Mayor's Southside Initiative Annexation Plan
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
September 5, 2002
The Mayor recently paid a visit to Commissioner's Court to review his Southside Initiative with us. Sam Rayburn is reported to have said, "If two people think alike on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking." I have not always agreed with the Mayor relative to a couple of his key issues. But while I reserve my right to disagree with the Mayor on specific issues, I believe his efforts to assist the South Side should be taken in good faith and improved or refined in consultation with the South Side community. My response to the Mayor's efforts to assist the South Side of San Antonio is to focus on the following:
- Urban planning in some appropriate manner so as to help effectuate a more attractive area. (The City has certain indisputable powers to annex. So, when so disposed to annex, the citizens are as a practical or even legal matter, compelled to either ignore the City's intended action or join the process and negotiate services to be provided when the annexation takes place.)
- Avoiding any effort to impinge upon or secure the taxable land of school districts. This will only distract from the necessary focus of bolstering the Southern Sector.
- Staying out of the education business and focusing on partnering up with the older communities and with school districts in a congenial and collaborative manner.
- Focusing on code enforcement, especially in neighborhoods where dilapidated housing owned by absentee landlords harms the value or appearance of a neighborhood.
- Focusing on in-fill (vacant lots) housing and housing rehabilitation in older neighborhoods.
With all the things the City needs to do to properly serve and respect our Southside Community, novel or glitzy "new ideas" do not have much persuasive effect on me. What does however, is for the City to do the "basics" well: code enforcement, housing and of course, convincing the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to take a more pro-active role in the attraction of quality economic developments to our Community.