Dan Martinez, 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 alternative you favor. If so, please explain your position or philosophy on the long-term shortage of nuclear-fuel waste.

No, I would not support nuclear power plants at this time. I do support Solar & Wind Energy as an alternative to future energy sources. I do not accept the premise that nuclear power is cheaper in the long run. The fact of the matter is that nuclear power would be more costly in the short investment term and at a time when the economy is at its worse time, and is not getting any better.

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)?

No, I do support the Mission Verde in general terms, but not in its entirety. I have some reservations on Initiative #7 of the project. Particularly, anything to do with Toll Roads!

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?

I think more emphasis need to be given to light rail and essential routes where there is more traffic congestions. Fares on light rail transportation will pay back investment bonds that would be used for construction based on a construction scale over a 10 year period.

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

I would first examine the Management Letter from the Independent Auditor to the City Manager for the last 5 years; secondly, I would eliminate Administrative Departmental Travel Budgets, subject to need on a case by case basis; I would freeze all departmental expenditures for equipment & supplies in the last 3 months of the fiscal year ending, I would also examine beginning fiscal year proposed departmental budgets and deduct the expenditures for equipment & supplies purchases made in the previous year-end period.
This will ensure un-necessary wasteful spending of departmental budgets in order to obtain an increase over the previous starting budget.

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

My top spending priority would be in providing funding for Community Policing to Neighborhood Associations in order to prevent the escalating of criminal activity in neighborhoods. The funding would be used for surveillance cameras, sponsoring Guardian Angels Recruit Training for Safety Patrolling, public safety stations in densely populated neighborhoods, speed humps and other calming traffic methods to reduce neighborhood speeders, etc.

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

Local government plays a large factor in hamstringing and obstructing potential start-up business ventures due to un-necessary regulations and requirements imposed on business investors. A complete review is needed in the process to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from start to finish. We must encourage business start-ups to build our economy and provide more job opportunities.

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?

Council Members having access and review authority of the Independent Auditor’s Management Letter to the City Manager and recognizing that the Manager is only the custodian of the records. Elected Council members are in fact the owners of the records and should devote the time to examine the records accordingly.

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

Yes! Digital Billboard lawful locations are like any other Business Service Location. They provide a service and they are required to pay annual taxes on each location. They pay premium rental space to property owners and provide meaningful skilled jobs for billboard workers and help consumers and the economy as well.

9. Do you support SAWS current plans to secure San Antonio’s Water Supply?  If so, please explain why?  If not, please explain what they should be doing differently.

Before I would make a commitment in support of SAWS’ current plan I would need to review the Independent Auditor’s Management Letter and examine water usage for the past 5 years to determine if there is sufficient justification for the plan. Transparency is an absolute must for the operation of SAWS. Currently, there seems to be concerns and questions on accurate monthly meter reading totals.

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 your retired) and a position on council?  If so, how will you handle these?

I am retired, and I manage very well on my Social Security with nearly a debt free status. I see absolutely no conflicts of interest at this time!

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 these decisions be made?

While I have no legal opinion answer, I do favor a reasonable relaxation of the ordinance to allow for Free Speech to occur and take place.

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 see no difference in selling franchises to private companies that is currently in place at this time and receiving a percentage of the revenue that is generated. Vending Machines, Wrecker Services, etc. are just an example. Regarding Healy-Murphy Park I would lease it to The Salvation Army on a long term lease for a dollar a year.

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.

Yes, I would like to point out that it is the responsibility of each Council Person to safeguard his or her own district in the criminal activity that occurs and tell all the Victims that have been victimized by criminals the reasons why they have not provided community policing funds for community groups and neighborhood associations to prevent crimes! Instead of making excuses and placing the responsibility on our Police Force!

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