Jody Sherrill, Candidate for City Council, District 8

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.

Yes if they are the less costly option.  They will be built whether or not CPS gets involved.  I would prefer renewable options as they are safer.  At this point I do not have a specific position of the long tern storage of spent nuclear waste.  It does need to be done safely.

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 the Mayor's Mission Verde initiative in concept.  There are some things that still need to be worked on and city council has basically already adopted it.  This is in my mind another one of the things that are being rushed through council without full knowledge of all stake holders.

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?

If we can get the density needed to support alternate public transit option I am for it.  Currently, we do not have the needed density and the current subsidy of over 95% for VIA tells me that it will be an expensive option that will not eliminate enough auto traffic.

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

Budget cuts would have to come from non essential services. Some capital projects would have to be deferred for a year or two depending on how long the economy remains in a mess.  We should first cut any programs that are not directly related to public safety and health.

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 HOT tax should continue to be used only for what it is intended.  I do not think that further expansion of the Convention Center is necessary at this time especially in light of budget shortfalls.

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?

The economy of San Antonio remains relatively strong.  Housing values are still rising albeit at lower rates (and the fact most cannot get loans).  A continued national recession will cause our situation to worsen as visitors to San Antonio drop.  The first concern I have is to protect the jobs that we do have beginning with Ft Sam Houston.  These are jobs that will not go away and will generate additional supporting jobs.  One thing we must not do is adopt a doom and gloom attitude as that will just make things worse.

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?  

We must have more transparency at City Hall.  That is one of the reasons that I am running.  Far too many things are getting done behind the scenes with little or not input from other than staff.  The city auditor position is something  that needs to do more than casual checks of financials.  They also need the authority to audit processes, staffing, and other pertinent areas.  The position should have enough autonomy that it can look into the issues with minimum oversight by city council.

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

The pilot program for digital billboards should not be continued.  If it is allowed to be continued it is the city who should decide where other signs will be removed, the number of such signs must be increased, and no new sign should be allowed where it is already in a vested violation situation.

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.

SAWS current plans rely to much on the Edwards.  Based on the projections I have seen, there appears to be a lot of double counting of pumping rights and the ASR.  ASR pumping cannot be replace in drought years.  We need to find a quick source of water outside of the Edwards or we will run out of options within several years. 

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 am supporting myself and family through military retirement pay and the fact that my wife works as a pharmacist.  Since I am already "retired" I have more than adequate time to put in the 60 plus hours a week that the job requires.  I do not have, nor anticipate any conflicts of interest.

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? 

All activities and organizations need to be treated equally.  The only distinction that should be made would be based on the size of an event.

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. 

If we are to be in the business of publicly owned spaces, they need to carry their own weight and not be a financial burden to the city.  If they are not making a profit or breaking even we need to get new management that can do so.  Healy Murphy park is a park not a land for investment purposes.  El Mercado and La Villita can be run better  and even if operating at a minimal loss are venues that need to continue to function because of cultural value and influence on visitors.

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. 

Protection of Camp Bullis is essential to the  survival of our military institutions.  We must find a fair way to protect against further light and noise intrusion.  Without Camp Bullis we would not have gotten the 12,000 new positions that came  to San Antonio through the BRAC process. 

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