Retirees Rally for Ron at Restaurant

Photos by William Timmerman - Reporter, SA Sentinel.

May 24, 2019 - Luby’s, Downtown San Antonio

Article By: William Timmerman - Reporter, SA Sentinel

On Friday, May 24th, Mayor Ron Nirenberg held an event to hear from retired locals on the issues that matter to them. It was part testimonial as well as part questions and answers. The collection of issues discussed dealt with increasing the functionality of VIA for disabled individuals, Fire Union negotiations, as well as the ever-controversial electric scooter issue.

The meeting began with an invocation by Tom Heger, pastor of Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church. After this period of reflection, the event continued along, with the mayor hitting as many talking points as possible in the time provided. Nirenberg took credit for the progress under his tenure, which he stated included public safety, a lower crime rate, a diversified SA job market, and a decrease in unemployment. He credited this progress to more cooperation and budgeting on the issues that matter and setting aside the enrichment of one city district over another. He also mentioned that he was proud of the council’s long term vision, instead of short term victories to bring housing, social issues, and transportation to San Antonio.

Mayor Nirenberg set forth a vision for San Antonio whereby transportation services would make the city more pedestrian and bike friendly. One constituent raised the ever-present issue of the veritable array of scooters in the city’s urban core, which led the mayor to summarize the proposed policy laid out in the last City Council B Session. If passed, the policy would ban electric scooters from the sidewalk with the goal of improving pedestrian experience and preventing injury. He also mentioned the ConnectSA policy that will roll out next year, an ambitious plan to make San Antonio more pedestrian and public transit friendly.

Notably, several of Nirenberg’s supporters compared Brockhouse to Trump in terms of rhetoric. Nirenberg tempered these comments and said that the wider issue was that the city has “lost our arbiters for truth.” He expressed that he enjoys reaching out to the community, even the citizens that disagree with him, and that these times can be a catalyst for political involvement and outreach.

Nirenberg further separated himself from Brockhouse over the issue of the Fire Union negotiations, stating that he finds the consequences of accepting the Fire Union’s union demands dire and insisting that they would ultimately result in an insolvent budget and the lessening of funds which could be used to advance other city projects. He stated that the fraction of the 2014 budget given to public safety was 66%, and that it was not feasible to increase benefits in the way the union proposed. He doubled down that his disagreement is not with the firefighters themselves stating, “I abhor what their union has done.”

The meeting wrapped up with continued enthusiasm from attendees and photo-ops with the mayor.