Monday, September 17, 2018

Propositions for November Ballet

The following information Reinette King as a service to the public on the 3 propositions that will be on the ballet in November and is not an endorsement by VNNA II.

San Antonio First obtained the required 20,000 signatures which were validated by the City Clerk. Those opposing the amendments placed a temporary restraining order saying the petitions were obtained by hiring an outside company. The court struck that down Aug 15 as hiring outside agencies is legal.

Amendment A proposes to lower the number of signatures required for an ordinance change from 10% of registered voters (approximately 70,000-75,000) to 20,000 and to increase the time to collect signatures from 40 to 180 days. Those who oppose say they don't want politics by petition. They say it would make us like California and that it would hurt our economy. Those for the amendment say initiative and referendum is a long accepted component of our democracy, that fewer than 10% of voters typically turn out for city elections, that Austin implemented a similar amendment and their economy continues to prosper.

Amendment B proposes to set an 8 year term limit for the city manager, to require a super-majority vote (8 members) to appoint a city manager who shall not receive annual compensation to exceed 10 times the annual salary of the lowest paid full time city employee ($29,000, which are positions like library aides or crossing guards.) Those who oppose this amendment say that Sheryl Sculley is doing a good job, that we would lose our AAA bond rating. Those for the amendment say Sheryl Sculley took money from the general fund without your vote and created a rainy day fund she won't spend for anything and that compares the operating efficiency of 150 of the largest US cities to learn how well city officials manage public funds by comparing quality of services residents receive against city's total budget. San Antonio ranks 99th and lowest among major Texas cities, 115th in safety and 88th in infrastructure.

Amendment C proposes if there is a disagreement between the city and the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association, they would go to arbitration. Those who oppose state this would prevent negotiation, that the Firefighters could randomly force the city into arbitration, and that this would be very costly. Those supporting the amendment state negotiation is always the first option, that either party could require arbitration and that for 6 years Sheryl Sculley has denied the Firefighters the right to use their workmans compensation for asbestos caused cancer due to their jobs. She sued them repeatedly costing tax payers over $2 million in attorney fees.

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