Former San Antonio City Councilman Carlton Soules officially kicked off his campaign Sunday to run in the Republican primary for Bexar County judge.
Soules is fairly new to the political scene, having won the City Council District 10 seat in 2011. But in just a short time, Soules said he has learned a lot, and wants to stop spending he thinks is ruining the county. He said he has a three-step plan to take the county back from what conservatives say has been out-of-control spending for far too long.
First, he wants to stop what he calls "legacy projects" like streetcars.
Update (2/7): City council voted Thursday to call a special election for May 10 to fill the unexpired terms of former District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan and former District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules.
Applicants who wish to run in the special election may file for a place on the ballot beginning Feb. 10. The filing deadline is March 10.
According to the Bexar County Elections Office, the city's special election will be held in conjunction with Bexar County's joint general and special election.
Members of the Northeast Neighborhood Alliance are in the middle of interviewing the candidates seeking an appointment to the San Antonio City Council District 10 seat that's being vacated by Carlton Soules.
The councilman, who is in his second term, decided to leave and focus his attention on a run for Bexar County Judge.
Their interviews began this weekend and will conclude before the group's meeting next week, where the candidates will participate in a forum to meet people from the community and answer questions about their vision for the district.
One of the most important jobs city leaders have is to appoint board members to CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System. On Thursday they took up SAWS, and left two members walking away angered that their recommendation to represent the Northeast quadrant did not get approved by their colleagues.
District 10's Carlton Soules and District 9's Elisa Chan picked Kirk Francis for his knowledge and experience with water issues.
Chan said Francis would bring a certain characteristic that may be missing from the current SAWS board.
With more than 70 delegate agencies, the city council each year funds the organizations to help them accomplish their missions, but this time the council had to make cuts to meet its objective of balancing the budget.
San Antonio budget director Maria Villagomez said the agencies, with the exception of Haven for Hope, took a five percent cut.
It's not enough for District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, who has said every non-essential service should be eliminated.
The San Antonio City Council took the oath of office in a swearing in ceremony inside the chambers of City Hall, preparing for what is ahead for the body over the next two years.
Mayor Julián Castro said the mission of the council is a double-edged sword because each member is looking out for the interests of their own district, but he told his colleagues they also have to do what’s best for the city as a whole.
"The challenge that all of us face is to balance the everyday needs of our constituents with a long-term grand vision for our city's future," he said on the dais.