Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Because of San Antonio’s strides in increasing equity, decreasing crime, and planning efforts surrounding transportation and affordable housing, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Friday during his second annual State of the City address, “If you were to choose any time in our 301 years of history to live in San Antonio, you’d pick right now.”
Nirenberg didn’t make any grand announcements to the hundreds of business and community leaders who gathered at the large ballroom in the Henry B. González Convention Center, but he assured them that the City is “stronger than ever” this year because of comprehensive planning efforts launched under his first term as mayor.
During his address last year, Nirenberg announced the creation of Connect SA, a nonprofit dedicated to formulating a comprehensive multimodal plan that will bring a substantive direction for transportation to voters in 2020. City Council adopted a first-of-its-kind affordable housing policy last year.
Nirenberg also touted San Antonio’s crime rates, the lowest they’ve been in 30 years, and doubling of public investment in street maintenance.
But his primary opponent in the May 4 election, Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6), paints a very different picture of the city – one that is on the “wrong path” with costly, overreaching plans. A recurring criticism Brockhouse has is that Nirenberg seems to be all plan and no action.
“We have to be thoughtful. We have to do things wisely,” Nirenberg said when asked by reporters after the event about his planning strategies. “Politics tends to go toward the instant gratification, the short-term solutions that end up being long-term mistakes, and we don’t want to do that. We want to put our city in a position for long-term, sustained success.”
The two candidates have sparred on stages across the city, but Nirenberg stopped short of addressing the election directly onstage. Many people at those debates and business community have asked questions about the 6-4 vote to remove Chick-fil-A from an airport contract and not pursue the 2020 Republican National Convention, but he avoided those topics in his prepared remarks.
He described the business people, civic leaders, and people of San Antonio as members of “Team SA,” which works together. “We’re not flashy or loud, but quietly focused on real results.”