Ahead of the start of classes on Aug. 26, San Antonio City Council members are hosting community-wide back-to-school fairs in each of their districts.
At the same time, the city's budget is closing in on adoption and deep cuts will have to be made. Mayor Julián Castro is recommending a cut to member discretionary funds, which are known as City Council Project Funds and are used for community events like the back-to-school fairs.
A flurry of accusations from conservatives have been launched at the City of San Antonio's proposed expansion of its anti-discrimination ordinance, one of which says that the passage could be Anti-Christian.
The claims have been called ludicrous and unfounded by supporters and District 1 City Councilman Diego Bernal, who originally proposed the expansion.
In a memo to the San Antonio City Council and city staff, Mayor Julián Castro announced the appointments of the council to the various council sub-committees. Each committee hears issues before they reach the full city council.
The memo included the announcement of a new committee called the High Profile Contracts Accountability, which will check over high-profile contracts and monitor vendor performance on those contracts.
The addition of an ethics-based committee is a reinforcement by Castro in light of recent ethics lapses inside City Hall.
Mayor Julian Castro talks with supporters following his State of the City address at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. He and the council will hear a final proposed budget on Aug. 8 before final adoption on Sept. 12.
The San Antonio City Council will again hear from city staff on a proposed budget that has a budget gap of up to $50 million dollars.
For that reason, city manager Sheryl Sculley and her team have been meeting with each city department and going over their programs to figure out how to close that gap.
Sculley says she will not reduce the most important city services to the public, including police and fire protection. That was also the request of city council members who outlined their priorities for the budget last month.
The Ethics Review Board found Wednesday night that former City Council District 8 candidate Rolando Briones knowingly violated San Antonio’s ethics code by accepting a contract for his consulting and engineering firm with the city when he sat on San Antonio's Planning Commission.
The case was filed by William Hurley, a citizen who believed Briones acted inappropriately because he used a public entity for personal business.
Briones was present for the hearing, in which he testified that he never had any intention of knowingly violating the ethics code.
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.
San Antonio is facing a $35 to $50 million shortfall in the 2014 budget and with that in mind, council members set out to define their goals for next year at a day-long goal-setting session at the Central Library on Tuesday.
Included in the budget are what’s known as unfunded requests, which are items the city doesn’t have the money to fund. Delegate agency ChildSafe is requesting $100,000 in 2014, and $500,000 over five years.