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Robert Yanez, Candidate for City Council, District 10 

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.  

I do not agree with the thought of adding two Nuclear Power plants to the mix. The only way I will support the issue, is if the citizens of Texas are willing to put the nuclear waste in their own back yard and are willing to take responsibility for what it could cause.  We need to use coal and natural gas for as long as we are able to.  The city of San Antonio and the state of Texas needs to have an infrastructure in place for wind energy and solar power. The one person that may have to be included in these talks is the President of the United States. If he is willing to give us the government support for a large scale place on solar and wind technology, then we can go forward with these ideas.

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 do support Mayor Hardberger's Mission Verde plan and I agree with the S.A Bexar County Transportation Task Force on their recommendation on where the city needs to be and how to fund these recommendations in the future.   One of the biggest causes of traffic problems in San Antonio is that the city did not plan well for the growth of the city. I support any light rail system from Austin to San Antonio and all towns in between.  The funding for the rail system will be difficult to get if the other cities do not support the train system. The cities of San Antonio and Austin will need help from the state and the other cities that will benefit from this rail. There needs to be an open communication line between Austin, Buda, Kyle, San Marcos New Braunfels, Schertz and the communities around San Antonio for this to work.    San Antonio is going to have to revamp it’s VIA transit systems to have a more efficient traffic solution. To help cut the congestion on the roads and the pollution that comes with it, there need to be more research on what should be done.

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?

The S.A Bexar County Transportation Task Force had a good plan that would need to be read and looked at by the next City members.  I do think that Via and its infrastructure is good for San Antonio to have. I do think putting together a Light rail system is need to compete with the growth of San Antonio.

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

I would not be will to cut anything, There may be a few things here and there that may need to be pushed back but when we say we are going to do something I will follow it through no matter how long it will take to get it done, I will finish the things we said we were going to do.  I would look for ways to make things in the city more cost efficient and have people drag out projects that need to be done soon or can be done sooner.

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?

I would support the HOT tax for the Convention Center; I do think if we can save money we should spend it on the roads and for more Police Officers for events and throughout the city.

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?

I do think San Antonio has good growth that keeps us economically sound, but with parts of city falling apart, I think that we should try and do more on our infrastructure to keep people moving and working.  I think San Antonio should look to trying and get a few more big events to bring in more revenue to the city.  A part of the city economy relies on tourism and people spending their money here.  If we try and bring big names or have a huge San Antonio day maybe it would get more people out here and come to the city every year. Without people spending their money and without a huge event San Antonio may feel the crunch of have to cut back on things like streets, new parks, new libraries and Police officers to keep us in the black.

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?

There are a lot of problems in the city that need to be dealt with, there are no shortage of lies and miss talk.  I do think if you say you’re going to do something you better do it.  I will try and keep everyone in the loop but I know it’s hard to tell the community everything that is going on in the city.  If there is a big project that I say I’m going to do, and is doesn’t work out like it should, I will hold myself accountable and give the reasons for it not working out. The City Auditor may be a key that we can use for different things but if you give one person too much power, it may lead to bigger problems. The one thing I will rely on, are the citizens in the community to stand up and voice their concerns if problems arise on projects that are not going according to plan.

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

At this point in time I don’t see the need for more of the digital-billboards, but if we do allow the expansion of the billboard program, then I think a conservative look to them is better than letting them run with free reign. I think their placement next to the highway is good for now and I would like to keep it that way.

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.

I do support SAWS plan but with thought of conservation on the end of that. The droughts that hit San Antonio is nothing new and S.A.W.S has met with other communities to work with them on our water problems and this may cause rates to go up for the consumer. To prevent some problems, SAWS should raise the restrictions on watering for businesses and golf courses, push communities to water at night, and to water less. I would like to work with S.A.W.S to help educate the community on water conservation and to try and keep the costs down for the city and the consumer.

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 work at Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union at the moment; I will be talking with RBFCU when I win Council in Dist. 10.  If conflicts do arise then I will have to leave RBFCU to focus on the community and its need.  The people and their right to live in a nice, safe place, is a top priority. Working on larger problems that arise in the community need my full attention while in office.  

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?

I do think there should be some Fees for events that require the Police to maintain crowd control. But I also think if a group of people get it in them to hold a parade for any reason (to celebrate or just to put awareness out for their cause) then they should be free to do so.  I would look at it on a case by case scenario.  

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 Healy-Murphy Park, El Mercado, or La Villita. 

I think publicly owned operations such as Libraries and parks should be able to sustain themselves, but I do know it will take help from the city to fund renovations, and to add new and better equipment.  The issues surrounding Healy-Murphy Park is unfortunate to that community. What happened to it is not the best outcome for the community expecting a new park. The community expected one thing and then the City of San Antonio saying they were going to do something else with the land is not right.  The only solution I can see is for the city to be at bit more transparent in decisions like that of Healy-Murphy Park.  The community has a voice and they elected someone to represent that voice on the Council.

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.

The Safe Officer program is very important to me. I do not think that San Antonio has an adequate police presence on the streets. I would like to push for more officers in the Safe Officer program. The city is looking to hire 100 or more officers over the next two years. With the new hires there should be a shift in the force to patrol the streets in the community and to have a police car patrolling a corner late at night.  To help raise some funds for the budget, there should be an increase in traffic violation fines. For some of the more serious traffic violations like driving recklessly and passing school buses there should be an increase of $50 to $250 for the fines.  I think the community should stand up for safer streets and have more officers in the Safe Officer program.

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