A San Antonio City Council committee will decide today whether language preventing city participation in any streetcar or light rail system without voter approval should go on the charter ballot in May, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
Opponents of that now scrapped downtown streetcar presented petitions demanding a vote last month, but the petitions were deemed to be insufficient.
Mayor Ivy Taylor, however, pushed for a similar measure to come up in May, when other proposals to change city government, including allowing a professional level salary for council members and changing the way a mayoral vacancy is filled, are expected to be on the ballot.
But Jeff Judson, an analyst with the Libertarian leaning Heartland Institute and an opponent of the streetcar, says the proposal doesn't go far enough.
"They still have to grant permission to use the city streets, and we want that permission to be subject to voter approval," Judson said.
He says the language of any ballot proposal should mandate that voters have the final say if any agency, local, state, or federal, wants to tear up taxpayer-owned streets for the construction of any rail enterprise.
He says without that guarantee, the streetcar could rise from the dead, just as long as San Antonio isn't one of the agencies paying for it.
"It's a game of Whack-a-Mole, and the money keeps coming up from unexpected sources," he said. "We have to control it at the street level."
Judson says if that language is not included in the proposal to be put before voters in May, he expects streetcar opponents to go to court to force the issue.
"If the City Council and the governance committee does put that correct language on the ballot, then we can move on down the road and talk about the future," he said.