Nirenberg Requests ‘Ample Opportunity’ for Public Input on Alamo Plan

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg officially starts the World Heritage Festival with a proclamation.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has asked local developer Gene Powell to share interpretive designs for the Alamo Plaza with the public.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Monday sent a two-page letter asking that San Antonians be given a chance to provide feedback on the highly anticipated interpretive design for the Alamo Plaza redevelopment before City Council does.

The letter was addressed to Gene Powell, a local real estate developer who sits on virtually every major committee and board pertaining to the redevelopment of the Alamo and its plaza in downtown San Antonio.

“Given the scrutiny and public interest in this project, I believe that all involved should seek opportunities through which the public can learn about and comment on the interpretive design,” Nirenberg wrote. “As such, I am requesting that – prior to a City Council briefing on the interpretive design – that the Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee (ACAC) and the greater San Antonio community have ample opportunity to see the interpretive plan and to provide meaningful input into that design.”

Click here to download the letter that Nirenberg sent to Powell two weeks after he received a joint email from a group of prominent local developers and architects stating their concerns about the Alamo Master Plan’s transparency.

Copied on the letter were Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, and City Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1), whose district includes the downtown landmark.

Rivard Report Publisher Robert Rivard addressed that email exchange in his Sunday column, for which Nirenberg summarized the contents of his letter to Powell, which at the time was in draft form.

Iris Dimmick / Rivard Report

Alamo Management Committee Chairman Gene Powell

Powell is secretary of the Alamo Endowment, chairman of the nonprofit Remember the Alamo Foundation, and chairman of the Alamo Management Committee that was formed as part of an agreement between the City of San Antonio, Texas General Land Office, and the Alamo Endowment to jointly fund and plan the redevelopment of the Alamo complex, plaza, and surrounding downtown district.

He did not respond to a voicemail request for comment prior to publication of this article.

After concerns of transparency arose regarding the Alamo Complex Management, of which Powell is also a member, Bush announced in January that the organization, now called The Alamo Trust, will hold open meetings.

Its first public meeting will take place at Alamo Hall on Wednesday, May 16, at 10 a.m..

18 thoughts on “Nirenberg Requests ‘Ample Opportunity’ for Public Input on Alamo Plan

    • Grow up! We’re supposed to work around YOUR schedule? If it means so much to you take the time off. Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

      • Of course because most people aka the public don’t work at 10am on a Wednesday. Only Wyfe Moore. If they were serious about hearing the public opinion on it they wouldn’t have the meeting at a time when most of the public is working. They know the public opinion is negative for this and this is their way of appearing open but not really having to listen to what the public opinion is.

  1. What part of leave ALAMO PLAZA as is is not understood. The real reason they want to this capital improvement is that they are looking for a “legal” way to get their hands on the retail spaces across the street.

  2. NB,
    another in a long line of incredibly stupid comments. What part of Alamo Plaza is a disjointed mess and needs to be redeveloped don’t YOU understand. The buildings across the street are to be converted into a museum. If you had been paying attention you would know that.
    All you conspiracy theorists are crazy – go back to chasing Bigfoot.

  3. The Alamo plaza does NOT need a complete redesign but for whatever reason The City seems determined to spend crazy amounts of money to just that. They do realize an entire city has sprung up around the Alamo right? It is in the middle of our Downtown. Yet they still what to make it some authentic time traveling experience visiting it? Yeah not going to happen. Are they saying they have fixed all the pot holes in the city and we don’t need anymore police men or teachers?

    • Yeah they have never improved the Alamo plaza to encourage development right?

      Come on! The city sees all the same things we do. Many people are moving to downtown. Go visit Austin, Go visit Fort Worth, Go visit Houston, and go visit Dallas, all have invested heavily in downtown projects. All have new buildings in their skylines, why would San Antonio not want to do the same.

      Don’t be so afraid of change, but I am happy to see that so many people care. No whether their concerns are relevant is another matter entirely.

  4. This Is Texas Freedom Force (nonprofit organization) will be attending this meeting with some of our members. We have attended every San Antonio City Council Meeting for the last 2 months voicing our concerns on this. More Texans need to join us and speak out against the removal of the Alamo Cenotaph among other issues with this plan.

  5. Yeah, all we need are those who want to defend confederate history to some how intermingle that with Alamo, pre US history.

    This is who is sending this comment:

    • You’re damn right we stood up for the Travis Park Monument & the Dallas monument too! That’s what we do, protect Texas History. It’s idiots like you that don’t have the first clue about history that are trying to destroy our Texas History. Hope you make it to the meeting instead of hiding behind a computer.

      • 1) How am I an idiot? Did I say something false?

        By the way, this is not helping your case. Calling people names is the refuge f people who don’t have good ideas but have to rely on ad hominen attacks

        2) What does the confederacy really have to do with Texas history? They lost? They were traitors to their nation. Sure that is a simple of way of looking at it, but at the end of the day the Civil War was fought on two sides, the confederacy and the the union. The confederates lost and those who lead them lost. Not many countries in the world put up statues to traitors and losers, unless of course you can name some countries that do.

        BTW Texas history is about much more that War. But just to give you something to chew on, you should look up stories about the Saint Patricios.

        Or learn about the original settlers to our state;

        It is so weird to live in a country where all important history that activist fight for is southern Anglo history. Clearly Texas has always been diverse, yet our statues on public land are the exact opposite.

        • Off the top of my head, a statue of Oliver Cromwell sits near the entrance to the British Parliament. In Seguin, there is a statue of the traitor Juan Seguin. Near the Concention Center named for the Irishman Gonzalez, there is a sculpture honoring Samuel Gompers. Inside the Hippoliti Garcia building there is a mural depicting all Texans. More streets than you can count are named after people who are not anglos.

          What do the San Patriciox have to do with anything?

          As for the Confederates being traitors, they did not view it that way.

          • You will naturally forgive the auto correct spellings. Gonzalez, btw, was Scot-Irish.

  6. I am glad that Mayor Nirenberg has called for the public’s opportunity to give input. I am not as bothered about the time of the meeting as other responders have been, and would remain with that mindset if in the end San Antonians were allowed a referendum (you know, real democracy to the likes of the Applewhite Reservoir.

    If few people can make the meeting time (or even fit into the small venue for which the meeting has been scheduled), then citizens having knowledge of an end-all referendum would still give them voice and power they are supposed to have. But we are not used to this. We are not used to direct democracy, and I think that is why some people are so quick to become angered.

    I’m a school teacher, and there are times when I use real democracy in classes, from voting on trivial things to the more complex decisions. I do this on purpose. I always start by saying something like this: ‘We are about to vote on ____. What this means is that some of you are about to be happy about the outcome, and that some of you are about to not be happy about the outcome (at least not this time). But we are going to carry on after the vote, and we are going to respect it. No continued debates, no more campaigning after the vote. It will be time to carry on’.

    And we carry on. As is in a classroom is as it is supposed to be in the larger society. No one person – or cabal – is more important than the voice of the community. When people higher up the hierarchy (income/power/elected) do not get their way – that’s when things often start getting dirty, and when things start getting drawn out; when things start losing transparency. Why does this happen? It happens because those people don’t operate according to true democracy; they want to start all over again, bend or break the rules – cheat – until they get their way. They become abusers. Far from democratic.

    I think that we have largely forgotten something, that representatives listen to us, not the other way around. They listen to us. Period. And then we all carry on, until the next new issue.

    If having a referendum about what happens at Alamo Plaza sounds weird, awkward, then I’ll remain the cognitive outcast.

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