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Best of SA 2007

People and Politics 

Phil Hardberger
Person of the Year

1. Phil Hardberger
       Mayor of San Antonio
2. Ciro Rodriguez
       Representative, U.S. District 23
3. Kinky Friedman
       Personality and gubernatorial candidate

We love that you love politicians and would-be politicos, too, readers. (You might’ve picked fallen Idol Haley Scarnato, after all). Hardberger’s full-steam-ahead approach to downtown revitalization earned him a win over Ciro Rodriguez, who successfully challenged incumbent Henry Bonilla after a district makeover that was tailor-gerrymandered for the loser.

Best Public Figure You Love to Hate

1. Phil Hardberger
       Mayor of San Antonio
2. Henry Cisneros
       Former mayor of SA
3. Sheryl Sculley
       City Manager

Phil may be giving us a dead-zone known as the renovated pedestrian-only Main Plaza (with two north-south downtown streets — Main and Main Plaza — soon to be closed) but Henry gave us a notorious dead-zone called the Alamodome. Maybe they love-to-hate on San Antonio too?

Terri Hall of San Antonio Toll Party
Best Local Cause

1. Anti-Toll Roads
2. Cancer Center Council
3. Operation Comfort

Since 2004, Operation Comfort has coordinated donations for injured military being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center. And Comfort figures recovering soldiers and marines might appreciate some outdoor adrenaline along with their rehab: see their amputee surfing trips to Pismo Beach, California, or bike trips from San Antonio to Corpus Christi.

Speaking of adrenal responses, Terri Hall (pictured above), of San Antonio Toll Party and fame, has helped channel anger and fill transportation hearings like never before. She’s definitely caused pro-tollers (the Chamber, the Zachrys) stress.

Best State Legislator

1. Mike Villarreal
      House District 123
2. Joe Straus
      House District 121
3. Jose Menendez
      House District 124

OK, who voted for Frank Corte, Jr. four times? You’re just trying to piss us off. Thank heavens our readers are still a largely rational electorate. We’ve been pitting Representative Mike Villarreal against Representative Joaquin Castro all this session for the title of “Numero Uno Young Latino Legislator.” The people have spoken: “Captain Recess” Villarreal got 50 percent more votes than “Mary Kate” Castro.

Best News Story

1. Helotes Mulch Fire
2. Taco Land killer gets death penalty
3. KENS-5 “Christ or Cult,” Sarah Lucero

Only two readers voted for Congressman Henry Bonilla’s defeat as the best story of 2006? That’s one more vote than the trials of the feral-cat colony at Sunken Gardens. Instead, readers knighted the Helotes Mulch Fire as last year’s most newsworthy. Judges barely allowed this win to stand, since the the mound of Christmas trees and fertilizer burned only five days in 2006 (and another 86 in 2007). Also, the late Ram Ayala contributed more to SA (see

Best Watchdog

1. Roddy Stinson
2. News 4 WOAI Troubleshooters
3. CA Stubbs
      San Antonio Lightning,     

He may be number three, but when it comes to taking on the greedy bums that be and getting results, CA Stubbs makes columnist Roddy Stinson look like a blowhard. The Stubbs Report outperforms everyone in the categories of Texas tax watchdogging, City Council term-limit crusading, and biting fussbudgetry.

Best Use of Term Limits

1. Roger Flores
      District 1 Councilman
2. Chip Haass
    District 10 Councilman
3. The entire City Council

Two, two-year terms have been the time limit for our 11 City guardians since 1990. They can only spend four years on City Council, four as mayor. District 1 Councilman and political scion Roger Flores may have reminded voters why they enacted these draconian limits with his unpopular or murky stands on the Blanco roundabout, River Walk formula restaurants, and now the Five Points neighborhood.


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