Dear reader: Reprinted here are the responses we received from candidates for the District 1 Council seat to our 2011 Council election questionnaire. Unless otherwise noted, the answers are not edited, condensed, or otherwise altered. Current D1 Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros is term-limited this spring so the five candidates are vying for an open seat, making a runoff likely, if not inevitable. Retired firefighter Ralph Medina declined to answer the questions. The responses appear in alphabetical order, by last name.
- Saturday, 30 April 2011 08:07
- Jade Esteban Estrada
In the 1981 documentary The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, a portly, cigar-smoking Orson Welles utilizes a grab bag of dramatized scenes, stock footage, and TV interviews to reveal the prophesies of 16th century French astrologist Nostradamus. His followers credit him with the prediction of major world events including the fall of King Louis XVI, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although modern day academics have asserted that his 1555 book Les Propheties (The Prophecies) is nothing more than misinterpretations and mistranslations, and claim that his quatrains were inevitabilities obvious to anyone observant of historical trends, it is eerie to discover for oneself just how close he came to what some call the prediction of 9/11. Between you, me, and Dionne Warwick – some information is worth $3.99 a minute.
Few candidates in this year’s municipal elections have left me with an awareness of our city’s future economy like businessman Fred Rangel, a candidate for City Council District 7 who feels that tax increases and program cuts are uncreative, “typical” answers to the unavoidable economic downturn he says is on the horizon. Hmm. I wonder why the Mayans didn’t seem that worried about it.
- Thursday, 28 April 2011 00:45
- Gilbert Garcia
Lesson #14 for future SA City Council members: If you’d like to get maximum media coverage with minimum effort, start talking about SXSW.
John Clamp, the outgoing District 10 Council member, learned that lesson over the last week.
- Wednesday, 27 April 2011 15:07
- Gilbert Garcia
At a Wednesday town hall on San Antonio's South Side, freshman Congressman Francisco "Quico" Canseco wore a neck brace that limited his mobility and caused him evident discomfort. Unlike several of his Republican colleagues holding town-hall meetings over the last week, however, Canseco did not encounter an audience ready to inflict pain on him over the GOP's new tough-love, budget-slashing proposal.
Canseco met with about 50 retirees at WellMed's Elvira Cisneros Community Center and gave what felt like a class lecture on the federal budget, complete with graphs and historical breakdowns of government spending patterns. While Canseco initially stated that he wasn't "here to play the blame game," and noted that both Democrats and Republicans have been responsible for building the federal debt, he swiftly targeted President Barack Obama as an obstacle to deficit reduction.
- Tuesday, 26 April 2011 23:23
- Elaine Wolff
It’s well after 3 p.m. on a Wednesday in late March, and the conference room in the new Bexar County annex is numbingly cold. The third-floor picture windows let the plaster cowboy on the old Kallison’s Western Wear building across the street draw a bead on the occupants. The young attorney in front of the presentation screen would probably welcome the backup. It’s the sixth meeting of the Bexar County Indigent Task Force, and Joseph Hoelscher has volunteered for the thankless task of would-be reformer. Listening to the tenor of the attorneys and judges in the room, you’d think he was proposing throwing over the entire western legal system in favor of Sharia.
- Sunday, 24 April 2011 22:15
- Elaine Wolff
When Julián Castro decided to back Patti Radle against San Antonio Independent School District institution Tom López in the upcoming election, he wasn’t exactly risking the house. The popular two-term District 5 councilwoman has cultivated a sterling reputation in San Antonio: a squeaky-clean record at City Hall, visionary co-founder of the new homeless campus, a long history of community organizing on the West Side. Although López, a six-term incumbent, made brave at first, in the end he didn’t even file for reelection.
Emboldened perhaps by this early success, the Mayor last week stepped out for a second candidate, Renee Joy McGhee, who rose to local prominence 18 months ago during the fight to save Sam Houston High School. McGhee is running against James Howard, the board’s first black president, who was elected to his inaugural term in 1998. In endorsing McGhee, Castro followed the lead of State Representatives Mike Villarreal and Ruth Jones McClendon, both Democrats.
But the Mayor either failed to fully vet McGhee before he jumped on the stump, or he’s willing to overlook her ties to public-education arch nemesis Dr. James Leininger.
- Sunday, 24 April 2011 06:19
- Greg Jefferson
The City wants to amp up its hiring of minority firefighters by changing the way the San Antonio Fire Department tests its applicants. That’s because the SAFD's demographics are out of whack with San Antonio's.