Brockhouse Uses Procedural Move to Force Possible Re-Vote on Chick-fil-A

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Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) takes his seat at a mayoral debate in April.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) takes his seat at a mayoral debate in April.

City Council will discuss whether to again consider the removal of Chick-fil-A from an airport concessionaire contract next week after Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) used a procedural move Thursday that will force Council to vote on whether to re-vote on the contract.

It will take a simple majority vote next week to get a re-vote on the City Council’s official agenda on May 2 – two days ahead of the local municipal election where Brockhouse is challenging Mayor Ron Nirenberg for his spot at the head of the dais. The vote has become a centerpiece of contention between the two candidates at mayoral debates, and several business leaders and organizations have voiced their concerns over the original vote. Attorney General Ken Paxton has called for an investigation into the vote.

Discussion next week will be limited only to whether Council should put it on the May 2 meeting agenda – not the contract or issues surrounding the removal of the fast food restaurant. If the vote makes the agenda, it would take a supermajority (two-thirds) vote to revisit the fast food chain’s removal.

At least one Council member, Councilman Manny Pelaez (D8), regrets voting with the 6-4 majority last month.

The motion to remove the fast food chain, launched by Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1), was based on the company’s reputation for supporting anti-LGBTQIA groups.

Nirenberg, however, said he just wants to put restaurants in the airport that are open on Sundays and local.

Brockhouse wants to send a “nationwide message that we are an all-inclusive and welcoming city,” he said, adding that the decision to remove Chick-fil-A because of its religious affiliation and because it’s closed on Sunday was “egregious.”

“To make up for his complete lack of vision for the future, Councilman Brockhouse is fixating on a fast food subcontract to try and pump up his personal political ambitions,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “The Council will consider his motion next week, but it’s time to get back to important issues.”

San Antonio is not the only city to have misgivings about putting Chick-fil-A in its airport. The concessions operator for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport also nixed the fast food chain from its airport lineup citing Chick-fil-A’s political stances. In a situation similar to the one unfolding in San Antonio, representatives of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Delaware North met Monday to revisit its options following a protest by Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan, D-Buffalo. However, concessions operator Deleware North held firm to its original decision.

In California, San Jose City Council rejected a contract extension with Chick-fil-A in the Mineta San Jose International Airport and voted on Tuesday to surround the restaurant with LGBTQIA flags to make it the “gayest Chick-fil-A in the country,” as Councilman Raul Peralez said.

Paxton filed an open records request with the City on Thursday, according to a news release sent that afternoon, which asks the City to provide available documentation of “communications between councilmembers, City employees, and third parties that discuss the inclusion of Chick-fil-A in the concessionaire contract for the airport.  The request also seeks calendars, records of councilmember meetings regarding the contract, and any internal communications among city employees about the inclusion or exclusion of Chick-fil-A from the concessionaire contract.”

22 thoughts on “Brockhouse Uses Procedural Move to Force Possible Re-Vote on Chick-fil-A

  1. Does it matter at this point which side Manny picks? The man doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, on any issue.

  2. Meanwhile DFW and Houston Bush have three of them, Houston Bush has two, Houston Hobby and Dallas Love field have one each. Closed on Sundays is just an invalid deflection argument.

    • Ever been to those airports, George? You know they’re all significantly bigger than SAT, where a single concession stand being closed 1/7 of the week is far more significant in terms of loss of service and revenue.

      • I’ve been to all of them. Love field is definitely smaller than SA international.
        And did I mention DFW and Bush have three of them. Three. Argument still invalid.

          • Go local. Plenty of SA businesses can do just fine in the airport.

            Just a question, but if I am visiting another American city, why do I have to eat the same thing I can get anywhere? The airports are the first impression, although not a fair one, of a airline visitors first impression of San Antonio.

            I have no problem with removing Chick Fil a from consideration for its support of a non-inclusive society, but even more so from the perspective of local businesses and authentic SA.

  3. “Nirenberg, however, said he just wants to put restaurants in the airport that are open on Sundays and local.”

    ^^^ This.

    Enough grandstanding by Trevino and Brockhouse. If Chick-Fil-A moves their HQ to SA and will open the airport location on Sundays, great. If not, bring in a local restaurant that will open on Sundays.

  4. I hope the council and mayor come to their senses and vote not discriminating against a businesses because the support organizations that are moving forward their religious beliefs. Like it is not right to for the the city to discriminate against a business because of their gay affiliations.

    • Yet, you think it’s okay for a business to be able to discriminate against customers because of the business-owner’s religious beliefs?

      Typical “Christian” hypocrisy!

      • It is not hypocrisy it is autocracy. The right for all individuals to determine there own value and practice them. If your value system is based around the concept of homosexuality then so be it. But if a person value is based on biblical values so be it. Americans should value all people rights to choose. The right to choose should allow for conversation of influence in any direction.

        • Yeah but the problem is this is a for profit business which must comply with applicable US federal and state business laws. In this case the acting CEO had made donation to organizations which want the state and federal government to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and to advocate on the behalf of outlawing marriage of same-sex and transgender couples.

          Why would a business turn away customers because of difference of sex, religion, race, or sexuality? From a business perspective this would be bad business not to mention that it would limit your employee pool. However, let’s say that Chick Fil A wanted to become a non-profit, then it could in practice discriminate based on these factors. Of course this would affect the kind of business this company would be and restrict it in many ways.

          Look either you are a business or you are a non-profit. You can not and should not try to be both.

          Also don’t mention the cake thing in Colorado, because any lawyer who has read the opinion knows that the SCOTUS did not decide this case to overturn basic US or state business law. The decision was very narrow and focused on the states governing body overseeing the business not the issue per se.

  5. The Chick-Fil-A at Love Field is always extremely busy while the Whataburger directly across the concourse has not been when I have taken note. I’ll bet Whataburger is grateful for Sundays when their sales must benefit from their biggest competitor taking a break. Ask Love Field if they feel they have lost any revenue because of Chick-Fil-A closing Sunday or if their customers feel they lack options on Sunday.

  6. As a frequent flyer I appreciate local and open on Sunday’s. This was the right decision. How about a healthy food option instead like a smoothie shop or deli. It’s missing from the current airport selection of vendors.

  7. First, Trevino brought this up to improve his standing with the LGBT community in his district, as he has a challenger diverting those votes. It was voted on bc of religious views of the owner, not on discriminatory practices of CFA. CFA was never contacted before the vote and has no history of discrimination.

    Second, Nirenberg uses the not open 7 days as a deflection from his vote. It was an excuse after the vote bc of local and national blowback.

    Third, the reputation of SA has been harmed by this vote. We do look intolerant.

    Finally, was being open 7 days in the RFP? Was every vendor scrutinized for the beliefs of the owners? If not, that is the city’s mistake and before council brought this to a vote they should have done due diligence…in other words, their job! They left themselves open to investigation if they banned a company vetted and approved by the RFP. This was a knee jerk reaction…not a good way to run the city.

    As for Nirenberg saying we need to move on bc we have more important issues….seems that’s always what is said when you don’t want to own up to a mistake. Be a leader and own the mistake and council’s lack of understanding the legal city process for choosing vendors regardless of sex, race or religious affiliation.

    • They did not discriminate because of Chick Fil A religious affiliation.

      Last time I checked Chick Fil A was a business not a religious organization nor a non-profit.

      The fact that any US business spends money advocating on behalf of religious and non-religious organizations that seek to discriminate is counter-intuitive to a free and open capitalist system. It sends the wrong message to the workforce which should not face discrimination from public/private companies because they are gay/lesbian/transgender/religion.

      Your first statement in regards to Trevino doing this to earn votes, do you work for his campaign? Where you in the meeting? If not, then you are speculating, which is fine but your statement reads as if you “know” facts, which I imagine you don’t.

      Second, again, you are saying that our mayor was reacting. Again, you do’t know this unless you are in on the meetings, but let us say that you are right. What is wrong with picking businesses that are open 7 days a week? You never answered that. What is wrong with picking local? Again you never answered that.

      The reputation is being harmed? Really, from who? Councilmen Brockhouse supported propositions that resulting in higher borrowing costs to the city (our triple AAA rating). What about that? Is Chick Fil at the airport going to affect our bond rating, which affects each and every San Antonio resident?

      Finally, I don’t know what was in the RFP, but one can be sure that if the city did not do its due diligence Chick Fil A will have the right to protest. Btw that is the way this process is supposed to play out.

      I am for local (even though chick fil a makes a helluva a chicken sandwich)

  8. According to sources that have fully investigated this matter, there are two main issues:

    1. The RFP did not have any requirement to be open 7 days. This is an egregious “overstretch” of Council authority. Plus, everyone can frequent the other places that are open.

    2. The RFP did not have any requirement about the various charities supported by the submissions.

    The Council, specifically Trevino and now Nuremberg have turned a simple vendor selection into a political statement.

    Let’s vote them out in a few weeks to show them that San Antonio wants people in office that govern based on the will of their districts, and don’t try to do any ridiculous grandstanding..

    It’s far easier for them to focus on this stupid stuff rather than address the real challenges that would actually benefit the city:
    1. Education
    2. No fire contract
    3. Basic infrastructure improvements in roads/parking/parks
    4. Further economic development to attract manufacturing/high-tech/other professional jobs (read higher wages) to San Antonio.

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