Where Nirenberg and Brockhouse Stand on 13 Major Issues

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) participate in their final debate on KLRN seeking the office of Mayor in the upcoming election.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) participate in a debate on KLRN on May 2.

Either Mayor Ron Nirenberg or Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) will be mayor of San Antonio for the next two years after the polls close and votes are tallied on election night, June 8. It’s been a rancorous campaign season, and voters have a clear choice between the two.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of their similarities and differences on policy matters. Click links within these descriptions of their stances to read more about the issues.

To find out more about the candidates from their campaigns visit www.voteron.com and www.gregbrockhouse.com.

Public Safety

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Touts the city’s decreasing crime rates over the past two years.Criticizes crime rate for being the 15th worse in the nation among big cities
Ramped up police cadet training. City will have zero vacancies this summer, according to SAPD officials.Pledges to fund more police officers to patrol neighborhoods, more lighting, more graffiti abatement

Public Safety Unions

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Voted against the 2016 police union contract because of over-budget financial projections.Was the only City Council member to support the fire union’s propositions. Voters approved two of three.
Aggressively sought labor contract negotiations with fire union.After he called on the fire union to start labor contract talks with the City, those meetings started. Vows to find fair contract.
Played a large role in the “Go Vote No” campaign that opposed fire union-backed propositions in November. Previously worked for police and fire unions as a marketing and political consultant.

Transportation and Traffic

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Established Connect SA, a nonprofit dedicated to developing a voter-approved comprehensive multimodal transportation action (in development).Wants City to focus on fully funding VIA Metropolitan Transit/mass transportation.
Supports separated bike lanes and Bike Master Plan.Would scrap Connect SA.
Pushed for and achieved a doubling of street maintenance funding.Supports separated bike lanes, implementation of Bike Master Plan
Wants to increase traffic safety measures around schools and traffic light coordination.

Property Taxes

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Says meaningful property tax reform can be achieved through working with the stateto increase its education funding so local school districts don’t have to raise property taxes.Would like the City to reduce its property tax rate and/or provide a citywide homestead exemption.
Reducing the property tax rate or adding a local homestead exemption would decrease the City’s ability to provide services, Nirenberg has said, but he was open to exploring an exemption.Even if the average homeowner receives less than $20 off their tax bill, Brockhouse has said, every little bit helps.

Climate Change

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Convened hundreds of stakeholders and residents over two years to develop a draft climate action plan.Would scrap much of the current draft plan, replace with more “business-friendly” policies such as planting trees and expanding voluntary energy conservation programs.
After complaints about burden on businesses, he called for more input to be collected and delayed a City Council vote on adoption.Wants to assign dollar values and return-on-investment to proposed policies.

Jobs

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Created a “Blue Chip Jobs Council” to recruit corporations to San Antonio 70,000.Points to slower job growth in recent years.
Touts more than 35,000 jobs created in two years, many from high-profile companies such as USAA, Ernst & Young, Hulu, etc.Would prioritize property tax abatements for local businesses over non-local businesses.

Affordable Housing

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Established the Housing Policy Task Force. City Council approved its recommendations last year, and implementation has begun, including a risk mitigation fund and efforts to prevent displacement.Supports some of the new housing policies, but does not think the City should interfere with the housing market beyond removing “red tape” for developers.
Wants to appoint a “taxpayer advocate” to the Bexar County Appraisal District.

Transparency and Ethics

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Led Council to approve substantial changes to its ethics code regarding ethics complaints and waivers.Successfully required a more efficient, digital system for City open records requests.
Supported campaign contributor employer/employment disclosures.Has called for a reduction of private, executive sessions of City Council during which it discusses competitive and legal matters. He also wants them recorded.
Supported disclosure requirements for zoning applicants and those seeking housing tax credits.Wants more transparency when it comes to campaign finance and disclosures of support.

Chick-fil-A

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Voted to remove the fast food restaurant chain from an airport contract because it is not open on Sunday and is not local.Voted against the removal, says the vote was based on Council’s bias against religion

Equity

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Led Council to approve its first-ever “equity budget” that prioritizes investment (primarily street maintenance) in historically neglected areas of town. Agreed with the premise, but not with the methodology of how money was divided among Council districts.

Pre-K 4 SA

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
Supports the renewal of Pre-K 4 SA when it comes before voters in 2020.Skeptical of the program, sees its general value but wants an analysis of its effectiveness.

2020 Republican National Convention

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
The cost-benefit analysis showed that hosting the event could have put the taxpayer on the hook if private money was not raised and the City would have had to provide services regardless.The City should have at least tried to attract the convention, calling the decision not to bid a political decision made in private meetings.

Paid Sick Leave

Ron NirenbergGreg Brockhouse
The issue should be decided by the State Legislature or the courts.The issue should be decided by the State Legislature or the courts.

16 thoughts on “Where Nirenberg and Brockhouse Stand on 13 Major Issues

  1. I do appreciate this article. I am a supporter of the Mayor’s re-election and hope this article points out many of Mr. Brockhouse’s deficiencies. It will always be difficult to find funds to pay the city’s First Defender’s appropriately. Perhaps Mr. Brockhouse has a magic wand to increase the available funds. Otherwise any tax decreases he might favor would only decrease the ability of the city to address the needs of both the police and fire.

  2. I can’t help notice that most of RN’s accomplishments are ‘plans’ without any results.
    …is it our weak-mayor city government that can’t get the job done?
    …or is it our weak mayor?

    • You will blame a “weak mayor” when it’s the mayor you don’t want in office

      When it’s your mayor that can’t accomplish anything, then it’s the weakness of the government structure

      Pretty predictable mental gymnastics

      • What are you basing your “pretty predictable mental gymnastics” comment on? Or is it because Ron is your guy?

        There is weakness in Ron. Sorry.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. Lots of “plans” and pricey committee’s, but then often ignores what citizen input says

      I would LOVE for someone to take a hard look at the property APPRAISAL process. For the APPRAISED value of my home to more than triple in 18 years is rediculous. Then, share that hard look with property owners.

      • Agreed. Too many behind the scenes deals/decisions made by the shadow govt of city non-profits, task forces/working groups,etc of city insiders. If RN is re-elected this governance/and the taxes for it -will hurt all but the wealthiest citizens…in a city where the median income is $48,000ish. The fact that the city has a mitigation fund to help those who are being taxed out of their homes shows the policies-including tax abatements to developers-that drive the agenda…and it’s not an agenda that has the average, tax paying, home owning citizen in mind.

        Don’t be fooled…the plans come with a price tag that they won’t discuss before the election—taxpayer beware!!

      • “For the APPRAISED value of my home to more than triple in 18 years is ridiculous”

        This doesn’t seem ridiculous at all. In lots of parts of town the market values have more than tripled, and even just to keep up with inflation would have required about a 50% increase in the last 18 years.

        If people want lower property tax appraisals, they should talk to the state about establishing an income tax, getting rid of ineffective homestead exemptions, and allowing cities to set their own sales taxes. Or vote for Brockhouse’s magic wand and then complain when the appraised values go up and services crumble.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I have an MS in Carbon Management and was a climate researcher at the University level for four years so I know there is no substance to RN’s climate plan. It is merely posturing, pandering, and would not effect any meaningful reductions in carbon emissions from transportation.

  3. The mayor did not VOTE against CFA bc it is closed on Sunday. He used the closed on Sunday /local company preference reasons AFTER national blowback on the vote. It is dishonest to present it as you did in this article. Further, the mayor should have known the legal and fair process that made CFA a contender. He could have remedied that on the second vote-initiated by Brockhouse, but chose not to. That is not leadership. Own the vote and correct it when given the chance-that is leadership.

    • Actually it’s dishonest to pretend you know why any of the council members voted unless they specifically told you.

      It’s also curious that more people don’t support putting more local businesses into the airport; there aren’t that many outlets available.

      • Are you kidding? We know bc of the reasons Treviño gave for the vote…that is what they voted on publicly. What goes on in their heads isn’t my concern..but they did in fact vote on Trevino’s proposal-if they had other thoughts or doubts they should have expressed them.

        As for local businesses-most people I know who travel and have to eat in airports actually prefer places they can depend on. Local eateries at the airport are not well known by travelers and you take your chances…plus they are usually slow and not nearly as good as the off airport venues. They are never as crowded as well known eateries. IMO based on experience.

        • Actually Anne they voted on a contract that didn’t include Chick-Fil-A. They didn’t vote on whether or not the company should be removed for any particular reason.

          You make a fair point on local eateries.

          • Wrong. They voted to remove an already vetted business per the RFP based on the objection of Trevino; council and mayor voted to approve the removal of CFA for consideration of a franchise at the airport based on Trevino’s objection of what charities the owner of CFA donated his personal funds to including Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. There was no contract …CFA was removed from consideration after going through the process the city required based on criteria not applied to other applicants and not part of the RFP, but rather the objection of a single councilman.

  4. When the mayor has a majority of CC and the city manager with him and still accomplished nothing…that is weakness…not mental gymnastics.

  5. The only accomplishments this Mayor has are having done business behind close doors!! From CFA, RNC, Amazon, paid sick leave, the statue, moving the Christmas tree from in front of the Alamo, and one that has NEVER been brought up which is unbelievable is the reimagine Alamo! when you have accomplishments like that its no wonder you have to go dirty on the other candidate because you can’t run on the last 2 years which has been a total failure. I still do not understand how he can say crime has gone down in SA? Just look on the East and West sides where most of the murders have occurred. Rivard Report why are you not reporting on those issues that I have posted? looking forward for a response, but I doubt I will get one!

  6. I have read this twice. It is a seriously biased piece. I was expecting an article with just the facts and no particular opinion. Not what I had in mind.

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