of the current efforts to add two additional nuclear power plants to the South Texas Project. Although nuclear technology has made significant improvements since the time of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl the potential for disaster still exists. A March 18th article by Jennifer Vargas of Discovery News illustrates that Chernobyl radiation is having harmful effects on wildlife almost 23 years later. I believe the cost of any possible accidents due to human error or mechanical failure outweighs the benefits these plants would bring.  In order to insure that we are able to meet our future energy needs I support increased conservation efforts. This includes holding city departments to the highest standard in energy consumption management and rising educational information on energy conservation methods for households and businesses. Next we should invest in the development of renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and bio-fuels. I understand that the transition cannot happen overnight, but we must have the foresight to invest today so that the future generations of San Antonio can continue to thrive. 

3. Public transit In order to reduce the economic and environmental costs of our current transportation system we should put more effort into the revitalization of Neighborhoods closer to the heart of our city. Continued outward expansion only creates longer commutes, congested roadways and increased pollution level. We must strengthen and improve the basic infrastructure of our existing communities as well as focus on crime reduction efforts. This will retain current and attract new families to live closer to the city. “Improve, not Move”. Living closer to the city means less need for long commutes, more effective use of current mass transit system and a reduction in pollution levels.

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