San Antonio, Texas

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San Antonio, Texas
Seal of San Antonio.jpeg
General information
Ivy Taylor.jpg
Mayor:Ivy R. Taylor
Last mayoral election:2013
Next mayoral election:San Antonio, Texas municipal elections, 2015
Last city council election:2013
Next city council election:November 4, 2014
City council seats:11
2014 FY Budget:$2.3 billion
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:1.4 million
Gender:51.2% Female
Race:White 72.6%
White Not-Hispanic 26.6%
African American 6.9%
Asian 2.4%
Native American 0.9%
Pacific Islander 0.1%
Two or More 3.4%
Ethnicity:Hispanic 63.2%
Unemployment:5.9%
Median household income:$44,937
High school graduation rate:80.0%
College graduation rate:24.2%
Related San Antonio offices
Texas Congressional Delegation
Texas State Legislature
Texas state executive offices
San Antonio Texas is a city in Bexar County, Texas. As of 2013, its population was 1.4 million.[1]

City government

See also: Council-manager government

The city of San Antonio utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council, which includes the mayor and serves as the city's primary legislative body, appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council's policy and legislative initiatives.[2]

City manager

The city manager is the city's chief executive officer. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, planning and implementing the city's operating budget and appointing departmental directors and other senior-level positions.[2][3]

Mayor

The mayor is a member of city council. He or she presides over council meetings and official city ceremonies. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Ivy R. Taylor is the current Mayor of San Antonio.[4]

City council

The San Antonio City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[5]

Membership

The San Antonio City Council is made up of eleven members, including the mayor. While the mayor is elected at-large, the other ten members are elected by the city's ten districts.[5]

A current list of council members can be found here.

Boards and commissions

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the San Antonio City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[6]

For a full list of San Antonio city boards and commissions, see here.

Elections

2015

See also: San Antonio, Texas municipal elections, 2015

The city of San Antonio, Texas will hold elections for mayor and city council in 2015. Information on election dates will be posted once they are made available. All 10 city council seats are up for election.

2014

See also: San Antonio, Texas municipal elections, 2014

The city of San Antonio, Texas held a nonpartisan special election for the District 2 seat of the San Antonio City Council in conjunction with the state and federal general elections on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was August 21, 2014.[7]

The special election was held to fill the District 2 seat vacated by Ivy R. Taylor. In July 2014, Taylor was appointed as Mayor of San Antonio when President Barack Obama tapped former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In August 2014, the San Antonio City Council appointed Keith A. Toney to hold the seat the until the November 4 elections. The special election took place to fill a partial term through 2015.[8]

Budget

The adopted budget for fiscal year 2014 totals $2.3 billion, and includes collective bargaining wage increases for police and fire departments, infrastructure maintenance, neighborhood revitalization, economic development in downtown neighborhoods and increased senior care capacity.

The city's budget process operates by Fiscal Years running from October 1 to September 31 of the next year. The Office of Management and Budget is responsible for developing the city's budget. The process begins with public hearings throughout the city. Next, a five year forecast is presented to the City Council prior to developing a budget, so that future revenues and expenses are taken into account. After receiving public input and a service priorities list from City Council, the City Manager and City Staff create the budget proposal. The City Council may then make any changes before adopting the budget. The deadline for budget adoption is September 27. The city is required by state law to maintain a balanced budget.[9]

Contact information

Office of the City Clerk
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
Phone: 210-207-7253
Email: OfficeoftheCityClerk@sanantonio.gov
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:45 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Office of the Mayor
City Hall
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: 210-207-8998
Email: mayorjuliancastro@sanantonio.gov
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:45 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

City Council
City Hall, 4th Floor
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 207-7040

Click here for information on how to contact individual city council members.

Lobbying

In 2013, San Antonio's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $202,900. The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below.[10] The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms.[11][12] The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which San Antonio filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below. The city of San Antonio's maintains a list of all registered lobbyists. It is available here.

Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013
Reports Issues
8 Aviation, Airlines & Airports
8 Fed Budget & Appropriations
8 Transportation

Ballot measures

See also: Bexar County, Texas ballot measures

The city of San Antonio is in Bexar County. A list of ballot measures in Bexar County is available here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Texas

Population as of the July 2011 census update: 1,359,758.[1] San Antonio is a charter city. Signature requirement is 10% of the electors qualified to vote at the time of the last regular municipal election. Petition form requirements are in the San Antonio Charter, Art. IV, Sec. 36. File petitions with the city clerk. After certification, the council has 60 days to pass or submit at a special or regular municipal election not less than 30 nor more than 90 days from the date the council takes its final vote thereon. Charter specifies that cannot use initiative for ordinances appropriating money, levying a tax, granting a franchise, or fixing public utility rates; as well as ordinances zoning or rezoning property.

DocumentIcon.jpg San Antonio Charter, Art. IV, Sec. 34-44

Controversies

Restraining Order

John Foddrill and Michael Cuellar, two San Antonio citizens and former employees of the city, claimed they found inaccuracies with city contracts and filed multiple FOIA requests and made repeated efforts to contact city officials. According to Texas Public Radio (TPR), the two men did not receive the information they wanted and were both banned from attending city council meetings and were banned from city hall. The city attorney told TPR that if the police department determines someone is a threat, the individual can be prevented from coming onto city property. No information was provided as to the specifics of the restraining order.[13]

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngB
Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials P
Partial.png
Permits, zoning Y
600px-Yes check.png
Audits Y
600px-Yes check.png
Contracts P
Partial.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • The names and contact information of all city council members, as well as the Mayor and his staff, are available.[5][14]*The city council meeting agendas[15], minutes[16], and meeting schedule[17] are published.
  • Administrators are listed with phone numbers and physical addresses; email addresses are not always provided on the department pages.[18][19]
  • Open Records Request procedures, as well as a way of checking the status of record requests, are provided.[20]
  • The current budget is published.[21]
  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports are posted.[21]
  • Monthly City Check Registers are posted.[21]
  • Information about obtaining building permits is provided, as well as city zoning ordinances.[22][23]
  • Local tax information is provided.[24]
  • Bidding and contracting opportunities are posted.[25] Awarded contracts and contract documents are not available.[26][27]

The bad

  • Email addresses are not provided for administrative officials.
  • Lobbying information is not disclosed.

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 United States Census Bureau, "American Fact Finder," accessed April 24, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 City of San Antonio, "Your Government," accessed on October 24, 2014
  3. City of San Antonio, "Manager," accessed on October 24, 2014
  4. City of San Antonio, "Mayor," accessed on October 24, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 City of San Antonio, "Council: About," accessed on October 24, 2014
  6. City of San Antonio, "Boards and Commissions," accessed on October 24, 2014
  7. City of San Antonio, "Department News: November 2014 Special City Election to fill a Vacancy in City Council District 2," July 24, 2014
  8. San Antonio Express News, "Five vie for District 2 seat," September 27, 2014
  9. City of San Antonio, "Budget Development - FY2015," accessed May 22, 2014
  10. Open Secrets, "City of San Antonio, TX," accessed May 22, 2014
  11. U.S. House of Representatives: Office of the Clerk, "Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance," accessed on November 11, 2014
  12. Open Secrets, "Methodology," accessed on November 11, 2014
  13. Texas Public Radio, "Banned From City Hall: The City Responds And The ACLU Reacts," January 18, 2013
  14. City of San Antonio, "Mayor," accessed August 6, 2014
  15. City of San Antonio, "Agendas," accessed August 6, 2014
  16. City of San Antonio, "Minutes," accessed August 6, 2014
  17. City of San Antonio, "Meetings," accessed August 6, 2014
  18. City of San Antonio, "Departments," accessed August 6, 2014
  19. City of San Antonio, "City Manager," accessed August 6, 2014
  20. City of San Antonio, "Open Government," accessed August 6, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 City of San Antonio, "Budget and Finance," accessed August 6, 2014
  22. City of San Antonio, "Permits & License Division," accessed August 6, 2014
  23. City of San Antonio, "Zoning," accessed August 6, 2014
  24. City of San Antonio, "Tax Assessor-Collector," accessed August 6, 2014
  25. City of San Antonio, "Bidding & Contracting Opportunities," accessed August 6, 2014
  26. City of San Antonio, "Intent to Award," accessed August 6, 2014
  27. City of San Antonio, "Bid Tabulation," accessed August 6, 2014