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Amid speculation of a run for the District 2 City Council seat, William “Cruz” Shaw resigned from the Zoning Commission via a faxed letter to the City Clerk Leticia Vacek Monday morning. That resignation did not come with an announcement of intent to challenge incumbent Councilman Alan Warrick for the spot on City Council, but Shaw hasn’t ruled it out yet.
“There’s too much stuff to worry about in District 2 and this should not be one of them,” Shaw told the Rivard Report in a phone interview on Monday. He came to the decision after speaking with several District 2 community members. “Crime, infrastructure, education, getting our senior citizens a voice, and so many other things. I don’t want distraction from the real issues.”
The councilman called for Shaw’s resignation on June 29, and cited ethical concerns over his rumored candidacy. These rumors caused months of limited communications between the two. Under the City Charter, candidates for elected offices cannot serve as commissioners. Shaw admits he was seriously considering putting his hat in for the District 2 seat during the May 2017 election and is still “weighing (his) options,” but wanted to “nip this in the bud and get on with my personal life.”
Warrick has already found a likely replacement for Shaw on the Zoning Commission, local construction contractor and project manager for LRM Homes Ba’Ron Head, but his selection can’t be approved by City Council until it’s back from its month-long break in early August.
“It’s kinda weird,” Warrick said of Shaw’s decision to resign two weeks after Warrick’s chief of staff sent a text message asking him to. Warrick learned of the resignation letter via an email notification from the Clerk’s office and maintains that Shaw was in violation of the City’s Ethic’s Code. “It seemed like he was posturing in a different direction.”
Because he never officially announced or took an overt action towards running for office, Shaw said, he did nothing wrong. “I still stand behind that.”
No one from the City has contacted him about a potential Charter violation, Shaw said.
“I welcome any challenges, I just want him to do it ethically,” Warrick said.
A district’s representative needs to be “on the same page” with their respective council member, Shaw said. “Apparently we’re not.”
In the meantime, Warrick looks forward to being on the same page as Head.
“He’s level headed, understands construction, understands zoning from his prior history in commercial and residential (projects), and that he understands the community is probably the key,” said Warrick, who said he has “mutual friends” with Head and knows him from his work in Dignowity Hill. “He’s from the Eastside, went out, saw the world, and came back … he knows a lot of the – for lack of a better term – ‘baggage’ in the community that you have to maneuver through to get things done.
“He isn’t going to use this post as a catapult to higher political office,” he added, “just somebody that wants to make the community better.”
An obvious jab at Shaw, who was appointed to the City’s Zoning Commission by then-District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor in 2013. She became mayor in 2014. Commissioners, like council members, serve two-year terms. Warrick reappointed Shaw in September 2015.
Shaw is a local attorney, teaches as an adjunct professor at Brightwood College, owns a small investment property business, and is getting married in September, he said. These are all factors that will play into his decision to run for City Council.
“We get a lot of negative press about District 2 and this is one more thing to add to that,” he said of his decision to step down from Zoning, stressing that the Eastside and its leadership have higher priorities to deal with. “I don’t want to be part of any negativity in the district.”
Head declined to comment on Shaw’s resignation beyond that he “is familiar” with Shaw and “I’m sure he had his reasons.”
Most of Head’s work is in construction of hotels in satellite cities surrounding San Antonio, but he was born and raised in the Eastside, he said, and has worked on several interior and exterior residential renovation projects.
“I would like to see new projects come to the District 2 area that help create jobs and offer more opportunities to more people in the community,” he said, including retail, commercial and housing projects.
This story was originally published on Monday, July 11.
District 2 Commmissioner William “Cruz” Shaw (left) has resigned from the Zoning Commission. File photo by Scott Ball.