City Council

City Government
9:21 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Villarreal Makes It Official: He Is Leaving Legislature To Run For San Antonio Mayor

State Rep. Mike Villarreal isn't waiting for Mayor Julián Castro to be approved by the full U.S. Senate before organizing his mayoral campaign.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Soon after word began to circulate about San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s appointment to President Barack Obama's cabinet, state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, began announcing his intentions to run for mayor.

Villarreal has now made it official with a fundraising email to his past supporters, telling them he is stepping down from the Legislature to organize a campaign to be the next mayor of San Antonio.

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Blighted Buildings
11:39 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Vacant Building Pilot Program Is Becoming Reality For Property Owners

This home in Tobin Hill has remained vacant for nearly 30 years. The area is not included in the initial 18-month pilot program.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Owners of vacant buildings in San Antonio could be in for a reality check with a new city pilot program aimed at revitalizing pockets of town.

But San Antonio city leaders have said they hope to help owners bring properties into compliance, not bombard them with fees and other costs that bring properties up to code.

The vacant and underutilized buildings policy is a pilot program that District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal has said is aggressive in trying to eradicate empty structures around town. But the pilot program will be extremely focused for the first 18 months.

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The Source - June 18, 2014
9:43 am
Wed June 18, 2014

The Source: City, Police Union Continue Divisive Negotiations

Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The city of San Antonio met with the San Antonio Police Officers Association last week to try and come to a resolution on their contracts.

Health and pension benefits have been the most widely reported on aspect of the negotiations and the most divisive. The city said that packages public safety members receive are too generous, and will consume two-thirds of the general revenue by 2040 as health care costs continue to rise. 

There is little trust between the two sides as the police officers association has claimed the city's numbers are incorrect.

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City Government
12:06 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

City Offices Flooded With Letters About Proposed Bag Ban, Most Of Them In Support

City council and the mayor's office are being filled with letters and emails, most of them in support, of a proposed plastic bag ban.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

There are strong opinions in the debate over a proposed plastic bag ban. The idea has bounced back and forth between committee meetings so far, and according to staff members it will go before the full San Antonio City Council this month.

In the meantime, the 10 council members and mayor have received plenty of responses from the public. Their offices report they've received about 1,400 emails and letters, and an overwhelming number have been favorable toward a ban. Only five, they say, were opposed.

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City Ordinances
11:12 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Concerns Arise Over Possible Insurance Gap For Ride-Share Drivers

Ride-share drivers for Lyft use large pink mustaches to identify their vehicles.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Ride-sharing company Lyft said it has passengers covered in the event of an accident. But some believe the drivers are stuck in an insurance gap that's putting them at risk.

When Lyft began its operations in San Antonio several months ago, Terri Richardson hopped on the band wagon as a driver.

She feels safe, and believes Lyft's got her covered if anything goes wrong.

"I think Lyft is a good company. They stand behind their people," Richardson said.

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City Government
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

If Castro Departs, City Council Would Fill Mayor's Seat From Within

Mayor Julián Castro spoke to members of the San Antonio media Monday after news spread that he could be tapped for HUD secretary in President Obama's administration.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

If San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro leaves his position for a post in President Barack Obama's cabinet, city council will then select an interim successor from one of their own.

Will it be someone with the most experience? Could it be someone who has a lot of background with policy?

The answer may include a variety of those qualifications. But whatever they are, it won't matter much to residents.

Political consultant Kelton Morgan said the members will work that out.

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South Side
10:11 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Mission Trail Mobile Home Park Residents To Be Forced Out For New Development

Mission Trail Mobile Home Park (A) is located just off the Mission Reach on the South Side.
Credit Google Maps

In spite of their emotional pleas, residents of the Mission Trail Mobile Home Park will be forced to move to make room for a $75 million development. Many people who spoke struck a chord with several council members and the mayor Thursday.

When it came time for the vote, Mayor Julián Castro reversed course from his usual push for progress. He said he could not support a zoning request to make the Mission Trail Mobile Home Park, located on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River, a mixed-use development for shops and apartments.

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City Ordinances
10:55 am
Wed May 14, 2014

NDO Put Through First Test In Complaint Against AT&T

Opponents to the city's NDO protested that the law would allow transgender people into restrooms of the sex they identify with, causing harm to others.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

AT&T company leaders are dismissing sexual harassment allegations made by a contracted employee late last year against two of its workers.

The complaint is the city's first since council members passed the controversial non-discrimination ordinance revision.

Last September, as city council debated the revised non-discrimination ordinance to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected groups in San Antonio, a case hinging on gender identity harassment was brewing.

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City Ordinances
9:38 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Months After City's NDO Passes, Complaint Process Still Unclear

San Antono's non-discrimination ordinance enlivened supporters and opponents to voice their opinions.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Eight months have passed since San Antonio city leaders approved a revision to the city's non-discrimination ordinance. The update included the addition of gender identity, sexual orientation and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the city.

But nearly a year later, residents still have no clear way of filing a complaint.

According to Deputy City Attorney Veronica Zertuche, currently there is no single place where people can go to make their complaint.

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City Government
12:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

How A Bag Ban Would Create A Burden For People Without Vehicles, Low Income

As city leaders discuss the possibility of a plastic bag ban, people who rely on public transportation believe a ban would be discriminatory.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

San Antonio city leaders are in the middle of discussions on a possible ban on single-use plastic bags. The topic comes as cities across the country are taking drastic steps to reduce the use of plastic bags to cut down on litter.

Most people would agree they're bad for the environment, but opponents say a proposed bag ban could unfairly target the poor because reusable bags cost money, and they're a burden to carry around for those without a vehicle.

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