A Look Back and a Peek Forward - Part 1

July 16, 2019 - Downtown San Antonio

Article By: William Timmerman - Writer, SA Sentinel

Mayor Nirenberg presents Melissa Cabello Havrda as a new member of the SA City Council. (Photo by  William Timmerman )

Mayor Nirenberg presents Melissa Cabello Havrda as a new member of the SA City Council. (Photo by William Timmerman)

This is a Council in transition. After the sweat and tears of the campaign trail have dried, San Antonio presented three new faces to the city. Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia has replaced Rey Saldaña for District 4, Melissa Cabello Havrda filled Greg Brockhouse’s position in District 6, and Jada Andrews-Sullivan succeeded Art Hall for District 2. With these new members of the Council, San Antonio has a majority female council for only the second time in its history.

There was no legislation for the morning half of the last B Session of the 2018-2019 City Council. The only items on the agenda were the acceptance of the vote totals, the swearing of the anti-bribery pledge in conformity with Article XVI of the Texas Constitution, and a discussion on the impact that the outgoing Council Members have made for San Antonio. The new members took straws to decide the terms of their responsibilities as ‘mayor pro tem,’ analogous to the role of a vice president. It is both a way of succession if the mayor cannot dispense his duties, as well as a functional ‘second-in-command’ role during council meetings when the Mayor is not seated for the meeting. Each of the nine Council members take turns serving in this capacity.

Rey Saldaña was the youngest member to be elected to council at the ripe age of 24. His tenure on the Council has outlasted all the current members. Now at the seasoned age of 32, he will serve the city in a new capacity as the Regional Director of Outreach for South Texas for the non-profit Raise Your Hand Texas and the Chairman of the VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees.

The second goodbye went to Art Hall who received his current term not by vote, but rather by appointment when William “Cruz” Shaw left District 2 to hold a judicial appointment. Art Hall strived to engage the community of District 2 and brought multiple groups together to preserve Hays Street Bridge on the Eastside of San Antonio.

The new council members take their oath of office. (Photo by  William TImmerman )

The new council members take their oath of office. (Photo by William TImmerman)

We also recognize the third outgoing councilman, Greg Brockhouse. He recently lost a tight Mayoral run-off election with Ron Nirenberg, but served District 6 well, bringing light to issues faced by law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and the city. He was absent from the session due to a minor health issue with a family member, but in his absence, the Council still acknowledged his dedication to the constituents of District 6 from 2017 to present.

A Church blessing was held at San Fernando Cathedral, followed by with a Catholic mass. Afterward, Kens 5 hosted the jovial swearing in ceremony featuring a celebration of San Antonio arts and culture featuring performances by local artist Vocab, Nicholas Blevins, saxophonist, as well as a local mariachi group, and catered cuisine. Following all the pageantry, the new members took their oath of office and took their seats for the next term.

This is the first in a series of articles that will outline everything that has happened from the election to the current summer hiatus. Check back for more to come soon!