Firefighters Union Accusing City of Trying to Stifle Petition Drive

The battle between the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association is being cranked up again today, with new allegations by the Union, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Firefighters Union President Chris Steele accused the City of illegally attempting to block its effort to get charter change petitions signed at City libraries."The citizens of San Antonio have a constitutional right to sign petitions to hold City Hall accountable, even if Mayor Nirenberg and the City Manager don't like it," Steele said.

The Union is attempting to change the charter to cut the pay of the City Manager, as well as institute other reforms that Nirenberg has said would 'burn down the city's government structure.'

The City rejected Steeles charges, saying that the Union was merely asked to relocate to a designated Free Speech Zone and was never blocked from gathering petition signatures.  The City said no signers were intimidated  or threatened with arrest.

Steele accused the City of putting up notices at libraries warning people not to be 'pressured or intimidated into signing' the Firefighters' petitions, and he claimed that some petition signers have even been threatened with arrest.

"Instructing City staff to tell people not to sign the peitions, which is what they just did again today, is not only dishonest, but is agaist the law, and a violation of the City of San Antonio policies," Steele said.

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