One Look Back, Two Steps Forward: May 2, 2019 City Council A-Session
May 2nd was both the national Day of Prayer as well as Yom HaShoah, otherwise known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. An invocation was made by Captain Rabbi Shaul Rappeport, who served his faith community as well as the country by enlisting in the military and currently serves at Lackland AFB. He was followed by a centennial celebration of the founding of St. Leo’s Catholic Church. Notable members of the parish as well as the parish priest were present to receive the honor. At this point in the meeting, the council and those in attendance Thursday morning looked back with joy to the community’s faith roots, as well as the fabric of San Antonio’s culture.
Looking forward, we saw the council deal with policy issues that will guide the future of San Antonio. Unlike April’s last council meeting, there was little in the way of political theater. Instead, this was a day for deliberate action with each measure addressed being passed by a significant majority.
One focus was on the funding for affordable housing. The Council voted to sell several local properties that no longer aligned with their active projects. The money made from these sales would be commonly returned to the general fund upon sale. It was suggested that, in the future, money from these properties could be allocated to bolster affordable housing programs instead being unallocated.
Prominent management and technology company, Booz Allen Hamilton, was also celebrated for their contribution to the city in terms of job production and investments. The city further recognized the firm for many other opportunities that have been brought to the city by their two permanent San Antonio locations. In the same vein, the Brooks City Base area has been growing at such a rate that the council has decided to move it from Phase 2 to Phase 1 within the framework of the “San Antonio Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan,” a working vision for where the city sees itself by 2040.
While there already exists an inter-local agreement that ensures that county and city services are neither redundant or inconsistent to prevent overspending of taxpayer money, Thursday a few additional services were brought under the umbrella of this inter-local agreement. These services were as follows: fire services and inspection, food services and permitting, and magistration. There was discussion of the ramifications of these additions, both from a logistic as well as a financial perspective. The council will monitor the implementation to ensure that the policy continues to work in favor of all the citizens of Bexar County. With that, the council adjourned, with most parties in agreement that the meeting had been productive for the city.