Local 'Techies' Gather to Urge 'No' Votes on Three Local Propositions

By Morgan Montalvo


Members of  the local tech community came together at The Pearl Thursday evening to  oppose a trio of controversial November local ballot items, News Radio  1200 WOAI reports.

David Heard,  CEO of the computer industry advocacy group Tech-Bloc organized the  rally, aimed at encouraging local voters to say "no" to Propositions A, B  and C. The three amendments would: significantly decrease the number of  petition signatures needed to bring an issue before City Council and  place it on local ballots for a "referendum" vote; 

limit the salaries  and employment tenures of future San Antonio city managers; 

require  local elected leaders and police and fire unions to settle contract  disputes through arbitration rather than often protracted, expensive  lawsuits. 

Heard says voter approval of the trio of ballot measures will stifle economic growth in the city's fast-growing tech industry.

"We've made a  lot of progress, but we've got a long way to go. And anything that  hurts the prospects of our city economically, or hurts our ability to  recruit jobs and workers to our town, and to keep our talented workers  here when they graduate, really impacts business overall," says Heard.

"We're really  driven by talent, we're recruiting companies as hard as we can to move  great-paying jobs to this town, and these propositions threaten a lot of  that progress we've made and put our future at risk," Heard says. 

Heard says the propositions undermine the authority of local  elected  officials and lead to both tax increases and local labor issues decided  by out-of-town arbitrators.

Tech-Bloc  co-founder Dax Moreno says the outcome of the November vote could affect  the future of local governance for the next five to ten years. 

"We are experience in our city a success in growth at a scale that we  have never experienced in our lifetime, or our last two generations'  lifetimes. I would love for us to continue that momentum and not start  undermining it now," says Moreno. 

Supporters of  Propositions A, B and C say the measures give voters more oversight of  local government, target the "special interest" influence that  developers and other special interests can wield over a city manager,  and give first responders' unions valuable bargaining power when it  comes to negotiating employment contracts and health insurance benefits.

The election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

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