The San Antonio City Council followed the lead of District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal Thursday to hold off on a vote about a proposed library branch on the city’s north side.
The 10 members and Mayor Julián Castro initially voted to approve the project at its April 4 meeting, but District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, who represents the district where the library is proposed, asked for the item to be brought back to council. This time she recused herself from the process.
San Antonio’s East Side has long been in the spotlight for gun violence and concerns over safety. In late 2011, a series of shootings sparked community meetings, and in response District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor dedicated time for community forums.
Residents like Jessica Evans called for increased police presence.
The City Council has voted to sell land it no longer needs so that it can be redeveloped into shops and businesses.
The location of the land is on South Zarzamora, where the service center that houses public works, fire and solid waste departments will close this summer. A new service center, currently under construction, will open up at West Commerce and Callaghan Road.
Challenging the incumbent to the East Side city council seat are four opponents who say they want to address the issues facing District 2: Antonio Diaz, Hector Medina, and Norris Tyrone Darden.
Darden praises current Councilwoman Ivy Taylor for the job she’s done, but is careful in using words that give her too much credit. The long-time resident of the district said Taylor, an outsider who is not originally from San Antonio, is not addressing what really needs to be addressed.
District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña has his eyes set on his second term, and said the future is in the hands of the people of San Antonio.
"We need to step up to make sure we're controlling the pace of how that happens and the best way is remember that on April 29 we have an opportunity to vote," he said. "Now I'd love it if you voted for me but the one important thing is that you come out and vote."
He waxed poetic at his recent campaign kick-off in the heart of his district.
Constituents on San Antonio's West Side say they are frustrated over a lack of leadership on the city council, a frustration that stems from current District 5 Councilman David Medina, but the field of candidates who are challenging him in this election also have their share of controversy.
Six candidates, including Medina, ironman competitor Shirley Gonzales, insurance agent John Carlos Garcia, businessman Richard Cardenas, attorney Ricardo Briones, and Frank Ramirez are all fighting for the job.
With a month and a half to go until the city elections, candidates are defining themselves in different ways. For District 8 candidate Ron Nirenberg, the associate general manager of jazz station KRTU, that means attacking the issues head on.
"At the end of the day, this council race should be about how can we help our community, and how can we do the right thing. It doesn't have to be after the election," said Nirenberg.