Will san antonio citizens validate this fight – the bureau news american university communications

Citizens – 3, city hall – 0 but it’s not over! It’s not over! Many attacks have been lodged by mayor ron nirenberg and his PAC, “secure san antonio’s future”, against the firefighters union for initiating the proposed charter changes. The truth is, those proposed amendments began as private discussions between many individuals, which occurred over months and then began to grow into a network of mutual complaint and concern. All, many just plain folks, some retired , some working, some attached to organizations, etc., yet all concerned with the direction and attitude of san antonio government. Yes, some of those were personal friends who were firefighters. Among that group were also, political activists, organizations that worked with the faith community and people who felt a civic responsibility to stand against wasteful and irresponsible government.

Their concerns were numerous. George washington university psyd among those were such issues as: awarding of contracts to non-san antonio companies lack of attention to basic infrastructure needs such as sewer, water and streets the city’s seemingly perpetual fight with the police and fire unions pitiful state of emergency vehicles rising violent crime shortage of manpower for police and fire misleading information distributed by city hall outright corruption funding for non-basic needs rising costs and the list went on and on. After much discussion, a vote was taken, and they eventually filtered down to 3 primary concerns that seemed to really touch all, the city manager cheryl scully, the people’s rights, and union relationships. As a result of working together, those concerned were now were concentrated on the major issues of “ why” they should push for change. Then the question was, “ what” can be done to address these issues” in a meaningful way? An answer came readily, change the charter. The same thing happened when city hall and via tried to push that ridiculous streetcar project down our throats, a charter change seemed to fill the bill. The firefighters, along with many others, had also been a part of the successful streetcar coalition. People need to understand that city hall and the members of their PAC, “secure san antonio’s future”, tried to STOP even our right to vote for or against these proposed amendments. Then came the “ how.” each group brought something to the table, mostly community influence and their own networks. The only group that could provide meaningful funding to push the issues forward and not see them die in bureaucracy tape and special interest, were the firefighters. They stepped up. Top 5 universities in canada yes, they have a vested interest in the amendments, but so does every san antonian. A game plan was developed, the firefighters would fund a petition drive to raise the necessary signatures. One charter amendment deals directly with the rights of citizens to HAVE a voice. It addresses the number of petitioners who must sign a petition in order to allow the people to vote on an issue raised by city hall. Our community, though very large, is not very wealthy. Yet it seems that we can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on items that do nothing to insure the safety or well being of our citizens. Why does the university of texas at san antonio (UTSA) need 10 million dollars from us when they possess perhaps the largest endowment fund in the world, over 20 billion dollars? Yes, trees are pretty, but why do we need to spend some 40 million dollars planting them on broadway? Yes, parks are great, but why do we really need to spend some 15 million dollars, so people can walk on a dirt bridge from one park, over the road, to the other side. Really, are there no better uses of public funds? The thought occurs to me that rain, like we’ve recently experienced, could mean the bridge might have to be re-surfaced, or re-darted (is there a correct term for this?) every so often. An event like that would certainly require additional funding for maintenance. Why did city hall fight so hard to keep the people from even having the opportunity to let their voices be heard, VOTE? Now that’s something you should consider carefully. You see, the leadership would deny us the opportunity to weigh in on issues of controversy, and we pay their salaries. Why would gordon hartman and united services automobile association (USAA) join in the fight against the peoples right to even vote? We buy his houses and their insurance. Could it be that special interest wants to keep a chokehold on san antonio? Another of the amendments deals with the issue of the city manager’s compensation. Our city manager, cheryl scully, is at least in the top 5 for compensation in the nation, if not the highest paid. We are neither the largest city nor in the top 5 for most efficiently run. Most employees receive a bonus for work or contribution to their job that is over and above their normal responsibilities. Yet, not only does our city manager receive an enormous compensation package, she gets a bonus based on how close she came to reaching her goals. Now to me, that situation means you just didn’t accomplish what you were supposed to do. But to say, I did 75% of my job so I should receive a 75% bonus for not achieving my job, there’s something wrong with that picture. Cheryl scully’s job is to do the very best she can for the city and its welfare. That’s what she is paid to do. When did we start paying people to do a job and then give them a bonus based on how much of the job they did? The last amendment deals with the fire union and arbitration. We’ve heard it said and that public safety is breaking the city, that the percentage of the general fund allocated to public safety is too high a portion of the general fund. Washington university school of medicine ranking the problem with that statement is that city council and the city manager control the actual size of the general fund. While most citizens believe that the general fund comprises all the revenue coming into the city, it does not. There are at least 3 funds from which the city operates. Top 30 universities in usa my guess is that the title general fund is an easy way to mislead voters. Yes, the amendment gives the firefighters the right to call for binding arbitration if contract negotiations between the union and the city reach an impasse. That means both sides are bound to the decision of a third-party. This third party is not chosen by the firefighters. Each side chooses a representative and the representatives chose a third. If no agreement on the third arbitrator can be reached, then an appeal to the american arbitration association is made. A simple majority of the three-person board will be binding. Why shouldn’t they have the right to that? If the shoe is on your foot, and the entity you are bargaining with is not dealing in good faith, sues you, wastes hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money on attorneys, withholds a compensation contract for years, complains that one of the clauses you want is illegal yet negotiates a contract with another entity with a similar clause, how would you feel? These are the very men and women who put their lives between us and danger every day. They are the ones who respond to calls for help, should we allow that they be treated in such a manner? In another issue of the bureau news, we will compare the department statistics from austin, dallas and houston to san antonio. You will likely find that the voters of san antonio are on the short end for service, courtesy of city government. Christian archer, the vocal front of the mayor’s PAC is not too happy! Three times the mayor and PAC went to court against the firefighters, three times the firefighte rs picked up the bill for attorneys to represent their interest and the people’s interest, three times the mayor and his PAC lost. This fight has been long hard and expensive. Though every skirmish so far has been won, the battle has yet to be fought. That will occur during the election time in november. The amendments will likely be far down the ballot itself, so persevere and go all the way through the ballot and VOTE your best interest.