Mayor, Taxpayer Advocate Lay Out Opposing Arguments on Ballot Amendments

by Morgan Montalvo 

WOAI News 

Two key figures on opposite sides of a set of controversial November  ballot proposals pleaded their respective arguments before a Southeast  Side audience Monday evening, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. 

Mayor  Ron Nirenberg, who opposes Propositions A, B and C, and Reinette King,  spokeswoman for the pro-propositions group San Antonio First clarified  their positions on the amendments, which would lower the number of  signatures needed on a petition for initiative and referendum, limit the  employment tenure and salaries of future city managers, and require the  city and municipal unions to use arbitration, rather than expensive and  drawn-out lawsuits, to solve contract disputes. 

Each spoke in turn and took questions from the members of the Highland Hills Neighborhood Association and visitors. 

Nirenberg’s arguments against the trio of ballot items focused on what  he characterized as a threat to the city’s bond rating and subsequent  higher interest payments if voters approve the propositions, and what he  says is an attempt by the head of the San Antonio Professional  Firefighters Union to wield undue control over local government.

 “It’s  a fool’s errand, because in the end it’s only going to hurt  firefighters, as well,” Nirenberg told News Radio 1200 WOAI after  speaking to the group. 

“These amendments, if they pass, will only simply raise taxes and lower  city services, because more of taxpayers’ hard-earned money is going to  go to interest payments rather than infrastructure and service,” the  mayor said. 

King said special interests fear the three proposals because they would  give taxpayers more local government oversight and ability to rein in  popular decision by local elected leaders and bureaucrats. 

“There’s a lot of money that they’ve spent on things that people don’t  really agree with, so people don’t feel like they have a voice.” said  King. 

Highland Hills resident William Anderson says the mayor’s financial stability argument resonated with him. 

“Somewhere down the line, whether it be two weeks or six months from  now, someone’s going to come up and say ‘You don’t have control of your  budgetary process,’ ” Anderson said after the presentations. 

San Antonio voters will decide the issues when they go to the polls Nov. 6.

PHOTO: San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and local  taxpayer advocate Reinette King clarify their opposing positions on a  set of controversial November ballot proposals Monday evening before the  Highland Hills Neighborhood Association. Photo by Morgan Montalvo

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