Scott Ball / Rivard Report
In the nearly six months he has sat on City Council, District 10's Clayton Perry has shown he's willing to go against the grain.
His was the lone dissenting vote against a resolution voicing support for the Paris climate accord and against the removal of a Confederate monument from Travis Park. During a community discussion Tuesday night, Perry explained that his priorities were to protect District 10 and to communicate his values through sometimes-difficult Council votes.
"I am not a yes man," Perry said during "Conversations with the Council," a series of discussions hosted by the Rivard Report and moderated by Publisher Robert Rivard. "I'm going to put those values out there and make sure that people understand I'm that voice for all of these people around the city of San Antonio that don't agree with some of these policies and some of these ordinances."
The issues on which Perry campaigned – public safety, transportation, and infrastructure – were at the forefront of the discussion attended by about a dozen neighbors, as Perry refers to them.
"It's right in line with what I'm doing," Perry said.
Perry highlighted his accomplishments since he took his seat on the Council in June: acquiring money for infrastructure in the district, increasing the frequency of roadway striping from every five years to every three, and working to increase the number of classes to train San Antonio Police Department cadets.
When it comes to city development and planning, Perry explained how he judges projects.
"I don't like the 'build it and they will come' model," Perry said. "We have one of those downtown right now, and I'm not a proponent of that."
He pointed to the Alamodome as one example of such planning. It's a site that Perry said was built to attract an NFL franchise that never came.
His comments came in response to a question about whether he had a role in shaping the potential expansion of San Antonio International Airport with a new runway. He said that the airport should expand according to market demand.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the 2017 bond cycle, because he felt it was influenced by a perception that his district was a wealthy one, a perception with which he disagrees. He referred to a study that graded the quality of more than 4,000 miles of San Antonio streets across all the districts; his district was in the bottom half of the 10 in terms of overall quality.
"District 10 was not, as I felt, equitably treated compared to the rest of the districts," Perry said. "I was disappointed about that."
He did say the district is getting needed money for parks, drainage projects, and street maintenance.
During a question-and-answer session, Perry said he would consider a monorail system as opposed to light rail, a project he's not sure is right for the city. He also stressed that it was important his constituents felt like they were receiving adequate communication about city improvement projects.
In order to hear residents' interests and concerns, Perry holds community meetings every third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Northeast Service Center at 10303 Tool Yard.
"I need your input," Perry said. "I need everybody's input on what your expectations are and what you want me to do."